Is there an eco-friendly way to repel woodchucks?

Family Dinner by anoldent

In June, TheGardenLady filled two huge planters with flowers to decorate the deck for an upcoming party. I planted the thriller and filler plants in the urns and my spiller plant was the ornamental sweet potato vine. The planters looked pretty and the spiller plants happily spilled down the sides of the urns and started vining up the side of the deck. I was so pleased with the look.

I was pleased, that is, until the other day when I noticed that the leaves of one of the vines were completely missing. I wondered what could have eaten the leaves so completely from one urn but not on the vine in the other urn. I didn’t think slugs or snails could have eaten the entire leaves- I had never seen slugs or snails on the vines but had seen some of the leaves riddled with holes. This was different. Now there was not a leaf on one of the vines. Since it is fall, I wasn’t worried about losing the annual plants. But I was mighty curious to find out what animal was dining on my sweet potato vines.

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Liquid Fence, a great product to protect plants from deer and rabbits

Readers know that ThisGardenLady relies on a product called Liquid Fence to protect my plants from the deer and rabbits who either live on my property or visit frequently.    TheGardenLady does not get any money from telling people that I use this product. However, if I find a product that works for me, I want others to know about it.

But what happens if a product you love comes in a container that doesn’t work? If you bought Liquid Fence recently,  you might have been as frustrated as I recently was with the nozzle. The nozzle did not allow the Liquid Fence to spray onto the plants. Presently my garden looks beautiful because it is loaded with late summer blooming flowers, flowers that are delectable especially to deer. I sprayed it recently, so I know nothing will eat the plants now.   My concern was how long these flowers will last if I cannot spray them again soon.

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Protecting Plants from the Wildlife

Family Dinner by anoldent

Once again, this GardenLady has been asked how to protect plants from all the wildlife that visit gardens and think they are their personal supermarkets. Sometimes it seems to me that we, the humans, are in the cage while the animals roam around enjoying the bounty that we plant.

Mostly, we have to learn to live with a certain amount of damage.

One suggestion, of course, is that we can install a fence high enough to keep deer from jumping over and deep enough in the earth from allowing animals to dig under. Some people say that deer can jump over most fences under 9 feet.

But to prevent woodchucks from burrowing under the fence one needs a fence that goes into the earth at least one foot deep or the lower edge of the fence should be bent at an L-shaped angle leading outward and buried 1 to 2 inches below ground.  See here.  And of course, the above ground part of the fence should be such that the woodchucks or rabbits cannot crawl through.

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Battling Animals in the Garden – Part II

Baby Groundhog #1 by Chiot’s Run

Besides battling the deer in my garden (see last post), I have rabbits. They could have eaten some of my plants. I haven’t seen any rabbits on my property so far this spring, so that was why I had not blamed them for this early spring eating. Liquid Fence supposedly guards against both rabbits and deer. So I hope they won’t eat what I have sprayed.

Then I have squirrels who have not vacationed over the winter. They may be digging up some of those acorns they planted last fall or some of the bulbs I planted, like crocus bulbs.

Or is it the resident groundhog (Marmota monax) also called a woodchuck that lives on my property who is eating everything? (There is probably a family living with him) Since I am not a Jane Goodall type who can tell one groundhog from another to be able to name them, I cannot discern how many waddling groundhogs are out and about each day. To my eye it seems to work solo.

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Battling Animals in the Garden – Part I

snoopy baby deer by AlicePopkorn

I wrote in a recent TheGardenLady column about the deer seemingly decimating my plants. For example, the hemerocallis or day lily shoots that have emerged this spring have been shorn aImost down to the ground. The same thing has happened to the leaves of the tulips that are emerging from the ground. It looks like they were mowed. I am hoping that the eating of the leaves will not affect the flowers which have not yet emerged. So I have sprayed a lot of Liquid Fence on these pathetic stumps of plants hoping to prevent more eating damage. There is other evidence of chewed plants. I based this blame on the deer because I have seen what looked like deer tracks in the mud and deer scat otherwise known as poop all over the lawn and garden.

But am I correct that it was the deer that ate my plants? I have a variety of wild animals residing in my gardens, so the blame could be on numerous animals. On the one hand, I am still excited whenever I see a wild animal on my property. But on the other hand, I am really upset when I see my plants eaten. I had written in one column that gardening is like a battle- a judicious battle.

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Liquid Fence: A Good Deer and Rabbit Repellent for your Roses

”]Cropping the Roses by Beyond the Trail [Gary]TheGardenLady received this question from Bonnie.

We planted a knock-out rose bush this past spring. It started blooming and had beautiful roses. We noticed that the stems were cut. The deer are eating them. What can we do?

Deer love roses. It seems strange because there are thorns. In spite of the thorns, I guess deer like plants that humans eat. Rose petals  and rose hips  and  are eaten by humans.  See here, here and here.

I spray my roses and other plants that deer love with a product called Liquid Fence.  I have been using the product for a few years and my plants are not eaten by deer or rabbits. I think it is pricey because I use it much more frequently than recommended on the container. I have used it even more frequently this summer because of all the rain. Even though the product label says it lasts through rain, I am fearful of losing the plants. Because some some plants are deer resistant, I do not spray all the flowers I have. But I have learned that some plants that I wouldn’t think deer would eat, like sunflowers, will be eaten by the deer if I don’t spray. Liquid Fence stinks like the rotten eggs that is the major ingredient. That dissipates fairly quickly for the human nose; but the smell lingers for the more sensitive nose of the deer. The one thing that I dislike is that the leaves retain a white film from the spray. However, it washes off in the rain.

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