Saturday, June 18, 2011

Zucchini Flowers and Decapitated Lettuce

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My three zucchini plants seem to have doubled in size during the past week. At the moment, they are beginning to produce flowers. The first blooms of the season tend to be all male. Interestingly, the first flowers on all three of my plants this year are female. Shame they won't get pollinated. The first male bloom should open tomorrow morning but by then it will be too late. Oh well. I'm sure a few weeks from now we'll be so sick of zucchini that we'll end up giving most of them away.

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This morning, I woke up to find an adolescent groundhog circling my garden trying to find a way through the fence. A couple months ago, I noticed the lone groundhog living under our shed chasing after another around the yard. I guess it found itself a mate. The adults are brazen enough to pull at the fence with all their might. This little one only tried push its way through. I'm surprised none of them have tried digging a tunnel underneath the fence yet. Anyone have any ideas on how to evict a family of groundhogs?

Anyway, I took a closer look at the garden this morning and noticed that something had eaten most of my summer lettuces. (F$@$#! So frustrating!!!!!) I don't think it was the groundhogs as half of the garden would have been eaten by now. Nor do I think it's the bunnies. I walked around the parameter of the fence and could not see any holes or weakness. I have a feeling that the field mice are becoming more active. I placed a few mouse traps out this evening. We'll see if they catch anything.

12 comments:

  1. I'm going to Garden Boot Camp next Saturday and the first class I'm taking is "Preventative Gopher Control" I'll let you know if I learn anything useful for controlling groundhogs.

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  2. There's nothing worse then groundhogs! You're either going to have to find their home and set traps...or lead poisoning.

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  3. I've lost count of the number of groundhogs I have running away my yard. I have a family of them under my shed too. Please let us know how to get rid of them if you ever found the solution. So far, they haven't do any damage.

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  4. Good luck! A .22 is the only thing I've heard of that works against groundhogs LOL

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  5. The word is out to all the garden eating creatures that there is this lovely little kitchen garden with YUMMY things to eat in Essex County Massachusetts! I hope it is the mice and not the groundhogs and that your traps do the trick.

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  6. My parents have 4 or 5 groundhogs in their backyard. They looked into have them removed by a professional. They said it would cost $100 for the initial visit, plus $50 per animal they catch (in live traps).

    My grandpa used to say that you can fill their burrow with fertilizer and light it on fire! Not only is that probably quite environmentally bad, but if they're burrowing under your shed, you probably don't want to be lighting a fire underneath it.

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  7. We have quite a lot of problems with groundhogs in my area. If you know where their burrow is thats a plus. What we have done is place a hav-a-hart trap at the opening of the burrow and bait it with apples or some veggie they are into this time of the year. Try to create a funnel by placing barriers around the opening too so that the only easy exit option is right into the trap. After you catch them... thats up to you. We don't have a gun, but we do have a nearby stream that works well- if you get my drift. Future deterrents are digging your fence into the ground and bending it outwards so that they will get discouraged if they try to dig. Hope this helps.

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  8. I just got home and noticed four zukes blooming. All female. I wish I had a male open to pollinate them.

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  9. That's interesting about the summer squash female flowers happening first this year because ours did too. Fortunately, males were just a couple of days behind so we lost only a handful of squash due to non-pollination.

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  10. Bunny died of lead poisoning, so far the ground hog hasn't needed it. But we're keeping an eye out. If you could have seen what that bunny did to our peas, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, chard, onions...it was unreal, just unreal. Everything was growing perfectly and had been started on time with excellent germination. Anna in MD.

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  11. Erin - LOL! You're so funny.

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  12. jeepers. ground hogs, rabbits... makes me glad I'm here in Au... although my Nanna has to watch out for roos and cows lol

    Good luck with the gardening! :)

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