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June 17, 2006

Comments

Ellen

I like the suggestion of the "compost pile." It worked for us in a somewhat different way. We have been keeping one for about 10 years -- for keeping mice OUT of the house. Our old house (stone foundation) used to be infested with mice. By giving them year-round access to a pile of leftover fruits & vegetables (apple cores, melon rinds, cucumber rinds, etc.) about 30 feet from our back door, we gave them a reason to stay outdoors.

Diane Lazicki

One method you might try is putting dried animal blood around your garden. I know this sounds horrible BUT, it is a product that is sold at garden shops. Most animals will not cross over the dried blood. Another thing you might try is putting liquid peppermint on cotton balls and putting them around the garden. I know it will rid a house of mice and might just work. (worth a try)

AJ

Cindy I am sorry to hear of this latest dissapointment, we too have quite the assortment of wildlife around here and I swear with a few exceptions most of our garden is undisturbed by wildlife by simply feeding them inexpensive stuff like any left over cat and or dog food they dont finish rather than throw away, a compost heap with piggy left overs or trampled ons serves 2 purpose and for woodchuck I used to feed him carrots and he got so tame he actually let me pick him up! I guess they figure being served is easier than foraging and are basically lazy! Dont know if it will work if you have many woodchucks, I only had one who lived around my garden now the enemies are insects or weather uncooperative for maturing of plants

Cindy

Diana, thank you for the suggestions. The wheels are spinning now with possible ways of redesigning the garden. The disappointment comes not only from the loss of the investment, but the loss of nuturing the plants along to a producing crop. Gardening is another of my passions, second to rescuing guinea pigs and losing the plants themselves is the major disappointment. The gratification of walking out into one's backyard and picking vegetables is what I will be missing. Must be the "farmer" in me.

My husband and I are going to figure out a quick fix today to at least salvage some of the garden, get a few more plants, build a fortress on a downsized plot and go from there.

Happy planting

Diana

I know it's a bit expensive to construct, but I would suggest covered vegetable beds (think mini-greenhouse). My neighbor has a vegetable garden with a low clear cover over them and hers is the only garden not munched upon by local critters.

To prevent digging in from under, the beds would need to be lined with (or constructed with solid bottoms of) something woodchuck-proof. I'm not sure what that would be. Brick? Gravel? Maybe ask a local Department of Wildlife (or your local equivalent) expert for suggestions.

I don't know what it costs, but it has to be cheaper than buying the groceries instead of growing them, and is possible cheaper than repeatedly replanting and adding fencing.

Good luck!

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