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Mari Mari, Quite Contrary

Posted May 26 2011 10:03pm

About a month ago, I’d finally had it with the remaining black walnuts in my attic . I couldn’t take the guilt I felt from hoarding these practically uncrackable nuts, robbing the poor squirrels of their winter sustenance. I could hear the nuts up there through the floor boards at night – directly over our bedroom no less – thumping. The Tell-Tale Nuts.

Feeling completely defeated and annoyed at all the work involved in getting these dang nuts open, I decided that it made the most sense to give the rest to the expert nut crackers in my back yard.

Free to a Good Home

Because our squirrels can read, of course.

I set that bowl out in the morning, Trick or Treat style. By the time we returned home that afternoon, all but one nut had been snatched.

Score

Never mind.

Squirrel Trick or Treat

So I thought I had redeemed myself. A nice little deed for my furry little friends and a great way to relieve my guilt from depriving all the resident squirrels of their winter’s storage of black walnuts.

Here you go squirrellies. Better late than never, right?

No. Of course not “right”. My unequivocal generosity apparently screwed up the squirrel biological clock within a one block radius of our house. For days after Squirrel Halloween (in April) I watched in nutty horror as the entire squirrel community buried ALL of my foraged nuts in the back yard. That whole bowlful of nuts – buried in my .000052 acre of a city lot.

Squirrels. Burying nuts like they do in the fall. Except in the spring. Awesome.

(Maybe they bury food all year round? What do I know! I am no squirrel expert. Obviously.)

And where was their favorite place of all to bury these re-gifted nuts?

Why the soft, oh-so-easily-dig-able soil of the yet-to-be-planted vegetable beds, that’s where!

Not Such a Good Idea Afterall

OK Squirrels, so you bury your late-for-fall nuts in my ready-for-spring beds?

Fine. I deserve it.

Then you come back to dig them up just in time for my greens to be sprouting, disrupting these wee babiest of baby greens in their most fragile state?

Fine. I deserve that too.

Dig and drop them into the new strawberry bed as well?

Fine. Fine.

But to spot you nibbling on the wee babiest of baby strawberries after retrieving the 175th nut from the ground this morning?

Must Protect

No, Squirrel – that’s it. You’ve crossed the line. These Smoothies of Tomorrow are simply too cute to be messed with.

Baby Strawberry

So I got to thinking.  And then I got to remembering. We’ve planted marigolds around the beds in the past for critter control. My friend google confirmed for me that yes, marigolds can help keep squirrels out of gardens because squirrels don’t like the way they smell.

So off we went to fetch some stinky orange flowers this afternoon, to finally arrive the point of this post.

Stinky Marigolds

(Ready for it?)

Planting marigolds in and around your beds can be one way to keep squirrels (and possibly other critters) out of your organic garden.

Mari Mari

And so a border of yellow flowers went up around the strawberry bed today.

All Dressed in Yellow

Will it work? We shall see. Got any other ideas? Please tell me.

A couple more signs were made today too – just in case.

Squirrel Signs

Because our squirrels can read, of course.

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