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Forum > Miscellaneous > Garden Paranoia ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Garden Paranoia
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drsue
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drsue
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Yukon Territory USA
Member since 11/11/03
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Date: 7/2/05 2:16 PM

Has anyone else had this garden problem?

something is digging up my newly planted plants. This only happens with the really small sized pots, like the 4 inchers. I planted about 3 of the same variety and a few days later one was pulled up and moved over. I replanted it and a week later, THE SAME PLANT was pulled up and moved over. I went around the garden and notice the same thing. It's got to be an animal of some kind. I have a pretty big and gated yard so I don't think it a person trying to play a trick on me. this senario has happend over 5 times, alway on the same set of plants.

I live near an undeveloped park and I don't have any pets to chase the wild life away. Any ideas as to what is doing this?

Plantwizard
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Plantwizard
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Oregon USA
Member since 2/14/03
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Date: 7/2/05 2:23 PM

Squirrels! Those little buggers wreck havoc in my garden. They dig up plants-particularly in pots-and I've even caught them eating-yes, eating-my lilies. Other possibilities are rats and racoons but my money's on the squirrels.

We call them bushy tailed rats-which when you think about it is what they are.

Jan

Jules/Vancouver BC
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Jules/Vancouver BC
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British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 7/2/05 2:28 PM

I'd have to agree - it's most likely squirrels.

Anytime they see freshly turned earth they think "hey, I bet a squirrel hid food there - maybe it was me!".

We found that the best way to stop that behaviour (OK, to slow it down) was to feed them. If they have a ready supply of squirrel nibbles in a convenient spot, they don't get the urge as much to dig up the stuff you've just planted.

I hear the White House does it too...*grin*

We also discovered that squirrels who do not have to spend every waking minute looking for food develop their little brains faster. Seriously. Our second generation of squirrels were incredibly smart and were quite 'trainable'. The 3rd generation were amazingly athletic and adventurous - they'd do gymnastics on the thinnest branches!

The squirrels in this house aren't as intellectually developed yet - we have to start over from scratch with them...and with the birds too.

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what if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about?

sosoatsewing
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sosoatsewing
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Ohio USA
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In reply to drsue


Date: 7/2/05 2:39 PM

Sue,
My bets on the squirrel's too! Though here where I live it's moles that uproot most of my things when they are tunneling. Between the two, I spend alot of time replanting uprooted plants.

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Brother CE-500PRW, Singer 347,Singer 413, Singer 66, Singer 404, Singer 4622, Electrogrand,
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bunz
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bunz
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Virginia USA
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Date: 7/2/05 2:45 PM

First guess is squirrels, they get into everything and don't necessarily eat it -- rip it up and then drop it.

What kind of plant is it? Deer usually nibble and so do rabbits. In dire cases (like when I want the plant to actually make it ), I make a little wire cage or stick a soda bottle (ends cut out) over it into the soil.

HTH,
Nina

drsue
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drsue
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Yukon Territory USA
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Date: 7/2/05 2:55 PM

The weird thing is that the plants seem to be pulled up as opposed to dug up. One mexican sage, bless it's drought tolerant heart, held on by one root! This has happened to a variety of plant species in my yard. Someone at a party said a friend put up a hidden camera and saw a bird doing this!

Irene

Irene  Friend of PR
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California USA
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Date: 7/2/05 3:59 PM

Gee, Susan, it sounds like bird behavior to me, too . . . but the plants are rather big. Do you have a heron, eagle, falcon, or some other big bird that nests in that particular area?

When I first moved into my house, I planted some sweet peas directly into the ground. Before that, I had always started them indoors. They readily sprung up, but when they were about 2-inches high (just green shoots poking up from the ground), I found them all lying in a neat row. They had been plucked (not dug) from the ground. Some years later, a friend's dad showed me his spring garden. He was just removing wood-and-wire troughs that he used to over seedlings until they developed hefty leaves. He said that they protected new shoots from birds.

The squirrels in my yard dig golf-ball-sized holes all over the place, either planting or trying to retrieve nuts. They love to dig around the roots of plants and in my pots, but they have never lifted and moved something.

You might want to make the plants harder to pluck by surrounding them with stakes while they get established.

Patti-Jo

Patti-Jo
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Date: 7/2/05 4:05 PM

Reading this, I remembered my experience with squirrels. A new couple had just bought the condo next to mine. Soon after, I noticed this giant pile of peanut shells on my deck when I got home from work. Cleaned it up, but the next day, another giant pile. This went on for a few weeks, until I finally met the neighbors. She was feeding the squirrels, (and we have plenty) but they preferred to dine alfresco on my deck.

So, be sure to give them completely edible snacks

Peggy L
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Peggy L  Friend of PR
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Tennessee USA
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Date: 7/2/05 4:18 PM

We've got that too but the culprits are armadillos and a porcupine! Armadillos root around and dig up newly planted items. I had a little scare with the porcupine a couple of weeks ago - I noticed something had dug up my $20 water lily and went to readjust. As I knelt down I noticed an animal beside me - I rapidly retreated!!! It was a porcupine - keeps returning and the water lily's are about gone. Pretty expensive salad for a critter so I don't think I will replace. I'm glad I got a picture of one blooming.

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BjP
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BjP
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Illinois USA
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Date: 7/2/05 4:48 PM

I dunno.....but moles are our problem. You'd know it if you had those, tho.....they leave nice little earthy mounded trails all over the yard. And, once you get one, you've got it for a couple of years! We had one heck of a time with one until my DH finally caught it, and I was amazed at just how small it was for all the mess it made.

Bunnies eat everything new in our yard. They sure are cute, except they eat all the young sprouting stuff if not protected. I have never ever seen a bird do plant damage in our yard, but I'll believe you guys that they do. We also have had possums do some plant damage, but mostly they are just creepy and ugly. I know there's a reason for every animal in God's kingdom, but he/she must have been taking a break when those dern things were being created! Ugh.
-- Edited on 7/2/05 5:51 PM --

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Bev

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