Back to Square One in Saratoga

wantoretire_didApril 8, 2011

We recently moved to a senior mobile home park (just before the longest snowiest winter in history!!) and pretty much have a clean slate to start with. Question: This place is teeming with squirrels and chipmunks. Are there perrenials I should stay away from? I'd like to start with astilbe, bleeding heart, columbine, butterfuly bush, oriental lillies, hosta, bee balm, and clematis. Sunnyside, here I come!!

Anyone here from the capital region? Seems like most of the activity is in western and southern "upstate".

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bernd ny zone5

I am south of Saratoga Springs in zone 5a. You are probably in zone 4 and butterfly bush would freeze to the ground, but will resprout. Otherwise your other selections are appropriate. I have many hostas, and there is a hosta society you could join, see, which is not updated yet for 2011.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Actually, it's not the zone I'm concerned about, having gardened here for the past 8 years, it's the critters in this new area. Just curious if what I want to plant will be safe from them without drastic measures.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 7:25PM
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The only problems I've ever had with squirrels, chipmunks, and plants are bulbs. A chipmunk dug up and ate some lily bulbs I planted. A friends tells me the squirrels eat her crocus flowers but I've never had that happen to mine.

Deer and woodchucks are another (frustrating) story.

Enjoy your new digs!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 6:25PM
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kitcatclub(z5 NY)

I'm in Halfmoon and the only trouble I've had with varmints was with the voles - they eat everything! Squirrels and chipmunks only seem to move things around, especially little spring bulbs like crocus and chionodoxa. Voles are evil, though - they eat the roots off any plant they encounter and love tulip bulbs. I have no idea how to get rid of them but I'm considering high explosives this year, LOL!

Best of luck in your new home - Saratoga is a wonderful place to live!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:47PM
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Hi kitcat - I hear you - Lost some hostas to voles in our other house in western Saratoga. Tulips that were here are about to bloom :-) I'm going to plant one of each of what I want and see how it pans out. Wish me luck!!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:44PM
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bernd ny zone5

I have a lot of hostas, perennials and dwarf conifers on my 1/2 acre. Mice and voles I take care of by placing poison pellets into their holes, that seems to work, only saw 2 holes this spring yet. It all depends on your local conditions, and you have to keep after the critters.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:15PM
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kitcatclub(z5 NY)

I hear you about the hostas! I started collecting dwarf and miniture hostas one year and the little buggers cleaned me out that winter. I'm going to try planting them with crushed oyster shells and see if that works better.

I'm also going to try trapping them with mouse traps, too. I would use poison but we have several stray cats in the area and I'd hate to poison them by mistake - I like them more than I hate the varmints!

WTR - do you have any interest in daylilies? Nothing eats them and they're fairly low maintenance. There is a daylily farm out in Buskirk - Melanie Mason's Longlesson Farm - and she has about an acre and a half of daylilies for sale. It's spectacular in late June and July! I go every year and usually come home with too many.

In fact, I could donate a few to your gardening cause if you're interested. I'm renovating some old beds this year and a lot of the DLs need to be divided.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 8:37AM
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bernd ny zone5

kitcat, I place the pellets deep into the holes and then cover holes with bark of leaves to see if the holes are still active. No problem here with squirrels or neighbor's cats and the pellets, all survive.
Studies at universities have shown that traps will not be sufficient against large infestations of voles, because they will multiply faster than you can trap them. You must poison them then. bernd

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 10:44AM
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kitcatclub(z5 NY)

Thanks for the info, Bernd - I'll look into it. The critters chewed the heck out of my Siberian iris, too!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Kitcat - My planting area isn't very large, but I'd love some daylillies - Where are you located?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 7:50PM
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kitcatclub(z5 NY)

Sorry it took me a while to respond! I wasn't around a computer this weekend! I'm down in the town of Halfmoon, right across the river. You can email me at moonsrainbow at aol dot com. I'd be happy to share!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:12PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Of all the plants you mentioned in your original post the only plant I ever lost were my native columbines this winter. Don't know what ate them but they ate everything right down below the ground. They are just now starting to come back from whatever part of the root is left.

Voles ate every rhizome of my Louisiana copper iris in one section this year too and they started on the new growth of my tall garden phlox but they didn't bother my Silene virginica, Coral Bells, Penstemon, or Agastaches. It may be too cold for Agastache in Saratoga They will go after tulip bulbs too.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 2:54PM
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Here is the result of a day's worth of backbreaking work but well worth it. So far so good, except staying on top of the brutal heat has been a chore, but it has paid off :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Newly planted perennials

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 7:18AM
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bernd ny zone5

Is this the south side of your home, and did you mix in some hostas? I live just south of you in Clifton Park, zone 5a, and notice that any of my hostas can only withstand two hours of direct noon- afternoon sun, inspite of watering regularly every few days. Leaves will start to burn. But your landscape looks great.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:19PM
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Nice to hear there are more of us up here :-)

It is the southwest side and the hostas were taken from a shady spot in the back, divided and put there. They did burn but I'm going to leave them there until next year to see if once they are established, they will be OK. If not, I'll move them then.

I have several more that I've moved to the northwest side. They were taken out to make way for a new shed.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 3:54AM
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