Woodchucks!!!

NHBabs(4b-5aNH)June 21, 2010

A-R-R-R-G-G-G-H-H-H! As I was posting about my pagoda dogwood, I looked at it out the back window, and immediately outside the window were 3 woodchucks on the back patio, nibbling on the Nicotiana. We've been gone for 4 days, and they weren't around when we left. I'm afraid to go look in the vegetable garden . . .

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WendyB(5A/MA)

oh... so sorry... my sympathies. critters are such a pita.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:27AM
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chardie

Grrrr. I HATE them! They've eaten so many of my plants. I did catch a baby last year and relocated it to a state park. I'd like to kill them all, and I'm a peace-loving woman. They even ate the buds off my Zephirine Drouhin rose.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:49AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Had one season of one woodchuck and that was the worst gardening season I ever had to live through. Really a pain to deal with. Sending sympathies your way. It's been awhile and I forget what all the recommendations were. Lots of ideas out there for ways to deal with them. We tried that coyote urine with no effect. Our fencing didn't keep them out. We have a 4 ft high on two sides of the back and they dig under anyway. We were fortunate that it didn't come back the next year. We are semi urban here, with small 1/4 acre lots, but they seem to be pretty bold about where they decide to set up house.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 10:53AM
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defrost49

We used to have a dog that got rid of them. Perhaps you can invite some dog owner friends over to see if any have the knack. But don't invite any woodchuck sympathizers at the same time. It sounds cruel but they have plenty of other places they could live and things they could eat. We were married over 35 years and did not allow guns in the house until we moved to a place with a barn and some pigeons moved in, too. My husband tried to keep them out of the barn but if you opened the door, they would swoop in. We haven't seen any woodchucks around but we seem to have a resident coyote or two.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 1:45PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Actually, I just wanted sympathy, so thanks to you all! DH took his first try at doing them in this morning (bombing the hole with them inside - it only has one opening due to its position) so I'll have to check if they are gone or if the hole has been reopened. I can live with deer since we are so rural that they have lots else to eat and only nibble in the garden, but the woodchucks tend to decimate the garden, ripping and shredding what they don't eat. Last summer we had 5 and I got only 3 measly heads of broccoli (from 6 plants) in late October. They ate half my basil, but happily somehow missed my peas. I'm hoping this year there will be less damage. We've already gotten rid of one 'chuck this season.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 6:56PM
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face

I had one once. He would sit out there and just eat my garden ruining everything. It got personal. After about a week, I had it so I ended our relationship. Sometimes ya just have to.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 8:09PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

Sorry to hear the bad news. I have no firsthand experience to offer but didn't William Alexander (??) come up with a solution for his wood chuck problem in the $64 Tomato?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 9:13AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Well, the second try at bombing the den seems to have worked since the hole has remained filled for 24 hours. I finally screwed up my courage and took a walk through the veggie garden. As per usual, the broccoli are mere stubs, and the peas and eggplants were pretty hard hit as well. I guess I'll get any broccoli really late again, and maybe no peas or eggplant other than the farmers market.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Babs, we missed out on peas this year for other reasons. At least we can give it another try in the fall. I just planted string beans last week and added eggplant not that long ago too. If you can find any plants, it might not be too late to start over. Remember what a long warm fall we had last year? You never know, we could have one again. You might try Whole Foods, believe it or not I saw they still had some organic veggie starts for sale. Not a lot to choose from but each store probably has a different selection and I'm sure they are reduced in price to make it less of a risk.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 7:50PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

PM2, when do you plant your peas for fall harvest? I've never tried that since we have in the past had short falls, but I may try it this year since we have had longer, warmer autumns for the last several years.

No Whole Foods in my area, and I'm leaving for out of town work on Sunday, so when I return in 2 weeks I think I'll just see what has recovered during my absence and visit the farmers' markets for veggies that haven't recovered.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 7:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Babs, I keep meaning to grow them in the fall, but haven't yet. I was thinking that I would start them when I pulled out the string beans that just started climbing their support. Maybe mid August? I was reading that the yield in the Fall is not as good as the Spring.

I think leaving your plants in the ground to see what might still grow is a very good solution. Their roots have already established and you are going out of town and I think putting plants in the ground 2 weeks from now will be too late.

Well, concentrating on the Fall garden can be an opportunity. I'm considering making glass tops for a couple of my raised beds this year, so I can keep a fall crop going into the winter. No groundhogs or other pests to bother a winter crop, either. [g]

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:12AM
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