Rocks In My Head...(and around my tomatoes).

eban(ZONE 10 (Los Angeles))April 19, 2013

(Note: I tried searching for this sort of information, but I could not find anything like it.)

Hi...I have had a problem with skunks digging up my tomato plants...I have been trying to find an inexpensive/free solution and I think I have found one - but I hope I am not digging myself deeper in a hole (so to speak)...

After trying sticking sticks in the soil (which they dug around) chicken wire attached to sticks (which they managed to pull/dig out) and a slurry of coffee grounds/vegetable/fruits leavings as a mulch-like covering (hoping the smell would confuse them - it didn't), I put down rocks as a barrier. I left about a 2" - 3" radius around each stem (see image).

This seems to have succeeded in thwarting them.

My question: Could the rocks have any deleterious effect on the soil/plants? (Does the soil need air/light?) I am aware of compaction issues, so I put the rocks down gently - I know over time, the weight of the rocks may lead to some compaction, but hopefully my soil will be okay - it is riverbed-ish - somewhat rock/sandy/clay, plus my amendments...)

So far, I have not noticed anything, but it has only been about a week.

Thanks in advance for any information/tips.

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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Man I though a fence is hard enough to install, let alone hundreds of pounds of rocks! Hell man, I moved about ten time the amount of rocks you have in the pictures and I don't know what to do with them.. Feel free to take em!

The rocks should be fine.. But just get real t post and put up that chicken fence properly! If they still dig that lay chicken wire on the ground right by the fence, that should stop em! Skunks huh? Skunks stink

Joe

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 12:21AM
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eban(ZONE 10 (Los Angeles))

Thanks, Joe!

(Given that it seems you are in Ohio, that would be a bit of a trip to get more rocks...I can always get them from the L. A. River.)

The problem with anything sizable or deep post (fence-wise) is that I only have a 16" of swath of space to work with (with the house foundation intruding under the soil on one side), so nothing large or deep will work. (I have included another image of a different plant...)

Has anyone out there specifically tried a rock barrier?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 5:54AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

the only issue I would think of might be heat later on. The rocks will get hot and might make your plants too hot.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 6:21PM
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Raw_Nature(5 OH)

Check this out

Here is a link that might be useful: How to deal with skunks

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:39PM
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eban(ZONE 10 (Los Angeles))

Thanks, Sandy...I will keep an eye on that...

Thanks, Joe...(I actually came across that earlier...my neighbor has tried capsaicin repellant and had only very limited success with it on the initial placement of it - later they came back.)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:56PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

My sister and also my friend have had success in trapping skunks in live traps. You have to throw a blanket over the trap to carry it off and then they don't spray you, you put the blanket over you when you're walking up to the trap and then shrug it off of you and onto the trap. Then you open the door without letting it see you and cover yourself up with the blanket again so,it doesn't see you while you're releasing it far away from your house. It works! Good luck...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:29PM
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