Friday, March 26, 2010

Planting Season is Here Again!

When I stepped out of the kitchen this morning with carrot clipping bowl in hand, I noticed a cotton-tailed bunny who I've come to call Peter Rabbit, zip out of the woods and head straight for the garden. When he spotted me, he came to an abrupt halt by the trampoline and froze. I proceeded to dump the vegetable clippings and pulp on the freshly watered dirt (it rained last night :) and nonchalantly strolled back to the house, eye peeled for my bunny friend. He was no where in sight, but I'm confident he will return, perhaps with a few friends, to check out the buffet he's come to love.

Which brings me to my dilemma . . .

Since we moved to this house eight years ago, I've ever only grown flowers. Now that I'm eager to try my hand at some veggies, I'm abit concerned. Our backyard is woods with only a small area that receives sunlight a major portion of the day. Chuck and I trimmed back a couple pine trees last Saturday to welcome more light into the patch. That's the first challenge: enough light. Check. I think.

The second and foremost challenge is the multitude of critters that call our backyard, "HOME." While fun to watch the squirrels scamper from tree to tree and carry old tossed out rolls in their mouths, it is disconcerting to think they will be foraging around among my newly planted carrots and tomatoes.

So, the age old battle continues between man and beast. I'm a woman on a mission . . .

A google search tells me that natural deterrents include cayenne pepper, curry powder, chili powder, and any other spicy powder, sprinkled, indeed poured, around the perimeter of the garden bed. The squirrels do not like to step in the stuff since it burns their tiny feet. (A collective, "Ah!") Coffee grounds are offensive to the little varmints as well. Hmmm . . . I'm beginning to wonder if I'm really going to save money by planting crops this year, or if I'm going to end up spending more by the time I dump massive amounts of spices.

Who knows? The verdict's still out, and I'm still determined to give it a go . . .

Anyone care to comment on natural squirrel and bunny repellents?

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