Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Securing the Garden

If you've been following the garden entries, you know that I've been increasing the security of the big garden.  First to go up was the initial fence on two sides since on one side of the garden was a standing shed and on the other side a hay pen with 6' iron panels lined with 4" x 4" x 5' goat and barbed wire fencing.  When 5 or 6 cantaloupes were eaten or nibbled on, I added a more secure fencing over the hay pen side.  When 3, 4, 5 more cantaloupes were ruined, I added lumber to the side gap on the gates and plugged the bottoms with old landscaping timbers and rocks.  When more cantaloupes were ruined, I strung ropes across the 4' gates to increase that gap to 6 feet just in case deer were the culprits.  When more cantaloupes were ruined I plugged a hole in the shed with chicken wire -- someone (hubby) got too close to the shed while mowing with the tractor.  Oops!

This is a picture of only one ruined cantaloupe, taken this morning, but have had at least 3 more ruined since the last security measure.

Do you know that I have yet to get one thing out of this garden?  Not one thing!  All the corn was ruined by caterpillars and aphids. I am desperate.  I bought 150 feet of a 24 inch wide chicken wire to cover the bottom 2 feet of the 20' x 6', 4x4, welded wire panels.  As of this moment, I've covered 32' with close to 80'+ to go. 

The watermelons are untouched but not yet ready to be picked.  I've counted about 8 cantaloupes in various stages of size development which remain untouched.  The question is:  Do you think I'll ever get something out of this garden for the table?  lol  With each passing day, my admiration for those pioneers settling this country grows when thinking what I've had to do to get something from garden to table.  If I were a pioneer, I'd be starving.  Thank you, Lord, for grocery stores. 

For the record, I've been surfing the web for wildlife cameras.  I am soooooo close to ordering one, maybe two. Of course, the garden raids are pushing to urgency; however, I've wanted one for a long time.  I'll probably be surprised at just what roams around here at night besides the deer, rabbits, foxes, and skunks.   After using the camera to discover what is raiding the garden, I could move the camera(s) to the more secluded areas of our property which is where one might find/see something unusual.  No doubt we have raccoons, opossums, and coyotes. It would be thrilling to find bobcats and possibly a cougar.  Errrr, finding a cougar might be alarming. :D Cougars are known to travel long distances in their territory, like 600 miles.  There have been sightings but not recently as far as I know. 

Until next time, God bless.


The Japanese Redneck said...

My husband says that vegetarian is Indian for "bad hunter". That's why there were no vegetarian pioneers.

They hunted. And if you hunted...lol...then you wouldn't have as much of your garden being eaten up.

HOPEFULLY, you'll get something for your time and effort!!!!

Lynn said...

I hadn't thought of the hunting component. No, we don't hunt; in fact, we don't butcher our cattle. We send to auction and buy meat from the grocery. We even mourn a few days when we send the calves to market. And,you'd think we would use one of our own calves for meat -- we KNOW what they are fed, grass, hay, a few range cubes, molassas, and no antibiotics. What better meat is that?

We should get some deer licenses in the fall just to cut down on the deer population. But.....neither one of us is up to shooting an animal. Pretty silly of us, isn't it?

Your hubby definitely made a good observation. lol

Donna said...

GoodNess!! The cameras sound like a good idea. Only problem is, the alarm will probably be going off all night long. Hope it works for you!!

SquirrelQueen said...

My guess your cantaloupe eating varmint is a raccoon, it is really hard to keep them out when they want to get in someplace.

A trail cam would be a great way to see who the culprit is and also just to view the animals.

We live on the edge of the city limits and have raccoons, possums, rabbits, wild turkeys etc. About two months ago there was a cougar wandering around a few blocks from our house.

Lynn said...

Judy, I've been worried it might be a raccoon....they climb! I ordered a trail cam this evening so the mystery theif should be revealed in the not too distant future.

A cougar was spotted a few blocks away from your house? Yikes! Not a good feeling.

DJan said...

I'll bet it's a raccoon, too. I hope you do get something out of the garden! And that wildlife camera is a good idea. I couldn't kill an animal, either...

Lynn said...

I have killed animals in complete distress. For example, my cat broke the back of a rabbit. A deer was tangled in the fence; we tried to dislodge it for about 30 minutes but the lower part of its leg broke off. We were quite distressed over that one.

You do what you have to do, but I feel sad about it for a couple of days. I'm not against hunting but we choose not to do so.