Party in my garden

jan_on zone 5bAugust 6, 2014

Something went crazy underneath my huge Sum and Substance and trashed about half of the leaves. They are munched off just a few inches above ground level and left lying there, not eaten. I picked up 15 leaves, cursing all the while. What would do that? We have a skunk.....digs holes in the lawn searching for grubs. I have seen a groundhog in the neighbour's yard, but they don't hesitate to snack in daylight, and I'm quite sure this damage was done at night. There are racoons in the neighbourhood. Lots of squirrels. But we have always had critters, yet I have never seen damage like this before.
Any theories?

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Thistle and Maize(Zone 5a- Eastern IA)

My dog does that - lies on top of hostas when it gets hot and she's not inside the house. I've got her trained now that the short fencing I put up in no-dog's-land and she stays out. There are a few I've put in areas she can access and I put dowel rods down into the ground and sticking up but not visible through from my perspective. It just makes it so she wouldn't want to lie on some wooden sticks. That's about the most effective way I've found to keep her (or any other animal) off my hostas. I'm not sure you'll ever figure out what it is other than "an animal". If it's "munched", maybe rabbit? I doubt some dowel rods would stop them - nothing stops them! :)

This post was edited by ThistleAndMaize on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 16:34

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:33PM
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Jan , did they eat any leaves? To me it looks like maybe something was chasing something and did u turns under the plants. Any neighbours with loose dogs at night? Our wiener dogs would do that if there was a marmot or a squirrel around.( if the were allowed) Just a thought but sure would miff you off anyway

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:33PM
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jan_on zone 5b

The mystery continues. We rarely see an unleashed dog although my first impression was also that something had chased something else. Some of the stems appear twisted, some of the leaves tasted perhaps but not eaten.....except for a tiny clump of Dragon's Tail that is pretty much mown off. And the sweet woodruff that was lush and green looks as though it has been sheared. There is no sign of rabbit droppings. I need a motion activated camera!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 6:41PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

When you mentioned that the Dragon's Tail and sweet woodruff were sheared off, I immediately related!

Last year I had a rabbit eating/breaking/chewing...all of these actions. What really bothered me was it chewing off large stems of my budding indigo, finding it not to its liking, and leaving it on the ground to look for new spoils.

It/they ate ground phlox, blooming tradescantia (my new gold one, not the green one I grow in abundance), sheared off ALL my fall blooming asters, and ate almost all of my Fatal Attraction echinacea ( expensive!) until I made it inaccessible. I was having coffee one morning, last spring/early summer, looking outside the front window when I spied a bunny having a feast of the phlox. I chased it off but of course it returned to wreak more havoc! Lol

This year my resident-until-recently rabbit sheared off another aster in the backyard. Earlier in the season I saw one or two small hosta leaves on the ground but that was the extent of damage to hostas, thankfully.

Jan, I'm sorry your obviously large and lovely S&S was diminished and damaged. It's not much consolation but thank goodness it will return to its glory next year. Would motion sensors deter critters, you think? Or do they just wakes us up and not deter critters from their goal?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Sorry to see that happen, Jan. A raccoon I scared off my deck barreled through some of my hostas last season, and the damage to yours looks very similar to what happened here.

Don B.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:44AM
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Yikes Jan - If that's a party in your garden, feel free to leave me and my hostas off your invitation list.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:26PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

I can relate, Jan. I've had similar damage but nothing quite as bad as that... I've had leaves and flower stalks chewed off and not eaten, but what really gets me are the holes the squirrels dig near the roots looking for buried treasure. I'm forever checking to make sure the roots of my hostas aren't drying up. I found 2 big holes this AM beside my L. Black Satin which I recently transplanted.

Jan, I would console myself with a new hosta or two or.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:32PM
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