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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

More varmints!
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Old 05-12-2019, 03:33 PM   #1
Rich Z
More varmints!

So this year I decided to try my hand again at growing some watermelons. Haven't had much luck in the past, but I'm trying things a little differently this time and hoping for the best. Planted two mounds in the area near some fruit trees, one of a variety called "Giant" and another of "Congo". This area gets a lot of sunlight, since it is a bit more open than the rest of our property. Put another section back behind the garage in one of Connie's raised bed planters. This area gets some direct sun, but the garage tends to block the harsher afternoon sun somewhat.

Anyway, the other day Connie saw that the mound with the Congo watermelon plants just starting to come up got torn up and destroyed by something. I figured probably armadillos, possums, rabbits, deer or maybe even raccoons digging around in the mound. Surprisingly, the other two areas weren't touched, even though the mound with the Giant variety had much larger plants coming up already.

So I put out the game camera to see if I could capture images of what was going on out there.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHHW-x0Drl0

I have to admit, I NEVER expected to see a couple of foxes there dancing around on that mound. What in the world they find so fascinating with that planted mound just beats the heck out of me. Basically just sand mixed with Miracle Grow planting medium, and the seeds. But they apparently are out there every night. Got one plant coming back, and I planted a few more Congo seeds just a day ago, just to see if they will make it without getting torn up too.

Anyway, I like having the foxes around, as they might be helping to keep the squirrel population in check somewhat, but not too keen on them going after the turkey chicks nor messing with my watermelon plants.
 
Old 05-14-2019, 09:56 AM   #2
Twolunger
They could be attracted by the Miracle Grow if it contains any nitrogen. They may believe it is mouse or rat urine and dig for the tasty morsels. I cut down a Bismarck that was infested by palm grubs and hollowed out the remaining stump so I could plant flowers in it.

I used Miracle Grow potting soil and planted the flowers. The next day all the flowers were thrown on the ground and all the soil was dug out. I replaced everything again and the next day found it torn up again. I finally put some regular soil in the stump and planted the flowers and that worked.
 
Old 05-15-2019, 09:00 PM   #3
Rich Z
Well, heck, we have been using Miracle Grow around here for years for all of our plantings, and never seen this happen before. And the other watermelon mound pretty close to it has the same soil in it, and that was was completely ignored.

Of course, I like the idea of the foxes going after mice and rats. I still haven't forgotten the year those damned rodents tore up the wiring in several of our vehicles and the generator we have. Actually they were the reason I had the garage built.

Speaking of which, before the garage, I remember popping the hood on Connie's vet she used to have and there was a rat sitting right on top of the engine. I had a .22 in my pocket, but heck, not really a smart idea firing a gun into the engine bay of a plastic car.... Or ANY car, for that matter. But darn it would have been an easy shot, and one less rat in the world.
 
Old 05-15-2019, 09:27 PM   #4
Twolunger
The rats chewed the wiring of my son's truck in several places. He had to buy a new wiring harness. He's got a war going on with them now.They eat the rat poison in his yard containers like it was candy.
 
Old 05-16-2019, 12:00 AM   #5
Rich Z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
The rats chewed the wiring of my son's truck in several places. He had to buy a new wiring harness. He's got a war going on with them now.They eat the rat poison in his yard containers like it was candy.
Is he sure it's the rats eating it? Possums will eat the stuff too, and it doesn't seem to affect them at all. So for them, it's a free meal!
 
Old 05-16-2019, 09:51 AM   #6
Twolunger
He finds the dead rats. He also uses live traps for the possums. Catches a lot of them.
 
Old 05-16-2019, 10:32 PM   #7
Dennis Gulla
It’s not uncommon for them dig in fresh turned soil. They will eat grubs, mole crickets and worms. If they find any, they’ll return.
 
Old 05-17-2019, 12:30 AM   #8
Rich Z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Gulla View Post
It’s not uncommon for them dig in fresh turned soil. They will eat grubs, mole crickets and worms. If they find any, they’ll return.
Well, the soil wasn't that freshly turned. It took till a few of the watermelon plants had sprouted leaves before they become interested in the mound. And the mound planted at the same time and same conditions fairly close to it was completely untouched.

Yeah, I know, know way to tell what was on their minds, but it was just darn odd.
 
Old 05-17-2019, 07:23 AM   #9
Twolunger
Consider it Divine intervention. I'd put treats out to keep them coming back. Your prayers have been answered.
 
Old 05-17-2019, 08:21 PM   #10
Rich Z
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
Consider it Divine intervention. I'd put treats out to keep them coming back. Your prayers have been answered.
If only those foxes could climb trees to get at the squirrels..... But of course, we also have flying squirrels around here, and I kind of like those little critters. Only really see them in the game cameras at night, however.
 

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