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Redwinger

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Another yarn from the garden

by Redwinger » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:25 pm

Our our tomato patch is in a clearing approx. 150 feet from the edge of the woods. Over the past 10 days, it has been a contest between me and the local squirrels to see who could get to the ripe fruit first and frankly they have been getting the upper hand...no contest. In desperation, I sprayed some deer repellant, which the label claimed also worked on tree rats, around the perimeter.
Shortly after the spray (organic BTW) was lightly applied, I saw 4 of the critters hippity hop in unison from the tree line for their breakfast but stopped short about 2 or 3 feet from the garden edge as if they detected a trip wire to a claymore. There was a lot of chatter and one by one they would slowly inch toward the garden only to beat a quick retreat. After about 5 minutes of this repetitive theater, all four cowards gave up and and do whatever squirrels do in the trees.
Game on!
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Shaji M

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Shaji M » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:51 pm

Redwinger,
Thank you! Here I was resigned to the fact that my little veggie patch was just another Whole Foods for the local squirrels. They have got into my kale, my tomatoes and didn't even give my swiss chard a chance to see enough daylight! If I weren't a James Herriot fan, this contest would not have been so one sided! But, deer repellant may change this equation. Does it have any taste or any other untoward effects ? And I am curious to know how many days before the repellant wears out.
-Shaji
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Redwinger

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Redwinger » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:16 pm

Shaji M wrote:Redwinger,
Thank you! Here I was resigned to the fact that my little veggie patch was just another Whole Foods for the local squirrels. They have got into my kale, my tomatoes and didn't even give my swiss chard a chance to see enough daylight! If I weren't a James Herriot fan, this contest would not have been so one sided! But, deer repellant may change this equation. Does it have any taste or any other untoward effects ? And I am curious to know how many days before the repellant wears out.
-Shaji


Shaji-
The stuff I used is branded "Deer-Off". It is really pungent. I have no idea how long it will deter the tree rats, but it keeps the deer away from our hosta for at least a couple of weeks and seems to be somewhat rain resistant. The stuff smells so bad I would hesitate to spray it directly on the green crops as the aroma/flavor might persist through harvest. Same with tomatoes. I didn't spray the fruit, but rather a few squirts around the perimeter and a dab among the plants on the ground. Good luck.
I'll update in a day or two to let you know if this works for more than just a few hours.
Last edited by Redwinger on Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Carl Eppig » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:15 pm

We use Milorganite to keep all critters out of our garden, and have used it for many years. It is organic though of human origin (Milwaukee humans) and is a light lawn fertilizer, but we just sprinkle it around the garden and it works all season, even after heavy rain. Available at Home Depot. No, it doesn't smell bad to us.
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Christina Georgina

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Christina Georgina » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:20 am

Carl, does Milorganite repel rabbits ??? They have devastated by kale, chard and sprouts this year and my have-a-heart has gone empty.
Mamma Mia !
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Carl Eppig » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:17 am

Christina Georgina wrote:Carl, does Milorganite repel rabbits ??? They have devastated by kale, chard and sprouts this year and my have-a-heart has gone empty.


Yes, as well as deer, squirrels, and others.
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Alan Wolfe

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Alan Wolfe » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:04 pm

If anyone has trouble with birds, there is a chemical called "Migrate" which is labeled for grapes and would, I expect, be effective on other crops as well. The active ingredient is, I think, methyl anthranilate, the stuff that makes concord grapes taste like concord grapes.
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Redwinger

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Redwinger » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:50 am

For Shaji and others listening from home, the Deer-Off squirrel "fix" only lasted about a day and the little sh!ts were back doing their nasty deeds, so IMO don't by this product to repel these rodents. it works pretty well for deer, but the squirrels quickly overcame their initial aversion.
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Well here is my squirrel story, ( WARNING:if you dislike BB guns, don't read) we have gray squirrels in our yard, cute guys with big fluffy tails. We love to watch them play, especially the babies who chase each other all over the place. They never bothered anything, not even the garden. I feed them peanuts and next door feeds them walnuts. They find peanuts growing in their yard and we pull up walnut tree starts. One year, a squirrel decided he loved anything plastic around our pool and started chewing....same squirrel doing the chewing. It was getting pricey replacing all the water tubing on the slide, and other assorted parts. We tried noise, rocks, water, and the little guy just laughed at us. I asked Gene if he thought our BB gun might scare it off. He thought it worth a try. Ours is an air pump type, so I gave it a few good pumps and waited. Down he came and headed right for the pool stuff. Bang! I knew I hit him because he scampered up the tree but suddenly stopped. I took a close look and I had nailed him on his tail just below his back. He was bleeding and it was running down the tree. OMG, I was a killer! How could a BB have done that! I was crying when Gene came out to see what all the fuss was about, and told me that maybe I had pumped the air up a little too much. The squirrel stayed in the same position for about an hour and then I no longer saw it. It told Gene to never let me use that gun on a poor squirrel again.

The next spring, the baby squirrels came and played, and one day while watching we saw the squirrel I had shot, at least it looked like the same guy with his unusual facial markings. He turned his back to run up the tree and there I saw it. A big scar on his tail, and I knew he had lived. Whew!

We still have a few issues with the plastic stuff but nothing like it was. I have stopped feeding them peanuts, however and the neighbor next door is too old to feed the walnuts anymore. Lesson learned. Now, if they were to start stealing my veggies....Humm
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Bill Spohn » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:05 pm

Winger - glad to hear of someone winning a round with nature for a change.

We are presently doing battle with a family of skunks, several hives of stinging insects and the usual coons. No coyotes or bears yet this summer.

The wasps are probably the most immediately annoying - got a couple of stings yesterday just weeding, minding my own business. Find that wine tends to make the sting less painful - have to keep repeating the treatment though!
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Jon Peterson

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Jon Peterson » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:49 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:We use Milorganite to keep all critters out of our garden, and have used it for many years. It is organic though of human origin (Milwaukee humans) and is a light lawn fertilizer, but we just sprinkle it around the garden and it works all season, even after heavy rain. Available at Home Depot. No, it doesn't smell bad to us.


Between college semesters, I was on the grounds crew of a Connecticut golf club and we used Milorganite all the time for its positive effect on grass and the fact that it didn't burn if you over applied. Loved the stuff.
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Joy Lindholm

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Re: Another yarn from the garden

by Joy Lindholm » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:43 pm

Sounds like you need a garden guard dog! I have 2 beagles and a beagle mix and they keep the squirrels and rabbits at bay.

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