When do you throw in the towel?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by annette, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    OK have been here for 3 years and started making gardens back then. In that time I have put down chicken wire, built raised beds on top, covered all gardens in bird netting, and put sticks around the vegetables. Well everything still gets dug up and ruined. I put some sweet potatoes in bath tubs to try and protect but to no avail. All dug up, dirt everywhere and plants mangled. It could be bandicoots, rats, or antechinus. Not sure as I have seen all of these critters. They can jump, get through the tiniest of holes and are very very smart and apparently very hungry. I only have a small area with herb and vegetable gardens and they have the rest of the 2 and a half acres to eat what they like. But no they want what I plant.

    I'm about to give up. Apart from putting in electric fencing around the whole area, I don't know what else to do. When is enough, enough?
     
  2. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    How about trees? Do these critters get at those too?
     
  3. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Hi Rick

    yes I've had lemons eaten and peeled while still on the trees. When the bananas are just about ready to be cut off the tree, the possums, bush turkeys and flying foxes engage in brouhaha just before I can cut them off. All mangoes ripped off before they are ripe. I get the feeling I'm feeding them and more and more of them are here now. Nice to have nature around and I don't mind sharing with them at all. But they could leave me a little bit at least.
     
  4. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    Wow, on the one hand I am so envious of all those incredible little creatures you have there, but on the other I totally understand your frustration.
    If one was really industrious, would an aquaculture set up work (although wouldn't want to see anything drown!!)? I am going to do one just for the hell of it. Not going to put in edible fish (we're vego's) but maybe just goldfish and see what good stuff I can grow on top. I have seen a video of how to set one up that I could do by myself in about an hour. Probably the only thing with the fruit trees might be total cage type set up which is obviously expensive, not always practical and not ideal at all. We go to Africa quite a bit and people have similar troubles but it is baboons and vervet monkeys and other exotic critters doing the damage! Try keeping a baboon away from a free feed lol!

    Your electric fencing idea may actually be the most cost effective and successful thing in the long run. I saw on one of the Geoff Lawton videos some netting type electric fencing they were using for the fencing around their chook tractor runs. It is more expensive but would keep more animals out, especially the small ones - at least for your veggie beds. Good luck with it!
     
  5. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    well i'm certainly sorry for your troubles with the critters and i'm not familiar
    with any of them. hmm...

    the one thing that came to mind with the sweet potatoes in the tub was to
    use a finer mesh (1/4 inch) and to secure it very well so that the critters
    could not lift it off or crawl under the edge.


    around here the raccoons are the largest challenge for growing
    certain crops (like sweet corn). and if i were determined to grow
    it i would have to resort to an electric fence as they are very
    clever and destructive. most the time they leave my gardens
    alone because we do not grow sweet corn, but they will raid
    the strawberry patches. the key for that was to plant so many
    plants that they cannot get them all and i have to pick every
    few days to keep them and the chipmunks from damaging most
    of the crop. i now have several thousand square feet of
    strawberry plants and some of those are decoy type plantings
    to take some pressure off the more secure patches. (think
    defense in layers)...

    i can also say that i would be tempted to set up a critter cam
    to find out what specific critters are doing the damage to the
    key plants (like a fruit tree) as then at least you know what
    you are up against.

    i'm also thinking that bananas can be harvested a bit earlier
    before most of the animals will attack them, chop as much of
    the stalk along with the bunch and then that will give the bunch
    more energy to ripen when it is taken inside or to a safer area.
    it's worth a try. others who've actually grown bananas might
    have a better idea, but that is what comes to mind...

    i'm sure others will have ideas to help, but in the end you are
    the person who has to decide what is the best use of your
    time and efforts. good luck, no matter what you decide. :)
     
  6. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    A Vetiver border if it's full sun, most animals can't pass through it and you can keep it hedged for mulch. Gate for access between two start pickets. Slow to establish, at least a year+.

    Welded Galvanised fencing panels (the Trash and Treasure have them at Dakabin), buried slightly. Gate for access. Dog fence with chicken wire attached to it, buried or layed along ground like a chicken coop.

    Full anti-aviary, full wire mesh enclosure. Would solve possums if they are your culprit.

    Raised wicking beds. Bathtub, IBC etc. Check 'Rob Bob' on YouTube. If, say, the bathtub is mounted on blocks, the transition from block to top of bath would be difficult for a small animal.

    Brush fences, or piled branches around garden beds allow trees to get established.

    Electric fence, solar option. You would probably be looking at a chicken electric fence then. Like this: https://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?species_id=6

    Dog?

    Blood and bone around area? Molasses poured over foliage? Some sort of chilli concoction?

    I'm only posting because it's you and I had to log in to answer a PM. Ta ta.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Hi SOP! Lovely to 'see' you drop by for a chat.
     
  8. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Oh Annette, I knew you guys had it tough over there but never fully understood just what you have to deal with til now.

