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Ground Hog eating carrot tops sweet potato plants

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  • Rella Aug 5, 2011 11:10 AM

I have six 4x6 raised beds.

When we returned home after a day away from home, we found that a ground hog ate one box full of all the carrots and sweet potato plants tops - ate them to the ground.

The ground hogs like to wait until the tomatoes are ripe and eat them up. Luckily they were busy munching and did not see the tomatoes and peppers on the side of the house where we had moved them that morning.

Is there any sort of fencing that might be best to keep out ground hogs. Or any other way to keep them out. We do have deer, but they aren't as destructive and even though we are in the country, aren't numerous this year and last.

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  1. Get a dog? ;) Seriously, no ideas, just sympathy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tzurriz

      I've had allergy tests a couple of months ago. I suspected that I was allergic to dogs, as well as cats - my tests confirmed it. I love dogs so much that it wouldn't stand a chance being kept outside.

      Sympathy needed!

    2. I had the same problem till I wrapped the entire garden with netting. Seriously. I have 4 sections marked off by paths in the shape of a cross. I took tall garden stakes and spring form cloths hooks, cut the netting from top to bottom where the entrances were to create a "door". The clothes hooks kept the netting attached to the stakes and the "door" allowed entrance. I used the corners of wire hangers that I cut to about 9" lengths to use as staples to keep the netting tight to the ground. Every foot or so. Worked like a charm.

      Easy-Up Lightweight Fence
      http://www.gardeners.com/Lightweight-...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gio

        Thank you! I've printed your information and am looking at the site with 171 reviews (with helpful hints as well).

        We used to have stakes and ribbons and netting for deer with we had a larger garden, so I'm sure we can handle this new idea.

        My enormous appreciation!

        1. re: Gio

          Went to Lowe's and got appropriate material - 300' may be the right amount; as well as the loops to keep the netting tight. We have stakes. Hoping for a beginning Sunday installation!

        2. Cabela's has a good sale on high powered pellet guns right now..........you have to fix the problem, not put a bandaid on it..............plus, ground hog is great on the grill when marinated in a bit of mojo.....

          3 Replies
          1. re: JNUNZMAN

            Ground hogs run fast.
            That ground hog might have been in other yards where pesticides are used.
            Probably against the rules to hurt a groundhog.

            1. re: Rella

              Dear Rella, I'm afraid we have the same problem! Our resident woodchuck/groundhog ate our tomato and pepper plants from top to bottom. So, we moved new plants in large pots into our dogs play yard. That worked for about a week. Then, one morning two plants were eaten again. For the life of us we couldn't figure out who was doing the damage. Then one day hubby brought in the dogs; and there it was. Under the fence and up to a plant and munching away...guess he realized the dogs wouldn't be back for awhile. Anyway, went on line and checked the little varmint out. They suggested net fencing like you're trying, or ROPEL. It won't poison them; just make whatever it's sprayed on taste terrible. I can't kill them; just want them to leave me some veggies! Good luck.

              1. re: Rella

                I'm not sure where you are from but in Ohio hunting groundhogs/whistle-pigs is target practice because they are considered pest in farm fields. They are not very intelligent but they are cute to watch.

                They can be very destructive but Ive never known them to come in the city because they prefer hay fields or their favorite food is soybeans.

            2. I had a similar problem last week, only I suspect the culprits were chipmunks (holes seem to be too small for groundhogs and I've not seen any, but maybe they are just sneaky). I had made a 1x3 ft raised bed 10" high specifically for carrots, filled it with a nice loose mix, and covered it with a wire cage to repel predators. Alas, they burrowed underneath just as the two dozen plus carrots reached harvestable size and wiped them out (except for one survivor that was chewed on). Sigh.

              My reaction was to take out all the dirt and line the bottom of the bed with hardware cloth. I just hope there is still enough growing season left to produce another crop.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DonShirer

                Whut! They ate the carrots, too????
                What a pity!