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Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 8, 11 at 22:00

I built some beds in the side yard using lasagna layers. Most of it is not planted yet (but will be soon) and the layers are nice and diggable.

The other morning, we found holes and mounds of soil with one plant almost dug up, and dirt flung everywhere.

We don't have a dog, but this NEVER happened when we did. It's behind a locked fence, so it's not a person. It's some critter (not a mole, thank goodness), possibly a skunk or cat, who's probably looking for worms.

Does anyone know of a non-toxic deterrent to discourage this digging?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

Sounds like oppossums.
I use concrete reinforcing wire laid over my raised beds. No more opposums, skunks, raccoons, or cats.
Renee


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

Ha ha I was going to say we could eliminate hosenemesis as a suspect based on her earlier post about not feeling like digging.
Yeah though, I put flat sheets of quarter inch hardware cloth over my raised beds when they're empty to keep cats out (cat poop, yuck!). Sounds like you have racoons or possums. Both of these suckers have hands, but weighted down hardware cloth or concrete reinforcing wire would probably foil them.


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

Ditto for chicken wire or plastic netting, laid flat on soil surface. Have used both to deter varmits from digging for worms and destroying my garden.


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

"I was going to say we could eliminate hosenemesis as a suspect based on her earlier post about not feeling like digging."

Very funny, deeproots.

My chickens scratched out the violas I finally managed to plant the other day. Sigh.

Renee


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

Not sure why opossums always get the blame in these nocturnal digging threads, I don't believe it's true. Skunks, racoons, cats, or squirrels are more likely culprits. Skunks in particular equate recently dug soil with grub hunting ground and will ravage innocent bystander seedlings in their search for sub-surface food.

Question: I think opossums are digging holes in my roof or yard.

Answer: The damage is not likely to be caused by opossums. Opossums have soft, delicate hands with nails that are easily ripped out. They are not capable of doing a lot of digging. Other animals are more likely to be causing the damage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Oppossum FAQs


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 10, 11 at 15:54

Here it is raccoons that dig big gouges in the soil. Cats make a more surface indentation and they like the soil very dry, and the purpose is for doing their business. Raccons are looking for something.


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

I agree that it is probably raccoons or skunks. Unfortunately, you have built an area that screams "dig here for grubs" to them - sort of like putting up a neon sign that says "Diner"! We had the same problem with a new lawn we put in - I also think they were attracted by the smell of the fertilizer. In our neighborhood raccoons are famous for even rolling back newly planted turf! We put down chicken wire over our newly seeded lawn, the grass grew up through it and you couldn't see it, but no more digging happened. Good Luck!

Jackie


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RE: Aaggggghhhhh! What's digging in my garden?

  • Posted by jenn SoCal 9/19 (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 16, 11 at 10:52

Thank you for your suggestions. We have seen skunks and racoons in the neighborhood; not recently but we know they're around and come out at night.

Would burlap work? I'm thinking of laying burlap on the bed, cutting a whole for each plant, and covering with mulch.


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