Saturday, June 11, 2011

Woodchuck prevention program

I looked it up and last year  the first raid by woodchucks on my garden was June 21, 2010.  So if the vermin go by their calenders, i expect them to send a reconnaissance party after my cabbages within the next two weeks.  This means i have about 10 days to install  a few miles of razor wire, electric cabling and landmines.

I wish.

Most likely all i will be able to do is lay out some chicken wire and top it with a strand of electric fence. I am hoping that i can scare them off a bit by depositing the dog's solid waste just on the other side of the fence.  We have been doing that all spring. Hopefully the 'chucks will notice it there and assume the dog can reach that spot and it will keep them away.  I may let the dog loose on one just to solidify the impression that dog doo + real dog = danger.

I planned to grow a lot of kale this year since it was the only thing that wasn't touched last year, but the poor germination in the direct seeded areas kind of kicked that plan.  I might start some seeds anyway.  I fully expect to lose half my cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower to the woodchucks this year. Might not be a bad idea to have something on hand to replace what will be lost.

So that is the plan for today during Little Miss Cute's naptime.

I'll also bait the Havahart trap and keep it baited, refreshing the bait every third day.  Hopefully i can trap them before they destroy my plants.

If i get raided real bad this year i will have to reconsider growing certain crops at all.  I just might have to give up on broccoli and cabbage.  Concentrating on tomatoes, radishes, kale, asparagus, cucumbers and maybe beans.  But woodchucks like them too,  i have seen them mow down rows of bean sprouts in my parents' garden.
One year a woodchuck did it to my parents twice.  They planted, the beans sprouted and got eaten by a woodchuck. They replanted and it happened again.  So they tried a third time and my dad spent the day lying in wait for the culprit.  They live rural and can use guns on their property.
When mom drove into the driveway that evening after errands, dad had the woodchuck laid out in the middle of the driveway for my mom to see.  My mom is also an animal lover, but i know she cheered about the demise of that one!

Good thing is that if i do have to quit some crops, cabbage is cheap....but broccoli and especially cauliflower is not. But i can weigh the odds on the rest of what i can grow.   Maybe i'll only grow the more expensive stuff and really guard it.

Meanwhile, i'll just keep praying the garden gets left alone this year.


Mal's Allotment said...

Wow PB, that is a real problem.

Is there a noise they don't like and you could set up a couple strategically placed speakers? (It might drive the dog wild though) I believe they do this for mice and rats indoors, but outdoors might be a bit more of a challenge.

Just an idea.

icebear said...

Our nice neighbors have one of those noisemakers under their house. The woodchucks nest under it, so i guess that means it won't work on them, lol. But it does work on me. I have tinnitus and the combination drives me fruity.
Boy i hope i can find a way that works!

Lexa said...

Wow. What a problem to have. I am so very lucky that we do not have woodchucks in Oregon. What a nightmare. The only two critters that I have to fight to keep out of the garden are deer and brush bunnies. Much easier than Woodchucks, from the sound of things.Good luck and I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

icebear said...

Thanks! I can use all the help i can get :o)