Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

040 Who's Eating My Tomatoes? Part 2. Barn Owl Basics.

August 25, 2020 Fred Hoffman Season 1 Episode 40
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
040 Who's Eating My Tomatoes? Part 2. Barn Owl Basics.
Chapters
00:01:06
Who's Eating My Tomatoes? Part 2
00:18:14
Barn Owl Basics
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
040 Who's Eating My Tomatoes? Part 2. Barn Owl Basics.
Aug 25, 2020 Season 1 Episode 40
Fred Hoffman

We continue our conversation with retired horticulture professor Debbie Flower about the critters that are munching on your backyard tomatoes. Last time, we discussed the smaller pests: hornworms, fruit worms, fruit beetles, snails, slugs, earwigs. This time we tackle the larger interlopers who are getting into your tomatoes: rats, squirrels, birds, possum, raccoons, and, of course, deer.
Plus, we talk with farm advisor Rachael Long about inviting an eager rodent hunter onto your property…barn owls...if you’ve got the room.

Links:
"Deer in My Garden" (Controlling deer with unappetizing plants) by Carolyn Singer
"Managing Deer Damage" from the University of Maryland
"Low Cost Fence keeps Deer Out" From Good fruit Grower magazine.

Bird Netting for Garden Protection from Wilson Orchard & Vineyard Supply

Garden Animal Tracks Guide
Earwig Control Tips
Tree Squirrel Control Tips
Ground Squirrel Control Tips
Possum Control Tips
Gopher Control Tips
Rat Control Tips
Vole, Meadow Mice Control Tips

Snail, Slug Control Tips
Pet-safe Slug, Snail control products
Copper Barriers for snail, slug control

“Songbird, Bat and Owl Boxes” book info:
Barn owl nest box plans
Using barn owls for rodent control
More Info on songbirds, bats, and owls

More episodes and info including live links, product information, transcripts, and chapters available at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube



Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We continue our conversation with retired horticulture professor Debbie Flower about the critters that are munching on your backyard tomatoes. Last time, we discussed the smaller pests: hornworms, fruit worms, fruit beetles, snails, slugs, earwigs. This time we tackle the larger interlopers who are getting into your tomatoes: rats, squirrels, birds, possum, raccoons, and, of course, deer.
Plus, we talk with farm advisor Rachael Long about inviting an eager rodent hunter onto your property…barn owls...if you’ve got the room.

Links:
"Deer in My Garden" (Controlling deer with unappetizing plants) by Carolyn Singer
"Managing Deer Damage" from the University of Maryland
"Low Cost Fence keeps Deer Out" From Good fruit Grower magazine.

Bird Netting for Garden Protection from Wilson Orchard & Vineyard Supply

Garden Animal Tracks Guide
Earwig Control Tips
Tree Squirrel Control Tips
Ground Squirrel Control Tips
Possum Control Tips
Gopher Control Tips
Rat Control Tips
Vole, Meadow Mice Control Tips

Snail, Slug Control Tips
Pet-safe Slug, Snail control products
Copper Barriers for snail, slug control

“Songbird, Bat and Owl Boxes” book info:
Barn owl nest box plans
Using barn owls for rodent control
More Info on songbirds, bats, and owls

More episodes and info including live links, product information, transcripts, and chapters available at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube



Farmer Fred :

Welcome to the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. If you're just a beginning gardener or you want good gardening information well you've come to the right spot. On this episode, we continue our conversation with retired horticulture Professor Debbie Flower about the critters that are munching on your backyard tomatoes. Last time we discussed the smaller pests, the horn worms, the fruit worms, fruit beetles, snails, slugs, and earwigs. This time we tackle the larger interlopers who are getting into your tomatoes: the rats, squirrels, birds, possum, raccoons, and of course, the deer. Plus we talk with farm advisor Rachael Long about inviting and eager Rodent hunter onto your property, the barn owl, if you've got the room. We learn something new every time on Garden Basics with Farmer Fred and we'll do it again today in Episode 40, who's eating My tomatoes part two, and we'll do it all in under 30 minutes. Let's go. You may recall recently we were trying to answer the question, what's eating your tomatoes? There are so many critters trying to eat your tomatoes, we couldn't get it all into one episode. So our favorite retired college horticultural Professor Debbie Flower has graciously graced us with her presence again, to go through the rest of the munchers in your garden that are eating those precious orbs of red. Debbie, last time we talked about the tobacco/tomato hornworm and the green fruit worm and the green fruit beetle. Yeah, but there's so many more. So let's talk about the ones first that swoop down from the sky.

