Our vegetable garden has done well, but we're harvesting very little.
Rabbits, squirrels and who knows what other creatures seem to be
helping themselves to just about everything. We don't even have
pears on our tree--they are eaten green. Of course shooting the little
beasts is out of the question, but we're desperate. Could we catch
them in hav-a-hart traps and take them to a pooch park somewhere
to give the dogs something to chase? Really, the situation is
completely out of hand. This morning we saw a brazen squirrel run by in
broad daylight, a ripe red tomato in his mouth.
The McGregors of Gallatin Street
You are among the many victims of the Magruder Park Gang led by Bugsy
Springer, Pogo the Poacher, Bunnyface Niblet, Quickcaw McCrow--not to
mention their masked master, Al "Lightfingers"
Racoone. But be advised that both city and county ordinances
forbid trapping these miscreants and taking them elsewhere. There
are few unpopulated
to take them to and there are no reform schools for them.
I've spoken with various gardeners about ways to save our
harvests. Mr. and Mrs. Minnowhaven put out "protection" veggies on
their back steps for the gang to take, and this seems to keep their
garden safe. My neighbor Pattypanelope claims that she grows
so much that
there is enough for everyone, including her family. I have found that
my fearless dog, Barcus O'Droole, keeps both diurnal and nocturnal
thieves at bay.
Others report success growing garlic and onions among the
vegetables. Hot pepper sauce or powder is temporarily very effective
but washes off in the rain. Some nibblers are repelled by the
marigolds and nasturtiums. These plants also deter many insects
and are ornamental. However, if you want a quick fix in
to save this year's crop, you might try a product now on the
one I know has yet used: a hot pepper wax that does not wash off
but which peels off when you wish. I hope someone will experiment
and report back. You can also make a spray from mashed garlic,
If your pear tree is small enough you might cover it
with a net--although Aunt Sioux complains that her squirrel
undo netting. Wire mesh is available but
cumbersome. Shiny CDs and aluminum pie pans hung in
trees help keep
birds away. Cousin Forsyte planted his fruit trees so
far from each other and other trees that the squirrels can't jump from
one to the other, but not all of us have enough space to do
that. And even so he has seen the
occasional squirrel scamper thorugh his gauntlet of dogs and run
tree for snacks.