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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Prairie Pest Control and The Garden

We live on a plot of land that was owned by farmers for many years before they sold it off to be developed.  The farmer's daughter is one of my good friends.  She told me that they used to call our land "Prairie Dog Hill."

Last year, we didn't have any problems with any animals coming to our garden.  Probably the 5-foot tall weeds actually were a benefit in concealing the location of our garden last year.  This year, not the case.  It started with the prairie dogs.  We came home to find our lettuce shoots eaten down and a prairie dog hole in the middle of our garden with a hole chewed through our sprinkler drip line.  The vandalizing thieves!  Well, we didn't waste much time looking for a good pest control product to deter animals away from the garden.

We went to Wallyworld (Walmart).

We searched the aisles.

And over a hundred dollars later, we came home with Steve's pest control.
 A pellet gun.
 He would stare out the window waiting for the fat little critters to come scampering towards the garden.  Then he would rush to our bedroom, open the patio door, grab his gun, load it with a pellet, and lay on his stomach like a true sniper. 
 Then he'd shoot.  More often then not it deterred the prairie dogs and sent them scampering back into their holes; however I believe two of the several he shot at actually went to the eternal prairie dog underworld.
The pest control... well it didn't really work for us.  And not only did prairie dogs make our garden their own, so did Peter Cottontail, a family of deer and a skunk or raccoon or something with footprints I didn't recognize.  Oh! And don't forget the squash beetles (eeew!)  We didn't get to eat any of our spinach.  Not a leaf of our romaine.  Our poor peas, the tomato vines, the peppers, the pumpkins, our zucchini, our yellow squash, the strawberries... all were for the animals/ insects, I guess.

Garden this year was a bit of a fail.  Too bad.  We worked so hard bringing sprinkler lines out and everything!  Funny thing- the pests didn't bother the chard.  We've still got lots of chard.  Everything else died with the frost this week.  Not the chard.  Oh!  And we grew purple and red potatoes.  The pests never got those either.  We also got funny looking carrots and wimpy-looking corn.  The eggplant grew flowers but never gave us any eggplant.  The pole beans never produced beans either. :(

Here's what the garden looked like when we first planted in June.  Below you'll see Steve weeding.

Sigh...  You live and you learn.


Myrna said...

As well as a good learning experience, your garden project makes a great story, too! :o)

Bobbie said...

Goooood thang there is no such thing as 'kid pest control', although they can be pesty sometimes [straight from my grandma's mouth about me, so it must be true]. I love those pics of Steve "The Protector of all that is good in the garden and for his family". Garden is such a wonderful pastime for the All You Can Eat Buffet for the animals. hehe

Cm punk said...

Extraordinary work you folks are doing with this to get rid of mice