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Voles vs. plant cages-- Round 1.

13 years ago

Hi. The yard and gardens of my recently purchased house seem to be home to moles and possibly voles. I *love* to garden, and as this is our first house and the first garden of my very own, there is no way I'm going to let critters stop me. The only perennials the previous residents had planted were critter-proof plants such as daylilies, lily of the valley, daffodils, lamb's ear, creeping phlox etc etc. The foundation plantings were redone fairly recently (maybe a year or two?) and quite small, so it is hard to tell if they have been subjected to a subterranean buffet or are just still very immature. Last fall I planted all of my bulbs in 1" hex mesh cages. I was advised after the fact that 1" mesh isn't small enough to keep the moles/voles out. I then switched to using cylinders of 1/2" hardware cloth with a generous layer of pea gravel at the bottom and on the surface for all my subsequent plantings. Surprisingly though, all of the bulbs in the 1" hex mesh cages came up despite lots of tunneling activity in their bed. I also noticed there are hostas coming up, which I did not plant. I was told that hostas are a vole favorite, so the presence of several large clumps led me to believe that I did not have voles after all. But now, there appears to be tunneling from the surface down into the hardware cloth/gravel cages. Wouldn't a vole be the culprit in that senario? I am totally confused as well as extremely frustrated by the possiblity of having spent hours making plant cages to no avail. Using poison is not an option-- there are too many unfenced dogs, cats and kids in my 'hood.

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