Wednesday, June 03, 2009

We're just lucky, I guess....

Kim asks:
"And how, pray tell, do you manage to keep the Gerries, big and wee, out of your garden? We have one HUGE chuck that has devastated my lettuce, peas, beats, carrots, tomatoes and beans. He saunters right past the humungo size baited trap and proceeds to devour everything. So I am searching for any and all ideas & tips. We've tried the repellants - they have no effect. The den entrances are located somewhere in an 85 degree slope with a 150 foot drop onto railroad tracks, so I can't plug them up or foul them with used cat litter. I'm about ready to concede victory to the rodent and give up."

Well, we have a fence around our garden, but I know from my childhood that a determined 'chuck can easily bypass a fence by digging under. My dad tried growing muskmelons one year, because he loved to eat them, and he went into a stratospheric rage one afternoon because he discovered a woodchuck hole in the middle of the melon patch, from where the woodchuck had emerged and taken one bite out of each melon, effectively ruining his crop.
What we have between the greenhouse and the garden is our compost bin, which is an open, three-bin system. Kitchen scraps go in the first compartment, and we have often seen the Gerries happily munching on broccoli stems and our apple cores and the like. We also have pear trees around the garden, and as the pears tend to be a bit wormy and we don't spray, we let the woodchucks eat those too. Our theory is that the woodchucks, en route to the garden, get distracted by the compost bin and eat their fill there.
So far, we are lucky, although the day a woodchuck eats one of my tomatoes is the day I stop writing sweet little blog entries about the Gerries.
I did read an article in the New York Times last year about gardeners who always thought of themselves as peace-loving, one-with-nature people ending up in battles to the death with critters. And, there's always this....

I blocked Icarus tonight. Put it to soak in the salad spinner bowl, and then used it to get as much water out as I could.


The big picture...

Now it's drying on towels on the guest bed, and I keep sneaking in to look at it. Angus tried to help me by putting his big hairy bottom on it. Sigh.



I can't tell you how many pictures I had to take before I figured out that what I had done was turn off the camera's flash rather than set it to take close ups.

7 comments:

Valerie said...

Congratulations for making your deadline...the shawl looks beautiful...hope you enjoy wearing it.

SarahA said...

My grandmother uses human hair to keep away her woodchuck family. She gets it from the local barbershop and spreads it on the edge of the beds.

=Tamar said...

There was a woman who had a literal steel cage built in her garden. The bottom was buried three feet down, the bottom, 8-foot-tall sides, and top were a small mesh of strong steel small enough to keep out squirrels, and the door had a key lock. It was to keep deer and woodchucks out of the corn, and it worked.

Lanea said...

It's so beautiful!

Woodchucks can be pretty lazy, so I bet the compost and pear smorgasbord does keep them pretty happy. But hey, go ahead and eat one when they break the rules. It will get you a seat closer to the salt in Valhalla.

kim said...

First, the shawl is lovely!

Well I have to see the hairdresser this weekend, so I will ask about taking the sweepings - they'll probably think I'm insane even when I explain, but I really don't care at this point. They won't think I'm crazy when/if I share excess tomatoes this summer.

I've strung some low-voltage electric fence wire this weekend right after re-planting/re-seeding. The dog didn't like it when she investigated it, so hopefully it will discourage the demon vermin.

the fiddlin' fool said...

If our woodchucks act up, I'll just trim my beard in the garden.

Ruth said...

I hate woodchucks with a passion! They are evil and very smart and they eat everything! Even the deer and the bunnies don't ravage the way the rotten groundhogs do.