Northern Virginia No difference Garden Food Plot

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one-shot

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Opening day?
Made my day.
Started drying Roma and cherry tomatoes yesterday. They are good in bread and salads.
I also carry some in my hunting coat/ruck sack, along with dried apples and cashews.
Most folks have no idea they are dried cherry tomatoes. I grow 8-10 different kinds.
 
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Bad Karma

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There's only two, possibly three, sure ways to stop deer from eating your garden up.

1. First is a fence a MINIMUM of 10 feet tall. Anything shorter, and a mature deer, especially one that's afraid, can scale it.

A pair of shorter fences placed 4 feet apart, with the outer fence being at least 5 feet tall, and the inner fence at least 8 feet tall, will USUALLY prevent deer from getting to your garden. Most people don't invest in the outer fence like they do with the inner fence. It usually ends up being much less substantial than the inner fence.

2. Second, is killing them. ALWAYS WORKS. NEVER FAILS.

3. Third, is a livestock guardian dog. If you have livestock to protect near the fenced in garden, then a well trained livestock guardian dog will keep the deer away. But, the dog is going to have to be specifically trained to ward off a species of animal that genetically it is not inclined to chase away. Deer are herbivores, and that's what a livestock guardian dog protects.
My Beagles were great little deer chasers... actually they chased anything with hair on it. Most wouldn’t run deer by choice while hunting because, well, muleys will lead a beagle on a merry chase for many many miles and the little dogs do seem to learn that the hard way.
 

Docsv2pistol

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Opening day?
Made my day.
Started drying Roma and cherry tomatoes yesterday. They are good in bread and salads.
I also carry some in my hunting coat/ruck sack, along with dried apples and cashews.
Most folks have no idea they are dried cherry tomatoes. I grow 8-10 different kinds.
As a chef we used to slice grape tomatoes in half, drizzle them with really good EVOO, season them with sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper & thyme; and then oven dry them at 200°F until they had the consistency of a Gummy Bear. They were for garnish on high end salads. Most of the staff made extras because we ate them like candy.
 

ronlaughlin

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Ron....is that hops creating the entryway?
She calls it Boxwood. Leaves turn red, and fall off. Grows like a weed. Some years the fall is quite pretty, and bright. One needs to 'control' the stuff.
 

one-shot

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Slight deviation, picked a gallon of cherry tomatoes, another gallon to go. I want to smoke some like I do the peppers. Any helpful hints?
 

Danno

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Oct 25, 2019
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Cannot vouch for smokin' 'em, but halved, both small pear and cherry along with sliced larger tomatoes dehydrated are totally yummy. Dehydration just magnifies the flavor!
 

Firewater Forge

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For those of you that try to save some of your harvest (Garden/Game) Jerusalem artichokes are a neat little tubular type root that looks/tastes like a water chestnut, and is great in salads and fried. Simple to grow and store. Just keep out any type of ground rats (Moles ect). I have no clue where it got its name.
Out of curiosity I googled them. They look like ginger root. Not like any artichoke I've ever seen. I am in zone 9B, never seen them grown around here.
 

one-shot

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Sometimes they are called Sun chokes. They are now 6ft plus, inch plus stems, got from gurneys. I grew them 40 years ago for a couple years, then the moles/ground rats found them. I like a little food insurance on the shelf.
Going to can deer again this year, MUST USE PRESSURE COOKER.
Ill eat anything that doesn't eat me first.
 

treepotato

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Dec 1, 2018
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Here in Northern Virginia there is little difference between a Garden Flower/food and a food plot. A bird feeder or Squirrel feeder and a Bear feeder. Here in the town of Warrenton, we get a bear or two in our neighborhood , twice a year. When they kick the cubs out and when food gets short in the winter, about now. They do a little damage and cause a fuss\, that's about it.
Now deer are a different story. They are clearly mindful of who grows what and where.
Leaf Greens are first on their list, then yellow and green squash. They start on my FUYU persimmons as soon as possible. I still have onions in the ground as well as carrots, but they are bothered little. I tie my tomato cages together to make a solid wall/three sides. What they can reach are gone, but I plant lots of extra.
We need a few more cases of Lyme or rocky mountain spotted fever around here and maybe we can slow the train down. I plant three times what I need or to give away.
Sir, I'm about 25 min SSE of you down in Midland. We just bought here, and today in fact have a crew clearing 1 acre of scrub trees so my wife can put in a garden next year. That just makes me smile. Here I thought I'd have to put in a food plot to draw deer in from the surrounding ag fields, but the mrs. is doing it for ne!
 

one-shot

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Welcome I can use the help keeping the critters in check. Although the vehicles do their fair share.
Lots of hunting opportunities available, archery, ML and gun. I do a lot of managed hunts and Jan-Mar hunt club land.
Feel free t0 ask
 

sheriffjohn

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Sep 10, 2021
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I have plenty deer here in N.E. Missouri - no neighbors, can't see a yardlight, on a gravel road. Late winter, herded deer often number 25-45 in crop fields close to the house. Surprising to some, deer are not mute. My dogs inside the house hear them, go outside and run 'em off the garden. Bur oaks' huge acorns must be akin to crack cocaine. White tails will forgo harvested corn and bean fields to graze in my yard for acorns.

So - while I feel your pain in re deer, 'coons are far worse for our truck patch. Far smarter'n deer, they'll actually wait and watch til activity ceases, then come in to not only eat stuff but tear up things. Only thing that works for critters here is a really "hot" electric fence. Low wire about 6" off the ground, high wire about two feet (weed-burner hot, plugged into 110v).

We kill a few tweety birds, an occasional bunny, and this year a possum that died with the wire in it's teeth. We "garden" about an acre and a half, move the electric fence as various things ripen. A good electric fencer isn't cheap but it works for us.
 

one-shot

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I don't put up the electric fence till the Japanese persimmons get ripe and its a double ring around the trees. Racoons are stupid and easy to catch. Drill an 1 and 1/4 hole in a log on an angle. Sharpen three or four nails and put in at an angle so they can reach the bait (Peanuts and peanut butter works) They will gab ahold and not let go and the nails stop them. There is no way to extract them with out killing them. I have heard, but not tried using a large dried gourd and bait inside, hole big enough for paw to go in but not come out with bait. They wander away and its not your problem, Virginia has a no relocate law for critters. Something close is done for monkeys and coconuts.
Sun chokes/Jerusalem artichoke are starting to flower, these are the tallest I've ever seen.
I had to cut down my four Japanese Plum trees because of a fungus diseases.
Cherry tomatoes need to be mostly dry before smoking, ask me how I know now.
 

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