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This thread is in reply to a blog post by Seedfork entitled "@#$%&*!!!! ".
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 25, 2014 11:10 AM CST
Do you have raccoons in your area perchance? Our vege garden has been periodically raided by these guys digging for grubs. I noticed that the midnight visits are more frequent when we have recently tilled the soil or have heavily composted. I identified our visitors by the scat left behind (insult to injury) and I am wondering if that may account for your damage? It looks so similar and would explain the ingress/egress trick.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 25, 2014 11:24 AM CST
I have looked for footprints, but this bog area is all built up organic matter and just to rough to see any, I have looked for scat all over and can't find any sign either. I am beginning to think it is more like raccoons because normally the armadillos do a much more destructive job of digging, and I don't think they could get under the netting with out leaving a visible entry. The area is backed by a field and woods area, so it is very possible it could be raccoons or any of a number of critters. I did recently find some scat in one of my flower beds inside my fence I did not recognize and some similar (light duty digging) I took a picture don't know how well you can see it, let me know what you think.
Thumb of 2014-07-25/Seedfork/1cada5
Thumb of 2014-07-25/Seedfork/786047
I was not clear about the location, the fenced in area where the scat was found was inside my chain link fence, not the deer fencing around the newly planted daylilies, about a couple of hundred feet away I would estimate.
[Last edited by Seedfork - Jul 25, 2014 11:27 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #666568 (2)
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 25, 2014 11:36 AM CST
It looks like it could be raccoon to me. Have you seen this page?

http://octrackers.com/analyzingtheraccoonscat.htm

There is a photo midway down that shows "looser" scat with a lot of berries in it. Do you want to take a peek at the photo and see if it is the same thing that you have there?
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 25, 2014 11:37 AM CST
BTW, I agree with your @#$%&*!!!! sentiment. It is exactly how I feel when I see this type of damage.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 25, 2014 11:42 AM CST
Yes there are a couple of photos there that look very similar . Great, now I need to look up what to bait my trap with for raccoons. Sadly, won't be able to do it for a week or so when I will be able to monitor the trap on a daily basis. Thank You!
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Jul 25, 2014 11:46 AM CST
A small can of the cheapest, smelliest cat food has always worked well for me. Good luck.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
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gardengus
Jul 25, 2014 7:30 PM CST
I do not know how big the flower bed is but I have good luck with pepper , keeping the raccoons out of my planted pots. I am a release sight for rehab animals and have moms with babies every spring getting into all kinds of stuff.
I buy the large cheep stuff at the dollar store 99cents , does not matter red or black , the pepper bothers their sensitive noses and they leave things alone , It normally only takes a couple days to a week of pepper
Needs to be reapplied after a rain
I have no idea if it works on armadillos , don't have them here , but it also works on squirrels
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 25, 2014 9:30 PM CST
Thanks, I was just reminded that Milorganite might also work and it will fertilize the plants at the same time, and it is supposed to work for Armadillos also.
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
Organic Gardener Keeps Goats Garden Photography Cottage Gardener Composter Houseplants
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gardengus
Jul 26, 2014 4:59 AM CST
Thumbs up
good luck
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Jul 31, 2014 5:58 AM CST
That scat doesn't look like raccoon to me, I don't know what armadilloes "do" but it sort of looks like possum. So I'd think it might be either possum or armadillo?

I have had similar trouble only with my hens getting in beds and scratching out plants. I've found one sure fire way to stop this: CHICKEN WIRE...laid flat on the ground. If you use old wire, that's already started to rust, it vanishes as soon as you lay it down and toss some mulch over it. Even new wire will "mellow" within a few months and you wont' see. Just lay it down while the plants are dormant and peg it to the ground. I usually use bent wire pieces to hold it down, then weight down here and there with small rocks. the plants grow up through it without any problems. The only thing is you need to keep after weeds so they don't get too big to pull through the wire mesh...that shouldn't be a problem for you, Seedfork, because I know you're a good gardener/weeder (unlike me!).

Sometimes you can't fight whatever nature throws at you, you just have to outsmart it.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jul 31, 2014 7:05 AM CST
We live surrounded by state forest on two sides, so we've also dealt with this repeatedly over the years. We've tried just about everything to reduce damage but the best thing we've found to do is to just count on it to happen. By this I mean, if they're attracted to a nice loose bed that's full of compost (and grubs and worms -food), either start new beds plenty early to allow them time to forage in it first, before plants are added-

Or try our most dependable method; don't easily give them what they want.
Don't loosen the area or add amendments until after the new plants are settled in. When we transplant perennials here, we now just insert the shovel (or a fork is even better) to a good depth for the plant, rock it back and forth a bit to open it a little, then kneel down to scoop soil away from the inside of the hole -leaving the top part undisturbed as much as possible. Add a bit of compost and mix it in, set in the plant, and then press the sides of the hole back together. Water it in with an open hose or bucket, but try to do this well before sunset -watered areas can be an attractant as well. Clean up any scattered soil so that your area looks just about the same as it did before -on their next trip through your gardens the critters probably won't even notice a disturbance.

This seems to foil the critters since they don't have what they want -easy digging. In a couple of weeks or so, apply compost or mulch around the base of the plant. By doing this, any digging should only be in the compost layer (away from plant roots), but the nutrients will still filter down to enrich your soil.

Digging up an entire area really isn't necessary for our new plants; plus, it's hard work that we're doing (just) for the benefit of our resident foragers.

Weeding out the area and mulching it to give a finished look can be done a bit at a time at a later date. The less "new" our resident troublemakers perceive at one time -the less interest they'll likely have in it.

Good luck, Seedfork, and best to you! Smiling
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jul 31, 2014 7:28 AM CST
For your current area, you might try replanting using planting pockets of wood or rocks. http://garden.org/ideas/view/chelle/1313/Manage-Difficult-Pe...

Hope some of this information is helpful... Smiling
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
May 2, 2015 12:28 PM CST
Don't know if I missed your responses, but everything you say is right,I have found. I can't wait for my newly planted beds not to be so new and so soft and not to be easy diggings. The critters do a little digging in the older areas but only to a very limited extent so far. The new beds being made up almost entirely of compost and mulch are loaded with earthworms and the critters are loving it. I have been learning through experience all the things you mention.
[Last edited by Seedfork - May 2, 2015 1:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
May 2, 2015 1:22 PM CST
I finally got so tired of it that I started forcing my plants to grow up through a pattern of laid out branches under the mulch, and up from under logs and rocks! That works for the beds, but planter pots are still running about 70/30. Not bad, but still. Whistling

I do not have a raccoon nursery in my plant house this year...(thankfully); they're in the barn instead. Glare
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


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