Dahlias forum→How do you "vole proof" your tubers?

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Name: Dave
(Zone 6a)
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BlueRidge
Dec 21, 2020 6:58 AM CST
We love our dahlias, but so do the voles. Sad
Living in the country, we have come to accept that our gardens are shared with wildlife. Sharing is fine, but the voles aren't playing fair. They have decimated our coneflowers, and this year we have had losses to many precious dahlias as well.
Just curious if you folks have any methods you'd like to share on protecting your dahlias.
Thanks in advance!
Dave
Name: Melissa
Omaha, NE (Zone 5b)
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Melissamaeday
Dec 21, 2020 12:31 PM CST
Hi Dave!
Sorry to hear about your issues with mischievous little voles. I have heard of people (battling voles, moles, and gophers) planting their tubers in small plastic pots, then submerging them in the ground. I think Sue mentioned 'garden baskets' in her garden, too.

I don't currently have this issue, but I did test out the plastic pot method in my garden this year. I saved the pots that come from annual/perennial garden center purchases, started the tubers on my back patio, then used them as replacements for spots in my garden. They were actually easier to dig in the Fall, and some of the pots appear to be reusable again next year. Hope that helps!
Name: Dave
(Zone 6a)
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BlueRidge
Dec 21, 2020 7:48 PM CST
Thanks Melissa,
I had seen that as a possible deterrent, but I worry about the clump being constrained by the pot. I have a LOT of one and two gallon pots that I could use, but I think a 3-gallon or larger might be best given the amount of space these plants would require.
I'll try a test bed with the larger pots I have on hand, and will let you know how it goes next year.
Thanks for your reply Melissa!
Thank You!
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
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Calif_Sue
Dec 24, 2020 10:06 AM CST

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My husband built some raised beds for my incoming tubers, lined at the bottom with hardware cloth. I had also planned to put a few in larger pots I already have that are lowered part way into the ground and only plant the shorter varieties in them. For ones I want to add the other garden beds, I plan to use gopher cages. I only have the cheaper thinner ones that rot within years, thus my loss of all my lilies, a few roses and a dahlia that stayed in the ground for 6 years before the gophers got the tubers.
So I think I will make some based on these instructions I just found on the local dahlia society website.
https://sfdahlias.org/tinnees-...
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Name: Dave
(Zone 6a)
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BlueRidge
Dec 26, 2020 6:20 AM CST
Calif_Sue said:My husband built some raised beds for my incoming tubers, lined at the bottom with hardware cloth. I had also planned to put a few in larger pots I already have that are lowered part way into the ground and only plant the shorter varieties in them. For ones I want to add the other garden beds, I plan to use gopher cages. I only have the cheaper thinner ones that rot within years, thus my loss of all my lilies, a few roses and a dahlia that stayed in the ground for 6 years before the gophers got the tubers.
So I think I will make some based on these instructions I just found on the local dahlia society website.
https://sfdahlias.org/tinnees-...


Sincere thanks Sue, the article you referenced was helpful. I plan to make some raised beds with hardware cloth on the bottom. Did you find that worked as well as the cages? I appreciate your reply and the link!
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Houseplants Foliage Fan Keeper of Poultry Dog Lover Birds Hummingbirder
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Calif_Sue
Dec 26, 2020 9:37 AM CST

Plants Admin

The raised beds were just built last month so my spring orders will go into them. The same hardware cloth was used as the article mentioned for the cages.
My gardening Blog!
Handmade quilts, face masks, new & vintage fabrics in my Etsy store. Summer Song Cottage
Instagram Sewing posts

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