I planted my first garden this year sort of late in the season (around late July) – but like Justin Rhodes always says, “Just Plant.”
Much to my surprise, most of my little garden grew: the okra grew fast, the corn made 18 ears, the squash grew a few dinners worth, and the cantaloupes flourished.
However, the straw-bale potatoes never grew at all and my Lowe’s tomato plants made one batch of green tomatoes and then staled the rest of the summer. I think these two issues were heat related but what do I know.
The okra may have been magic beans because it grew 10 feet tall (and I don’t think that’s normal) but I did get a few dinners off of it before it grew completely out of reach.
The squirrels ate every ear of my corn and then pulled the stalks down for good measure and danced on the remains (I’m just guess about that dance part).
Everything else that was left, was eaten by rats – or so I’m guessing by the decimation and Tom&Jerry like holes in my cantaloupes.
In all fairness, my garden was really no trouble to grow. The whole area is roughly 20X30 and only took a few hours to plant. I used the no-till method and so the weed pressure was minimal. All and all, I think it was a success – even if it only fed the local wildlife. Next year I’ll plant early and see what happens.
I still have two Cantaloupes hanging on the vine, one I have rapped with a rubber snake and the other is completely defenseless. However, I have set a trap for the rats and can only hope I get at least one melon for my efforts.
Build A Better Mouse Trap
The trouble with most rat traps is that they are dangerous to things other than rats. Poison is just not an option. A simple spring loaded trap might work but that’s sort of a one shot one rat approach.
Instead I’m going with a bucket trap.
- 5 gallon bucket
- wire coat hanger
- scrap piece of thin tubing (I used a broken grabber I had laying around)
- Peanut Butter
- a little dish soap
- Cut the tubing slightly shorter than the diameter of the bucket.
- Cut the wire hanger 2″ longer than the diameter of the bucket.
- Poke two holes in the rim across from each other.
- Run the wire through the tube and through the holes – then bend over on each end.
- Rub peanut butter on the middle of the pipe.
- Fill the bucket half way up with water and a little dish soap.
- Vala! Rat Trap.
It rained all last night, so since the peanut butter was untouched this morning , I’m guessing that the rain kept the rats in their little burrow (which I think is actually my failed straw-bale potato experiment). I’ll let you know next week how it all works out.
I also spent a few hours yesterday building three of the storage bins I designed in SketchUp last week. It took a few hours because my shop is still upside-down while I renovate it and so I spent 20 minutes just trying to find a drill bit. The upside is that once the bins are complete, I can get some of the clutter under control. If all goes well my 3 day shop renovation that was started on 9/9/19, will be done by mid-November… of 2020!
Note Worthy News
It’s confirmed that my humor article, The Christmas Goose will be published in the Dec/Jan 2019/2020 issue of Farm & Ranch Living. The magazine has a circulation of 400,000, so I couldn’t be more excited. Be sure to pickup your copy on newsstands next month.
On a similar note, I am now listed as #19 on the Top 60 Beekeeping Blogs and Websites in 2019. I have no idea how prestigious that is but it does mean people are starting to notice this bungling beekeeper’s beekeeping blog.
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