Debbie Flower :

Those bird things

Farmer Fred :

yeah, the bird thing.s and it doesn't seem like it's limited to one species of bird either. I've seen small birds I've seen big birds. Mm hmm.

Debbie Flower :

Yeah. birds are out looking for something to eat, and sometimes not whether they're out looking for something juicy to eat. So they go after many different things that are producing in the garden, many different fruits. And really the only the best way to keep a bird out of from eating what's in your garden is with exclusion. And that would be a netting that would have to go all the way over the plant and all the way to the ground because of course birds can land and fly up under the netting and then you have a really big problem because you would have a bird trapped in your netting. So netting that is on a structure over the plant goes all the way to the ground and is secured.

Farmer Fred :

We talked about that in Episode 38. If you go back to Episode 38, which came out on August the 18th, and in the chapter labeled blueberry basics, we were talking to the Master Gardeners out of the fair oaks horticulture center and they were describing their structure to protect their blue berries. It's a special netting and it's a homemade structure. Made out of PVC pipe and rebar with special high quality bird netting to keep the critters out because they were having a problem with birds getting in there. And they found that if they didn't secure that netting to the ground, the birds would sneak in underneath. Mm hmm. And then end up killing themselves trying to get out. Yeah, because they couldn't figure out and by securing it to the ground, let's face it, you're keeping some squirrels out, too.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, there are other things that that you're probably keeping. There are a lot of things that can get into your garden and eat that are best controlled by exclusion. And that would include possums, raccoons, skunks talked about the birds, rabbits, deer. The differences in the type of exclusion depend on the size of the animal and how it gets in. Deer being the biggest one would need the tallest fence. When I have been on a lot of vineyards and the fence can either be very tall, over seven feet, eight feet is better. Or it can be shorter and angled at about a 45 degree angle. So it depends how much property you have to dedicate to your fencing. Deer can go up, and they can go out but they can't go up and out when they jump.

Farmer Fred :

University of Kentucky did some research years ago on deer fencing. And they found that, I think, was a four and a half to five foot tall vertical fence with that diagonal fence attached to the top of the vertical fence and coming out away from the area they're trying to protect at a 45 degree angle. It kept the deer out

Debbie Flower :

right confuses them. Yes. And so I mean, I'm guessing that structure that's an angle would extend about 30 inches, two and a half feet on either side of the fence. Do you remember that part? And I just remember it's Stretching out away from the garden, not towards the garden. But that the angular fence was connected so the deer could not get between the two fences and then jump over the vertical. Right. So in some of the vineyards, if you have a huge garden, you could consider this they just had a double fence, a perimeter fence, and then inside of that only was wide enough for a dog to run through. Not that you want your dog in that confined space, but it was only about two feet three feet away, because again, deer can go up so they can go over the exterior fence. But then if there's a second fence there, they have to go far to clear that fence while they're in the air and they cannot do that. I had a friend to fence her garden, she lived in deer country, and she just fenced a few plants at a time so that the whole area that was fenced was only maybe three or four feet wide. And so there was fence than the garden and then fence and went all the way around. It was a complete exclusion around. And so the deer it wasn't wide enough for the deer to land in the middle. So they're dependent On your budget, your access to fencing your property. There are different ways to keep the deer from getting in. But if you're just looking at rabbits, then you don't need something so tall right? But you need something with a smaller mesh, big rabbits mesh, meaning the size of the holes. So it should be about a half inch rabbits many animals, it's amazing, the small spaces that they can get through. So you need it to be about a few feet tall, about four feet tall, but only have about a half inch mesh. possums can also be kept out with a with a fence. I don't know about raccoons. Raccoons are the engineers of the garden, and maybe it would just deter them, but it would have to be they would climb the fence. My dad kept a tin of metal garbage can with a tight fitting lid of bird seed in a screened in porch that had a locked door. They figured out how to get into that porch and open that candidate that's the bird seat. So that's something to consider. There are other reasons they may be coming to your yard, they may they the fruit that has fallen on the ground and is readily available very ripe and may even be giving off aromas, maybe aromas, you can't even smell bird seed, even if it's in a rodent proof bird feeder, if whatever falls to the ground they may be coming to eat so sanitation is very critical to especially critical to keep rats out.

