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Brookline, NH (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Bee Lover Region: New Hampshire Hostas Tomato Heads
Jul 1, 2016 5:27 PM CST
Any have ideas what to do about voles in the vegetable garden? We have drip irrigation under black plastic.... the voles are having a party under the plastic... My pole beans and cucumber plants have been eaten within days of sprouting; some not sprouting at all.... my squash hasn't sprouted at all; I'm finding seeds pushed up and sitting on top of the soil and looks like the lil buggers ate the other 3 seeds in the hill. ugh I want to stay organic. I've sprayed with castor oil to no avail.
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Jul 1, 2016 7:06 PM CST
Not very organic, but then I am a traditional grower. The only thing that I have found that works under your conditions are the gopher gassers. Of course you have to find thier runs which can be quite difficult under plastic. Castor beans placed in their runs or tunnels will slow them down. Note there are several species of voles, some work almst completely under ground while other will have surface runs. traps will work on those like meadow voles which travel a lot on the surface.
Brookline, NH (Zone 5a)
Daylilies Bee Lover Region: New Hampshire Hostas Tomato Heads
Jul 4, 2016 8:48 PM CST
Thanks Farmerdill; I believe I have meadow voles. When I lift up the landscape fabric, I can see the 'tunnel'..... right along the top of the soil. Love your profile photo with the hand push cultivator - love manual power tools... Smiling
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Jul 6, 2016 12:09 PM CST
Re: voles eating the new sprouted seeds....
I have that issue too.
To address that specific issue, I collect gallon nursery pots. Start my vegetable seeds in pots and after they've got a number of true leaves, then set them out... More close together than I would prefer... Voles still eat the roots of the plants, kill the beans and watermelons.... So I plant a lot of them, and keep planting... When the nursery pots are empty... I refil with soil and go again.

I have a herd of cats, that helps some...

I can't seem to find any castor bean seed anywhere this year...
Almost seems like an antiterrorism thing... Stop making castor beans available....
Name: Cayuga
Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Jul 31, 2016 9:34 AM CST
I was bothered by voles in my community garden plot, so I pulled up the carpeting I was using to cover the paths. Sure enough, all kinds of vole trails underneath. I have eliminated the carpeting & am just dealing with weeding those paths. I also am not using a provides excellent vole habitat. Unfortunately this year, with the drought we are having, my plants could sorely use a mulch.

The other suggestion I have is to dig a vole trench: 12" wide, 12" deep around your garden. The voles don't like to cross it for fear of predators. My garden is only 22X22 feet, so it is possible for me to dig this trench. So far, my trnch is only 6" deep, but it seems to be working. Voles seem to have relocated to the next gardener's plot!

Others in the Community Garden swear by stuffing sticks of gum down the vole holes. They say the fvoles eat them & then die.

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