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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#51 Old 8th Jun 2021 at 10:17 AM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 8th Jun 2021 at 1:05 PM. Reason: typo
If somebody told me that I would spend at least part of the summer of 2021 pondering what smells worse, rotten eggs or blood meal, I would have told them that they are crazy. That person however would end up being correct as that's what I've been doing for the past hour or so. I was rudely awakened by a charlie horse and haven't been able to go back to sleep.

I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with the rabbit situation. They don't like the smell of ghost chili pepper as I've since found out. One of them ripped off a leaf of one of the Empress Wu and promptly left it where they were going to sit and have him or herself a snack. Because of the frickin' heatwave, right now the backyard smells like a mix of garlic and red pepper flake. I can't leave newly transplanted plants without water, so I'm currently having to make new batches of things that smell and apply them daily. I can't force plants to establish themselves faster, so making smelly 'tea' is part of the daily routine for the next couple of weeks.

There is a product called Liquid Fence. There are a few versions of it, but the one I heard about via internet is to repel rabbit and deer. I'm not overly impressed by the ingredients list. Egg solids, thyme oil, garlic, diatomaceous earth and sodium lauryl sulfate.

A 3 pound bag of blood meal is around $7.00, I'm going to try that first as I have too many reservations about the Liquid Fence. Oil in liquid form of any kind put on leaves of a plant acts like a magnifying glass when sun hit it, so leaves will burn. Food grade diatomaceous earth is fine for humans, but for insects whether the diatomaceous earth is food grade or not acts like tiny shards of glass which kills them from the inside out when ingested. I have no interest in killing off bees, ladybugs and other beneficial insects, so nah.

Rabbits are sensitive to the smell of sulfur which is why Liquid Fence uses egg and garlic.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#52 Old 9th Jun 2021 at 2:42 PM

It seems as though Lowe's added a little something to their mulch. I'm now growing mushrooms.

Last night at 10:30 I was outside spreading blood meal in the backyard. I had a audience of one.... a rabbit. He / she sits in the Rose of Sharon garden and watches me; this is not uncommon or unusual. Once I was finished I came in the house, picked a window to watch from and waited. It took about 15 minutes, but I can confirm that rabbits don't like the smell of blood meal. In the case of last night, rabbit got a big nose full blood meal stink and bounced away in the opposite direction. This was the reaction I wanted. I can't say how long the power of stink lasts for. I'm guessing like with any type of non-physical barrier it depends on how much rain happens. As a side note, blood meal is rich in nitrogen, so there is another benefit to using it other than to repel rabbits.

There has been talk about putting up a physical barrier made of chicken wire for the big garden, I don't know. I don't want to do that, but I also don't want to spend all of my time spraying and applying stuff just so I can have plants I enjoy. I haven't exhausted all of the options for non-physical barriers, so we'll see.
Test Subject
#53 Old 9th Jun 2021 at 8:04 PM
Thank you so much
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#54 Old 10th Jun 2021 at 12:52 PM
I was going to post a pic of my bucket of sad looking forsythia. I couldn't find a creative way to do it, so that isn't going to happen. My point was going to be that just because a plant looks sad, that doesn't mean all is lost. Even though the leaves on the branches look like crap, the stems have rooted. I gave all of them a gentle tug last night and got resistance which means they can go in the ground soon. Once this first batch comes out, I'll be starting another.

Instead of pictures of wilted forsythia leaves, how about of more mushrooms? I checked the area where these things were growing ( it is the tree stump garden) to make sure I'm not over watering. The moisture level is a 3 on my moisture meter which means I'm not over watering and will have to water this afternoon. I also don't understand why these 2 pics look so different as these shrooms are growing pretty much next to each other. Whatever...

Mad Poster
Original Poster
#55 Old 11th Jun 2021 at 12:50 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 11th Jun 2021 at 11:55 PM.
Just when you think you're almost finished, something happens and more is added to the list.

I've talked about The Pit in front of my house on several occasions in other threads. It is town property but the trolls of town hall only care about it when they want to do something such as putting in a sidewalk that nobody asked for or wanted a few years ago. The logic of the genius behind the idea to spend what they don't have on a thing nobody wanted was that if they put in a sidewalk, more people would move into town.

Sidewalks cost money. Money for said sidewalk comes from taxpayers. We already have high property taxes because of all the other crap they've wasted money on. There has yet to be a influx of people moving into town. They're leaving because of high taxes. Wash. rinse. repeat. It goes without saying said trolls never have the time or budget to clean up all the trash that is thrown into the The Pit from all the slobs that either live in town and or just passing through. My day would be incomplete if I didn't clean up nip bottles. Nuff said about that.

Once upon a time, The Pit had a line of oak trees in it. The town and electric company made a backroom deal; now there are no trees. In The Pit there is tree stumps, the above mentioned trash that everybody in the house participates in cleaning up on a regular basis, ferns and weeds. After what happened yesterday, there was discussion about what to do with The Pit. I can't prevent that situation from happening again, but I can give critters cover for when birds of prey are flying over head. If that kind of situation happened on the other side of the driveway, the outcome would have been completely different. There is no pit, and we let that area do what it wants. The forsythia gets cut back as needed, it is home to the big Japanese Andromeda, and any trash that does manage to get in there is cleaned up when we clean up the other side. It is not a easy area for large things with wings to navigate, although small birds can come and go as they please without issue.

Planting trees in The Pit would be nice, but that isn't going to happen as the town will clear cut them. Last year I talked about planting English Ivy there, but after all the crap I went through to get the backyard cleared of English Ivy this year, that isn't happening either. Since the forsythia on the other side of the driveway have proven to take abuse from being slammed with snow and sand at 30-plus miles per hour from snow plows, don't mind not being watered all the time once they are established and could careless if they are cut way back at the end of the growing season, forsythia is going in The Pit. This not a project I anticipate being finished this year, but forsythia bushes are cheap. I can't grow as many as I'd need in a month or two, so buying them is what we'll have to do.

Today we start bringing in the free hosta that we've been offered. Once we get all of those in the ground in the backyard, we'll start planting things in the front yard. We still have a planter to build, but that can wait until fall. If it doesn't happen at all this year, it isn't a big deal.

EDIT: We've got most of the hosta in the ground. We need to get the rest of them tomorrow. It is going to be either take two vehicles or two trips as the big hosta still need to be dug up and moved. Overall, most of them look pretty good considering they've been left to their own devices to grow in a middle of a field. There is some mechanical or leaf damage on the medium ones as apparently those leaves were in contact with pavement; not a big deal. No plant is perfect and some minor leaf damage isn't going to bother anything.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#56 Old 12th Jun 2021 at 3:49 PM Last edited by Gargoyle Cat : 12th Jun 2021 at 8:43 PM.
This thread is not going to be taken over by posts about hawks, but in order to understand / figure something out / fix a problem, I talk about it. This is how my brain works. I learn better through doing rather than just reading.

I spent almost 2 hours last night doing research on how to humanely repel hawks. They are beautiful birds that are very intelligent as most birds in the raptor family are. With that intelligence comes problems. Once they decide a area is a good food supply, they don't go away. We had a red-tail circling around the yard yesterday afternoon. Resident rabbit was nowhere to be found, because of the time of day, the chipmunks were in their hidey-holes in the backyard and there wasn't much around. If there was 'food' around, because we were working on the yard, nothing would have happened as hawks don't like humans.

We do have a owl decoy that we've had for a long time. It was purchased because my mother loves owls rather than to repel things. The decoy has since been moved to the wall that sits in front of The Pit as The Pit is the problem area. Because hawks are intelligent, the owl will have to be moved every few days to a different spot as they will figure out that the decoy is a inanimate object will continue to circle / hunt in that area. This isn't a big deal as I'm out front to check the mail, water the gardens, ect... anyway. I just have to make a habit of doing it.

Birds of prey and birds in general do not like things that reflect sunlight as it messes with their eyesight. There is a bunch of different things sold on Amazon for this, but for the sake of simplicity, we're going to try a something called scare tape. This tape doesn't have any adhesive on it, but it is shiny, reflects light and makes noise when the wind blows. It can be tied to things, wrapped around stuff and so on. If people don't want birds pooping on their patio furniture, this is a good thing to use. It might look weird, but it's better than having to clean before you sit or worse, sit in bird poop.

