Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» What are you eating from your garden today?
by trolleydriver Today at 6:34 pm

» What's a good type of lettuce to try for some one who doesn't like lettuce?
by llama momma Today at 5:52 pm

» The Research Journey:free-The Gardener’s Guide TO PERFECT GARDEN SOIL
by trolleydriver Today at 5:37 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in September 2016
by CapeCoddess Today at 3:01 pm

» Soil Blocks: Tutorial In Photos
by sanderson Today at 2:57 pm

» The SFG Journey-Cover crops
by trolleydriver Today at 12:26 pm

» newbeone
by Cajun Cappy Today at 12:17 pm

» Compost
by camprn Today at 8:13 am

» Hand Pollination ?
by camprn Today at 8:11 am

» parsnips in square foot garden?
by sanderson Today at 4:01 am

» Oh no! My hibiscus moscheutos plant has some roots exposed!
by RJARPCGP Today at 2:38 am

» New England September 2016
by yolos Yesterday at 11:23 pm

» Tryst with my first DIY SFG
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 10:36 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 8:33 pm

» The Research Journey:SELF-WATERING SALAD GARDEN COURSE
by has55 Yesterday at 6:58 pm

» Plantoid' s going into hospital ....
by llama momma Yesterday at 5:40 pm

» Admin back! Classic cars
by AtlantaMarie Yesterday at 5:38 pm

» Kale & Parsnip Question
by countrynaturals Yesterday at 3:09 pm

» compost thermometer
by sanderson Yesterday at 1:58 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by sanderson Yesterday at 12:37 pm

» EXPERIMENT: Tomatoes to Powder
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 11:00 am

» N&C Midwest: September 2016
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:29 am

» The Research Journey:what to plant now, fall gardening in Dallas-Ft worth
by sanderson 9/25/2016, 9:55 pm

» Medical Topic...may be helpful to some folk....
by sanderson 9/25/2016, 9:50 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising 9/25/2016, 9:04 pm

» Mid-Atl - Jul 2016 - Wwwwaaaaahhhhh!
by Scorpio Rising 9/25/2016, 6:07 pm

» Another item for composting.
by llama momma 9/25/2016, 4:04 pm

» mulching
by dstack 9/25/2016, 12:27 pm

» 1,000 worms on their way....
by Cajun Cappy 9/25/2016, 11:45 am

» Mid-Atl - Oct 2016 - Fall Garden 2016
by BeetlesPerSqFt 9/25/2016, 9:32 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

I'm so disheartened

View previous topic View next topic Go down

I'm so disheartened

Post  ander217 on 5/24/2010, 10:01 am

We came home last night after a family weekend gathering in Arkansas, and discovered that the voles had run amok once again in our lovely garden. We've been trying every suggestion made to us to get rid of them, but so far they are winning the battle. My husband even purchased one of those gizmos that emits a sound wave every fifteen seconds, and pushed it into the ground in the middle of the garden. They seem to be partying to its beat.

My lovely 1' x 8' bed of peas had tunnels run all through it and about a fourth of the pea plants were missing or dying. (We had stapled weed barrier to the bottom of the box and placed it on thick newspapers. It didn't even faze them. Next boxes we make will definitely have wire bottoms.) The dogs had dug a huge hole outside of the fence next to the boxes, so they were trying to get at them, but the fence and box served to protect the voles, rather than the peas.

We counted five wilting potato plants in our row-garden - they had just started blooming and setting tubers. I can only imagine how many little potatoes the critters are eating, following the mole runs that are crisscrossing the potato rows. The voles got two more of our sweet potato plants, too, and we are now completely out of replacement slips, so every plant they take now cannot be replaced with our homegrown heirloom slips.

They killed the last of my early lettuce, but the good news is they seem to have left the corn alone for now. We lost about half of our original planting to them and we replanted. We only saw two holes in our beds yesterday where corn plants formerly grew. We had 60 plants in total, so we can live with that, but I was so disheartened by the damage last night that I don't even want to go to the garden this morning to see what they did overnight.

The voles have also moved into my nearby herb garden, and the dogs dug large holes among the lavender and bee balm over the weekend, trying to get at them. The voles have made huge runs under our cypress tree where we hang our bird feeders each winter. Apparently they are very opportunistic for any type of free food, and spilled bird seed seemed to draw them like a magnet.

