Seed Swaps

A marauding possum and guess where the zucchinis ended up!

06 Jul 2011
Overcast 26°C / 79°F

The seedlings growing in the pots around the water tank have been doing well. I adjust the watering nozzles daily to deliver a lighter or heavier flow of water to the seeds and seedlings as I judge their needs. I had fenced off the garden bed around the base of the water tank with a length of fine bird wire. In past months this had proven to be enough to keep the ducks out. I have starting using this bed to grow vegetables through the dry season due to its proximity to the water tank. In true permaculture practice, runoff from the pots trickles into the bed below further watering plants. I had planted zucchinis, rainbow chard, capsicum and sage. The zucchinis were well advanced and in bud, the rainbow chard and capsicum had sprouted and tiny seedlings were growing well. A small sage plant had been transplanted to the corner of this bed and was progressing well.

Several mornings back I found a pot had been knocked from the ledge at the rainwater tank and had fallen into the garden bed. The wire around the base of the garden had been flattened from within. In past weeks, of an evening we had heard an occasional loud thump on the front verandah . We often hear loud thumps at night as very large green tree frogs leap about under the light from the lounge room windows. My husband simply commented “that was a big one”. The next morning I found a pot on the verandah knocked over. I put it back in place and thought no more of it. Several days later I found another pot knocked from the verandah onto the driveway. I swept this one up as it had shattered on impact. Then, one evening I collected some eggs that had not hatched from a nest in the yard and left the eggs on the verandah ready for disposal the next morning. The next morning I arose to a mess on the verandah finding half eaten eggs and broken shells scattered about. By the paw prints on the verandah I realised we had a marauding possum. I disposed of the mess and cleaned up the verandah. Consequently, the fallen pot and flattened wire around the rainwater tank garden I attributed to the marauding possum. Two days ago I again found the wire down but no pots dislodged. I put things back in place and next morning checked the garden. All was undisturbed and in place. This morning I again found the wire down. Whether the possum has been active overnight, or has taught the ducks that the wire can be easily dislodged, I do not know. What is obvious, however, is that with the wire down the ducks have had a feast and eaten all the zucchinis! I spent this morning putting some sturdy wire fencing in place and increasing the height of the fence. A couple of the ducks have since walked by, examined the new fence, tried to have a nibble under or over the wire but found they could not get through, gave up and waddled off. Ah, don’t you just love them.

While I will have to resow zucchinis and rainbow chard, most of the capsicum seedlings survived as did the sage.




Good job you don’t have Muscovy ducks – they can fly and perch so nothing is safe unless completely enclosed! ……And yet I still hanker after having some again, their antics are so comical.

Posted on 07 Jul 11 (almost 5 years ago)

I had some muscovies for a while but found a new home for them when they started flying. They even managed to escape the greenhouse/duckhouse when I thought I had them safely enclosed at night. After two flew into the jaws of neighbours dogs and consequently died from horrific injuries despite my first aid and careful nursing of them, I decided for their sake to find someone with a more secure yard than I could offer. I am happy to report that they are living happily on an acquaintance’s farm.

Posted on 08 Jul 11 (almost 5 years ago)

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