Monday, June 21, 2010

Woodchucks, presents and weather...

Woodchucks like swiss chard and a little kholrabi.

Good thing is that i planted enough of each and the plants are large enough to take some damage until i can figure out what will work.
The low wire kept getting grounded out so i tightened it up when i put the second strand on it. Grounding out may have been what allowed one in to sample my veggies.
I delayed putting extra strands of wire on the electric fence too long and when i pulled the row cover off the tomato and corn row it changed something. I think the row cover was scaring them away for a while.  When the wind blows the whole length of the cover moves and billows, so i'm sure it was a little of that.

Its a combination of things that were working. Since the woodchucks got in almost immediately after i took off the covers, they were a big part of it. But i read that row cover won't keep woodchucks away for long because they will dig through it.  So i figured where its so hard to see through them i didn't want a woodchuck to spend a whole day under my hoops eating away before i noticed.  I knew one strand of wire wasn't going to work on them especially when it kept grounding out and i was too slow to fix it.  I kept having to do something with the wire, i finally got the grass dead enough to easily uproot and underneath the wire is finally all clear.  But i think i got it all together right. The second wire isn't as high as i want it to be, so i plan to do a third course today. The first wire i think was too high in some spots and too low in others.  I think a good span of heights will be the bottom wire at 3", middle at 6" and the top at 9".  The pre-drilled holes in the stakes that came with the kit are 3" apart.  If i find that this spacing isn't a narrow enough mesh to keep them out (which unless woodchucks are immune to electricity) i can't imagine why not, i can make my own PVC stakes with 2" spacing. 
The thing about woodchucks is that they seem to manage to get through anything.  The only sure thing i could do to them is to shoot them, which i can't do because of  town ordinance.

But the fence does work on cats and skunks and the neighbor's dogs.  So if i can get the wire strands at the right height the drama of the weekend will be over.

Saturday was a good day though.
Starting in the morning at about 5am, we got ready for our oldest daughter's league's Softball tournament that was being held a few towns over.  We had to be there by 7:30 that morning.  My daughter's team lost the first game, but then they won the next game, their third game they only lost by one.  I think in all we placed 4th.  It was HOT.  It was in the 80's that morning and i'm sure it got at least to 89 if not low 90's at some point. It was 87 when we got home after 2pm.  Good thing is that we got nice breezes all day, we had brought plenty of  ice water, the little one had her big stroller, we had a picnic table umbrella and our canvas chairs.
It was a lot of fun and the girls all did play quite well in the heat.

When we got home, i found a present in the mailbox. A whole bunch of cuttings from a friend!
Cherries, berries, and fruit.  It was quite  a package! :o)
It was expected to arrive on Friday, but i think someone at the Post office was being a dweeb cause it arrived on Saturday .  The hottest day we have had so far.  But luckily my mail box is in the shade of the house, so the cuttings seem to have taken it pretty well.  Some of the leaf tips darkened, but everything was packed to stay moist and i think that helped a lot.
I got everything unpacked, potted, labeled and covered.... they are inside on my light shelf, hopefully gearing up to root.  I also was sent some berries and fruit with seeds, i haven't gotten to those much yet but i think they will each need to be processed differently. Some will need to be fermented and stratified, some may just need to be planted. I think some of them will do best in a wintersow method.

One of those eBay Autumn Olive seeds is starting to chit. I'll have to get that potted up soon as well.

Lots to try and do today, research and stringing a third line. Its supposed to be very hot again today, it was scorching and humid yesterday.  I guess its not a bad day to spend inside researching. Of course i expect to see a woodchuck in the garden every time i look out the window. 


Faith said...

We trapped a woodchuck, or groundhog as they are known around here, in a simple varmit trap. We baited it with fruit and had to position it in a place that made it the easiest thing for the creature to walk into. Then we took him for a ride.

Interesting creature. So peaceful and cuddly looking, but get up close and they'll bite your finger off! LOL

Days watching your kids play ball are so enjoyable. Seems so relaxing. Well, for those of us who are not rabidly into the game more than the kids are.

It's about 95 every day this week. Gladly, the humidity has backed off a little.


icebear said...

I bet if i lived in your area for long i'd get somewhat used to heat like that, but up here where we don't see a lot of 90 degree weather, your weather seems scalding. Of course the humidity makes it worse. We had high humidity on Sunday. I feel the weather more when it is hot i think.
I was surprised about how few parents were at the game. I think it was just us, one other set of parents, and a grandparent or two- besides the coaching team who's daughter also plays.

Woodchucks are a problem every year i plant cabbage types. I am going to get a trap and see if i can catch them at least. I thought we still had the one i borrowed from my dad but hubby looked for it so i think we returned it.