I've gardened all of my life and I've never seen a rodent problem as bad as this. I feel like we've been hit with a plague. I keep waiting for the cavalry to arrive in the form of snakes, large birds, neighborhood cats, etc. but so far nothing seems to be bothering them.

I repeat, I'm very disheartened.

ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 61
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/24/2010, 10:07 am

I am so sorry. I wish I had a solution for you, but did want to respond with a cyber-hug.

Have you called your County extension agent and asked him/her what you might do? I know around here, the extension service will loan out traps -- just don't know if there's anything to trap voles.

Again, so sorry.

Retired Member 1

Female Posts : 904
Join date : 2010-03-03
Location : USA

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  dmpower on 5/24/2010, 10:57 am

we had a huge problem with moles, especially just before the 17 year cicada outbreak. I could watch them move the ground as I stood in the garden. One thing that many people did was to place a metal barrier in the ground several inches deep around their gardens. You could also use a gravel barrier.

Here is a quick explanation of the gravel barrier: http://www.getridofthings.com/get-rid-of-moles.htm
and the metal barrier - look for vertical barrier on this page: http://gopherslimited.blogspot.com/2009/02/installing-gopher-or-mole-wire-and.html
good luck

dmpower

Female Posts : 82
Join date : 2010-04-06
Location : 5b Bloomington Indiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  middlemamma on 5/24/2010, 2:02 pm

I just wanted to send my condolences....I am a first year gardener and have experiences due to learning some losses this year already and can only imagine how you feel.

I sorry I don't have some advice...but definetly wanted to say how sorry I am.

middlemamma
 
 

Female Posts : 2260
Join date : 2010-04-25
Age : 38
Location : Post Falls Idaho and LOVING it

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  jkdistad on 5/24/2010, 2:15 pm

Oh man! I think I would cry! That's terrible, I'm sooo sorry!

jkdistad

Female Posts : 69
Join date : 2010-05-10
Location : Twin Cities, Minnesota (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  Dietryin on 5/24/2010, 2:25 pm

Man......... that stinks!

Dietryin

Female Posts : 134
Join date : 2010-04-02
Location : Lake County IL. Zone 5A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  milaneyjane on 5/24/2010, 2:41 pm

I am so sorry! That is one reason I am switching to SFG this year---we have a vole issue that I didn't have to deal with in years past. Voles are very different from moles and have two separate diets. I put the hardware cloth on the bottom of all my beds a few weeks ago. It was time consuming and expensive but I figure I didn't have a choice. From what I have researched online, vole problems tend to by cyclical----some years bad, and then they disappear. We have a new dog and our neighbor cat likes to roam, two real deterants. I have also cleared away all mulch around the beds. I am not to the point of setting rat traps yet next to the holes but just because I don't want to deal with emptying them.

milaneyjane

Posts : 420
Join date : 2010-03-18
Location : MN Zone 4

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Thank you

Post  ander217 on 5/24/2010, 3:59 pm

Thank you all for coming to my pity party. I'm sorry to be such a whiner. I appreciate all your kind words and advice, and I realize this is an inconvenience, not a tragedy. We can always plant again in the fall once we get the problem under control. If all else fails it may be time for us to look at tabletop boxes.

I phoned our extension office, and the garden expert will phone me back on Wednesday when he is in our county. When I explained my problem to the secretary she said, "Oh, he knows about voles!" So apparently I'm not the only one who's having problems with them in this area.

Milaneyjane, you said they are cyclical, but I've never seen them here before. Do you know what conditions lead to increases in their numbers?

Thanks again, everyone, for caring. May your own gardens be forever vole-free.

ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 61
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  dmpower on 5/24/2010, 4:54 pm

@milaneyjane wrote: snip . Voles are very different from moles and have two separate diets. snip
Yes I am aware that voles and moles are not the same animal, or have the same diet, but they both attack from the same location. Just wanted to pass on some barrier information that might be helpful.

