do critters eat herbs?

norwega(z8/Sunset5)April 20, 2009

I have squirrels, many birds, and the occasional racoon on my deck. I'd like to put herbs in a window box, on the deck railing, but am concerned that they'll get eaten. I have herbs out front that don't seem to attract critters, but they're in higher pots, 15" tall. The squirrels run on the deck railing, where I want to put the herbs, I'm afraid it will be tempting them to stop and munch. I'm just north of Seattle


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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Possums love cantaloupe, woodchucks love any tender greens of any kind, including shrubs and leafy stuff like lettuce and squash. Squirrels will dig up bulbs, but don't seem to chew on herbs, rabbits like to chew all plant things too. If the herbs are on a shelf, railing, or table, they have less chance of being eaten.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:44PM
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leira(6 MA)

I've never known birds, squirrels, or raccoons to bother my herbs, and I've got plenty of all of the above.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 8:03PM
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Thanks much! I'll get them planted tomorrow!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:52PM
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Squirrels will dig in the window box but not eat the herbs.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:52PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

As a rule most culinary herbs are reasonably pest free. Of course the "critters shouldn't chew or eat" the herb should be taken with a grain of salt. I have had some very stupid critters last year taste some unpalatable things - like the deer with some young walnut trees. You can actually see that they chewed the young, terminal buds and went "blah!" and stopped chewing - with 2 different trees! And a rabbit that went after the gas plants (which are strong smelling and resinous plants). It bit off one of the plants just above the ground and left it there. Duh! I can't imagine that they tasted any different than they smelled!

Anyways, I only say this so that if you have something that you are very near-and-dear-to that you take some critter-proofing care even if the plants are normally pest-free. You may get some of those animals that darwinism will surely weed out of the gene pool.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:48AM
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When we lived in the PNW, I had a garden right on the edge of the woods. I had chives(garlic and onion), catnip, cilantro/coriander, marjoram, pennyroyal, lavender, roses and strawberries. The deer ate the roses and strawberries, everything else was left alone(put up a fence after that). 'Possums and raccoons grubbed around in my raised beds, but didn't actually eat any plants. So I think you're ok with the herbs. But when I placed the coriander upside down in a paper sack inside of my makeshift greenhouse, all I got were mouse droppings in the bottom of the seeds at all, so be careful where you dry your herbs.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 1:12PM
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I've never had any problem with anything eating my herbs except as was said above some crazy rabbit came along once and ate some of my yarrow plants. Even neighboring cats leave my catnip alone. Seemingly it has to be crushed for them to take notice.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 2:45AM
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