I've made some progress since the very first time I tried to grow tomatoes in my back yard here in Texas. That first endeavor was about seven years ago, and I concluded that it was just too hot to grow anything here and I gave up for a few years.
But I was wrong.
It took a while but I'm learning that things CAN grow. Or I should say I can grow something! Each year gets a little better. Of course one might have challenges due to lack of rain, or wrong soil, or squirrels, or bugs, or any number of other things, but I'm thankful that this year I'm having some success! The squirrels have been preoccupied with the safflower seed I put out for the birds which my knowledgeable neighbor told me squirrels do not like. Well they apparently like them here. Also I've been told squirrels do not eat seed that has been sprinkled with cayenne pepper! Hahaha! That's a good one too! These are Texas squirrels (y'all) and hot stuff doesn't seem to deter them! In fact they just might prefer it!
Norman is usually on high alert during the day and has great fun (I think) chasing the squirrels up into the trees and away from the bird seed. I thought I'd save him some trouble by putting an old plastic owl lawn ornament near the bird feeder thinking the squirrels would be afraid of it. Hmmm. That didn't quite do the trick because the birds stayed away too!.... Also I caught Norman staring at it outside with his fur standing on end, trying to see if it was a threat! Mind you, that old owl has been in a different part of the yard since I moved here almost eight years ago!
There is always something amusing going on it seems!
But it's definitely worth the trouble to try to grow some fresh food of your very own. I just "dabble" in gardening but it's fun. The abundance of rain we've had this spring has certainly helped too and this year I have lots of herbs... cilantro, dill, parsley, basil, thyme.... lettuce, yellow peppers, tomatoes..... Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't but seeing lots of tomatoes, or whatever you've planted, ripening .....and finding new ones ready to pick almost every day is a bit of a thrill I doubt I'll get over any time soon!
Flowers are super fun to grow in my backyard too... and I've had beautiful annuals and Texas wildflowers this year that grew from seed I sprinkled a couple years ago!
My flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds ... and the bird bath provides birds a drink ... and the squirrels?... well, I guess we'll have to learn how to co-exist... somehow.