Have You Noticed More Critter Damage This Year?

Joey Russell rjrussell@cot.net
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 14:12:27 PDT
I don't know if there are any more than usual in my garden, it's just that I 
am noticing them and being able to tell the difference between moles, pocket 
gophers and voles!  I like to put everything in cages now, except 
Fritillaria and Daffodils.  I've noticed the Alliums don’t seem to be 
bothered but I am so new to bulbs that I can't say whether this will last . 
I have almost been discouraged enough not to plant anything due to critter 
damage but have ended up in trying to devise new ways to thwart intruders. 
Cages, hardware cloth and small holed chicken wire underground and plastic 
netting (the thicker diameter stuff) above ground.  I am also trying 
companion planting Daffodils and Lilly to fool the critters.   My garden 
looks like a battle field, really, however, once things start growing it 
looks so beautiful, you don't notice the barriers.   Most of my roses are in 
cages and I remember once weeding around a rose in a double thick, hardware 
cloth cage and finding a deceased pocket gopher stuck in between the layers 
of the cage.  I said HA HA, stay there as a message to all your buddies on 
the risks of traveling in my garden.  I have also trapped White-crowned 
Sparrows in my plastic mesh covered lettuce and spinach beds, HA HA, the 
culprits, at last!  I let him out and told him to tell his buddies about the 
dangers of eating my greens!  However, I have a few beds of Mesclun mix that 
I have let go to the birds and they love it.  I am willing to share some, 
but not the bulbs if I can help it.  Oh yes, I use castor oil (Molemax) too.
I am soo happy to hear that I'm not the only one dealing with critters using 
my garden for lunch!
Joey Russell
Siskiyou County, California, USDA zone 6, I think and where our 
Yellow-bellied Rock Marmot might be the equivalent to Jim McKenney's 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jim McKenney
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 10:43 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Have You Noticed More Critter Damage This Year?

Nick Plummer wrote: "That just leaves the effing voles to deal with. "
Nick, I hope you're right.  I'm in the same boat this year: my community 
garden plots, where I grow most of my lilies, have a deer fence which has 
been supplemented with plastic coated chicken wire at the bottom. A group of 
us drove out the resident rabbit last week. I've been setting traps for 
rats. And this week I had two ugly surprises: some young roses looked a 
little funny the other day: I gave one a tug and out came whole stems neatly 
nibbled at the base and utterly rootless. And when I flipped a board near 
some nibbled lily bulbs, out ran a fat little vole. And now I'm noticing the 
little vole holes here and there.And then there's this: while driving 
through the neighborhood the other day, a perky looking little light brown 
critter the size of a cat was sitting up alongside the road, seeming to wave 
to me as I drove by: woodchucks have moved in. If they get into the garden 
it will be a real disaster. For those of you outside eastern North America, 
woodchucks are gigantic ground squirrels the size of a lap dog - and with 
appetites to match.
Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I sometimes 
wonder if I should just take up golf.
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