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6 hours ago, Thyrsis said:

 

But so rewarding when you can pick your own fresh organic vegetables! We will have broad beans ready to pick in a few days.

 

Incredible, here in the region of semi permafrost I did manage to overwinter a row of Aquadulce, and they are flowering, but not a bean to be seen.

 

Never fear our spring cabbage are finally coming to, probably ready by summer.... 

 

Peas almost wiped out by pigeon attack, had protected them but not well enough, cunning devils. 

 

So much suffering involved in gardening, don't know why people do it 🙃

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We have rabbits that eat everything. The joys of country living.  Whole rows of young runner bean and other young, tender plants will all disappear overnight. The squirrels used to eat all the strawberries until I fashioned some removable chicken wire clad wooden frames to make a temporary cage just for the fruiting season. The strawberry bed is 6 metres by 2 so we have plenty of fruit. The raspberry bed is same size and we will have many pounds of those later on but they seem less prone to attack. The birds have a few, but not too many. At the moment I'm picking asparagus almost every day. Short season but a perennial so worth the effort and the wait in the beginning years. Globe artichokes will follow later as will tomatoes in the greenhouse and (Carolina Reaper - v hot) chillies in the conservatory. Plus salad stuff and Maris Piper spuds will crop in their time. 

 

Pete Davis

https://www.pete-davis-photography.com/

http://peteslandscape.blogspot.com/

https://www.instagram.com/petedavisphoto/

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dyn Llun said:

We have rabbits that eat everything.

 

Indeed, one winter they even attacked my apple trees, fortunately cordons at a shallow angle to the ground and they couldn't get below to completely ring bark them. The trees survived, but they laid waste to virtually everything else. I now have plastic guards around all of the trees.  It's only happened once in the 10+  years that I have been on the site, but I recall feeling very low indeed!  Isn't there some legislation that requires UK landowners to control these pests?  The Romans have a lot to answer for.....

 

Rodent, probably rabbit, damage to a sapling cordon apple tree, England, UK - Stock Image

 
Edited by Bryan

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4 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

Incredible, here in the region of semi permafrost I did manage to overwinter a row of Aquadulce, and they are flowering, but not a bean to be seen.

 

Never fear our spring cabbage are finally coming to, probably ready by summer.... 

 

Peas almost wiped out by pigeon attack, had protected them but not well enough, cunning devils. 

 

So much suffering involved in gardening, don't know why people do it 🙃

Bryan, we once owned 10 acres out of town where we kept our horses. There was a tin horse barn and rural water and electricity. We made a large garden near the barn and water. Tilled in aged horse manure and straw. Corn, tomatoes, melons, green beans, carrots, and I can’t remember what else. We put up an electric fence to keep the horses out. The rabbits got the tomatoes and beans. The turtles got the melons, tunneling in from below. It would look like the cantaloupe were ripe until you picked them and found the hole, and that they were hollow.

The corn was so tempting, the horses broke in and ate it. We didn’t get one stinkin’ mouthful of anything for all the work we did...mostly my work. That was my last garden. Only planted tomatoes since. Fewer tears if one crop fails.

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Posted (edited)

My friend who lives near Florence had three wild boars invade her garden. You don't want to get into a dispute with those things. 

 

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Last year we netted the boundary of our entire garden to keep out muntjac deer and it worked. However this year an otter got through a hole (made by a fox we think) and it ate all our fish! 

Win some lose some! 

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The simple act of gardening for kitchen produce seems a constant war of attrition with nature. 🙂

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

Bryan, we once owned 10 acres out of town where we kept our horses. There was a tin horse barn and rural water and electricity. We made a large garden near the barn and water. Tilled in aged horse manure and straw. Corn, tomatoes, melons, green beans, carrots, and I can’t remember what else. We put up an electric fence to keep the horses out. The rabbits got the tomatoes and beans. The turtles got the melons, tunneling in from below. It would look like the cantaloupe were ripe until you picked them and found the hole, and that they were hollow.

