Monday, July 2, 2012

Puxatawny Phil, watch your step.

Groundhog in Hav-a-heart knock-off trap. Releasing the animal from this trap is not easy. 

During my pregnancy, my husband set the mouse traps. I promised I'd set and empty the traps for a nine month period after our child was born.

Our son is twice that old, and I am still setting and emptying the traps.

I also set the groundhog trap. The groundhog, a small but hungry creature, ate the lettuce to the ground. I placed deer fencing over the most vulnerable crops, discouraging the groundhog from freely eating everything. He or she continues to eat the lettuce by sitting upon the fence and eating anything that pokes through. The groundhog has also nibbled on the peas, kale, collards, and today - my wild lupines (Lupinus perennis).


Wild Lupine seed pods and foliage, Cowles Bog Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, June 13, 2010


Having smelled groundhog droppings more than once, I'll be purchasing lettuce or replanting. The current lettuce patch will need the groundhog to be dispatched, multiple heavy rains, and significant regrowth before I consider eating from it.

Wild Lupine, Kankakee Sands, Indiana, June 16, 2010


Here is a list of my fences:
1. Hog fencing - stacked two up, surrounds entire garden
2. Chicken wire - stacked two up, surrounds entire garden. We started with one up, but a groundhog is a good climber. 
3. Chicken wire hoops with enclosed tops - surround individual blueberry shrubs. Requires one to yank rusty ground staples from earth and delicately wiggle the hoop so one does not dislodge the fruit. Hoops, despite best efforts, are collapsing, uneven, bent, and torn (oops with the weedwacker a couple years ago).
4. Plastic deer fencing - rotated around various crops. Held in place with red bricks, yellow bricks, bamboo, old sticks, rocks, and 2x4s. Early spring - strawberries, keeps catbirds and mockingbirds out. Also, keeps any birds interested in eating slugs out. Gulp. Post strawberries - onto whatever the groundhog fancies.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rachel and Jared

    Do you have an email address? I found a hard shelled nut this week in the sourlands, and I was looking for help in assisting to identify the nut. I have a photo of the shell, but when i tried to open it, i destroyed the inside. Can you email me please? I would be happy to send a photo your way.

    Jon.

    jonreytan@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete