Saturday, June 25, 2011

Holy Squash Blossom: or Death to All Squirrels!!

I have two "Big Max" pumpkin vines going in my garden.  I wonder if I'll see any of the squash, come October?

Wow.  I have now suffered the ultimate ignominy at the hands of a squirrel.  I walked out to the garden this morning, and saw a squirrel escaping over the garden fence with one of the big yellow blossoms from my pumpkin vine!

I called my sister the horticultural expert, and she informed me that both people and rodents consider "squash blossoms" to be a delicacy.  That's a new one on me.  The only thing I know is that--no blossom, no pumpkin.

That big yellow thing at the center of the vine is the squash blossom.  It brings about the pumpkin with the help of bees and sun and water. One hopes.

So now it appears my ongoing battle with the local fauna extends to the squirrels stealing this critical piece of my pumpkin vines. They've already taken all the cherries and apricots. I assumed a pumpkin was too big for a squirrel to steal, so I had rested some of my hopes in the pumpkin crop. The vines are setting up now.

That thing at the center is the end of a blossom and the beginning of a pumpkin.

And here's a pumpkin a little further along.

My father had a long battle with garden pests of all sort.  He used to trap the squirrels and then put them in the trunk of his car--still in the live trap--and drive them over across El Camino Real and then leave them in the Sears parking lot.  That's kind of a Riker's Island for squirrels. Miles and miles of asphalt. Serves them right.

Later, he heard this was against the law:  to remove an animal from its habitat and place it elsewhere. He was too law abiding to do it after that and finally, he grew too old to worry about it.

The squirrels were just waiting for just this sort of opening.

I'd love to hear suggestions from all comers. My father is out there somewhere looking down and expecting a good pumpkin crop from his old garden this autumn. And, squirrels or no squirrels, I will find a way!

 My father's pumpkin crop is something I can't hope to compete with.  But I would at least like to get enough pumpkins for Halloween!

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1 comment:

Don Meuler said...

Have you tried wildlife netting, such as is available at Lowe's? You can just drape it over the plants/vines, and it should deter the nutsies somewhat. Works well against deer, too.