problems with quail or rodents eating plants

jadeite(6/7)June 11, 2013

I posted this originally on the Pest and Disease forum, but was advised that this might be a better place.

We live in Albuquerque, up against the Sandia mountains. We have a walled garden which we are trying to restore. Like everyone else, we have hordes of rabbits. They jump the wall and will mow down anything green, including the plants rabbits are supposed to ignore.

But now we have another problem. We have flocks of quail who come for the water we put out, and the seed that falls from the two feeders we have near the wall. Last year I saw them peck some portulacas down to the ground.

I have four pots of sedum which I plan to put into the ground which is being dug and amended. I found that the sedum had been eaten down to bare stalks. Is this quail or rabbits or something else? In one pot of annuals which had been eaten down to the soil, we found rodent droppings.

I am using a homemade version of liquid fence in hopes of deterring the rabbits. Will this work on the quail and rodents? If not, what can I do?

Thanks,
Cheryl

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memrys

Hi Cheryl. I live in Eldorado, and have put up fences to keep out the rabbits. However, recent plantings of hollyhocks were being eaten, so we surrounded the plot with fine-mesh chicken wire on all sides, including the top, but the problem persisted.

Perhaps lizards are the culprits?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:44PM
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lazy_gardens

It could be any or all of the above. With the drought, animals and birds are eating anything they can find.

Bird netting over the area, or finer mesh poultry netting as cages over the whole area might be necessary.

Lizards don't eat plants: they eat bugs.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:18PM
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jadeite(6/7)

Merlinus and lazygardens - thank you for your replies. Fencing in the whole garden would be daunting. Right now we have sections with chicken wire around them, some with roofs. The whole garden is big, and we have additional beds in front of the house. I don't think putting fences around the whole lot would be practical.

I was told that rabbits can dig down several inches to get under fences. They also leap over our 30" high wall. I'm also fairly sure that rats are eating the sedum, judging from the droppings. I've distributed my homemade liquid fence over the plants which have been affected. I don't know if this is any deterrent, but I'm at my wits end.

Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 1:40PM
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dzejna(z7/TX)

Move the bird feeder to another corner maybe? And get a cat or two. :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:29AM
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