Farmer Fred :

Would a half inch mesh fence that's buried partially underground keep out rats? is half inch too big?

Debbie Flower :

half inch is supposed to work. three quarter it said that they and this would be adults for sure. I'm not positive about youngsters but the fencing recommendations I have read for rats or the the recommendations for closing holes in your house. For instance, say that anything three quarters of an inch or bigger is too big. Right they'll get through but so a half inches smaller than that so a half inch should work and yes you do bury some of the some of these animals dig and so you bury the fence either it goes straight down in some cases it goes straight down and and angles 90 degrees out away from the garden and that would be for woodchucks which

Farmer Fred :

are also called Go on Go for time, okay? The movie groundhogs.

Debbie Flower :

So, woodchucks are also called groundhogs, okay, so, and they can dig. so you've got a digging rodent, and so you really have to go out and figure out what you've got. And a good way to do that is to lay go out with some flour, and a sifter a netting of some sort and and lay a layer of flour on the ground, hopefully that you won't rain that night or your occasion will not run and then check the pawprints down when you when you go out the next morning and see who has been walking around your garden. Maybe who's been doing the digging

Farmer Fred :

There is an actual website that has the various culprits who come into the gardens at night I'll post a link to that that shows the paw print design for these various critters we're talking about to help you figure out who it might be a thin layer of kitchen flour scattered on the outside perimeter of the plant. And you can not only tell if it was a four legged critter, but I imagine if there's sort of a slime trail you'd figure out Oh, snails and slugs.

Debbie Flower :

Yes. a snail or slug right,

Farmer Fred :

right and actually sprinkling something on the ground when it comes to snail and slug control because they eat tomatoes too, is a good idea because of one thing diatomaceous earth and another thing maybe an iron phosphate product like sluggo to help deter them.

Debbie Flower :

or worry free right? Those are brands of slug bait that are toxic to slugs and snails but are not toxic to other animals including pets, birds, other other things. Animals so that iron phosphate bait works really well. So does copper or copper will keep a slug or snail will not cross the copper barrier. And so it but it's kind of a pricey way to control slugs and snails copper is not cheap.

Farmer Fred :

and it needs to be maintained. it has to be kept clean.

Debbie Flower :

Yes it does. when it's clean. It's like an electrical shock to them, and they don't want to go there but diatomaceous earth that's a funny product to me because it you can put your hand in there and it feels like powder almost but to a slug or snail, It is rough and it actually cuts their bodies. I've heard also that a nice thick layer and it has to have some width to it several inches of coffee grounds will keep a slug or snail out

Farmer Fred :

or at least alert.

Debbie Flower :

Apparently caffeine and even decaf has enough caffeine in it is a is toxic to them. Hmm

Farmer Fred :

Okay. And of course, you can always go snail and slug hunting to in the evening or early in the morning. But usually at night with a flashlight. If you see the trails during the day, try to follow the trail, see where they go,

Debbie Flower :

right and you can create a place for them to hide where you can find them during the day. They they need to be kept moist and cool. So they will not bask out in the sun during the day, but if you put down a rock or better a piece of wood, maybe moist wood, they'll find a way to get under that and then during the day you just pick it up, collect them and dispose of them.

Farmer Fred :

That is also a control to for earwigs. If you think earwigs are a problem, and they get blamed for a lot and I don't know if they're eating your tomatoes or not they usually eating something else but your wigs are one of those critters that people see and they immediately go, aha earwigs

Debbie Flower :

right are the problem and then they do control for them and the problem doesn't go away. But yes, they will stay they will also hide in a nice cool moist place during the day. If you have the ability to erect in the appropriate location to erect a bat box, and I'm not going to try to even tell you how to do that. It needs to be a certain size, it needs to be having a certain exposure, it needs to be at a certain height, blah, blah, blah. But you can look that up. But if you are able to do that, else will control things like rats and mice and they need to eat too. So they, they if you can get one to live in that box, you'll have some natural control.

