I have to downsize the garden this year and thought about putting in
pumpkins to take up some space. I live next to a railroad track which
is a groundhog highway. There's always another one and being in the
city limited ways to get rid of them. They love melon vines so that's
out. Anybody know if they feel the same about pumpkins?
They not only eat pumpkin vines, they will come back later to eat any
pumpkins that might actually have set.
The only food they seem to prefer to garden plantings is mulberry leaves.
I can tolerate most of the wildlife around here, even the rabbits.
Groundhogs are the exception. My daughter, the zoology student,
made a very nice study skin from one of our local groundhogs.
after having more experience with intense
groundhog pressure i can report more
information on what they seem to be doing
and ignoring here.
and to get to the topic of the OP first
regarding squash/pumpkins they did not eat
any of the seedlings we sprouted by direct
planting, we put fabric netting over them
before they sprouted to keep the chipmunks
out of them. after they had several leaves
we left them uncovered. the groundhogs
left them alone until several deer ate some
of the leaves. i suspect that smell clued
in the groundhogs and from then on we had
some leaves eaten, but they left the stems
and older leaves alone so the plants have
kept growing and are now flowering.
as for the rest of the unfenced gardens
we've had some of the beans eaten by
groundhogs and a few of those i did replant.
they eat the fresh sprouted leaves at the
tips but ignore the older leaves and stems.
same for the peas.
i didn't really notice them in the straw-
berries, but they could have eaten them. it
did not make any difference to me as we had
enough (i have three fairly large patches of
them, two are not fenced and one is inside
the fenced gardens).
they also have done some munching on the
alfalfa and trefoil, but that is ok with me
as that whole patch is for green manure and
if the deer, rabbits or whatever eat some of
it then that's just how it goes.
inside the fenced gardens the youngest
groundhogs learned how to climb through the
fence and so they've kept the lettuce, beets
and pak choi trimmed back, some of the beans
and peas have had their fresh leaves nipped
off, but most of the plants are still alive
and are flowering.
they seem to have ignored the onions,
garlic, and the tomatoes. i'm not sure
about the fennel, but it looks to be ok.
i don't think they did much damage to
the winter wheat or winter rye. they seem
more interested in the clovers, plantains,
dandelions that remain in the little grassy/
mowed areas we have left. they don't graze
them as closely as the rabbits do.
we'll see how the rest of the season goes,
if they'll get after the squash blossoms or
i have thinned the population quite a bit
now and gotten rid of one of their den sites.
also plugged up a way they were using to
get into the yard so they have a bit more of
a challenge to get into the gardens.
in a perfect world i'd have a better fence
and the drainage ditches would be filled. :)
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