moles. What is easy? a vent

sammy zone 7 TulsaApril 20, 2014

I need some easy. This is my last year teaching, and my garden is very difficult. I will be planting roses soon in cages. The cages are hardware cloth that is 12 inches deep, and 4 feet around. Do you know of anything easier that works? We live near a ravine, so there is no stopping the moles. I have 14 roses ready to plant, and the hardware cloth is cut. It still is difficult to dig down far enough to put in the cages and then follow with dirt.

Once I pull out the weeds (chick weeds?) that are so tall that I cannot find the roses I have already cut back, I will see my garden well enough to maintain it with Round Up in the paths to take care of the bermuda. But I cannot use it now since I cannot even find my flowers or perennials. I watered yesterday, and that could give me some help, but I still need to bag the weeds, keep pulling, and do a final cut on my roses.

I guess this is just a vent. No professional equipment can get through our yard, so i cannot rent a shredder.

Does anyone feel caught up? I see such beautiful days at about 4:30 when I take my dogs for a walk. I could ignore them, and work in my garden, but I won't.

So, why not let me know how you feel. I don't think there are answers, but these are beautiful days, and winter is over. That is good.


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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Sammy, With moles, nothing is easy, but you already know that. No matter what you do to try to eradicate them , more will just keep moving in.

Our cats killed off all the moles and gophers that lived here when we first moved here, and those never came back. We have voles that live mostly in the woods, but they never really were a problem in the garden until the long , wickedly hot summer of 2011, which apparently drove at least some of them up out of the woodland acreage and into the yard and garden. Those have stuck around, although the cats kill them when they see them. Since then, we have been fighting them with only moderate success. This spring when we planted fruit trees in the new back garden area, we used hardware cloth baskets to protect the roots. We also added hardware cloth to the bottom of raised beds where we raise root crops.

Last year the voles devoured some plants but ignored others so I am going to be careful this year not to plant anything that I know they like to eat back in that back area. I don't have any solutions for you, but I feel your pain.

Back in March we went to a wildfire in an area near the Red River that has very sandy soil----that sugar sand that is hard to walk on. They had hundreds of mole, vole or gopher mounds per acre. It was a horrifying sight. I looked at it and said to myself that clearly a person couldn't farm or garden in that soil.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:06AM
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I always spend the beautiful days in the garden....that's why I have have something to do when it's beautiful outside. I listen to the birds, the wind chimes, (okay, granted, also the traffic from Second St.) and dig and weed and think and experience bliss.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:32AM
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Oh, my daughter says it all. ;) Only, unlike her I have another outdoor passion... riding a bike.

Thus, my out door time is divided, and this spring seems like my yard has more weeds... but sad enough, my bike has less miles... go figure.

I do however enjoy my garden, and will go out in a bit, since it is almost dry again now.

I was hoping for more moisture. Last rain I had around 17 drops in my rain gauge, and I am not looking forward to checking it this time... I think, it is less. :(


Oh my gosh... it was more.... looked like 21 drops.... LOL

This post was edited by OklaMoni on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 10:55

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:46AM
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As for moles, this is the year I nuke 'em from orbit. Feral cats have gotten most of the voles and moles around here, but we still have a small hill out by the street that is, at the least, making the footing kinda treacherous. Plus, I don't like the thought of them eating all of our earthworms.

As for being behind on the garden? I'm about caught up, now. The major remaining project is transplanting some of the several hundred alyssum seedlings from one bed into some of the other flower beds. Other than that, we're into normal gardening activities from here on out.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:17AM
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My biggest job this year was cutting back winter damage, I started in February. I have never had so much damage & trimming back to do.

I find weeding to be both relaxing & enjoyable so I weed when I want to unwind, think, de-stress or just be outside. If you keep up with it, it doesn't get out of hand & it sounds like you will have more time for it coming up. Each year I cull out weeds I see coming up so they are now down to an easily dealt with minimum.

Just think, if you got rid of all weeds, had everything perfect, there'd be nothing to do out there. Nothing is more satisfying than to see a before & after with weeding. It goes quicker than you think if you just concentrate on a section at a time rather than looking at the whole thing which can seem overwhelming.

I almost never use roundup, only if something is coming up in the middle of a plant & I cannot dig it out, like a tree or vine coming up. Currently I'm especially down on spraying since my neighbor hired a service who sprayed some natives I've been trying to establish since last year along the border of the property. They sprayed anything that wasn't bermuda, which on my property is considered the most offensive weed of all weeds.

