Round Robin: Suburban Garden Pest Control

Notes from regional herb gardeners.


| August/September 2003


CHICAGO, Illinois—The words “garden pest” usually bring to mind insects and diseases, and these can be devastating. But if you add up all the plants I’ve lost to these scourges in the 20-some years I’ve been gardening, I doubt they’d equal the number lost in a single season to mammalian garden predators.

The worst was the woodchuck. Not only did he tunnel under our fence with ease, coming up to devour entire rows of vegetables and beds of flowers and herbs in an evening, he left huge ankle-threatening holes all over the yard.

My quest for a means of getting rid of the critter netted me such unusable advice as acquiring a shotgun or a large, hungry dog. No repellent we tried worked. Traps failed. The vegetable-garden fence, intended as rabbit bane, was already buried half a foot deep, and the prospect of digging it up and settling it twice as deep was unappealing — besides, that would still have left the flower and herb gardens at risk.

One spring, after particularly heavy rains, my husband’s shovel struck something while digging the beds. When unearthed, it gave off an awful stench. The groundhog’s tunnel had evidently collapsed, smothering the beast. When we had disposed of the corpse and finished retching, we celebrated.



Unfortunately, the creature’s brother — or his sister and his cousin and his aunts — moved right in and took over where he left off. Ultimately we finally did rid ourselves of the pest. We moved.

Other animals are less difficult to discourage. We’ve found that a 2-foot-tall fence dug 5 or 6 inches into the ground will keep out rabbits, probably the most common four-legged pest of the suburbs.








mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

Next: June 2-3, 2018
Frederick, MD

LEARN MORE








Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265