Hatching Free Range Ideas

Garden pests and perserverance

In Garden on May 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I’ve replanted this garden at least once. Completely replanted at least once. In bits and pieces when the plants were brand new babies because the grasshoppers and earwigs cut them off at the knees. And then after the deer ate 2/3 of it because we didn’t think we really needed a gate. Guess what? We have a gate now.

And these are the garden prayer flags. I think they keep the deer out too.

Garden pests come in all sizes. I mean, ALL sizes, from 70 pounds to milligrams. You mostly know the smaller end of the scale if you live in the city (unless you have marauding dogs). I don’t know how farmers make a living! Some of these pests are extremely hard to dissuade. And they wait to watch you harvest the first teeny bit out of the garden, snickering behind their hands, knowing that will be the night they come to raid the place. You have posted the signal. Yes, I think they have hands. And even thumbs.

This is for squirrels [##$!@!!!@$$$!@###], who bite the green peaches, just to check. Then in a fit of pique, they cut 17 others from the tree to rot on the ground. That’s how we know that squirrels live in the moment. They can’t imagine that the peaches will change. Deer on the other hand, deer plot. They bide their time. They hide and wait.

And then there are the teeny pests. GRASSHOPPERS!!!!!!! They hide. I wear flip flops in the garden and sneak up on them one shoe off to swat them . . . DEAD. Even though we haven’t had much from the garden yet, i still get great satisfaction killing even one grasshopper. They won’t let you sneak up on to stomp them, but you can distract them while you take that shoe off. And if you don’t have that shoe, often you can reach out and pinch them between your fingers, especially early in the morning when they’re still sleepy. No. It’s not cruel. No. Neither grasshoppers, nor squirrels, nor deer are cute even with their big eyes. Yes, grasshoppers have big eyes. And I imagine them bugging out as their heads get squished.

But, there’s a way to kill grasshoppers in volume. This recipe is from the Bexar county extension agent, via A&M. If anybody knows how to kill grasshoppers, I trust the Aggies.

We are dividing it into much smaller portions but this is the master recipe.

10 lbs wheat bran or corn meal (the woman at the grocery store asked me if it was good, when she saw me picking the last bags up from the shelves. I told her I hoped so because I was planning to feed it to grasshoppers.  . . with their poison supplement.

1 gallon of water
1 pt vegetable oil
1 pt molasses
This is the good part . . . 1 pt Liquid Sevin

Mix the molasses, water and vegetable oil with 1/2T dish soap (to make the water and oil mix.
Add the Sevin and add everything to the bran. Let it sit for 24 hours.
Make little piles around the edges of the garden.

For those of us who aren’t farming acres, here’s a reduced recipe that’s more like the volumes you will get from the grocery store.

2 10 oz pkgs of wheat bran
1 pt water
4 T. vegetable oil
4 T. molasses
4 T. Liquid Sevin
Squirt of dish soap.

Same rules apply.

I like thinking of the grasshoppers with tummy aches. I sure hope I don’t come back as one.

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  1. I love this post! and the pictures. I can tell you are having fun. You made me laugh out loud. Thanks!

  2. I agree with Karen. You are having fun. It ALMOST makes me want to plow up our back yard and fight the pests! On the other hand, a friend gave me home grown tomatoes yesterday…so maybe I won’t. I love the photos. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You made me laugh out loud too! I can’t wait to see the garden and pool. By the way, yes my whole crew (me, Clint and Jonah) is coming in June. Not sure about Andrea’s crew. Can’t wait to see you guys!

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