When you factor in the number of people who regularly spray lawns yearly, its frightening. I live on a hill, you can see the rain runoff going down to a creek & into gutters that leads into a river. All for bermuda grass.

I went the way of the lawn alternative route and created a meadow/prairie/native landscape. Its very low maintenance and colorful. I get many positive comments on it & its has become self sustaining with no mowing or chemicals.

I don't have moles but I do have feral cats who love to sit on my larger native grasses, they like to chew on them, smash them up or use them as toilets. They make a mess of the grasses so I stick cholla cactus cuttings in the middles of the ones they like to use. It works.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 2:25PM
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OOooh picture please TexasRanger!!! That sounds like what I'd like to have in the front!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:05PM
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While weeding I became annoyed at the owls hooting ceaselessly, the hawks squawking overhead and the stray cats stirring up the dogs. Then the subject of moles, voles and gophers came up. They can sing all they want. Thus far, I don't have any problems.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 8:11PM
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okievegan here's a couple photos from late October of a portion of it. Right now the grasses are trimmed back and the prairie is just starting to bloom, lazy daisy, gallardia, missouri primrose, blackfoot daisy, flameflowers & tahoka daisys are just getting ready to break out into a show. The neighbors have all been fine with it. There is a guy in Plano Tx who did the same thing, he keeps a great blog of the process.

Mine changes from one year to the next but I keep on the lookout for low growing native grasses & forbs. Each year I add something new. Most of my weeding now is thinning, I don't get weeds like when I had a lawn & if I do, they don't stand out, but I weed out the undesirables anyway to keep things balanced and native. Actually weeding is the time I get to look close to see what new things I planted germinated. It makes it kind of fun, sometimes a plant will show itself from seeds I forgot about planting.

I have to admit, I did use roundup in the back to kill off the bermuda, its the last time I used it.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 21:04

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:02PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I thought that maybe it might be worth it to try to plant without cages. While walking the dogs, I saw a mound, and a hole near the rock around one of the beds. I will bother with the cages.

Dawn, that is interesting about the sand. I have never lived hear it. Our property is on a green belt, and everyone takes good care of the area between the homes and the creek. However with a creek come the moles, and the voles follow along. It is really a pain to work with hardware cloth, but it is amazing the uses we have found for it.

Okievegan, I will have that kind of time in about 6 weeks now. It will be great.

Moni, that's funny about your rain drops. i never know what the weather is like from inside my school. My husband keeps telling me about the rain, but never mentioned that it was not doing any good. Sadly, I did not start watering in time, and am afraid that I have lost even more plants.

Wbonesteel, I usually am not so far behind. This past winter was a difficult one for me as far as getting out. In the past I would begin cutting back my roses in December and January, then cutting and bagging the thorny stems a little later. Once I do that, I can just go back to trim in the spring. This year I did not work in the winter, and I am really paying for it now.

Texas ranger, I bet your property is beautiful. I have all rose beds, with paths surrounding them. On our hillside I have plants that are easy to care for, and have begun some crape myrtles. I only use Round Up for control. I do not touch an insecticide, fungicide, miticide or anything else. And I never use the Round Up in the beds, just the paths -- very carefully.

Chicken coup, I think that you need a creek for the moles. They are all over our neighborhood. It really scares me that people use poison. You can't tell what kind of a bird or animal will eat the mole that is poisoned.

I hope this week is a good one.

It will rain, I can assure you. i spent the weekend moving my hoses around to be sure that everything is watered.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:16PM
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Here is another area, but shot the year before, there are many paths & these are some of the grasses those cats insist on smashing until I got 'em beat with the cholla cuttings.

Don't mind me sammy, I'm just on an anti-Roundup tear since my "weeds' got sprayed by Chemlawn last week. I'm still fit to be tied over it. Its my own personal rant of the moment so I'm a bit preachy right now.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Sun, Apr 20, 14 at 21:32

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 9:18PM
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    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:11AM
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okievegan, its all lowly "weeds". That yellow is common bitterweed & dogweed. I do a lot of my plant "shopping" on the sides of the road. I got lots in trades from a gal down by Austin & collected some native seed & various prickly pear cactus pads online for structure. I keep baggies in the cubby hole & if I see an interesting plant, I bag some seeds, its a hobby now, my eyes are always peeled for new possibilites. Thats just plain ole common as dirt native Okie & Texas grasses & forbs growing in dry sandy dirt. Surprising what treasures are growing wild all around us, isn't it? Does great in the drought too.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:41AM
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