Venting about varmints

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Oh, I hate groundhogs.
What with the drought and all this year, they have been desperate. The young ones that have been driven out are the smallest I have ever seen, small enough to go *through* the chain link webbing on the neighbors side of the vegetable garden, bypassing the shock wire at the top. A setup that had worked for a dozen years or more has been breached!
Have been sweating buckets and expending cash like crazy. First to protect the raspberries from birds, which Id never needed to do before, because normally they are spending all their time eating mulberries. But there were no mulberries in the neighborhood this year, because the freeze that came after the March heat wave wiped them out.
Now the pint-sized groundhogs have mowed their way though of my edamame. Worse, a burrow was started inside the garden. I dug that sucker out until it dead-ended. I guess it was started yesterday evening, since the rain early this morning had wet down the newly dug out earth.
Im going to reinforce the chain link on the neighbors side from the inside of the veggie garden and have set up a trap. Apples didnt seem to work on this one so Ive added watermelon. I need something it wants more than the soybean leavesor hope that it will give up and move on if only I build a better fence.
Arghh. I've got enough troubles (health). Damn. Damn. Damn.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
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In article

Agriculture, it builds character. Good luck with all your problems.
--
E Pluribus Unum

Know where your money is tonight?
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Billy said:

Spotted the groundhog feeding on the pile of mulberry shoots we cut down on the neighbor's side of the fence. I think some tree trimming is in order...and will put some of the freshest growth into the trap, too.
Maybe another line of shock wire lower down on the fence. If I have enough insulators left. And shock wire.

At least my body had the sense to break down in February, after I'd ordered my seeds but well before I had to start them. (Staved off a potential relapse recently but this isn't helping!)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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Billy said:

Ah, I have been *very* lucky--I was admitted as a surgical patient, but managed to avoid the knife.

Small garden is better than no garden.

No matter what my mother ever said about me, there is no way you can be a gardener without being an optimist.
Unless maybe you are totally delusional.

Lost even more of the edamame (the north end of the fence had yet to be reinforced). But we nailed the damned groundhog, who fled to the south end. Almost like we planned it that way.
One last push this morning to reinforce the north end. Good thing this happened during the Shutdown week. Too bad that it has been so. damned. hot.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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Pat Kiewicz said:

Finished up when the temperature was already 98 (heat index 108).
Picked the first tomatoes (SunSugar). Will have some eggplant next week and the first corn is silking. (But will the heat ruin the kernel set?) Summer squash getting ready to bloom.
Crossing my fingers on the edamame. Even if it is able to bounce back, the whole staggered planting/harvest scheme is out the window.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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zucchini replicante this year (I need to germinate the seeds, but I think it is too late now. It will give the cukes some extra sunshine because it is taller than the cages.

Tomorrow should be squash day. My health is a crap shoot. I'll just enjoy what I can for as long as I can. I need to get back into some kind of shape after 2 years of indolence, because the harvest will be here soon, and my job is very sedentary.
--
E Pluribus Unum

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us a candidate.
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Mine (western Ohio) are doing excessively well on cages. I haven't grown cucumbers in several years and I think I should have thinned a lot more. I ended up having to add extra cages adjacent to the original ones for the overflow vines to sprawl onto. I think they are densely packed vines up to about 5 feet.
The first picking was last week, but the blossom load says that I should get my pickling plan figured out pretty soon or I'll be in trouble (and my coworkers will get sick of cukes quickly).
I wish the tomatoes were as promising.
I like cukes on cages because they don't get nibbled by the ground level bugs. Sow bugs are only supposed to eat dead stuff, but mine think anything at the mulch level is dead.
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Drew Lawson And I know there's more to the story
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wrote:

I commiserate thoroughly.
I bait with lettuce or carrot or other salad greens.
Boron
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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

sorry for the health problems. with all this heat and humidity it sure makes it tough to get out and get much done. it looks like we get a break back to more normal temperatures for at least a few days soon.
it amazes me that some creatures will risk their lives repeatedly for a bean sprout when all around them they can eat many many hundreds of lbs of green legumes (i wouldn't mind at all). i'll likely be setting traps and hunting all season a lot more than i'd like. in the meantime i'm hoping for the snakes to keep working on them too.
songbird
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In article < snipped-for-privacy@Pat-Kiewicz.news.eternal-

peanut butter.
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wrote:

I've got to find out what is eating the tomatoes and cantaloupes. I think I am going to put the cantaloupes and pumpkins in stockings and see if it slows the critters down. Hope whatever it is isn't tall enough to reach very high in the tomato cages.
DH finally was able to run the trimmer in the garden and I can now get to most everything now. Not that all of the weeds are gone, but at least I can see them. Weather is supposed to be cooler starting tomorrow. Guess I will get out and see what I can do.
At least I am feeling better this summer than last. Now if it would just stay cool enough to get some yard & garden work done.
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
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The Cook said:

Do you see tooth marks on the melons and pumpkins?
Big chisel marks usually means groundhogs Small chisel marks could be rats or squirrels Teeny, tiny chisel marks would be mice or voles Ragged, broken chunks could be deer Opossums will go after ripe melons and tomatoes (partly for fluid) and raccoons have a sweet tooth, and will go for ripe melons.

It's cooled down to normal-hot. I pulled four heaping full 5-gallon buckets of weeds, plus the dying pea vines. So far the fence is holding and some of the soybeans are sending out new leaves.
If only it would rain...serious rain...steady rain most of the day...*sigh*
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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In article

Turtles have been known to enjoy the garden bounty too.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden

http://marshallmcluhanspeaks.com /
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On Tue, 10 Jul 2012 08:00:11 -0400, Bill who putters

I found a turtle eating my cantaloupe last year.
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USA
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Bill who putters said:

(Long time ago this was. I was still in high school.)
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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also-- If you're missing some flags-<g> http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/top_stories/590959/police-release-photo-of-flag-thief /
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht said:

They also do a number on the bottom of your garage door, if they duck inside while you aren't looking and you close the door while they are still inside.
Three human beings, two large sheets of plywood, a large box trap and a broom handle come in very handy at that point.
(All this based on experience. We've had groundhogs run into the garage. Twice.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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Frank said:

My cousin in northern California has actually had deer come up onto the deck to browse the flower pots!

Have caught a few skunks. Normally, they sit patiently and all you need to do is drape a towel over the trap and open it and they will trundle off, no harm done.
One time, though, we caught a skunk that was restless, slobbering, snapping and spraying. Called in the pros for that one. (That same summer, two rabid foxes had been reported in the township.)
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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On 7/11/2012 7:45 AM, Pat Kiewicz wrote:

Rabies is endemic here too. I'm careful handling anything I catch.
Apparently skunks will not spray when confined but last one I caught was a mother with 3 kids that would not leave the area. Fortunately the trap was under my deck and I was able to open it with my pole pruner from above with not getting sprayed.
First time I caught a skunk, I did not know what to do with it and an exterminator wanted $200 to get rid of it. That was 20 years ago. I guess if suspected rabid the local animal control people would handle it.
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says...

Wow. -- Was it one of the gravity closed traps. There's no way I can think of to do that with our spring closed havahart.
With respect to spraying, I've had young skunks cut loose inside the trap. The older ones seem to take it all in stride.
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