    This is what has been done locally for an 'Island Forest' park.
    https://www.maungatrust.org/Pest_Proof_Fence.cfm

    They used stainless steel mesh, you could probably do something similar with galvanised instead.
    Be great if you were rich enough to do the whole 3 acres, but thats probably not very realistic.

    What do your neighbours do to deal with these pests?
     
  9. pavelbentham

    pavelbentham Junior Member

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    If it is any consolation, it sure sounds like you're obtaining a yield. Well done.
     
  10. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I feel your pain
    The peeled lemons is possums
    Dad had nearly the whole tree peeled but still on the tree in Melbourne.

    My problem is brush turkey
    They love sweet potatoes and can sniff them out when ready from miles away.
    They also love anything freshly planted or watered or mulched .
    Virtually impossible to make soil or water or protect a dying plant in the dry.
    Build a cage and grow in that
    Keep reducing the wire size until you get rid of your problem.
    or hot wire or chilli or solar powered sensor lights.
     
  11. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Will have to mull over them all. Hey GH, got baby bush turkeys running around at the moment. Someone told me to get those sensor lights and they would chase away the bandicoots. Well my bandicoots must think they are movie stars or something because they just love the light, do different poses and then act all uppity and ignore it. I have an old cage (an old chook tractor) that I may put some sweet potatoes in.

    Mischief I'm trying to do things on the cheap, recycle etc. so I may have to get creative. The neighbours don't grow anything (Now I know why!!)

    Songbird, thanks for the banana tip. Will try it and then hang up somewhere inside where the antechinus can't get at them. Yes last year found a dozen antechinus babies in my t shirt drawer, so it's not just outside I have problems. Pythons on the verandah.............

    MITH been thinking about aquaculture too. And SOPs ideas as well. I have an old pool I could do something with. Not sure yet.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

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    Brush turkeys - Sunshine Coast PRI posted about tying kid's teddy bears to trees. Never saw an update on that but it's an idea.
     
  13. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I haven't had to try this, but there was a story recanted in the PDC I took, where a gardener attached a battery to some food. So maybe you can set up a wired lemon at the base of the tree, when a possum bites in, he will receive a shock, and not want to try that again!

    Can you hunt turkeys there? If you can shoot one when others are around, the rest tend to visit less often. Maybe you can make friends with a hunter if you don't want to? Fenced narrow strips of plantings makes it difficult for heavy birds to land in your planting and less ability for the jumpers to negotiate.

    I can't find the link, but there is also a fence that is angled 45 degrees up from the land, with the base in the garden and the fence overhanging the outer edge. It was described as the critters not having the perception to know how to get over it. I haven't tried that one yet, but do want to.

    Wild game is most delectable if you decide on the hunting route, and you didn't even have to pay/care for them!
     
  14. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Brush turkeys are a protected species and killing them can result in a fine of up to $10,000.
     
  15. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Annette..

    ./hug

    I know & feel your pain this season. My pain was self-induced, yours was nature... ..what occured I will get into in a moment.

    To the help!

    I remember Geoff Lawton visiting an urban garden, very very small. The persons stuff was left alone because it was cut down low & a cat was in residence outside. The neighbors had higher, taller, wider trees which the animals flocked to instead of his own garden because the animals wanted to have easy access to escape routes (much like my deer).

    As for my self inflicted OOPS in my garden. Let's just say raising 5 ducks & 7 chickens in zone 1, free range is not optimum. :D
     
  16. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Hey SOP I put a big teddy bear in the banana trees and it worked for a while and then they just got used to it and came back.

    Rick, yes these animals are protected except for rats. So although a lot of people would love to "disappear" the brush turkeys, it's a no go. Even crows are protected here. Having said that I don't want to kill anything. Over the past 3 years, the amount of animals here has increased dramatically. Probably because I don't have any cats or dogs and I never use chemicals. As I have a sloping block and different levels it is hard to fence. These animals are pretty smart too. The good thing is I don't seem to have any pests that sting or ruin the fruit or veges. The bats and birds must eat them all. No slugs and only dead snails.

    Pak I have tall trees everywhere. I saw that video of Geoffs, it was good but I'm not in suburbia, more rural residential. My next door neighbour told me that the guy on the other side of him feeds the brush turkeys. no wonder they are breeding like mice. It's very shady and so I only have a couple of places I can grow. I am in a koala corridor and can't chop any trees down.

    If it doesn't rain soon, planting anything will be a waste of time anyway.
     
  17. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Don't shoot any of those turkeys then!

    How come they are protected?
     
  18. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Every Australian native animal is protected
    they issue permits to hunt ducks for a few months a year and Kangaroos,when "they" think there is a plague.

    Feral animals are fair game,pigs,camels,buffaloes,goats,deer,rabbits,hares,starlings, cane toads, horses
     
  19. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Oh. Well there is some sense to this rule then, other than when they become "too numerous". This can happen with a lack of predators/predation.. Are the feral animals fair game all year long?
     
  20. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Yes you can kill the ferals but you need to have a gun licence etc and they are hard to get.
     

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