Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tomatoes in prison

Last summer we had a good crop of tomatoes and went on vacation.  When we returned the squirrels had eaten most of the tomatoes.  They continued to eat them and we probably got two out of the garden that summer.

Update:This was the first year with the green house and I enjoyed starting my tomato plants from seeds.  Early in the spring we started planning on how to keep the squirrels from eating them.
We quit feeding the birds because when we did there could be 14 squirrels in the yard at one time.

Build a prison for the tomatoes.  

We built frames and covered them with hardware cloth.

Time:  ~8 hours of work
Staff:  three
Cost:  Don't ask

We assembled the "cage" because they were already decimating the crop.  The top was not completed yet so we wired some hardware cloth to the top for a temporary fix.

It did not take long for this little intruder to get inside.  Look closely and you will see him near the top of the cage.   He was in there eating away for over three hours.  He just couldn't remember how to get out.  Finally we opened the top and he left.  But unfortunately, he is not afraid of us.

 We tried to close up the place where he was getting in and reattached the top.

Soon he found his way back in and was able to get out with a tomato.  Can you hear him singing, "catch me if you ca-an?"

Finally we plugged up the place where he was able to get into the tomato prison.  And he was so frustrated that he tried to eat the tomato through the wire.

Luckily we have a watch cat to keep away the squirrels. 

He was on break.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Experimental June Bloom Report

Yikes!  Bugs is the garden?
Last year was an abundant year for butterflies and this year looks good so far.  They love the ligustrum.

 All over the butterfly bush.

Ants on the pretty gold flower.  Our friend Gerri gave me seeds for this last summer and we have them blooming everywhere.

 Can you see the spider on the red zinnia?

If you love gardens you have to accept that bugs belong there.  Especially the pollinators.

We have two honey bee hives and appreciate the worker bees pollinating.

Thornless blackberries second year in the garden.  Hopefully they will do well.
 Same with the blueberries.

Baby carrots from a pot, yum.

The first cucumber, not quite ready to pick.  Give it a day or two.

 Cucumber blooms are so pretty, the honey bees help with this crop.

Green beans are almost ready to pick.

 The first tomatoes were picked green by the squirrels.  We are building a cage for the tomato garden to try and keep them out.  Wish us luck.  Last year they ate every tomato.

June is the most colorful time in the Experimental Garden. 

Think I will go sit and enjoy.