Farmer Fred :

You're absolutely right. Attracting barn owls to your property is a great way to help control the rodent population. In fact, on this episode a little bit later on, we're going to be talking with Rachael Long. she's a farm advisor. And she's got some barn owl basics for us to help control the rodents on your property. But I gotta warn you, that barn owls work best when they're out in the country or at least in large swaths of land, it could be a ranchette or in very rural areas, but If you have the property, barn owls are a great way to go.

Debbie Flower :

Hopefully there are people listening who are in those places who can take advantage of that wonderful natural control. And then the last to me the last, although, you know, if it's a big problem, it's not going to be your last choice. But there there are many of these animals that can be trapped, right, legally. In fact, your government or volunteer associations, may even loan out traps, you may not have to purchase them for things like skunks, and raccoons and possums and squirrels, some squirrels are native, and you may not get that you have to check with your local government. If the animal is native to your location, you're probably you're not likely to be able to trap it, or you may have to trap it live and relocate it and that's where you'd have to talk to your government about your government's Animal Control organization about how to do that and if they would help you do that.

Farmer Fred :

Yeah, really. Relocation is a touchy topic, as most agencies do not want you to trap a skunk or raccoon or a possum and then dump it on your neighbor. Right?

Debbie Flower :

They don't want it either, necessarily.

Farmer Fred :

Yeah. So be clear about the rules on that wherever you might live.

Debbie Flower :

Right. And then of course, you know, some people, especially in rural areas, have the ability and distance from their neighbor to use a weapon. But again, it depends on whether the animal is whether your government allows you to dispose of that animal that way,

Farmer Fred :

right? And here here in California, there are varying rules on squirrel control. Absolutely. Tree squirrels, Usually you can't shoot. Ground squirrels, If it's legal in your entity where you live, you can shoot ground squirrels. Hmm. Be careful.

Debbie Flower :

Right, right. Use all of these these control measures in ways that don't harm humans.

Farmer Fred :

Right and are are law abiding as well. But exclusionary tactics seem to be The best way to go to control the vast majority of the other tomato munching critters,

Debbie Flower :

right? Especially the four footed ones, that's and the birds, that's the number one way to control them is exclusion. And so you may want to think about that in planning your garden. Do you have the space around it to put the structure? How tall is this going to be? Are you going to be able to go over the top if you're having to exclude birds, things like that,

Farmer Fred :

in some areas of California garden prisons are very popular where people have located large gardens and have built basically cages around their gardens to keep out just about everything.

Debbie Flower :

Yeah, I've been to a you-pick blueberry field, and it was at least an acre and it was completely netted in. Wow. Yeah. Yep. That's I had to go in the net space to pick the berries. I mean, the good news about that if you've got the money to net an acre, you've got the money to put doorways in admit I just remember overlapping net but yes, and I think it was a double entry non overlapping net and then I'd have to go through another set to get into the garden

Farmer Fred :

right now the downside to permanently enclosing your garden. If it's too tight of a mesh, like less than half an inch, you might be keeping out some very good pollinators. There's no birds are going to get in there too much in the way of pollination. The moths probably won't get in, right and they're a pollinator, right? So you may be limiting the good guys.

Debbie Flower :

Right? So it always comes back to know what's causing the problem, right? And if you don't know get as much information as you can take it to someone who does know and and get it identified before you use the control.

Farmer Fred :

There are a lot of good books on the subject of deer and gardens. And I can give you plenty of ideas there. I'll give you some links to some of my favorites including a series of books about plants that deer won't eat with. I think there's an asterisk on each of those covers that says, unless they're really hungry,

Debbie Flower :

and I had a video, it's a video, it's a VCR so that I used to show and it was a garden, a vegetable garden that deer would not eat. And it was done in Southern California.

Farmer Fred :

Was it like sprayed with garlic oil or something?

Debbie Flower :

They I don't think they use sprays they used a periphery of plants that deer would not eat to try to keep them out. And it wasn't 100% successful. Oh, yes, they did make a spray the kind with egg, you know, oh, future ad smelling spray, they

Farmer Fred :

just want to be around a lot. Yes.

