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Voles, lilies and permtill

Posted by TamaraVa z7bVa (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 26, 05 at 15:47

Hi, I have recently discovered voles in my lily garden and was wondering if anyone has tried a barrier of permatill or chicken grit? I was even thinking if a barrier of hardware cloth around that mixture. Any experience would be appreciated. Tamara

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Voles, lilies and permtill

Voles destroyed all of my lilies the first year I moved here. Since then I've put most of my bulbs in various cages, such as cheap plastic mesh bins from the Dollar store or plastic coated metal garbage bins (the best!), also from the Dollar store. At first I tried making the cages from half inch hardware cloth but it's time-consuming and I got numerous scratches. The plastic has lasted years but eventually deteriorates, about the time the lilies should be dug up and replanted. Of course, holes need to be drilled in any solid-bottomed container. I've never found Permatil here in the West and considered using decorative volcanic rock but haven't yet. Brent and Becky Heath expanded on the bulb frame idea and planted a raised mound using sharp gravel as the first layer to prevent voles from digging in, with sand and soil above it. I believe they also had another layer of gravel in the layer the bulbs are planted in. I have not had voles dig in from the top of the cages so perhaps the raised bed would work.

RE: Voles, lilies and permtill

That is a wonderful idea about the metal cages! And thanks for the tip from B&B because I was wondering about the top part.My voles have lots of tunnels in all my raised beds so I was thinking about topping off the bed with several inches of sharp grit around each lily. I also have to work on various perennials and roses. I am not looking forward to working with the hardware but these critters are everywhere! Thanks agin, Tamara

RE: Voles, lilies and permtill

I used a combo of wire cages and permatil(the brand namd volebloc and my own driveway gravel that looked very much the same) Some of the cages were open ended boxes 12"/side which I laborously cut out of 1/4" hardware cloth, 'sewed' the seams with fine wire and generally struggled with. I later began just using a length of hardward cloth fashioned into a tube 12" tall...the hole was dug, the wire placed, the permatil/gravel placed in the bottom 2-3" followed by soil/bulbs...the last 2-3" were top dressed with more permatil. No casualties in the lilies planted that way last year....the voles had eaten many of my lilies from the year before leading to the rescue effort...I hope this is helpful for you. sorry for the long post.

RE: Voles, lilies and permtill

Thanks ESWin, Your explaination was excellent. I am not looking forward to working with the hardware cloth but I realize that along with the permatill , it maybe the only thing to save my garden.Thankfully, under my raised beds our clay soil is pretty tough so their tunneling is shallow. Wish me luck! Tamara

RE: Voles, lilies and permtill

Good luck! The tubes were MUCH easier than the boxes... you can bend the final shape a bit to fit the hole you make it square, triangular or whatever...

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