I have two garden issues right now that I would appreciate some help
1) Although I didn't see a single squirrel outdoors last year, it
appears that a squirrel has moved into the area this Spring. We have
only a few trees in the area, but evidently that is enough for this one.
I have horrible nightmares about squirrels, mostly from the fact that
they utterly destroyed my sweet corn harvest when I grew sweet corn
about 10 years ago. I hadn't grown sweet corn since, mostly because I
couldn't stand the thought of seeing the ears forming, only to see each
stalk cut off and a tiny bit of the plant at the base munched in the
mornings. Guess what I'm growing again this year? Yep, sweet corn!
Although there are farm fields just a block away, this IS a 200 house
development, and neighbors are pretty close. We are in the city limits,
otherwise I would go out and buy a .22 rifle with a scope and take care
of the critter pronto. I just caught the thing eating one of my 8 (now
5, actually) peaches. It took about 8 bites out of the rather green
peach, then tried to bury the rest. Oh, and I had 19 pears on my tree
in the front yard 10 days ago. Guess how many now? Only 9 left - and
it looks like something bit off the stems. If I had adult trees, I
could probably live with the loss of a few. However, these are small
trees that I planted just last year, and the loss of "a few" will be my
entire crop. That would mean that all of my watering, weeding,
fertilizing, mulching - probably 80 man hours of work this season alone
- would become a complete waste of my time if this rodent gets its way.
My sweet corn is more than waist high now, and I'm sure it is only a
matter of time if I don't do SOMETHING......
2) I also planted some Brussels Sprouts seeds way back in something like
March, and got them transplanted a bit late, at the end of May. The
plants look great, and have grown to be almost waist high, and sturdy
looking. I've successfully warded off attacks by several waves of
Cabbage Moth loopers. The trouble is, there are no "sprouts" forming.
I'm only seeing loose leaflets down there, instead of compact sprouts.
They get plenty of light, with no shade from trees or anything. They
are mulched with straw, and I water them heavily once or twice a week,
as needed. In May and June I used a 12-12-12 granular fertilizer around
the plants as they were growing rapidly, but have not fertilized them
since then. Any ideas on why they might not be forming the sprouts? Do
they need colder weather or something?
Thanks so much!