[Market-farming] update on "cougar"/red fabric mulch

Cherry Tree Farms ctfarms at helicon.net
Thu Jul 20 08:31:33 EDT 2006

Maybe pulling up the red fabric will answer scratcher #1 - If you pull it
and the critters then declare jihad on the rest of the garden, then the
fabric color would seem to be a pest preventer.

Let us know what happens,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Liz Pike" <strawbry_wine at yahoo.com>
To: "MF" <market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 2:04 PM
Subject: [Market-farming] update on "cougar"/red fabric mulch

> Hey everyone, finally getting around to an update on
> the electronic cougar.  It did it's job, we got a
> smallish harvest of blueberries.  Would love to have
> had more but I was just as happy to have the plants
> put more energy into root growth and establishment
> than berry production at this point.  Now we're gonna
> put it to work out in the garden where we found deer
> evidence in the bean patch.  We'll see if it works
> there.
> Now here's a head-scratcher (actually 2) I'd like
> comments on:
> In the garden we have tomatoes, beans, potatoes,
> peppers, cabbage, and eggplant growing like
> gangbusters.  And a whopping total of 9 bean plants
> half-eaten.  Why didn't the deer &/or the woodchucks
> eat more??  Deer & woodchucks are EVERYWHERE here, far
> more numerous than any place I've ever lived; there's
> really no reason for them to have avoided that
> garden...there's no housing close by, the plot is open
> to easily see predators & there's good grazing along
> the outskirts and it's close to water.
> Today, after weeding the beans, I wondered if it might
> be the red fabric mulch we used on the beds.  I found
> a roll of 5' wide red fabric mulch laying somewhere
> around here and we used it on all the beds--you can't
> miss it its so bright.  It was free, there was a lot
> of it and I didn't really care whether it increased
> yields or not due to color, just that it would keep
> down weeds.  Has the intense color  kept out the deer
> and woodchucks, too??  Head scratcher #1.
> Headscratcher #2:  It doesn't keep out weeds!!!  To my
> surprise (& horror) that mulch has started "pillowing"
> & I yanked it up to look underneath.  The prettiest
> crop of foxtail millet I've ever seen.  No weeds, just
> grass.(We're gonna yank off the mulch and string up
> the electric poultry netting around it and let the
> chickens and turkeys into it...they'll go crazy over
> the feast.)  Obviously this mulch allows in sunlight
> which I didn't think it was supposed to do.  The
> ground underneath is nicely moist and cool.  Now I'm
> wondering what the fabric is...
> comments??
> Liz Pike
> Hillsville VA
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