The corn was so tempting, the horses broke in and ate it. We didn’t get one stinkin’ mouthful of anything for all the work we did...mostly my work. That was my last garden. Only planted tomatoes since. Fewer tears if one crop fails.

 

Oh dear that is dreadful, our woes are negligible in comparison! Fascinated by the concept of turtles burrowing under the melons. 

 

I once encountered parsnips hollowed out from below, never did find what did that, rats, voles or whatever, but no turtles in these parts  -  that I am aware of.

Two parsnips hollowed out from below leaving an outer shell and conical inner core, presumed to be damaged by voles. - Stock Image

 

 

Edited by Bryan

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2 hours ago, Bryan said:

 

 

I once encountered parsnips hollowed out from below, never did find what did that, rats, voles or whatever, but no turtles in these parts  -  that I am aware of.

 

 

 

 

Have failed to grow a decent parsnip....

 

wonky-parsnip-home-grown-S3188G.jpg

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1 hour ago, Thyrsis said:

 

Have failed to grow a decent parsnip....

 

wonky-parsnip-home-grown-S3188G.jpg

 

You wouldn't be able to sell such veg to a supermarket (even for their misshape range😉 )  but I bet it would eat just fine!

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15 hours ago, Betty LaRue said:

There was a tin horse barn

 

Why would you want to keep tin horses in a barn?

 

Allan

 

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To keep them from rusting in the rain would be my guess 😃.

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2 hours ago, Martin P Wilson said:

 

You wouldn't be able to sell such veg to a supermarket (even for their misshape range😉 )  but I bet it would eat just fine!

 

One for the soup pot!

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2 hours ago, William B said:

To keep them from rusting in the rain would be my guess 😃.

William, you hit the nail on the head! I always hated rusty horses. Ruined my britches when I rode them.

Allan....🤨......😊

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Some of the critters that chapped me the most were squirrels. We had a peach tree that grew the largest, sweetest fruit. Bite into one and juice dripped off your elbow. Literally. I made wonderful peach cobblers with them.
The squirrels would take one or two bites from a peach to check ripeness as they grew and ruin it. Then, when the ones that were left began to ripen, I’d see squirrels running down the fence or overhead electric line with a peach as big as their heads gripped in their teeth.

That meant war.
I’ll not discuss my war strategy other than it involved some yelling, missiles and....🤐

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Posted (edited)

Our garden backs onto a wild couple of acres of rough ground but has a high brick wall with close boarded gate which seems to keep the critters out. There was a young badger tunneled in but he didn't reckon on the dog. It didn't come to blows but he was not made welcome. Also we have a big cat who does for rabbits, rats and the occasional squirrel. Both the Dalmatian & Labradoodle eat all the low-hanging fruit from the apple & pear trees, but seem to leave the garden alone except for the odd runner bean. I lose a few raspberries to the blackbirds, but not enough to worry about. Only thing I have to net is the gooseberry bush. The woods pong of fox sometimes but I've only seen him in the garden once in 30 years. The wooden fence has enough gaps for hedgehogs to come and go but they seem the only regular visitors. More wood pigeons than I'm happy about, but they don't do a lot of harm and I find their calling very calming. They are the most inept nest builders ever, I don't know how they survive as a species. Our barn swallows didn't make the  return trip from Africa last year and would be here by now if any of their offspring were coming. The swifts should be here in a few weeks. Their shrieking as they chase insects up and down the street is the sound of summer.

Edited by Robert M Estall

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I used to get Grey Squirrels ruining my bird feeders when i lived in England, then discovered chilli powder, the birds can't taste it (or they love it) but the Squirrels wouldn't touch anything that was dusted with it.

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2 hours ago, aphperspective said:

I used to get Grey Squirrels ruining my bird feeders when i lived in England, then discovered chilli powder, the birds can't taste it (or they love it) but the Squirrels wouldn't touch anything that was dusted with it.

That’s amazing. Wish I’d known that before I moved. I fed sunflower seeds to attract the most photographic and desirable birds, but the squirrels raided my feeders constantly. I had two hanging on a shepherds pole, and greased up the pole with lard. It was quite amusing to watch the squirrels try to climb, then slide down.

