damn armadillos

Have a new experiment planned for the garden in a few weeks. I mentioned that the corn is underplanted with butternut squash. That’s nothing original with me and goes back to American Indians hundreds of years ago. The theory behind it is that the corn shades the squash from intense summer sun and the squash leaves shade the roots of the corn to keep them cooler and lessen evaporation. Makes sense to me. So I’m going to try it with Okra and bush beans. Okra is similar to corn in that it grows tall on a stalk. They’re planted about a 12-18” apart leaving plenty of under space for planting some lower growing veggie such as bush beans. I’ve had problems in the past planting bush beans too late in the season where the sun cooks them but underneath okra plants, maybe they’ll do better. Worth a try. And now I understand that if a big storm blows over the okra………………… That’s assuming that the Brussels ever give it up so I can pull them and plant the okra. I can’t believe that in the middle of May, these guys are still thriving and putting out fruit. I planted them last November.

Well the pine needle armadillo repellant doesn’t work. It seemed to have held them off for a week but I guess as they turned from fresh green needles to brown dry needles, the odor or something lessened. They got in and churned up the sweet potatoes again. I went on line to find an armadillo expert and found one who recommended moth balls. So I guess that’s the next method I’ll try, assuming you can still buy moth balls. Despite the rooting around, the sweets seem to be thriving. Enough so that I decided to try trimming a couple of the vines to make new starts. If that works, I should have all the sweet potatoes I will ever need – every now and then clip off a few, root them, and harvest when ready. A virtual perpetual motion machine.

I was right on the verge of ordering 1000 Alabama Jumpers (worms) but with the return of the armored marauders, I decided to hold off and try to solve that problem first. Doesn’t make sense to spend $80 to feed that herd. I have no doubt that the soil is rich enough to support them but have big time reservations about the armadillos. To the best of my knowledge they are ant eaters but they grub around the garden at night big time and if they get a taste for the jumpers, they could be in big trouble. The area they return to is the only area of the garden that I know had a worm population. They weren’t big, juicy earth worms but very small compost worms that somehow developed in the compost pile and were transferred to the garden by me. I think it’s reasonable to assume that’s what attracts the pests.

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