Debbie Flower :

And that can work. You know there are lots of brands of deer control that that can work. But when deer are very hungry, nothing will work.

Farmer Fred :

Right and you can forget about. The other thing we didn't talk about. Is it In dissuading a lot of the four legged critters, you'll see ads for sprinklers with sensors that when somebody walks through the sprinkler comes on and scares them away. In fact, I just saw a commercial for one where a sprinkler came on and the deer scampered off, and I'm thinking that deer will be back there. We'll want a shower eventually,

Debbie Flower :

it'll work once or twice, but no, they get used to it. Yes,

Farmer Fred :

it's called habituation. And that's why in vineyards, for example, they only put out that flash tape right during harvest time, because if they left that flash tape out all year long, or if they had their high fidelity cannons going off right at various intervals to scare off birds, the birds would get used to it. So you have to limit your use of those kind of techniques, scare tactics.

Debbie Flower :

Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen a successful Scarecrow.

Farmer Fred :

Alright, we've saved your tomatoes for next time. Debbie Flower Thanks for your help.

Debbie Flower :

Oh, it's a pleasure. Thanks, Fred.

Farmer Fred :

No, that was not the sound of fingernails going across a chalkboard. That was the sound of the barn owl, a very distinctive owl with a very distinctive cry. barn owls may be a big help where you live to control the rodent population. It's been estimated that on farms alone in California, rodents cause something like a half billion dollars damage. Now if you live in the country, maybe you have a ranch it maybe you have open fields next to you. And if you have a rodent problem, barn owls might be able to help you out as well. We're talking with Rachael long. Rachel is a farm advisor based in Woodland for UC Cooperative Extension. And Rachael, barn owls are a big help when it comes to controlling rodents, aren't they?

Rachael Long :

Well, well, thank you for having me. And rodents, as you just mentioned, are really, really terrible pests. Especially for farmers because they feed on the crops they and they also can damage the irrigation line. So when I'm talking about rodents, I'm referring to mice, to voles, which are also called Meadow mice, gophers and and then sometimes even we get we get the rats out there on the farms. And so, so yes, so these are really, really terrible pests that that definitely are challenging to to control.

Farmer Fred :

But I hear a lot of farmers screaming through the window at me and homeowners as well saying but what about squirrels? Will they go after squirrels.

Rachael Long :

So yeah, so far, no snow, probably the they won't go after squirrels. You know, they're just too big of prey. There's certainly a lot of raptors that'll go after the squirrels. And so you have hawks and you have eagles. But the other problem is is they know the squirrels are active during the daytime and the sun Raptors and owls are active at night. And so they just you know, they just don't don't overlap but of course, the the, like hawks and eagles, they're active during the day and so they're more of the predators at the squirrels.

Farmer Fred :

So the nocturnal rodents, the voles, the gophers, the rats, the meadow mice, they are the targets then of these barn owls. How many rodents will a barn owl eat?

Rachael Long :

so, so a family of five and that would include like two adults and and three young, they'll feed on about 1000 rodents during the season, you know when they're nesting and in going out and actively hunting and breeding, bringing rodents so you know, gophers and voles back to the nest. So they'll say about 1000 rodents during the season and sometimes they'll even nest twice in a year. And when they nest twice, you know, then you're doubling that number of rodents. So, so that's that's a lot of rodents that they will feed on in the in a year. barn owls are very recognizable if you get a chance to see them by their white. face but they have a slightly different color than your typical screech owl, don't they? Right? They do you know that that when you hear these barn owls at night they actually do screech and rather than Hoot a lot of the owls are hooting owls. You know, we're really familiar for example, with the great horned owl hoot, but the barn owls have a loud screech and and it actually can be kind of scary if you don't know what it is. Or some people just find it really annoying. But others of us know that you know, actually good to hear that sound at night because it means that you've got a predator out there that's hunting your your gophers and mice and, and helping to control them naturally.

Farmer Fred :

I am sure many people have been surprised at the sight of a barn owl at dusk because you don't hear them coming. they can swoop in and you won't even know they're there.