They probably spent the rest of the day cleaning the fur on their bellies. Chili powder wouldn’t have been as nasty.

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1 hour ago, Betty LaRue said:

That’s amazing. Wish I’d known that before I moved. I fed sunflower seeds to attract the most photographic and desirable birds, but the squirrels raided my feeders constantly. I had two hanging on a shepherds pole, and greased up the pole with lard. It was quite amusing to watch the squirrels try to climb, then slide down.

They probably spent the rest of the day cleaning the fur on their bellies. Chili powder wouldn’t have been as nasty.

I once hung a bird feeder on a long greased wire. Didn't have my camera to hand the day a squirrel slid down the wire and bounced off the feeder as my ancient terrier sat beneath and watched. There was a momentary pause when the squirrel hit the ground, looked at terrier and vice versa, before a Tom and Jerry type chase ensued around the garden. Truth to tell, Denzil (old terrier) was a bit of a wimp and wasn't trying too hard to catch the squirrel, but it gave me a load of laughs watching. Ha! Still does give me a laugh, ten years on...

 

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Posted (edited)

A little grease goes a long way! 🤣😁  We humans are always trying to outfox the squirrels and we usually lose! They are smarter than us, some of the time. I had a pellet gun. I would pump it up and shoot my wooden fence near the squirrels. The loud sound of the pellet hitting the fence would send them running like crazy, and they’d stay gone for awhile.

Truly, the squirrels, cute as they are, drove me bonkers. In spite of making a pet of one of the young ones. I hand fed him pecan halves, so he left my bird feeders alone. And by then, my dear husband had killed the peach tree by dehorning it too aggressively, so there were no peaches to ruin or steal.

The dead tree did make a nice thing for my trumpet vine to climb, though. Would rather have had the peaches.

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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I was told by a zoo guy that birds are  unable to feel the effects of capsaicin, that's the chemical in chilli that burns to us. If you think about it makes sense, in the wild Chilli plants and Peppers rely on birds to spread their seeds in droppings.

Andy 

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Posted (edited)

Birds and gardens, yet more misery...

 

Cabbage in allotment garden, stripped by wood pigeons,  England, UK - Stock Image

 

Once upon a time people bred pigeons and the like to eat, now we grow cabbages to feed the pigeons

 
Edited by Bryan

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In the '20s, Hemingway sometimes capture pigeons for dinner in Paris. Do you wonder if pigeons give themselves a headache shaking their heads when the walk? 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, TeeCee said:

I once hung a bird feeder on a long greased wire. Didn't have my camera to hand the day a squirrel slid down the wire and bounced off the feeder as my ancient terrier sat beneath and watched. There was a momentary pause when the squirrel hit the ground, looked at terrier and vice versa, before a Tom and Jerry type chase ensued around the garden. Truth to tell, Denzil (old terrier) was a bit of a wimp and wasn't trying too hard to catch the squirrel, but it gave me a load of laughs watching. Ha! Still does give me a laugh, ten years on...

 

 

😃

I remember our (scaredy) cat chasing a squirrel up the trunk of a tree. A few feet up the squirrel stopped and turned round to face downwards, and swiped the cat acrosss the nose, the cat took its bleeding nose under the shed, it never chased a squirrel again, or Mistle Thrushes, but that is another story that ended under the shed!

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Cat flaps give cats a lot of freedom and take a lot of angst out of home owning but there is a downside. Those cats given to hunting will bring their triumphs indoors. Once the big handsome grey one dragged a partridge through his private entrance but it was still well and alive. Somehow it backed itself into the wine rack with the pecking bit poking out which worried the cat. I caught the cat and put him behind doors and extracted the partridge. It seemed OK though probably traumatised so I took it out past the wall and turned it loose. Never knew how that turned out. We used to have ducks waddle up from the river and hang out in the garden but the cat was getting bigger so the day came when they decided to find a safer gaff

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