Garden Fridays: I Hate Squirrels

by Shawnda on May 24, 2013

in Garden

SERIOUSLY.

Do squirrels actually serve a purpose in the circle of life? Other than to eat my strawberries, destroy my tomatoes, and steal my bluberries? Those little bastards are roaches with fur and one day I’ll invent a motion-activated flame thrower to teach them a lesson.

One day.

How are your gardens growing? We’ll start out with the good… because you’ve already guessed the bad.

The Good
Green Beans
They’re more than good, they’re grrreeeeaaat! 3-lbs-in-one-week great. And next week, I’ll show you the awesome, 4-ingredient, barely-a-recipe way we’ve been eating them.

Juliet tomatoes
These are larger grape-style tomatoes. There might be no tomato on this planet that is better for roasting… and then eating straight off the pan. The plant is a beast. INSANELY prolific, which is good because it’s also a favorite target for squirrels.

Meyer Lemon
White flies and leaf miners attacked the dwarf Meyer last year and we thought it was a goner. But we saw new greenery on it earlier this spring and now it’s full of flowers!

Zucchini
Just harvested 3 zucchini this week! Will be starting a new seedling in a pot this week because I expect the vine borers to show up any second now…

San Marzano
Two plants, completely loaded with green tomatoes.

Cantaloupe
Two vines off to a slow start. Dozens of flowers later, I found 3 cantaloupe yesterday!

Basil
LOVES the weather right now. And we love eating pesto on everything.

Kale
LOVES the weather right now as much as basil.

Serranos
I wish the serrano and jalapeno plants would trade places… but they won’t. And I’ve learned to embrace the skinnier pepper. I had to. Because I’ve picked over 100 peppers in the last 13 days.

The Eh
Strawberries
Demoted :( The wonky weather killed production – we went from getting a pound every other day to 5 tiny berries in the last week. But the 2 hours working in that box, weeding and fertilizing and adding new compost, should hopefully start paying off again soon.

White Peach Tree
Massive fruit drop last month left only 8-12 peaches on the tree. But we’ve eaten the first peach of the year and it did not suck.

Grapefruit
Massive fruit drop, only 6 grapefruit left on the bush. I think the real problem is that it has outgrown it’s pot and I waited too long to prune it this year. We’re going to try to make room for it in the ground this summer so it can grow as big as it wants.

Jalapeno
Still angry at me from moving it from it’s big pot in the sun to a less-sunny corner of the “pepper and tomato” box.

The Bad
Tomatillos
Dozens and dozens of blossoms the last two months… not one single fruit. They have until July 4th and then my late summer tomatoes go in the ground in their place.

Pomegranate
2 dozen flowers and not a single one fertilized.

The Other Peach
It tried to bloom in late April and early May… when it was sub-40 in Texas. There will be no peach crop from it this year.

Blueberries
&^%$#@! squirrels.

Eggplant
I planted a seedling ~3 months ago… and it’s still less than 6 inches tall. At this rate, we’ll be having eggplant at Thanksgiving.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth May 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

I love reading your garden updates! Makes me excited to get out and get mine planted this weekend… we’re still a ways away from harvesting anything other than rhubarb and chives!

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2 Mai-Lis @ A Sunshiny Day May 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

WOW, first I’m insanely jealous of all the gorgeous produce you grow. We don’t have any land so I try to shove as many things as I can in pots around our patio, can’t wait until I can grow an actual garden some day. Second, I hate squirrels too. We had one really annoying squirrel that hung around our house when I was growing up so me and my dad attached a long string to the branch he liked to jump on and then right when he was getting ready to jump “PULLL!” It was fun, you should try it.

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3 Shawnda May 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Haha! Love that story – thanks for sharing!

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4 Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor May 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

I hate the squirrels too! We put bird netting over the entire bed with strawberries because otherwise the squirrels run off with them. They haven’t attacked our blueberries yet but maybe it’s because we have so many plants. Your veggies looks really good though! My favorite way to eat green beans is sauteed with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.

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5 Lisa @ The Cooking Bride May 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Growing up, my father used to remove the screen from our dining room window so he could shoot squirrels that came into our backyard with a BB guns. True story and I’m sure illegal as hell, even back in the 80′s. My mother used to have a fit.

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6 Shawnda May 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm

I won’t lie and say that I haven’t thought about that EXACT scenario :)

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7 Pat May 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I love, love, love reading your blog. You crack me up all of time, including today “little bastards”! :) Hilarious! We are hoping our garden will produce and cannot wait for fresh tomatoes. Have a great weekend!

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8 Shawnda May 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Thanks, Pat :)

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9 Angelique May 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

All of our stuff has been very slow to respond this year. I’ve stepped up the fertilizing treatments and the tomatoes are responding, especially the Sweet 100. But our peppers are sad, all about 6 inches tall for the last two months and losing their lower leaves. Maybe half-a-dozen peppers between the 5 of them. Our squash plants are slow, too and don’t even get me started on cucumbers. So, I’m jealous of the harvest you’ve gotten.

PS. Our strawberry troubles were more of the feathered kind than furry. Frustrating all the same.

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10 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I love your garden updates, Shawnda! We just put one in a few weeks ago. Loaded it up with tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, and a few herbs. Starting slow to see if we can turn our black thumbs green! Anyway, thanks for the update and gorgeous photos. Also – squirrels are the devil. My dog agrees.

