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How do you protect your nuts from critters

 
master pollinator
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I’ve been gathering tree nuts and seeds, mostly black walnuts. Now I want to plant them, so they can properly over winter and hopefully germinate in the spring. I’ve already donated half of my walnuts to squirrels and chipmunks and I’m sure one or two will go buried and forgotten. The rest, I’d like to grow to trees. I’m growing in deep 12 to 14 inch containers so that I can take them with me when I move next summer and plant out in a future food forest. I think that’s deep enough for one years worth of tap root. In the past, in my pre permies days, I would have covered the container with horticultural fleece with is polyester. I’d rather not go down that road and it’s not something I’ve seen in the US - it probably exists but there’s no point in searching for something I don’t want to use.

So what do you do to protect your nuts from critters?
 
gardener
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depends on the nut! i’ve found out the hard way that really attractive nuts like chestnuts need to be protected with metal - hardware cloth or similar. seen wood, plastics of various sort, etc get chewed through in surprising speed. nursery beds, pots, you name it. i suspect in my area, walnuts buried relatively deeply in pots wouldn’t get threatened badly by rodents, but the pressure may be different where you are. at the nut processing facility, cured nuts need to stay under serious lock and key - the squirrels already know what’s there and are waiting for the tiniest slip in defense.

an alternative, for nuts you want to sprout, is in a bag of damp (not wet) sawdust or sand in the fridge for the winter. that’s sufficient stratification. they’re usually just starting to show root tips at planting time in the spring, they don’t start pushing roots during the freezing months.
 
Edward Norton
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greg mosser wrote:the squirrels already know what’s there and are waiting for the tiniest slip in defense.


That made me laugh! I made the mistake of thinking I could leave the walnuts to cure at the back of the garage. Today when I opened I was greeted by a scurrying chipmunk. Wire cloth it is then . . . I don’t have fridge space. It would be a definite ‘no no’ in the kitchen fridge and the basement fridge is already full of mushroom spore, ferments etc.
 
pollinator
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It makes me laugh cause the woman here, recently retired and trying to find ways to occupy her time became obsessed with collecting black walnuts this year and made several more trips after we had gone together and collected a truck bed full, on top of our own from here in the yard.

We have a big pile in the driveway under a rug in process of being dehulled by running over. And two big metal garbage cans full of hulled ones, plus more hulled ones not sealed up good. Of course the squirrels were happily swiping those on the porch as fast as they can, which is pretty fast. So the woman decided rather than securing those on the porch she would just uncover the ones in the driveway and let the squirrels have them. It didn't work and I know why, I heard the squirrels talking and they said "what the hell's wrong with that woman, we don't want to mess with the hulls when all them clean ones are right over there." Two 30 gallon cans of the best ones is enough anyway so I told the squirrels to take them all. It will just end up with more walnut trees in the neighborhood.

greg mosser wrote:i suspect in my area, walnuts buried relatively deeply in pots wouldn’t get threatened badly by rodents,


Not so bad with walnuts here but pecan and hickory have to be protected or they will dig them up. They are both far less common than walnuts so I guess they regard them as treats.
 
pollinator
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Edward Norton wrote:
So what do you do to protect your nuts from critters?



Heavy pants have always been adequate for me, but if you have extra tempting nuts, maybe an armoured cup?

On pots, I use hardware cloth. At least it isn't plastic.. someday I will have a ratproof greenhouse.
 
It's in the permaculture playing cards. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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