Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I recently read a discussion post by my friend David Lindemann in reply to Natural Pest Controls where he wrote:

" My philosophy is "Let it Grow!"  This means all plants, insects, animals and bacteria.  When the balance (the ultimate goal of aquaponics) is complete, a micro ecosystem will evolve and all of the plants and animals will live in harmony.  Wasps, aphids, worms, squirrels, cats, ladybugs, bees, humans, dogs, water fleas, fish and everthing else will balance out and the growth will be awesome.  Don't try to kill anything, try to cultivate the best of everything.
The bottom line is - every living thing needs to eat.  Sometimes we need to sacrifice some of our food so the other creatures can eat and we are part of the ecosystem - as opposed to the belief that we are the ecosystem. Let it grow, let it grow."

 

Well, I too, in general, like to let nature take it's own course. However, recent incidents at my small Aquaponics Research Farm have drastically changed my view. So far, I have trapped 4 possums, 3 large raccoons (the last one was so big, must have been over 10lbs, that it destroyed the cage), and half a dozen squirrels. I am not fortunate to have an enclosed greenhouse and thus am exposed to the natural elements. I do believe that these unwanted visitors have found their garden of Eden and are hell bent on destroying it. While the possum and the raccoon visits have been reduced somewhat, there has been a tremendous increase in squirrel activity...they in fact now visit at all times of the day, not at all afraid of being caught in the act. Just yesterday, as my friend David Hart was walking in to feed the fish, he noticed two rather large squirrels eating the tomatoes and lettuce. He ran towards them waving his arms and making a loud noise...they just scampered with their spoils in hand, and looked back at him from a safe distance showing him the food they had just stolen. David says he almost caught one but I am glad he did not...what if he had been rabid and had bit him. 

 

He cleaned up and re transplanted numerous lettuces etc.

 

Well what a shock I had this morning. The barsteward squirrels had revisited during our absence, (scrambling when I arrived), and virtually destroyed sections of my garden. Numerous tomatoes were scattered around the raft beds, the newly planted lettuce and other crops had been destroyed as they had dug into the coir mixture and significant damage was done to the other growing plants. Boy! so much for "Let it grow,let it grow". I take this as a sign of "War" and will now get to work defending my property. But How?

 

So here is what I am planning...I do not have the luxury of an enclosed space, or the ability to keep a dog. I am thinking of building a removable screen enclosure (like swimming pool), to go around and over the DWC raft bed (in 8 ft sections - 48 ft long), putting up an electrical wire - like that to keep out deer, and have just purchased two Sonic control monitors. David jokes that he is going to camp out with his BB gun and pellets (another friend said he would be willing to do the same saying squirrel meat is good...funny, I never fancied that). Now what else to do. The fake owls did not work, they just dance around them, red pepper spray and cinnamon does not work as it gets washed away (lots of water around). Any suggestions?

 

 

 


 

Views: 898

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I see someone else also does not like squirrels...are they of any use to us?

http://deadsquirrel.com/

 

Wow Sahib,  sorry to hear about all the trouble those critters are causing you.  It is too bad you cannot keep a dog there.  There are some repellent recipes on line that may help.  This one was interesting >

http://www.lakewood.org/index.cfm?&include=/PD/animalcontrol/re...

Good luck!

Thank you Teresa,

 

I have already tried the first...their top recipe. Problem is that being in a water based environment, we have to be very careful as to how much to apply so that the fish do not suffer. Still will keep at it. I will share results of my other attempts soon.

 

God bless,


Teresa Schmidt said:

Wow Sahib,  sorry to hear about all the trouble those critters are causing you.  It is too bad you cannot keep a dog there.  There are some repellent recipes on line that may help.  This one was interesting >

http://www.lakewood.org/index.cfm?&include=/PD/animalcontrol/re...

Good luck!

With the dang coons, I feel your pain. I have a family of 3 that are holed up somewhere in the back. Mine is not a commerical operation by any sense, but the coons are a royal pain to deal with. The little bit of chicken wire I have over my biggish pond seems to work well. So far anyway.

 

I say that because one summer, they managed to pull something similar off the side of the house and proceed to set up house beneath the bathtub.

 

I happen to have rabbits as the varmits of choice here. This area would be a squirrel haven, too, if this weren't such a cat magnet of a place. We have a huge pride of strays, some of which are large enough to not only have a go at the rabbits, but also actually manage to catch and eat them.

 

Maybe that's what you really need?

Ugh,

 

Ok I've had problems with squirrels but so far not quite that bad.

 

Instead of wire (which could be very hard on you) you might first try light weight bird netting around and over your raft/nft.  In some parts of my garden I've found that even though I know squirrels and rabbits could easily chew through the bird netting, for some reason they don't.  It might be that they have trouble seeing it and it scares them off (same is it often does for dear.)

 

We had a problem not too long ago with a oppossum but it was killing chickens (I was impressed that the rather small looking critter, I would guess it was still fairly young and just setting up on it's own, was able to pull full grown chickens off the perch.  We lost 4 and had a few more injured before we trapped and killed the critter.

