Sunday, June 26, 2011

Intruders, Intruders!

Intruders have invaded the garden patch!  Yep, I stepped out on the deck this week to admire the fruits of my labor and saw a baby groundhog scurrying around the garden trying to find a way out when he saw me.  Needless to say, my blood pressure went up a few notches.   I ran back in to put on a pair of pants, couldn't be caught in my tee and robe in the garden, and of course the little monster was gone when I returned.  That's probably a good thing, that would have been time enough for him/her to devour a few more things.  I am declaring war!   As you can see, there's not a leaf left on my pole beans.  Gone, all gone.    

A family has burrowed under one of my storage buildings and I need to come up with a plan to rid these creatures from my property or least my garden.  I thought we could share space since they haven't done damage to the structure of my building, but they don't understand my garden is off limits.  Until I came up with another plan, I googled my problem and a temporary solution is to sprinkle crushed pepper flakes or cayenne pepper around the perimeter of the garden.  The groundhogs aka woodchucks will remember the experience once they encounter it and stay away.  So far it's working.  The cayenne pepper washes away, but the crushed flakes has remained even through rain.  Looks like I'll be heading to Costco or Sam's today for an industrial size container of each.  I found a site that gave a tip on sprinkling a little dirt or sand with the pepper to keep it from washing away.     

It appears the intruder nibbled on my cucumbers too.  Thankfully the cukes still have their blooms.  I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper on the leaves, hopefully the pepper will ward them off.  It seems the groundhogs have an acquired taste, they didn't seem to be interested in the squash, peppers, tomatoes or herbs. 

These cucumbers are suppose to be bush; however, they seem to be sprawling.  I'm wondering if they were mislabeled.  That seems to be the story of my life, lol.  I end up with the wrong color shrub and now it looks like I'll be dealing with mislabeled items in the veggie garden. 

Oh well, it looks like my adventures in gardening will not be boring.  Thankfully all was not lost with my pole beans,  a few of the plants have new growth.  I pulled up the few plants that seemed hopeless, and in the process planted a few more seeds.  I've learned to turn negatives into positives.   I'll keep you posted on the new war!  If you have a remedy, please leave me a comment on how you conquered the groundhog in your garden. 


  1. You are too funny seems like the Cheyenne pepper might be the ticket.

  2. @Comeca Jones - Went to Lowes this morning to buy chicken wire to place at the bottom of the current fencing. I'm going to place it at a 90 degree angle bringing some of the wire out under the current fencing and staple it down so they can't burrow. I have flowers planted around the entire garden, so I'm only going to be able to bring it out but so far. Stay tuned for more garden war updates.

  3. Chicken wire will be the right ticket next year. Have you seen the square foot garden cages? I forgot about the cayenne pepper. I need to put it in my corn patch to keep the raccoons out. Also, I trellis my cucs. Have you heard of cattle panels? I'm enjoying your blog. Thanks for sharing it with me. I haven't photographed mine lately - maybe I will tonight as the sun starts to set a bit - it's hot. It's supposed to be 91 tomorrow. I was 65 last week.

  4. @Beeks by the Lake - I have not seen the square foot garden cages, I'll have to check them out. I have heard of the cattle panels, and lucky for me my brother-in-law raises black angus beef has plenty. I plan to use them in the garden next year for my pole beans. I did purchase the chicken wire, but I don't think it's going to work. I have flowers planted along the borders of the garden, so it's going to be difficult to bring the fencing out far enough. It looks like I'm going to have to fight this battle with repellents this season. I'm looking foward to seeing your garden, and taking any advice you may have for this newbie gardener. I'm loving it.

  5. Groundhogs look cute, but I guess they are like rabbits and I wouldn't want rabbits in my garden although I like seeing them on grass along the side of the road.