We are in Northern IL.
I planted watermelons in an area (front yard) that always had problems
of similar plants being victimized by some pests. Not sure which
ones. Apparently, they like eating young shoots.
How can I realiztically prevent that, thanks.
u name it - i've faced about every watermelon pest out there - please be
more specific as to what has ailed you in the past.
after years of trying less energy-intensive methods, i've resorted to the
1. 2 foot rabbit fence around the entire melon patch - this keeps out
rabbits (they often trash my sweet corn too) and turtles.
2. 10 foot t-posts spaced every 10 feet around the entire melon patch with a
16 guage wire run every 8" from just above the rabbit fence to the top of
the t-posts. this is sadly the only method i've tried that actually keeps
the deer from trashing the melon/corn patch. in the following picture u can
kind of get the idea of what i mean by this setup - i happen to be showing
corn in this pic but the same principles apply to the melon patch side of
the garden -
3. from planting til the plants start outgrowing the enclosure, i put little
"cages" over each melon plant - this enclosure is made up of fencing
commonly available at TSC - has a mesh of 2x4" - this keeps robins and other
birds from "slicing" the plant's main stem. many years (maybe 1 in 3 years),
for unknown reasons, birds will do this - resulting in a totally severed
plant or one with many "slices" in its main stem. needless to say, this is
very detrimental to the plant's chances of success.
i can take some detailed pics of my setups if requested. each year, using
these plus other methods, i harvest way more melon than my family can
possibly consume. we are in zone 5 and primarily plant "yellow doll"
well......i've read about many many "chemical" methods over the years.
depending on what the pest is, they have varying degrees of effectivenes.
sadly, even in best case senarios, u're stuck reapplying any such method
every so often as well as after each rain.
the web is full of many do it yourself home mixtures that should at least
get u started. for me, the wildlife has been entirely too aggressive and the
only effective control has been fencing.
Thanks. I decided to take a plunge and bought "hot pepper spray WAX",
and they claim that rains do not affect it all that much. I could
fence the area, but it is on the very front of our yard. Would not
look as good.
The *best* pest removal investment I ever made was to go down to the
county animal shelter and pick up 2 kittens. It took them a few months
to get up to speed, but here's the short/quick list of things we used to
classify as "pests" and we now classify as "gone".
(a) Geese -- Canada. Used to have about 50 a year set up shop
on our homestead. Now we have none.
(b) Mice -- gone.
(c) Chipmonks -- gone.
(d) Squirrels -- not gone, but stay away from the gardens where the
(e) Rabits -- not gone, but no longer like to be anywhere near the
(f) Moles/shrews -- gone.
(g) Birds -- not gone, but no longer eat all of the berries/cherries and
All of these were a serious problem for us -- like we'd only get about
10% of what we grew from the ground to the kitchen table. Now we
get about 80% -- the cats saved us. The remaining 20% lossage is for
things out of our control (weather, hail, bugs, and whatnot).
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