Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weekend warriors

We spent the vast majority of our Memorial Day weekend wrestling with nets and wire panels, struggling to fashion some sort of containment arrangement for our tomato and strawberry planters.

Because once these are all gone?
Apparently now it is Open Season on everything else.
The squirrels, who previously had only arranged the occasional marauding party to steal fruit before it was quite ripe enough to pick by human standards, stepped up their game big time last week.
We are now thinking of this nonstop animal attack on our food crops as our own mini-version of Resident Evil. Simply substitute squirrels for zombies and tomatoes or strawberries for, well, brains, OK?  I realize as metaphor it isn't perfect, but work with me. 

So far, zombies have stripped the tomato plants of nearly every single brain, including our biggest, best hope for a huge slicing brain, leaving us only with a few flowers and teensy cherry brains up at the now bent-over-by-their-own-"protective netting" plant tops.
With no dogs running in the yard, if we are going to seriously attempt growing any sort of fruit at all we probably ought to simply must construct a large permanent enclosure to protect our harvests from the squirrels, raccoons, birds and armadillos.  This is something I learn and (apparently) unlearn annually, seeing as we still don't have any sort of dedicated enclosure in place.
Rather we seemed doomed to set in place a series of what were unsuccessful annoyances.  Obstacles but not insurmountable ones.  Whether or not I got organized in time, the Resident Evil were clearly already being drawn to the brains, and they recently began obnoxiously rubbing our noses in the truth their 24/7 access is an advantage they will not ignore.

NOW I remember why I felt so conflicted when I first bought those teeny tiny starter brains in 4 inch pots earlier this season.

Somehow I knew putting those innocents out in our yard would eventually turn out to be the first salvo in what has become full scale warfare.   Introducing my totally inelegant "I told you we might need all those twist ties and bread wrapper closures!" anti Zombie Maginot Line.

Yeah.  And I'm not even French.  Bring it, zombie squirrels!


Tina said...

You're so funny! I'm fortunate, mostly I only have a pair of mockingbirds who nibble here and there. It was annoying though when he/she would eat only a small part of the blackberry, rendering it uneatable for me and mine. Good luck with the enclosures.

TexasDeb said...

Thank you Tina! I will take every single tiny bit of good luck on offer. So far the enclosures are working, but I know it is early on in the game, I can all but feel the squirrels thinking about what their next move will be.