Please let us know what wisdom your extension guy has to offer
good luck

dmpower

Female Posts : 82
Join date : 2010-04-06
Location : 5b Bloomington Indiana

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  johnfromfl on 5/24/2010, 5:16 pm

I may not have voles but have frogs that burrow in my garden. They make it look like something stepped in my SFG. Then again it might be my dogs trying to figure what I am doing. I tend to feel it's the frogs. (commonly called toads) It might be a good thing.

johnfromfl

Male Posts : 61
Join date : 2010-04-17
Age : 68
Location : Corning, New York

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  sceleste54 on 5/25/2010, 12:33 am

Bless your heart.. thats just awful... We had a problem with moles at one time, and I got these things called Gopher Gassers.. If you can find and dig into a definate tunnel you can use those. I would open up a tunnel by digging out a foot or so, leaving open holes at each end. I'd then place a lit Gasser in each tunnel opening and lay a piece of plywood over the area, sealing the edges with extra dirt. We dispached a LOT of moles that way.. Just be careful and don't breath the fumes.. and its definatly not something to do with young children around..

http://www.groworganic.com/item_PAT205_Dexol_Gopher_Gasser_Pack_Of_6.html?welcome=T&theses=7349403

sceleste54

Female Posts : 383
Join date : 2010-04-08
Location : Florida Panhandle

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  carolintexas on 5/25/2010, 2:53 am

Ander17, you are NOT a whiner! Any of us would be upset over finding our gardens invaded. My first thought was tabletops are most likely the answer for in the future and I wish I had a solution for now but I have nothing but a cyber-hug.. Hope that person who "knows about voles" gets back with you soon. Another thought, in case any of us get mice or voles or anything else......next year I want some tabletop beds..........do insects (squash bugs and such) or voles in this case climb up the legs? If that's all it takes to foil most insects & critters that would be great!

carolintexas

Female Posts : 84
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 62
Location : Amarillo TX

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  junequilt on 5/25/2010, 12:59 pm

Voles are nasty, destructive little beasties, and I'm so sorry they wreaked such havoc on your poor garden. It's disheartening -- to say the least -- to have the plant babies you've tended suddenly ripped away.

It sounds as if hardware cloth is in your future. It really works wonders to keep the underground slashers out of the beds.

Do you know anyone who has a dachshund? I know people think I'm being facetious when I mention them in connection with voles, but some dachshunds have a very strong vermin hunting/tunneling instinct and they will go after those little buggers and 86 them in nothing flat. Of course, afterward your yard looks like the site of minor trench warfare, but that's easily remedied.

junequilt

Posts : 319
Join date : 2010-03-22
Location : Columbia, SC (Zone 8)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  camprn on 5/25/2010, 1:38 pm

@junequilt wrote:Voles are nasty, destructive little beasties, Do you know anyone who has a dachshund? I know people think I'm being facetious when I mention them in connection with voles, but some dachshunds have a very strong vermin hunting/tunneling instinct and they will go after those little buggers and 86 them in nothing flat. Of course, afterward your yard looks like the site of minor trench warfare, but that's easily remedied.
Jack Russell Terriers are also good for rooting out burrowing varmints.

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  johnfromfl on 5/25/2010, 1:46 pm

camprn.......love your pic. reminds me of my late boxer when she would be in the yard. Sometimes that's all you would see, her butt in the air with dirt flying.

johnfromfl

Male Posts : 61
Join date : 2010-04-17
Age : 68
Location : Corning, New York

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  camprn on 5/25/2010, 1:53 pm

Hey John, is that her in your avatar? Sweet looking pup!

camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 13981
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 54
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  johnfromfl on 5/25/2010, 2:08 pm

Yes that is Carrie our late Boxer. She passed in Feb 25th this year. The pic was taken the day before she was put to sleep. she was 7 years old.

johnfromfl

Male Posts : 61
Join date : 2010-04-17
Age : 68
Location : Corning, New York

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  junequilt on 5/25/2010, 4:56 pm

So sorry to hear that you lost that lovely doggie, John. It looks like she was a very good gardening companion.

junequilt

Posts : 319
Join date : 2010-03-22
Location : Columbia, SC (Zone 8)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  johnfromfl on 5/25/2010, 6:46 pm

Thanks June. Her good moments out shown her bad moments. I am still finding nesting spots where she dug.

johnfromfl

Male Posts : 61
Join date : 2010-04-17
Age : 68
Location : Corning, New York

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  chocolatepop on 5/26/2010, 12:00 am

I, too, know the pain of plant/garden loss from last year and now this year.

