Critters eating sempervivum?

ottawamom(USDAz4 AGCANz5b)August 9, 2004

About a month ago I planted a newly prepared sloping area with several varieties of sempervivum, and top-dressed with small gravel. In the early days I noticed some of the smaller ones being uprooted and assumed squirrels as they often dig in freshly dug garden areas around here. So following the suggestion of some wise person on this forum, I anchored each one using a U-shaped wire. That seemed to stop the problem until recently. Last night I went out to check on things (not having even looked at the garden for a few days as I've been down with a cold) and the area has been totally destroyed! All but two "hens" have been dug up and bits of them are all over the rock wall surrounding the bed. It really looks like they were dug up to be eaten.

Have any of you ever experienced such a thing? The other critters that I frequently deal with (besides squirrels) are cats, and raccoons sometimes get into the garbage. I would have thought all of them had better sources of food at this time of year and would not be digging up the plants.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Several times I have tried to grow a trough full of semps, only to lose them to squirrels. This year I made a wire 'basket' and inverted over my newly planted trough. (Not the most attractive thing, but it works.) I'm hoping once the semps are established I can take off the protective covering and they might stand a chance.

The squirrels have also decimated the semps in my flower garden, but only the really fleshy ones, and for some reason they seem to be fond of the blooms!

Would blood meal strategically sprinkled help deter them?

I know this doesn't help much, but at least you are not alone...


    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 11:20PM
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lavflame(z6B KY)

I have caught starlings pulling up and shredding my semps and sedums when they are newly planted. I have started putting bird netting over new beds until the novelty of the new plantings has worn off. They seem to lose interest in the beds after a couple of months. If they are persistent about an area, I hang some shiny streamers on sticks and put them in the bed for a few weeks.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 5:11AM
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I've offered this solution in several different discussions. but only because it works --- dog hair. We breed and show dogs, and the shed has worked miracles all over this neighborhood. We save every bit of coat we brush off the dogs and put it inside the branches of vulnerable plants. (since we live in a dense forest across the road from a nature preserve, we have critters, big time). We intended it as a deer deterrent, but discover it works with deer, squirrels, mice, and voles. We plant bulbs in a nest of dog hair.

The heavy-duty weapon is the contents of our central vacuum -- mostly dog hair, but also the vacuumed-up powder we use to clean our carpets when we have puppies.! Our next-door neighbor, who is in total shade, claims we saved his hosta garden literally overnight.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2004 at 10:47PM
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