|All this dirt used to be squash. :-(|
The sad thing is, the little critters are almost completely impossible to deter. Fences don't matter, as they will simply climb right over them. I've caught them climbing up my walls all the way up to the roof of the house!
I can try to make a mesh cage, but a mesh cage for my entire garden? Ugh.
The smell thing didn't do enough. It took them a while to FIND my squash, just enough to grow big and green and start putting out flowers. But once there were more squash than onions and strong scented flowers, the the packrat came and chewed them all up. They tend to like prickly things that they can drag back to their den to line the entry way with to keep predators out, so that's my guess, based on the size of what they chewed off and carried away. But dang it, I wanted those!!!
I have a couple squash in buckets growing away from the packrat that I hope will live, but squash was my main crop this year and now it's a total loss. At least I still have my herbs and pomegranate tree, but I had really been looking forward to the squash, and better yet, the squash seeds.
I've been looking at our protein intake and realizing that it's low for me and the kids. Nuts and seeds are in limited supply only, grains are pretty much out, and legumes are in short supply as well.
So it's either LOTS of very expensive meat (at least 5 pounds a week, 10 pounds if I have no legumes, seeds, or nuts that week), or seeds and nuts I can get myself. I planted an almond tree, which I hope will grow quickly. We're looking at an oak tree for next year. The squash seeds are great, though, to get a lot of seeds with, along with the sunflower seeds, and now, both kaput.
If I'm lucky, I can get some sunflower seeds to grow this late in the year. I'm willing to try and plant them in a different area, but it's already over 100F here, so I'm not sure they'll be able to do anything. Still, some plants here do okay with the summer rains. Maybe if I wait a month until monsoon season, they'll do okay. Guess I'll see.
I think I'll start planting onions and marigolds NOW so that they'll have a head start on the squash, maybe keep the packrats from finding them that way.