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What kind of critter would do this.?

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What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  MrBooker on 3/25/2016, 6:33 am

I got my 4x8 SFG box built and filled with soil and watered and let it set for about a week then planted onion transplants in 4 squares. Next morning I went out to find a critter of some sort had totally destroyed the 4 squares where the onions were planted.
                 I don't mean the critter just dug a hole, it dug all the way to the bottom of the 8 inch bed and slung all of the dirt out and scattered my onions 3 to 4 feet away from the 4x8 box. I added more soil and replanted the onions.
This time I soaked some downy sheets with Pinesol and laid them next to the box. I knew the Pinsol would keep the cats away.
               Next night, same thing. The critter came back and destroyed the onion bed. Now, I'm almost sure it was NOT a cat. A cat only scratches the top few inches. A squirrel would not have dug all of the soil out of 4 squares.

       I live in a small farming community but we have a leash law here in town so I dont think it was a dog. I've lived here for 32 years and have seen skunks, coons, foxes and coyote's here in town. One of them may be the culprit but I'm not sure. What I AM sure of, it won't happen again. I bought 50 ft of the orange construction fence and laid over the SFG box.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  Kelejan on 3/25/2016, 6:57 am

How sad, Mr. Booker after all your hard work.  I hope some other forum member can come up with an answer.

glad you\'re here to our Forum happy hi
and may I get in a premature HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 29th?

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  plantoid on 3/25/2016, 7:18 am

Sounds like groundhog day has arrived in your back forty acres . Laughing

 Squirrels can and do wreck gardens , much more than most people think .

 Rabbits , Gerbils rats , hamsters & other small cage pet escapees also are quite good at wrecking them .

 Going down in damaged area sizes :-

Crows often delight in pecking out onion sets . I've shot many a one as they walked along the old row gardens I had on my small holding .
The hole is about three inches deep and an inch & a half  wide at the surface.

Pigeons & other birds also have an annoying habit of finding a nice bit of fresh young green shoot to eat & as a result they often pull the whole onion out , whilst having their breakfast just after first light .

 You also often get tiny field mice or big fat slugs  digging down to the roots , I'm not sure if they are after the roots or looking to bide or are after the worms etc.

 Some old timers swear that it is worms pushing the onions out but I've never found any worms big enough for that  in my fifty five years of gardening.

 Next time you find damage carefully remove the soil away from the sides of the hole to see if you can glean any further information then if it is still there pull the plant up and check the roots for damage .. it may be that there is a simple deterrent you can put in the planting hole or if it is birds set a lot of black sewing cotton on stick that are showing 6 to 8 inches apove the ground .

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  MrBooker on 3/25/2016, 7:24 am

@Kelejan wrote:How sad, Mr. Booker after all your hard work.  I hope some other forum member can come up with an answer.

glad you\'re here to our Forum happy hi
and may I get in a premature HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the 29th?
Thank you for the happy birthday.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  MrBooker on 3/25/2016, 7:26 am

@plantoid wrote:Sounds like groundhog day has arrived in your back forty acres . Laughing

 Squirrels can and do wreck gardens , much more than most people think .

 Rabbits , Gerbils rats , hamsters & other small cage pet escapees also are quite good at wrecking them .

 Going down in damaged area sizes :-

Crows often delight in pecking out onion sets . I've shot many a one as they walked along the old row gardens I had on my small holding .
The hole is about three inches deep and an inch & a half  wide at the surface.

Pigeons & other birds also have an annoying habit of finding a nice bit of fresh young green shoot to eat & as a result they often pull the whole onion out , whilst having their breakfast just after first light .

 You also often get tiny field mice or big fat slugs  digging down to the roots , I'm not sure if they are after the roots or looking to bide or are after the worms etc.

 Some old timers swear that it is worms pushing the onions out but I've never found any worms big enough for that  in my fifty five years of gardening.

 Next time you find damage carefully remove the soil away from the sides of the hole to see if you can glean any further information then if it is still there pull the plant up and check the roots for damage .. it may be that there is a simple deterrent you can put in the planting hole or if it is birds set a lot of black sewing cotton on stick that are showing 6 to 8 inches apove the ground .

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Never thought about a groundhog.