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11 Tricia May 24, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Tomatillos…..hopefully you have more than one plant. They have to cross pollen.

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12 Shawnda May 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I have two plants.

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13 Alley @ Alley's Recipe Book May 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Sigh… I share your anger toward squirrels… although I think deer, bunnies, and birds are my arch nemesis this year. Oh, and aphids. I don’t know where they keep coming from. I’ve never really noticed them before (except on indoor plants) and they infested my spinach, meyer lemon tree, and random bush in my front yard.

Not quite time for us to be harvesting much in Ohio. We’re still at risk for frost this weekend!

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14 Lori May 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Are you sure it was a squirrel? I had a rabbit do exactly the same thing to my tomatoes last year, and I do container gardening! I don’t know how the fiesty bunny jumped up into the pot I had my tomato in – but he did! I saw him hopping away shortly after. You’re garden looks beautiful otherwise. I’m so jealous you have tomatoes already.

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15 Barb May 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm

HELP!!!! I have an abundance of basil, thyme and rosemary. How do I store this stuff?
My tomatillos are coming along and all my peppers look great. Your garden is be U tee Full!!!

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16 Shawnda May 28, 2013 at 9:23 am

Thanks, Barb! I pulled my thyme because I couldn’t keep up with it. And I’m about to cut the oregano waaaay back. I won’t ever use as much as those plants can turn out. Pesto freezes beautifully. We eat the basil-tomato-mozzarella combo ALOT on sandwiches/burgers/crackers/etc and as a side dish for much of the summer.

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17 Barb May 27, 2013 at 9:15 pm

The photos of your garden are just beautiful. Sorry to hear about the tomatillos. I just have an herb garden with an abundance of basil………any suggestions besides pesto?

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18 Shawnda May 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

So far, I’ve made a huge batch of pesto with our windfall… and have almost used it all. The next batch won’t go so quickly so I’ll freeze it. We eat lots of tomato-basil-mozzarella on things (sandwiches, burgers, crackers, etc) and “caprese bites” (tomato, basil leaf, square of mozzarella) with lunch and dinner because The Little loves eating food on toothpicks. Thought it only calls for a few leaves, I love the dressing on these veggies (and always use extra basil).

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19 Barb May 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Shawnda I thank you for the ideas cause my brain was stuck in neutral.

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20 Barb May 28, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Oh and made a huge batch of pesto to freeze minus the cheese that I can add in when using.

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21 Niki May 31, 2013 at 7:48 am

I hate squirrels too! In fact so much that I bought a “Squirrel trap/cage” and have caught 4 of the pesky guys so far. I take them up the road to the woods and present them to their new home. Goodbye squirrels, hello tomatoes not half eaten!
Just FYI in case you didn’t know…you have to plant more then 1 tomatillo plant to cross pollinate. I did not know that last year. Had a GIGANTIC plant with a million flowers and pods….empty pods with no fruit. They recommend 3 plants at least. Which would take over my garden so no tomatillos for me.

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22 Shawnda May 31, 2013 at 11:09 am

I have two plants – and found the first tomatillo yesterday! I don’t have room for 3 plants… Technically, I don’t have room for 2. Unless a miracle happens and I get a good yield, I probably won’t grow them again.

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23 Mariah June 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

ugh- vine borers. When you say you are going to start a new seedling what do you mean exactly? Last year I got 1 zuke from my plant before those little buttheads move in. Is there nothing to do? I want to have zuchinni all summer!

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24 Shawnda June 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

I started a new plant from seed. I’ll pull the zucchini as soon as I see any problems and then plant the new plant elsewhere. Supposedly, they are active in June then drop into the soil to hibernate – later-planted crops have a better chance. This year’s plant isn’t in the same box as last year’s plant, so I’m hoping to escape the previous years’ fates. But I probably won’t.

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25 Becky June 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

I don’t have a problem with squirrels, but Mockingbirds can kiss my butt! Those damn things have gotten most of my strawberries and the largest tomatoes my plant puts out (thankfully, my plant is overflowing with tomatoes so it’s not too much of a problem). I’ve resorted to wooden garden stakes and bird netting. Apparently my outdoor kitty doesn’t seem to care about the bird, guess she just wants to snooze in the middle of the day while the bird is out there snacking.

I have two blueberry plants in pots (Climax and Premier, I think) and earlier this spring they looked beautiful, lots of blooms and the Premier put on a lot of fruit, then all of a sudden their leaves started turning brown and crispy. The Climax has since comeback, but no fruit yet. The poor Premier has no leaves, except a few that are now starting to brown up again. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with them. I’ve acidified the soil, water them relatively frequently (I always check to make sure the soil isn’t too wet before), and they’re in a sunny spot. How do you manage your blueberries??

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26 Lauren June 19, 2013 at 10:22 am

I was just re-reading your strawberry cake recipe (the best BTW) that I’m going to make again this year for my mother in law’s birthday and I thought I would check out the other stuff on your blog. WOW – what a garden! I’m so jealous!! I’m in New England and we can’t grow all of that stuff here. I do the best I can with our short growing season – but I envy gardeners like you! Just curious – what area of the country do you live in?

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27 Shawnda June 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

Houston, TX!

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