The Q&A Archives: Woodchucks And Flowers

Question: Do you know of flowers or plants that woodchucks won't eat? They seem to avoid dusty miller and snapdragons, anything else that you know, before I plan my garden this summer?

Answer: Although extensive lists of "deer-resistant" plants have been compiled, I haven't found such a list for woodchucks. They're so wiley, I wouldn't be so sure they actually dislike the flowers you mention, or just favor your others over them. If you planted your garden with just those three plants, they may decide they like them after all!

Some gardeners have put this information to use with great success. They plant a separate bed of the woodchuck's favorite foods near their den and far from the garden, so the critter won't stray far to find food. There are many home remedies that work with various success, but the only sure-fire way to keep them away from your prized plants is with a fence. To build a woodchuck fence, use strong but bendable mesh fencing and metal posts. Build a fence that stands 3 feet tall, with the following modifications to increase its effectiveness: If possible, use a 6-foot wide mesh, and bend 12 to 18" outward slightly at the bottom, then bury this in the soil. This will prevent him trying to dig under the fence. Attach the above-ground portion to the stakes to a height of about 3", then let the remainer--1 1/2 - 2 feet--extend above the posts and bend it outward as well. When the woodchuck attempts to climb over it, he'll find himself upside down and just flop back because he's so heavy! Best of luck!

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