Friday, May 29, 2009

Critter Trouble

Between the rabbits and the rain, it is probably a minor miracle that my garden is as far along as it is, but at the Plant-a-Row-for-the-Hungry garden where I volunteer, the trouble is worse. We've had to replant the half-runner beans and the cucumbers twice, the yellow squash, zucchetta, and corn once each, and re-insert the sweet potatoes into their hills once.

There are additional problems with the cucumbers and beans, but something is pulling nearly every other seedling right out of the ground, and we suspect that the something is crows.

I was talking yesterday with a gardening friend who comes from a long line of farmers and gardeners in this area. He told me that "crows" sounded like a good guess, and that they have been plaguing gardens and farms in this area for a very long time.

His grandfather, back when using firearms on your own property was allowed and when crows were not protected by law, used to shoot one crow at the beginning of the garden season and hang it by its feet from a post in the middle of the garden. Apparently, this was enough to ward off all the other crows until the plants were big enough that crows were no longer so interested in them.

I am pretty sure that, if the crow problem continues, this old-timey solution will sound a lot less gruesome and considerably more like good sense. However, I think we are more likely to use row-covers, instead of a rotting crow, to protect the little plants.

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