Rachael Long :

Yeah, they they are actually you know, they're stealthy. I mean they actually have their feathers are sort of modified. That says that they just really don't make a sound and that it is startling you know when you're when you're out in the evening and then suddenly a barn owl is like right above you and you just don't even hear it. It's really it's really remarkable how how well they can they can hunt at night and that's what makes them so effective as they've got great eyesight and and then you just don't even hear the the beat of their wings at the whooshing that you'd normally would hear from other birds you don't hear from the from the owls and that's what makes him such successful predators and that they can they can capture their prey at night and the prey don't even hear him. You know one thing is that that that the barn owls really do have incredible hearing and incredible sight you know they have that iconic heart shaped face that's just beautiful. You know, they're, they're there have a white face and an A white body and then a tan back with lots of spot and that that iconic heart shaped face really helps to channel Sounds that they're there. Of course, they're listening and they're flying and they're listening for those, those rodents that are scurrying around like in the grass, and it's just a really just an amazing adaptation for me that you know that they that they actually have this this heart shaped face that allows them to hunt so efficiently.

Farmer Fred :

And the best time of the year to put up barn owl boxes is when they're actively seeking new locales to live. I understand the best time of the year here in California to put out those nesting boxes, the barn owl boxes. is mid to late fall, November and December. And I would think for the rest of the country, you would need them ready to go by late winter.

Rachael Long :

That's exactly true that this is just the perfect time to put up a nest box because because the males and females are getting together and they're searching out nest sites. And so the barn owls actually begin nesting in February.

Farmer Fred :

I was surprised to learn that barn owls do have predators coming after them. And one of their major enemies are other species of owls.

Rachael Long :

Yeah, like the great horned owl that that I was talking to a guy this the other day and he was telling me that he was just watching a barn owl and a great horned owl just came out of nowhere. And just and just and just basically just just came down and just snared it it was he said it was it was really just kind of a little distressing because he is he loves his barn owls, but yeah, that that can happen and, and so the one of the main predators, of course of the barn owl is is the great horned owl.

Farmer Fred :

How about some barn owl house basics. what size should it be? And how do you clean the thing?

Rachael Long :

Oh, that's a really good question. So you said There's wonderful barn, barn owl box our house plans and one of our university of california the booklet called "songbird bat and owl boxes" that can can be found online and and then also There's a lot of plans also that are that are found online. But you notice that it basically it's just like a large a large box that's, you know, at least maybe, you know, two feet by wide by one foot by you know by maybe another 15 inches high and with a with a hole in it so that the barn owls can go in and out and then what you have is in the back, you'll have a little hinge door that you can open up because the barn owl box will fill up with pellets and such and so so at the end of the nesting season, usually in the fall, early winter, so you're talking you know, maybe October November December then then you can open up the back and try to sweep that out. Of course you don't want to breathe any of that dust you know, because the it's basically you know, just could be could be a little bit unhealthy to breed that just but but then you can do that and you want to check and just sort of maintain the houses that way.

Farmer Fred :

Going back to the construction of the barn owl house how big should that opening be to allow them to get in and get out?

Rachael Long :

You know, it's got to be at least I would say about maybe six inches high and say four to five inches wide and and as I say those plans can be can be found on the on the website and it used to be you know, that we'd recommend having a purge there but we don't anymore because I think when you have a purge that that hawks can actually land on this little perch, you know, outside the hole, and then they can reach in with their talents and and pluck out a little baby barn owl. So, so actually, we recommend now really not even having that urge.

Farmer Fred :

And if you want more information about building barn owl houses, go to that booklet that Rachel was talking about called songbird bat and owl boxes, and you can find it at the UC Ag and Natural Resources catalog. If you just do a search on songbird bat an owl boxes I'm sure that would pop right up there. amazing hunting creatures. They can help you control the rodent population on your farm or rural area. Rachael long UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor in Woodland thanks for telling us more about barn owls.

Rachael Long :

Well, you're welcome. Thank you for having me.

Farmer Fred :

garden basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday and it's available just about anywhere podcasts are handed out. And that includes Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, I Heart Radio, overcast, Spotify, stitcher, tune in and hey, Alexa, play the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast, would you please? Thank you for listening, subscribing and leaving comments. We appreciate it.

Who's Eating My Tomatoes? Part 2
Barn Owl Basics