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Questions re woodchucks

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Questions re woodchucks

Post  jokerjim on 4/6/2014, 2:50 pm

Hi all!
I am somewhat new to gardening as a means of producing enough food to live on, at least through the summer season.  It is something I am becoming greatly addicted to and can not wait to reap the benefits.
I do have a bit of a problem though, I have a fair amount of woodchucks in my area, Long Island and I am trying to find out what is the best way to have them out of my garden.  
Any and all help is appreciated.  I am a relative newbie, have planted a handful of veggies in the past but this season I am planting about 1/5 of an acre.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/6/2014, 5:20 pm

Hi JokerJim.  Welcome to the forum!

Haven't had woodchucks, but would be interested to see how others deal w/ them.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  jimmy cee on 4/6/2014, 8:02 pm

In my opinion, the only way to deal with groundhogs is lead poisoning.
Shoot them if you can with a 22 (mag) preferably, living on Long Island you may not be able to.
I had 1 a few years ago eat 9 broccoli plants at 1 sitting, we went out for a day trip, came home, all that was left was stubble.
He built a den under our deck, didn't live there, just rested after dinner.
I saw him go in one afternoon,laid in the grass about 30 feet away with a high powered pellet gun (these do damage)
He came out while I was awake, I shot him in the head, he took off, however I knew he was done for.
Never did come back.
If you can't use a 22, check on those pellet guns.
Their about $150, but do a good job.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/6/2014, 9:00 pm

Around here, nobody keeps anything they don't fence in. You'll need fencing to keep out above-ground predators. Good fencing with sturdy posts high enough to keep deer out is pretty pricey. An alternative critter-defender recommended in Mel's books is to build wire cages around the tops of your beds.

For below-ground predators like gophers, you'll either need to put hardware wire or plywood in the bottom of your beds. Alternatively, you can raise them off the ground entirely, either by turning them into tabletop beds or just by, say, putting them up on cinderblocks.

And to keep nuisances like weeds and tree-roots out, you'll want to put weed barrier cloth on the bottom of your beds, too.


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Ugh.....

Post  jokerjim on 4/7/2014, 7:29 am

That is what I was afraid of..........

I really want to have a garden large enough to feed my family, for the most part, through the growing season.  It seems like it is going to be a full time job keeping out the wildlife.  
I live in a wooded area and wildlife is plentiful.  Fencing in the area is easy enough, it is the underground nuisances that are going to be the bane of my hopes.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  jimmy cee on 4/7/2014, 8:05 am

Joker
Just a thought, especially if your in the beginning stages.
I may need to do a major reconstruction of my beds due to tree root invasion.
Why not consider elevating your bed a bit, if they are off the ground that gives you much protection from lots of critters that don't and can't climb.Jumpers may be another problem, however much easier to cope with.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  jokerjim on 4/7/2014, 10:25 am

That is pretty much what I have decided on doing for the most part.
The issue I have now is trying to figure out how deep I need to make the beds.  I read some plants, watermelons, need deep rooting as much as 32".
I can't obviously do that in raised beds for a 24' x 60' area. Sad

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/7/2014, 10:49 am

Jokerjim - we planted Sugar Baby watermelons in 6" of MM with a trellis.

How big are the watermelons you're going to be growing?

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  jokerjim on 4/7/2014, 11:11 am

They are Sugar Baby Watermelons.  I was reading somewhere that watermelons, amongst several other fruit/veggies, need as much as 32" depth for proper root growth.  
If I could get away with 11" or less, that would be a wonderful.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/7/2014, 11:52 am

I'll keep you informed of how ours do. 

According to ANSFG2 pg 226/227 you can plant one every 2 squares in 6" of MM.  Don't forget to trellis them.  Mulch heavily in hot weather.  Reduce water when almost ripe to concentrate their sweetness.  Support in slings.

I've got mine in 1 per 1 square - nothing like pushing the envelope a bit, lol.

We really like watermelon.  Dehydrated, it tastes kinda like watermelon Jolly Ranchers, only more intense.  It IS kinda sticky, though.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  jokerjim on 4/7/2014, 12:36 pm

Just so I understand correctly, you plant one bush per 1' x 1' area?

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  camprn on 4/7/2014, 12:48 pm

OK I'm confused is this thread about watermelon or woodchucks?

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/7/2014, 1:14 pm

Oh, hi Camprn.  How are you?

It was about woodchucks, but has changed a bit.  Jokerjim is concerned about depth for his watermelons after it was suggested he raise his beds off the ground to keep the woodchucks, etc. out.

How do we change it over to a watermelon topic (for future reference)?

Yes, Jokerjim, that's what we're doing.  But according to SFG, that's too close...  This is our 1st year, so we'll see what happens.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2014, 2:57 pm

I typed in watermelons in the Search box and there were 61 topics regarding watermelons.  Here's one:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t17036-how-many-watermelon-cantaloupe-plants-should-i-plant?highlight=Watermelon

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/7/2014, 4:25 pm

The ideal amount of space to allow for root depth is frequently in excess of the six inches recommended for square-foot-gardening. SFG uses Mel's Mix, rather than soil, however, which can provide in a mere six inches a level of water and nutrient availability that plants might need to go far further to find in soil.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  jokerjim on 4/8/2014, 10:58 am

I REALLY appreciate all the advice.  There is sooo much information here that if I read it all I will never plant anything.
I think I will try some of the Mel's Mix.  I can get very good compost for $25 per yard here.  I was thinking of using 1/2 soil, 1/4 compost and 1/4 horse manure anyway.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  meatburner on 4/8/2014, 11:11 am

jokerjim, that formula is not Mel's Mix.  If you will go to the top left of the home page where is says "hover", the correct way to make Mel's Mix is spelled out in detail and explains why.  Good luck.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  Turan on 4/8/2014, 11:15 am

What about electric mesh fencing? I am not sure about the burrowing under part but the description says it is good against wood chucks.
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=44094&criteria=woodchucks
I would call the company and ask them about it. I use their mesh for sheep and horses and find them to have good customer service and products.

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

Post  camprn on 4/8/2014, 12:12 pm

@Turan wrote:What about electric mesh fencing?  I am not sure about the burrowing under part but the description says it is good against wood chucks.
http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=44094&criteria=woodchucks
I would call the company and ask them about it.   I use their mesh for sheep and horses and find them to have good customer service and products.
Or Wellscroft for the northeast US.
http://www.wellscroft.com/

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Questions re woodchucks

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