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Re: So much to do etc

I realize garden pests are a real problem, but that description sure brings back memories of "Caddy Shack." <LOL>
----- Original Message ----- From: "james singer" <islandjim1@verizon.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:38 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] So much to do etc

Cyndi, here's a post from another list re gopher/ground squirrel problem--

I've tried electric fences before using a "small pet" transformer, and
that stopped the ground squirrels for a while -- then they started
just taking the shock and destroying things again.

So this year I covered the railroad ties that surround the garden with
wire mesh ("hardware cloth") so that any animals on them would have a
good "ground".  Then using a "large animal" transformer I put plastic
insulators on top of the railroad ties and ran the wire about an inch
and a half over the tie.

So far I've actually killed every ground squirrel that has tried to
get into the garden -- with zero damage to any of the plants!

Of course I have forgotten that the electric fence is there and I've
shocked myself a number of times.

Richard Primbs
Encinitas CA

On May 9, 2006, at 1:52 PM, Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT wrote:

Good weather and gardening, what more can you ask?
I meant to take pictures of the gardens this weekend but once again didn't
get to it. It'll be in full bloom for a little while yet so there's still
plenty of time.
I did most of my activity in the vegetable garden, figured I would get on
top of the weeds there while they are still small. So the onions, the
lettuce, and the peas are all weeded and mulched. We are feeding our ewes
oat hay instead of alfalfa to help dry up their milk, and they waste so much
of it there's plenty of mulching material. The tomatoes look pretty nice,
the soybeans and the corn are up, but the green beans I planted didn't
sprout. Could be old seed...or maybe the ravens ate them all...I figured I'd
replant and see if it works. It's very late to be doing that, green beans
don't set real well in the kind of heat we get in the summer, but what the
heck - I don't need many. And I direct seeded some eggplant and okra, pretty
old packets though, we'll see what happens there too. Peppers are hardening
off and will go in probably next weekend. One thing about cutting back this
year is I didn't buy new seed, so I'm getting rid of all those old packets I
was going to use "someday". Silly to keep old seed but I am a pack rat, no
denying it. Now I can plant them with a clear conscience and I've even
tossed those I know I won't use.
We have gophers and ground squirrels galore. It's incredible, there can't be
10 sq ft anywhere without a gopher hole in it. My husband has about 10
gopher traps set all over the place and as soon as he catches one and moves
the trap to the next place, a new hole sprouts where he just was. And ground
squirrels, we have not seen them in years but last night we saw two
scampering in the vegetable garden. They do a lot of damage to my irrigation
system, plants, and they dig big burrows. I hear they steal eggs from
chickens too, but I've never seen that. Anyway we are trapping for them too.
We bought a new ram lamb the other day, the girls need a boyfriend for next
fall. Lots of pushing and shoving when you introduce a new member to the
flock. Sometime during the night somebody busted through the gate into the
veg garden. My husband shouted for me that morning and my heart just sank,
but it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. They had walked on
everything but didn't eat much so there was surprisingly little damage
considering. Talk about lucky.
Out front the roses are blooming, not yet fully loaded but soon. The dutch
iris and bearded iris look great. The hardy geraniums are the best I've ever
seen them - maybe they really liked the wet/cool weather we had since
February? I've got to get after the vinca though, it will smother them. I've
moved a bunch of daylilies, I don't even know what colors they are so that
will bear watching. The dry garden looks very nice indeed although I still
have bare spots. It's harder now to plant in there, new natives want a
season of almost regular water while the established ones will hate that.
Going out there with a watering can is not real practical but it may be what
I have to do. I have already lost a few of the new salvias to gophers, grrr,
it's what I get for not taking the time to make the cages.
But all in all, it's pretty good. Going to be about 90 today. Wish I were


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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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