Does Miracle-Gro Potting Mix attract Squirrels?

onthebrinck(6 Central New Jersey)August 26, 2010

Rather than use the dirt from the garden for transplants, I decided to buy a bag of MG Potting Mix. I wanted to start about 20 sedum plants of the purple leaf/stem types. I know you guys just cut them and stick them in the soil, but I have always added another step. I cut them, treat them with Hormex and stick them in plastic starter pots until I see roots. Overnight the first day, the squirrels attacked one of the four varieties I planted (Purple Emperor) ... dug up the soil of every one and left the shoots on the table next to the pot. Thinking it was a random event, I simply put them back in the soil, and the next night the same thing. So, I cut up some gutter screens and made a little fence around the plants ... no problem, no squirrel attacks. Three weeks later, the plants started showing roots at the outside of the pots. I put them in the garden where I had planned and ... you guessed it, overnight the squirrels attacked the same plants. They dug holes right at the base of the plant and left the plants, barerooted, on the ground next to the hole. Is there something in the potting soil that may have them believe there's a food source there? Or are they just vicious, vindictive tree rats?!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ha! That sounds eggsactly like what chipmunks do around here, about this time of year. Only they are looking for a place to stash food.

They might be investigating a freshly disturbed area to see if another animal has buried a tasty morsel. They are conniving little robbers. If you watch them, you'll see one sneak up a few minutes after watching his compatriot bury something.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 3:45PM
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Chipmunks and squirrels are both rodents and neither one is stupid. Both will dig for things to eat. They love to eat tulip bulbs as well as seeds and nuts. They will dig whereever there is freshly dug ground. The only thing I have seen that foils them is bowl shaped chicken wire fitted over the plant or bulb and then covered in with dirt.

I once watched a squirrel get into my son's squirrel proof bird feeder. The premise was that the weight of a squirrel, standing on a bar at the bottom would close off the feeder. Well this squirrel laid on top of the feeder and worked the bar with his hind leg and ate his full.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 7:04PM
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