from the forum: ‘somebody ate my plant’ tales

I LOVE THE FORUM POSTS THAT START with “somebody ate my…” (Actually, I hate these stories, but feel better knowing that I am not alone in the Case of the Disappearing Crop.) This week in the Urgent Garden Question Forum, there was one I really loved: from member NYGardeningGal who titled her question,“Somebody Ate My Plant From Underneath the Ground?” Oh, dear. Ever happen to you? Got any advice for someone whose delphinium disappeared down a hole? Share it, or just come ask your own question.

  1. Lisabeth Davis says:

    I was standing in the garden watching a hosta blow in the wind when it just disappeared in front of my eyes. I knew this was a pocket gopher, called out my husband who came with his .577 (an elephant gun) and blew a foot wide hole in the garden. Of course, the gopher was long gone but it gave me some satisfaction! Here in the west, we are plagued with pocket gophers. In my city walled garden, I used to put used cat litter in their holes outside the wall – couldn’t use it inside because the dogs consider that ‘treats’ – ugh! Here in the country where I live now, we have a Walker coonhound who seems dedicated to deafening them – she will circle a hole and ‘yell’ down in for hours. Occasionally I see one I can shoot but mostly we just ignore them, put hardware cloth (1/4″ mesh wire) in the bottom of raised beds or line tree holes with chicken wire. It works for a while but the gophers were here before us and will be here after we are extinct.

  2. ellen rocco says:

    Hmmm, hardware cloth… Someone (I assume our resident woodchuck and/or her three babies) ate our oriental lily buds JUST as they we about to open!!! I was already planning to transplant them this fall and came up with the idea of making chicken wire “boxes” to place over them (kind of a version of a tomato cage) when I realized that wouldn’t stop the woodchucks from burrowing. What do you think of the lining the planting hole with the hardware cloth?

  3. kate braverman says:

    Here in the northeast I find myself thinking “didn’t I plant pinks here? Where are they?” It’s all that underground wildlife like VOLES (read Mary Oliver’s beautiful poem about a vole and you might feel a little better about them) and MOLES. As for shooting them, you’d need a battalion of sharp shooters to keep up with them. I find the easiest thing is to figure out what they like and just not plant it.
    Good luck, K.B.

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