There are no trees in The Pit, the town took those down so I don't have to worry about perching. The problem oak on the other side of the driveway was taken down a month or so ago because the top of it was dead. There are trees on the far left side of The Pit, but the vegetation is dense there. If I need to, I can add some scare tape to the birch tree. From what I can tell, the hawks are not coming in from that direction. If and when they come in, they're doing so from across the street as my neighbors yard is large and open.

When I called my local garden center about the scare tape, the person I spoke with said that scare tape works well for woodpeckers, but he wasn't sure if it would work with hawks or not. The tape is under $4.00 a roll, so if it doesn't work, I'm not out a ton of cash. My goal is to bide us time to get The Pit planted with stuff to block a hawk's view. Their eyesight is 8 times better than a humans and they don't like densely planted areas because A) they can't see through things like brush and leaves B) their wingspan. Once I'm comfortable with what we've done, all of this stuff will go away sans the owl decoy. He will go back in his spot near the Japanese Maple.

Upon looking around the yard for forsythia that we could take from the other side of the driveway while not removing cover from that side of the yard, we found a bunch of small forsythia plants that rooted themselves. The soil and the amount of sun are the same for both sides of the driveway, so we can move some of that. It isn't going to fix the problem, but it's a start; I have to start somewhere.

Other suggestions I read about where things like getting a dog, and or a rooster. Roosters are 'guardian' animals, kind of like llamas, but I'm not interested in either of those. I have two dogs, neither of which are going to patrol the perimeter of the property and I don't want livestock to house, maintain and feed. I think I'd have to get a permit for that which I'm also not going to do as my property is not zoned for that.

Another suggestion was don't have bird feeders as that makes for a easy meal for hawks. I know this for fact as we went through this a couple of years ago. Hawks would come in and sit on the fence posts. Then they would wait for the birds to come in to eat. I found one too many piles of mourning dove feathers around the yard because I had bird feeders, so we stopped feeding the birds. I really enjoyed it and I miss it, but it isn't worth it. Hawks are not nice when they kill their prey. Unlike falcons that instantly kill their food, hawks do not. They use their claws to pierce internal organs which makes for a long, painful death. While I fully understand the whole ecosystem / food chain thing, I'm not cool with witnessing that regardless of whether I see it, hear it or both. This is what happened the other day; I'm struggling to get that scene out of my head. All the more reason to get The Pit planted and dealt with.

EDIT: The big hosta are here and are in the ground. Pictured is not all of them, but you get the idea of their size. I don't know these species of these hosta, but the look like Empress Wu. They're droopy from being moved. In few weeks along with some fertilizer, they'll perk up.

Mad Poster
Original Poster
#57 Old 14th Jun 2021 at 2:39 PM
The grass seed around the tree stump garden has finally decided to do something. I don't know if it's the Pennington seed, the Scott's seed or both, but I'll take the wisps of new grass either way. We still need to do the edging around that garden, the grass needs to hurry up and grow so we can finish that project.

Big hostas are doing well. My hose is a couple feet too short to reach the ones along the back fence, so in order to make sure they are watered and get enough water, I have to fill / lug buckets of water. If anybody wants a good arm workout, lugging around buckets of water will do it. I have to do the same thing for the forsythia in the front yard.

The Peace Lily I bought almost 3 years ago after Foo Dog was put down has decided to flower. In all the time I've had it, it hasn't flowered until now. I didn't notice the flower last night when I shut plants lights off so it either popped during the night or I just didn't notice as I was exhausted and in bed by 8:30 last night.

I don't have any plant / garden projects planned for today. If I come across a houseplant that needs water, I'll water it, but other than that, no garden stuff today. It is already hot outside and I'm draggin' butt. It will be a day of doing stupid things like cleaning the bathroom, putting groceries away when they show up, ect... Yesterday I sat outside for a couple of hours in the shade and did absolutely nothing other than watch rabbit eat grass, chipmunks investigate and dragonflies use the bamboo stakes I'm using as grass seed markers ( AKA to keep humans and dogs off of the grass seed) as landing / launching pads. It was these kinds of afternoons I had in mind when I decided to lean into yard projects this year. It will be better without the bamboo stakes, but for the most part, I've gotten what I had in mind / wanted.
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