 

I think I'm lucky not to have raccoons since they are too smart.

 

I still have some problem with squirrels around my system since I haven't covered the whole thing in bird netting (I only do that for some garden beds since I find it a pain to get all tangled in the netting myself.)  Don't wear a button down shirt with button cuffs when working with bird netting.

 

Anyway, the squirrels are currently eating the leaves off the sweet potato vines I still have in a few grow beds.

 

I've had to move the seed starting and seedling production into a small harbor freight greenhouse (where I've replaced half the panels with 1/4" hardware cloth since it's still too hot to run a greenhouse most days here.)  I'm just hoping I have it hidden enough from the road that code enforcement doesn't show up and make me take it down.  Seems the squirrels live to suck water through the peat pellets and tend to disturb the seedlings in the process.  Rats and mice like to eat the small seeds and seedlings and small opossums and rats will dig up the pellets, plant pots and such looking for worms to eat.

 

I've tried critter ridder before but you arn't supposed to spray that on food since it will burn us just as much as it will burn the critters.

 

Good Luck.

I honestly didn’t read all of the posts so this may have already been suggested but have you tried the motion detecting sound emitters? The ones that just put out high pitched noises that irritate them so they leave. They work really well and are fairly humane. some of them are pretty cheap too but you might need more than one so they don’t just figure out how to go behind it.

  I second the suggestion of bird netting around your garden area...   We have squirrels and oppossums and raccoons.  Nasty little squirrels kept trimming the blossoms off my veggies...Then I noticed that all the years we'd had the bird netting (as an inexpensive fence) around our corn patch we had been able to keep out the raccoons, squirrels, deer and oppossums. There would be raccoon paw prints all around the outside of the fence.  None ever got in. I realize that the raccoons could have torn through, but they don't.  I think it has to do with the fact that the stuff is sort of flimsy and it will tangle their paws up in it if they touch it.  I think this is why the squrrels are deterred by it too.  We had to tie ribbon (the curling ribbon you use when wrapping gifts) the sides of the bird netting fence, which we had up to 6' tall, so the deer could actually see the fence and not run into it.  We also fenced our other gardens with bird netting and the squirrel raids stopped..........One word of warning though...It is NOT effective to keep elk at bay.  Personal experience speaking here.  We now have had to move onto more solid deterrents for them since the elk herd had moved in a few years back. Bird netting is pretty inexpensive.  I hope this is helpful.  I know this can be incredibly frustrating.

Possum, raccoon and squirrels. Yum. Aquaponically raised. LOL.

You're too funny Chi :-)

 

God bless,


Chi Ma said:

Possum, raccoon and squirrels. Yum. Aquaponically raised. LOL.

Thank you Converse & TCLynx,

 

I will try bird netting...will share results in due course.

 

God bless,

 

Converse said:

  I second the suggestion of bird netting around your garden area...   We have squirrels and oppossums and raccoons.  Nasty little squirrels kept trimming the blossoms off my veggies...Then I noticed that all the years we'd had the bird netting (as an inexpensive fence) around our corn patch we had been able to keep out the raccoons, squirrels, deer and oppossums. There would be raccoon paw prints all around the outside of the fence.  None ever got in. I realize that the raccoons could have torn through, but they don't.  I think it has to do with the fact that the stuff is sort of flimsy and it will tangle their paws up in it if they touch it.  I think this is why the squrrels are deterred by it too.  We had to tie ribbon (the curling ribbon you use when wrapping gifts) the sides of the bird netting fence, which we had up to 6' tall, so the deer could actually see the fence and not run into it.  We also fenced our other gardens with bird netting and the squirrel raids stopped..........One word of warning though...It is NOT effective to keep elk at bay.  Personal experience speaking here.  We now have had to move onto more solid deterrents for them since the elk herd had moved in a few years back. Bird netting is pretty inexpensive.  I hope this is helpful.  I know this can be incredibly frustrating.

Thanks April :-)

 

I have ordered two such machines that also emit some sonic sounds...lets see if they work.

 

God bless,

april Dawson said:

I honestly didn’t read all of the posts so this may have already been suggested but have you tried the motion detecting sound emitters? The ones that just put out high pitched noises that irritate them so they leave. They work really well and are fairly humane. some of them are pretty cheap too but you might need more than one so they don’t just figure out how to go behind it.

I agree with Chi, mmmm. Squirrels are tasty, better than salad, coons too. Nothin quite like sitting back with a beer and a pellet gun. My mortal garden enemy is those flippen wood rats. Gourmet wood rats, that is. I haven't been able to harvest any lettuce all year long. Just when the seedlings start to take shape, they mow it clean to the gravel. I got two cats to aid in the fight, and a dozen rat traps, a sonic emitter, some sticky goo traps, and a gopher trap. The cats follow me to the garden every morning where they dispatch the carcasses. I'm not sure if they have wrestled any on their own. The sonic emitter is worthless for these wood rats. It has been plugged in continuously for 4 months, and in that time I have trapped at least 40 in a 6' radius from the emitter.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2020   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service