Problem-Solving during growing season forum: Troublesome Critters

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ImageDillyDahlia
Jun 4, 2021 6:18 PM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
A few years ago, I had a family of groundhogs decimate my dahlias. Now, Mr or Mrs Groundhog is back! My husband is off to the grocery store to purchase cantaloupe and he will bait our traps tonight. If anyone has advice on how to eliminate these critters, it would be appreciated.

I also have a new critter...a rather large snapping turtle. She decided to lay her eggs right smack in the middle of a dahlia bed! I am not a fan of snapping turtles as they can be mean and aggressive. I have seen one literally jump off the ground to go on attack. I doubt she will be back this year. But if she does come back, my husband will have to capture her and place her in the woods across from my house.

I can’t believe that we have been blessed with two trouble makers...and maybe even a third. Something dug up the turtle eggs for a snack.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
ImageDillyDahlia
Jun 22, 2021 11:26 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
Caught one groundhog! Thank goodness!
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
ksc
Jun 22, 2021 1:46 PM CST
Name: kevin
MA South Shore
Sounds like you have the same intruders as we do. Nothing startles me more in the garden than spotting one of those snapping turtles. We've had some really big ones, 50+ lbs, that like the pumpkin hills on the edge of our property. The eggs never hatch as something always finds them.

So far 2 groundhogs trapped, possibly one more still around but haven't seen it or any evidence of it in awhile. Still waiting on the pumpkin eating deer and the flock of turkeys that are summer guests. I hung Irish Spring soap bars on all the fence posts this year, we'll see what happens (I caught the deer chewing holes in the deer netting last year).
ImagePaige
Jun 22, 2021 9:56 PM CST
Name: Paige L
Snohomish
I’ve had a groundhog digging around my one garden… it actually dug up under a wine eyed Jill tuber and pushed it all the way to the surface without causing any damage to the tuber or plant (about 4 inches tall). I buried it again; I guess I may have to look into some type of control if the lil buggers Thumbs down
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Jun 24, 2021 7:05 PM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
Robins. American Robins, to be more precise. Apparently my soil is so chock full of easily digestible protein (aka 'earthworms') that they attempt to perch in the plants, and also scratch around in the soil.

Sigh....
ImageDillyDahlia
Jun 28, 2021 10:43 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
We have had another groundhog sighting. It appears to be on the neighbors edge of our property. I have to buy more cantaloupe and set the trap again. I am grateful that this is the only type of varmint we are dealing with, so far this season.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
Imagedrewtheflorist
Jun 29, 2021 10:34 AM CST
Name: Drew the Florist
14 miles S E of Pittsburgh
My groundhogs usually like cantaloupe --- being fragrant , it' normally a pretty good bait. Not this year ! They'd rather eat dahlias.
dahlia53
Jul 16, 2021 7:54 AM CST
WA
The robins have been terrible this year, eating the tops off of many plants - squashes, young annual flowering plants, marigolds especially (then spitting them out!) - everything except (so far) the dahlias. AND they steal all the worms. Want to drive them away, but how?
ImageIslander
Jul 16, 2021 9:55 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Wow, I never saw robins do this! I used to have trouble with finches taking bites out of the petals on the tops of the dahlias that grew especially tall. I love the gold finches winging through my garden along with the Swallowtail butterflies, but I discovered they were not as innocent as they looked. I dont believe the butterflies ever took a bite out of any of the flowers ...nor did they raise their young on them. I wonder if the robins are missing something that normally makes up their diet and is absent this year. I only observed robins pulling up earthworms.
Salish Dahlias
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Jul 17, 2021 7:14 PM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
dahlia53 wrote:The robins have been terrible this year, eating the tops off of many plants - squashes, young annual flowering plants, marigolds especially (then spitting them out!) - everything except (so far) the dahlias. AND they steal all the worms. Want to drive them away, but how?


I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one with robin problems! I don't know if they are eating the tops, but they do appear to be trying to perch at the top of the plant, which breaks off the leader. They are very happy with all the worms in my nicely composted horse manure.

I don't know how to get rid of them. I suppose bird netting, like that used for berries, would work, but I don't like using that stuff at all.

ImageIslander
Jul 17, 2021 8:54 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I looked up what robins eat besides earthworms. Apparently strawberries and blueberries are high on their list. Maybe offer then somemthing more delightful then dahlia leaves?




Salish Dahlias
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Jul 21, 2021 7:54 PM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
Thumb of 2021-07-22/LoveOverGoldd/00d021

American Robin damage. They land on the top of the plant and break off the tip.
ImageAndreaB
Jul 21, 2021 9:07 PM CST
Name: Andrea
SE Michigan
dahlia53 wrote:The robins have been terrible this year, eating the tops off of many plants - squashes, young annual flowering plants, marigolds especially (then spitting them out!) - everything except (so far) the dahlias. AND they steal all the worms. Want to drive them away, but how?


This made me laugh! My husband has crabbed about robins stealing our worms for years. Not to mention them pooping on everything. They’re our state bird and they don’t even winter here! Their only good attribute is their pretty eggs.
ImageDillyDahlia
Jul 23, 2021 8:18 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
Robins loved the strawberries we planted at the end of one dahlia bed last year. I think that kept them occupied and away from the dahlias.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith

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