Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Brush with fate

Or how to have a brush, with Brush Turkeys. Here's the incriminating evidence of one of their recent visits.


Roots exposed


They've dug up the oregano, I was attempting to establish on the retaining wall. The roots have been exposed and the soil is drying out. Now, the tenacious scratching of the brush turkey, would be a valuable tool in rainforest. But in my moisture deprived garden, they hone-in on everything watered.

Which is not only bad for the plants, but it's also a waste of water. When there's little abundance to go around, it becomes a rather frustrating predicament. It's a case of first in, first served - but we have to wait longer, for vegetables to be ready.


Ground - zero.
Brush turkeys - 5 now, is it?


I just knew when I watered the raised hugel beds, yesterday, I was ringing the dinner bell. They've already killed the beetroot and capsicum plants I germinated from seed. The latest damage was my cherry tomatoes. The milk crate, above, saved the ocra though. Which is precisely why I put it there.

I was hoping the brush turkey's wouldn't find it desirable to scratch in such a narrow space, between the crate and edge - but they proved me wrong. The truth is, I've been a little lazy, dealing with this brush turkey carnage. I know it won't end, until I put up a permanent barrier. I've just been lazy about making that happen.

It looks like I might have to buy seedling plants, with some size to them, until I can get barriers up. So I won't miss out on the spring growth spurt, due very soon. I'll sprout my remaining seeds, again, in autumn.


Seedling, lock-up


Luckily, I have my enclosed nursery, to protect seedlings from the blight of brush turkey's. They do this to my garden, when it hasn't rained for a while. We haven't received any serious rain for months. They're attracted to all the wet areas, because that's where all the bug-action happens. Plus, it's a lot easier to scratch damp ground, than dried.

So it's VERY frustrating in the garden, right now. I know I'm losing money every time they kill my plants. We chase them off, whenever we see them. But they're oh-so clever. They know our routine. If David gets his way, he'll start hunting them for turkey pie.

But I know the deal. I know what they do. It's my responsibility to protect the things I want to grow, as a way to live with the brush turkeys. They're a part of the landscape, just as we are.

Do you have to live with plant assassins, in your garden too?


19 comments:

  1. We get the odd brush turkey, Chris, but at the moment it's a pair of bandicoots causing no end of damage. They've "drilled" right around my avocado tree, a rose bush, all through the veg patch and in the front lawn. I think they have a party when we all go to bed! Not sure what I'm going to do about it yet either. Meg

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    1. Gosh it's hard sometimes, to live with native critters, but doubly so with bandicoots, because they're so cute! I thought I had bandicoots once, but then we saw a bush rat on our back verandah one night, eating beetles. It could have been both. Either way, I've accidentally collapsed a few holes, by walking on them. Which isn't fun either.

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  2. We don't have brush turkeys just chooks which have now been locked up after decimating some of the gardens. Mo more free ranging for them.

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    1. At least you can lock them up, lol. Naughty chooks. ;)

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  3. I wonder what Brush Turkeys taste like?

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    1. Gamey, I reckon. There's not a lot of fat on them. But I haven't tried.

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  4. Possums here in town, eat the Rainbow chard, coriander and especially Parsley. ..right down to the soil.
    Is there any grey water that you could make a damp patch for the turkeys away from your plants.

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    1. Possums are another critter you cannot grow stuff around, without a physical barrier. I wonder if they're clever enough, to crawl under a large cloth? At least, brush turkeys don't have opposable thumbs. So my cloth protection, should keep them out. I hope!

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  5. Welcome to the decimated garden club. My brush turkeys are furry, have long ears and they hop. Cages, wire and more wire. It could be rabbit stew, but they run faster than I do.

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    1. Ha, you made me laugh. David reckons if we worked as a pack, we could out flank the turkeys, to catch them by hand. Like rabbits though, they do a zig-zag, random pattern while running away. Very hard to catch, even if you could keep up! I like how you put everything up on boxes, so the rabbits can't get to them. My brush turkeys can fly though.

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  6. Seems like we all have similar yet different problems. Ours are kangaroos that come from the bush at the back of our property and either squash/jump on everything, use the young trees as a backscratch and break limbs off, nibble it back to the roots, leave nice black pebbles on our white paths right up to the house.....Life in the country I guess!

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    1. Yes, we get the kangaroos as well. They strip our pigeon pea trees, when there's not a lot of grass to eat. They also eat the tips of the sweet potato. But they don't really eat much else. Thankfully. But they can leave an impression on a garden, that's for sure.

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  7. Something like a mole used to eat my lavender roots from underground but nature eventually takes care of them....thank you eagles, owls and hawks! I think everything else is safe because we are surrounded by corn fields and that keeps animals satisfied.

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    1. Subterranean assassins. That's a new one for us. I've heard plenty of US and UK gardeners frustrated with the appearance of moles though. Mostly taking root vegetables, stealthy, from underground. So they wait patiently for crops to mature, then find upon harvesting, the moles swiped everything. That would be frustrating!!

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  8. Sadly "Wind in the Willows " is not reality lol .... but a very good story anyway

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  9. King Parrots, unidentified beetles currently; hares, roos and wallabies have been a wee bit of a problem in the past. Crazy puppies seem to only harass the ornamental gardens so far. I have had what I think is echidnas move edging out of the way.

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    1. I haven't seen the echidnas for a while. I imagine your puppies are quite the explorers in the garden. ;)

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  10. Oh dear. My escapee chickens are bad about destroying things! I should have gotten some winter pasture planted several weeks ago, but first we need to clip wings and path the chicken yard fence! I haven't had any problems with deer this past summer, but they done a "good" job of eating all my beets and sweet potato vines for several years running.

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