Help....Before and after (not the good kind!)

mbug_gwAugust 10, 2013

Well....had a great week at the Jersey Shore. Still rebuilding some areas, but coming back strong.

Anyway, before I left this was Dream Queen and you can see a little of a nice size Guacamole behind.

This was Praying Hands

Came back today to this.....
Dream Queen

Praying Hands

....and my favorite Guacamole is now totally bald!!

I couldn't believe it! It was only this spot...all 3 in same area. Every other bed was left alone.
I'm in suburban NJ, so deer not the likely culprits.
Could this be rabbit damage?
I did see a ground hog in the yard recently. Are they Hosta Chompers?
Any one have any ideas AND suggestions to keep them away.
I would appreciate any advice.

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HOLY COW! Are you sure your neighbors haven't seen deer in the area? They do come up to the 'burbs, you know. Sure looks like deer damage to me. If it's rabbits, you got some pretty hungry (and I assume HUGE) bunnies in New Jersey! Yikes.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 8:25PM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

Deer or bunnies, try spraying with Liquid Fence and put 1/4 bars of Irish Spring attached to sticks here and there. Nothing will stop a truly hungry animal, but they help. If it's any consolation, hostas eaten to the ground once or twice will come back. They might be a little smaller, but they won't die.

Love the giant rabbit photo. Did you do the photoshopping, Hostanista?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 8:33PM
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I was going to post the same type of picture with the same question? Something did the same thing to my Old Glory! Looks like scissor cut but left the leaves lay on the ground with no other chew marks!????

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 8:56PM
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I'm going to say it was the groundhog that did this. Yes, they are hosta eaters. The reason I'm thinking groundhog rather than deer is that the remaining leaves appear to be eaten with a tearing action from the sides and not the typical deer munching. Deer eat from the top and always get the uppermost leaves, leaving lower ones intact. Dream Queen has top leaves intact with the lowest ones gone. Deer don't feed that way. Rabbits do, but not this much to one single plant at a time.

Liquid fence won't deter groundhogs but the Irish Spring (have you ever smelled a groundhog?) might offend it's sense of smell.

Do you have a Sum and Substance that needs fertilizing? (See Van Wade's catalog for this one ;)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 8:59PM
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I'll definitely keep my eye out for that Jersey Bunny!! you spray the Liquid Fence directly on the plants?
Is that safe?
Do you just space the Irish spring randomly around the beds?
Would pepper be a deterrent?
Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Ground hogs don't like black pepper. I have saved more than one plant by liberally sprinking it with black pepper. Of course you have to reapply it when it rains.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 9:35PM
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If you were gone for a week, it could be rabbits. In my yard they habitually return and eat the same hosta day after day. Guacamole was a favorite. It has been eaten to the ground more than once, I caught the rabbit in the act. If its rabbits, you should see some around the yard. Otherwise I go with a ground hog.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:15AM
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MadPlanter1 zone 5

Yup, give the bottle a good shake and spray it right on the plants. The Irish Spring works on deer, don't know about ground hogs. I just space it around the perimeter of the bed and also by any plant that's getting eaten. I finally put a 6 ft. fence around the main hosta bed, but the deer still get the day lily buds, and the IS seems to deter them.

Crushed red pepper slows down the digging raccoons, but I haven't had rabbit damage in those beds, so maybe it's stopping them, too. The only sure cure is putting the hostas under a wire basket. The darn rabbits still wriggle under the 6 ft. fence, even with chicken wire added. Today I moved three small hostas in pots to a sunnier spot, and tonight I caught a young bunny devouring them.

At least it seems to be a rare occurrence in your neighborhood. Maybe something was just passing through.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Thank you all so much for the help. I always greatly appreciate the assistance that is so freely given here.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 11:58PM
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