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Wildlife is digging up my garden!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm trying my hand at gardening, with a satisfactory amount of success. My mom got me started with half a dozen plants she brought over from her garden, and I expanded on that. Haven't killed anything yet!! (knock on wood). I planted some hens and chicks along one side of our fence, and I'm having trouble with what I'm guessing are either raccoons or skunks digging them up at night... nothing else, just the hens and chicks. It's very frustrating! Every morning, I go down to check on my garden, and end up having to dig a little hole with my finger and "plug" a hen or chick back in.

Is there anything I can do to stop the carnage? I have them planted in regular soil (I know they're supposed to be planted in a rock garden or cactus pot, but I don't have either of those!)
post #2 of 13
No idea about what to keep the critters away, but I used to have hens and chicks. I had them planted in sand and they got huge (really huge!) and spread like crazy! (It was awesome!)
post #3 of 13
You can try putting fishing string or clear string around the plants, low enough so whatever is messing with your plants comes in contact.Animals are scared of something they can feel and not see it worked with my garden.
post #4 of 13
I am so not a gardener that I thought you had plastic hens and chicks like pink flamingos in your garden. I looked them up on the web. So, no, I can't offer any gardening advice.
post #5 of 13
We have armadillos around here that will root up the yard and garden. Are they that far north? If so, they're harmless, kind of cute, and make grunty pig noises. Peek out there with a flash light one night and see if you can catch the offender in the act - if it's just an armadillo you can put a little fence around it to keep it out of the garden, that would work with a skunk too.

Double checked - supposedly they're not that far north, but sightings of nine band armadillos are reported further north each year. So who knows. Another option may be a opossum.
post #6 of 13
Try putting mothballs around your plants. It works in my garden to keep bunnies and squirrels out.
post #7 of 13
I wouldn't do mothballs as the chemicals used to make them are toxic to wildlife.
If you are starting a garden in what was formerly lawn you might have grubs.
This is a bit early for critters to look for them but skunks and raccoons can sense where the grubs are and will dig into turf to find them. The damage is quite noticeable.
Can't really do anything about them digging unless you treat for grubs which is a whole nother ballgame!! You could have squirrels, chipmunks or gophers digging too.
(a good cat can help you out to control them!).
BTW my hens and chicks are in my gardens in regular (but a bit sandy) soil.
You could get some netting (bird netting) that most people use on fruit trees-available at most garden supply stores and drape that over the newly planted area.
Good luck.
post #8 of 13
I planted some hen and chicks in lava rocks in front of my house. I don't know what happened but all of them but one died. Good luck with yours.
post #9 of 13
My father swears by chicken wire - cover the plants getting attacked - or direct on the ground for things that havent sprouted yet.
post #10 of 13
if you are into really high-tech stuff, one of those motion sensor sprinklers would probably work
post #11 of 13
I've tried mothballs (trying to keep squirrels from eating my pumpkins); didn't work. I was watching a gardening show just yesterday about how to keep critters away from your plants. The gardener was using castor oil pellets that he broadcast around his yard, saying you didn't need to use much because they are very offensive to raccoon, groundhogs, etc. I would assume you could use castor oil around your plants with the same results. I know my Mom has used red pepper flakes around her plants.
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
I wouldn't do mothballs as the chemicals used to make them are toxic to wildlife.
Just want to add, they're toxic to people too. Handle with gloves and try to avoid putting them anywhere that the fumes would build up and you'd end up breathing a lot in.
post #13 of 13
A one-time neighbor of ours used to save his hair from the barbershop and scatter it around the perimeter of his garden -- apparently, animals think its some strange animal's shed fur, and they shy away from it. I don't know how well it works, but it's easy enough to try -- and the birds will love it for nests.
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