Post  MrBooker on 3/25/2016, 7:38 am

Although my area of town is infested with squirrels, I would have to rule them out. Their was way to much dirt for a squirrel to dig out. Maybe there was something in the compost that smelled like food to the critter.
     I had head lettuce and spinach planted next to the onions that were dug out but it didnt bother them.
              Its getting daylight here now and I'm going out to investigate (with my pellet gun)   lol

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2016, 11:11 am

If everyone is obeying the leash law, then I'm voting fox. They LOVE digging holes, deep ones! I watch them on the lake beach across the street in the sand having a ball jumping in and out of those holes.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  landarch on 3/25/2016, 11:43 am

do you have any friends that hunt and can put up a trail cam?

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/25/2016, 12:05 pm

CC,

Thus, the origin of the term "fox hole."

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  sanderson on 3/25/2016, 2:24 pm

Very mysterious. I'm watching this. Foxes? Wow!

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  camprn on 3/25/2016, 3:06 pm

Lay some chicken wire over the top.of the bed for a temporary fix.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/25/2016, 4:04 pm

Oh, dear... Yes, I agree w/ Camprn! Put some fencing to protect them...

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  CitizenKate on 3/25/2016, 9:37 pm

I agree with those who suggest protecting your beds with fencing or cages of some kind.  Easy and effective.  But I thought of you today when I was at Menard's getting some drip irrigation tubing.  Orbit has a new product called a Yard Enforcer.  Check this out...


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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 3/25/2016, 9:44 pm

Racoon.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/25/2016, 10:51 pm

Racoon, skunk, or possum...Check to see if you have grubs, These critter smell grubs deep down under and will dig like crazy to get them.  Forget about going out in the morning with your pelet gun, they won't be there, you gotta stay up all night, and that night they probably wont be around...Trail cam is a good idea, works automaticallly, and some can send images to your hard drive.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 3/25/2016, 11:03 pm

Raccoons, skunks and opossums rip into my garden regularly.  Yep, I've got grubs.  Grubs in my raised boxes. Grubs in my containers.  Grubs under my wood chips everywhere.  Grubs in my compost.

I thought of those three too, but crossed them off based on the OP's comment that the critter returned and re-dug the same hole the second night.  

I've been multi-night raided, but don't recall them redigging the same hole.  Same bed, same area, but not literally the same square let alone the same four continguous squares.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  MrBooker on 3/26/2016, 6:28 am

@CitizenKate wrote:I agree with those who suggest protecting your beds with fencing or cages of some kind.  Easy and effective.  But I thought of you today when I was at Menard's getting some drip irrigation tubing.  Orbit has a new product called a Yard Enforcer.  Check this out...
      THANKS CITIZENKATE:  You know, I watched that video 6 times and each time, it got funnier and funnier then it struck me.  I could install the "yard Enforcer" in my lettuce bed and NOT tell my wife then ask her to go cut some lettuce. Of course their would be a video. Very Happy


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Chicken wire

Post  MrBooker on 3/26/2016, 6:41 am

@camprn wrote:Lay some chicken wire over the top.of the bed for a temporary fix.
After the critter came back the 2nd night, I bought some of the orange plastic construction fencing and layed it over the beds with a few bricks on top. Problem solved.  (so far)

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  sanderson on 3/26/2016, 2:17 pm

This is a little off topic, because I know the critter of which I'm having a problem - my neighbor's cat, if not everyone in the neighborhood. I placed ramial chips under the orange tree and now I can't even work on the tree without stepping on a land mine. So, today I am removing and disposing all of it, and replacing with the zylosma leaves and small branches I pruned yesterday. Then covering with bird netting, maybe some cardboard. Yucky day ahead. If you don't hear from me, it's because the bird netting got me.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  ralitaco on 3/26/2016, 11:20 pm

@MrBooker wrote:THANKS CITIZENKATE:  You know, I watched that video 6 times and each time, it got funnier and funnier then it struck me.  I could install the "yard Enforcer" in my lettuce bed and NOT tell my wife then ask her to go cut some lettuce. Of course their would be a video. Very Happy
 rofl     funny post
Depending on when you do that, there might not be a Happy Birthday in your future.

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

Post  ralitaco on 3/26/2016, 11:21 pm

@sanderson wrote:...I can't even work on the tree without stepping on a land mine...
 

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Re: What kind of critter would do this.?

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