My garden grows

June 21, 2009 050Gaillardias in my garden

June 27, 2009

The sudden change to hot weather has brought many flowers into bloom. The gaillardias are opening, showing off their bright yellows, oranges and reds. Even the flowers on the plant I moved [late] are opening.  The plants seem hardy enough and like our sandy well-drained soil.  They love the sun too, the more the better. There are more blooms to come.

June 21, 2009 048

The  Magic Carpet Spirea that I planted our  first  gardening year  at this location are now covered in deep pink flowers. It seems these plants take a few years to settle in, and now they’re really doing well.

Soon the shasta daisies will open too. They are still held tight inside like tiny curling green fists, but not for long.
And those voles? or moles? I saw two tiny holes in my garden yesterday where some small creature has burrowed down, as well as one spot where the grass has faded to white. I’ve stuck a pop bottle in each hole. The idea behind this is moles have very sensitive hearing and wind blowing in the bottles is too much for them and they leave. I’ve also sprayed a mixture of warm water, dish soap[ unscented] and castor oil around the holes. The lady at the nursery gave me a sheet with ideas on dealing with animals in the garden, and these two ideas were on that paper. This woman knows her gardening stuff.

After all that work digging and growing new grass  from seed, I’d rather not have to do that all again.

Any other  ideas [ no  pesticide  allowed] that we can use to chase them away for good?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ardsley19  |  June 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Carolyn, the holes are not likely moles unless there are little hills snaking to them. Moles stay underground and eat grubs, etc, so unless they are digging up the garden and ground I’d leave them be.

    Voles are a bit like a large mouse or small lemming. They will eat seeds and roots and some top growth, but, again, unless they are doing quite a bit of damage, I’d leave them be.

    If the holes are about on and a half to two inches in diameter, and there’s a small mound of dirt near it, or at the mouth, I’d guess chipmunks. They can do a lot of damage, digging under plants and upheaving them, eating bulbs, and maybe some roots. Mostly I find their indiscriminate digging is a problem, (plus they’ve eaten all my grape hyacinths and crocuses.). I haven’t got rid of my chipmunks so far. Live-trapping is not useful because chipmunks are territorial and if you take one or a family out of its territory, others will soon move in. I’ve known people who snap-trapped them, or poisoned them. Not my style. And since they are a native animal it may actually be illegal.

    Another reason I haven’t tried to get rid of them is Mom and I kind of like them.

    But whatever it is, I’d try throwing garlic cloves down the holes, and around the holes. When I plant my bulbs in the fall I pour a concoction of chopped garlic and onions and warm water over the area. I’ve never had a squirrel or chipmunk dig up my bulbs in the Fall. You could try my concoction as well. Chop up about one full bulb of garlic (coarsely, with skins on) and a couple of onions (same deal) and fill a two liter jug with hottish tap water, let steep until warm-cool, then pour on the area. Your garden will smell like a pizza for a couple of days, but it’s not too bad.

    Hope this helps


    • 2. storygal  |  June 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks for your information, Diana. That was a few years ago, but we’ll know what to do next time.

      We went to the nursery to see what to do about them. Our lawn was almost completely ruined and we wanted to know what to do to get them out, without using harmful chemicals. We ended up digging up more lawn and turning it into perennial beds. I think the voles—which we confirmed it was—moved on somewhere else. There were holes in the lawn, on the side of the hill. Moles likely took over where the voles left off.


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