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smdrinkard
Dec 16, 2017 3:31 PM CST
The squirrels keep digging up my hens and chicks and other succulents. Anyone else have that problem or know of a solution?
I keep pebbles around the plants hoping they won't dig. No luck.
I live in Colorado near Boulder.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Dec 16, 2017 3:40 PM CST
Are your plants in pots or in the ground?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Dec 16, 2017 3:46 PM CST
I've had the same problems. I have had to make wooden frames covered with hardware cloth to put over my semps whether they are in pots or in the ground. It's a big pain, and very unsightly, but it seems to be the only way to keep the squirrels and rabbits out of them. They would dig them up, and eat some of them. Birds were also bothering them. I really envy those of you who can have pretty semp beds!
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Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Dec 16, 2017 4:15 PM CST
My experience growing semps in NM included the problem of animals that were foraging in a very dry environment. Semps being succulents were great for animals looking for moisture. My solution was to place, away from buildings or trees, my flats of semps on top of thick plastic barrels (those used to ship olives) which the critters were unable to climb or jump to. I believed that if the animals can't see their target or get to it, then my plants were a little safer.

Now in OR, my flats of semps are on top of plastic crates which birds and chipmunks can see and climb into. I have started to use bird netting to cover the 8-10 flats located on my apt balcony. Sometimes a few pecks here and there or holes in the soil, but nothing like plants being yanked out of the potting soil
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Dec 16, 2017 4:54 PM CST
During the winter I had the problem of squirrels eating my semps, put plastic netting over the area, problem solved.
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Name: Melissa Hopper
St. Helens, Or (Zone 8a)
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MelissaHopper
Dec 16, 2017 7:43 PM CST
My semps are in pots.

I don't have a problem with squirrels digging up the mature semps. What they do is they steal sunflower seeds from the bird feeder and then dig around the the mature plants to bury the seed. The plants don't seem to mind but then the seeds germinate and I have little tiny sunflowers growing in my pots and have to pull them out.

I did have a problem with them digging up new plants that I had just started to so did two things. I moved the bird feeder far away from my plants and I had husband make some frames covered in hardware cloth to put over them.

I have had the slugs eat my semps but never the squirrels or birds. But then we have a lot of moisture here and I also have water features so there is plenty of water available to wild critters.

Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
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ge1836
Jan 7, 2018 1:34 PM CST
Hello: new to this forum after a few years. Plant managers post caught my eye.


"I've had the same problems. I have had to make wooden frames covered with hardware cloth to put over my semps whether they are in pots or in the ground. It's a big pain, and very unsightly, but it seems to be the only way to keep the squirrels and rabbits out of them. They would dig them up, and eat some of them. Birds were also bothering them. I really envy those of you who can have pretty semp beds!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!"

There is a less expensive succulent covering.
I buy screen door replacement mesh. It comes in a big roll and is flexible.
I also use it to line porous containers and to cover holes in the bottom.
I don't plant in the ground because rabbits and deer eat them.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jan 12, 2018 2:05 PM CST

Moderator

@smdrinkard

How are your planting doing? Have you figured out how to keep the critters for causing damage?
Hope you have.

I use the black bird netting, especially during the fall and winter. That seems to be when the squirrels and birds are trying to store food, or find it before spring arrives. I put in wooden stakes and drape the netting over them to cover the beds. It's easy to remove while working in the beds. I remove it once the plantings are established.
In your case it the netting might be a permanent thing. In your area I imagine the critters look upon the succulents as a year round buffet. Sad

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