I hope your extension office can be of some assistance. Moles destroyed our yard at our former residence to the point I hated walking in the yard for fear I'd break my ankle.

and you are NOT whining!!

chocolatepop

Female Posts : 768
Join date : 2010-03-11
Age : 37
Location : Flint Area, Michigan (zone 5a-5b)

View user profile http://chocolatepopsurbangarden.wordpress.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  mckr3441 on 5/26/2010, 12:39 am

Darn! That's a nasty site to come home to. I'm so sorry that happened to you. We've used hardware cloth on the bottom of our boxes and all around our porch/deck as we had a skunk family living under the deck one year! No more.

Our kitty has taken care of the voles for us for years. She's old now and doesn't quite do the job anymore but the population is definitely diminished. She still prowls for them though.

Keep the faith. Better days are ahead.

Claire

mckr3441

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 765
Join date : 2010-03-05
Age : 76
Location : Cleveland Heights, Ohio (5b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Vole suggestion

Post  ander217 on 5/26/2010, 12:44 pm

Our extension gardening expert phoned this morning, and he has a vole problem, too. He asked if we lived near a wooded area, and when I said our yard borders a woods on one side and no-till farmland on the other three, he said we were a prime location for them. They can overwinter under the crop residues and leaves.

He said he tried a lot of things to control them, but the best control he found is a poison called Havoc, available from our local Orscheln store. He said I should place a few of the green pellets into as many runs as I can find. Zinc phosphide is another poison recommended which kills quickly, but he said after it kills a few they get wise and won't eat it. Havoc kills them by causing them to slowly bleed to death, and they don't seem to be able to figure out what's causing it. (This sounds so grisly to me - do I really want to be the cause of an animal dying a slow and likely painful death??? I'll have to think long and hard about the slow-acting poison.) I asked him if there was any danger to my cat or dogs if I poisoned the voles, and he said it's what he finally did to control his problem, and he didn't see any problems to any of his neighbor's cats. (I'm not sure that really answered my question.)

He told me that voles have a territory of an acre, and I would need to be thorough and find as many of their holes as possible to bait. He also told me if I don't control them I can expect them to eventually find our fruit trees and kill them by riddling the bark, as well as any shrubs growing in our yard.

We have two dogs who dig into their runs, and a cat who patrols the garden, but the vole population has exploded. They are everywhere, and the pets don't seem to be able to kill them as fast as they reproduce. Last night I saw the voles had moved into the box containing my pepper plants and eggplants, and they ate a couple of fennel plants and another corn plant in one of the beds.

A little more of this and I just may buckle and resort to the poison.

ander217

Female Posts : 1450
Join date : 2010-03-16
Age : 61
Location : Southeastern Missouri (6b)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  Odd Duck on 5/26/2010, 1:01 pm

PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT use Havoc anyplace that your dogs could get to the bait OR get to the voles after they ate the bait or after they die.

YOUR dogs can be poisoned by eating a poisoned vole and your dogs will certainly be poisoned if they eat the bait directly.

If you do not realize that your dog has gotten into the bait and it goes untreated for a few days it can be VERY difficult and expensive to treat them up to and including possible hospitalization for fluids, vit K infusions and/or injections, whole blood or plasma transfusions, etc. It can cost thousands of dollars to treat a dog that is already showing symptoms of rodenticide toxicosis.

I know this first hand because I am a veterinarian. I see rodenticide toxicosis frequently in dogs because the bait tastes good to them, just like it tastes good to the voles.

When you have dogs, the only safe rodenticide is traps, even better is barriers to prevent them from invading. There is NO rodenticide bait that is safe for your pets! Pest control experts will say that your dog cannot get secondary poisoning (by eating a poisoned rodent) but I can tell you, THEY CAN! Do NOT use rodent baits anywhere that your dog can reach/dig out/climb to, etc. Dogs will be MUCH more creative and agile than you think possible when it comes to reaching baits, trust me!

I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you on control, but don't risk your dogs with the Havoc!

Sharon

Odd Duck

Female Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 54
Location : DFW, TX, Zone 7b/8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  junequilt on 5/26/2010, 5:14 pm

Sharon, thank you for alerting us to the possible problems with Havoc. I don't use chemicals of any kind, but others might need to know about this.

Forum leaders, is there any way to highlight this discussion? It could mean life or death to a beloved pet.

junequilt

Posts : 319
Join date : 2010-03-22
Location : Columbia, SC (Zone 8)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: I'm so disheartened

Post  Sponsored content Today at 6:37 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum