Mary, Mary, how does your garden grow?

The new sprouts that have erupted from my planter boxes have been pulled out by our neighborhood squirrels.  Every morning as we leave for school, I look for new growth, and what I find are small holes everywhere from squirrels digging for their hidden treasures.  This has been a common occurrence in my back yard, but in retrospect, it does seem strange they've never done this before to my vegetable garden.  Last year, I planted about 200 crocus bulbs in our back yard, all but about 10 were dug out and taken away.  Someone wound up with a lot of crocus in their yard... but not me.
There was a discussion among the girls that perhaps we could rent a dog and put it out there to guard the planters.  I pointed out that we have a dog, but it was decided we were better served having Pacino inside so we could hug him.  Stella said you don't rent dogs, you own dogs.  The idea of getting another dog for this purpose is a possibility that I'm sure is occupying her mind all day.  I went for a less drastic measure.
Here are my deterrents for the animals that have visited by garden.
Squirrels: I sprayed a mixture of a bit of cayenne pepper and water all over the soil.  We'll have to see if this works.  I don't want to hurt the squirrels, so I figure an increasing degree of cayenne might be the best way to go instead of going full throttle out of the gate.
Cats: cut up a variety of citrus fruits and lay a border around the soil.  In past years, the neighborhood cats have decided to use my planters as their litter box.  Cats do not like the scent of the citrus 
Birds: strips of metallic ribbon / tape hung around the area flapping in the wind keep birds from eating your seeds
It may wind up looking like a fruit circus out there, but hopefully I will have some delicious potatoes to show for it. 

As for dinner... it's short rib ragu from the freezer.  I'm back on track.


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