Deer Control and Banana Circle Updates

It’s been 3 months since I planted the banana circles and I thought there hadn’t been much growth. This is one reason I created this blog, it’s a way of documenting the property build out and I can look back to see how far it has come. The bananas have grown a lot more than I thought, there’s also been a lot done to the circle themselves (here’s the original post).

There are two banana circles, I’ll call them the southeast and southwest based on their locations. Here’s there approximate locations on the property, note that the orientation of this is north down:

banana_circle_3week_locations

Lets start with the southwest circle of Dwarf Cavendish. Here’s the before picture right after it was planted, note the almost dead looking banana plant to the left:

banana_circle_3week_SW_01

And here it is now, that almost dead plant is the one to the front right:

banana_circle_3week_SW_02

One big difference in this circle is that an additional mound of dirt was just added outside the previous circle. This was done since I built up the ground in this area up to the same level as the original mound, I didn’t want to move or replant the bananas so I just added an outer ring of dirt. Over time I’ll migrate the new banana pups to this outer ring. The original banana plants have not been moved so you can see that they have grown a lot and there’s a lot of new pups among them. I’ve also thrown some vegetable crops in with the banana plants, mainly Bok Choy, various beans, Daikon Radish, and sweet potatoes. When I do a six month update I’ll try to have the same orientation as this picture so it is easier to see the growth difference. It’s all part of the learning process for the blog 🙂

Now for the southeast circle of Hua Moa. Here’s the before:

banana_circle_3week_SE_01

And current:

banana_circle_3week_SE_02

The orientation of these two pictures are pretty close and it is pretty easy to see there has been a lot of growth. By the time I do a six month update this circle will also have similar changes as the other one, I’ll be building the soil up around it and adding an outer ring. The vegetables added to this mound are okra, onions, Daikon Radish, and some Roma Tomatoes (with a few Everglades Tomatoes thrown in). I’ll also be adding a third banana circle in the future but I haven’t planned out exactly where yet, probably in the front yard to give them some separation from these.

See the object in the picture circled in red? That’s the latest attempt at deer control. It is a remote motion sensor I picked up from Amazon (link). It’s designed as a driveway sensor, it included two remote sensors and a monitor for $25. It actually works very good and has good range, the house is around 150 feet from the sensor and there are walls in the way, the monitor still picks up the signal. The sensors have good motion sensing range, to mount I simply screwed them to some 2×2 posts that are stuck in the ground.

banana_circle_3week_motion

The plan was that anytime the alarm goes off I would ping the deer with a pellet gun. It doesn’t hurt them, probably feels like a mosquito bite does to us. This worked, I would get waken up at night, go out and hit them with a few pellets and eventually they would go away. By the way, these green flashlights work great for sighting animals at night, they can’t see the green light but humans can quite well. Anyways, my hope was that they would get tired of it and eventually stop coming around. That part of the plan didn’t work, apparently they don’t learn their lesson and I got tired of being waken up at 3 AM so now the alarm stays off.

I’ve got one more plan to try for deer control, that is a large solar powered motion light mounted to a portable pole. I’ve tried some smaller motion lights but I think they just light up the buffet, maybe the big one will be more effective and moving it around may help confuse the deer. Other then that, I think fencing may be the only answer and is already planned so that may have to be the solution. Some people have suggested things like a rag soaked with urine, I really don’t want to have to deal with that. The other option of having deer fillets on the grill would work but I wouldn’t be too popular with the neighbors. I hear that Florida deer just taste like pine needles anyways.

Next week I’ll post the three week results of the EarthBoxes vs Grow Bags. Hope you have a good week and keep on planting!

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