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June 1, 2012

The battle continues

Kohlrabi plants with leaves eaten by groundhogThis year the groundhog has nibbled on a few leaves here and there but hasn't been a big problem. Until today.

I'd set containers of kohlrabi plants in the raised bed this afternoon, planning to plant them later. When I came back in two hours the groundhog had demolished them.

If I plant them they may survive, but obviously the groundhog will come back once they're edible size. I think it's time to get the trap out again.

New approach

Havahart trapAfter talking with friends who've trapped 13-14 of the critters in their yard, I set up the trap differently.

This time I put a layer of leaves on the bottom so the metal mesh didn't hurt his little paws, and covered the whole thing with a cloth do make it dark and den-like.

For bait I spread peanut butter on slices of apple, which my friend swears is every groundhog's favorite snack.

Unfortunately, the next morning the trap was undisturbed except that ants had devoured all the peanut butter off the apples.


Metal strips around gardenI read about a half dozen web articles about how to deal with groundhogs in the garden. Bottom line: good luck. Not much works.

Some people were successful with traps, but that hasn't worked for me.

Somewhere I read that groundhogs don't like wind chimes and moving objects, so I decided I'd try to simply annoy the hell out of my unwanted visitor.

This afternoon's project was hanging an old twirly wind gizmo over the beets and surrounding the entire raised bed with strips of aluminum pie pan stapled to string.

I'm not optimistic about the deterrent effect of my little craft project, but I haven't had much success with the trap, so what can I lose?

Honestly, though, any groundhog that's scared away by this arrangement would be an embarrassment to his species.

News Flash!

Groundhog in trapSunday afternoon I decided to check the trap in case the groundhog had accidentally stumbled into it while laughing at my pie plate defenses.

To my amazement the door was closed. I pulled back the cloth and saw not a squirrel or a stray cat, but a small groundhog. At last!

Said groundhog has now been relocated to an undisclosed location.

Unfortunately, I suspect that while I may have won this skirmish it's not the end of the war. I'm pretty sure I've seen a bigger groundhog in the neighbor's yard. I hope that the big guy prefers their vegetables to mine, but that's probably wishful thinking.

Still, I'll take any victory I can at this point.


Round One: Groundhog loves my broccoli and peas. I buy wire fencing. June 8, 2010.

Round Two: Groundhog loves cauliflower and sunflower plants, too. I borrow a trap, try different baits. June 30, 2011.

Round Three: Groundhog returns for more broccoli, with a side of lettuce and carrots. I try yet another bait in the trap (same results, though). July 21, 2011.

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