Flippin Groundhogs Out Already

newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)February 19, 2009

The flippin groundhogs, and I'm controlling my language here, have already emerged here (6b) and one just tried to come into the garage disregarding the fact that I'm sitting right here. I screamed at him to get the &$## out of here and had to chase him all the way to the back of the yard under my father's shed where the family from hell lives and procreates.

I've been wondering what's been rooting around in the back bed behind the garage as nobody but the squirrels and birds usually peruse there.

I'm already in a funk over sowing all these seeds just to have these rolly-polly destroyers drag themselves all over eating everything in their path...and that doesn't even take into account my fury over deer and rabbits getting my plants.

There may be deer/rabbits resistant plant lists to lull newbies like me into a false sense of security (lesson learned last year) but there's nothing miserable groundhogs won't eat.

Sorry...it's so disheartening even when I realize there are people with REAL problems who would love to have just a critter eating plant problem in real life.

My father asked me if I wanted him to get something to deal with them. My first thought was not "nature correct" so he suggested Havahart traps. I reminded him it's illegal in NJ to trap and relocate rabbits/groundhogs but he swears his friends ("old men's take back our yard gang") do it all the time.

Well, I had my rant to the ONLY people I know who might have one iota of sympathy for finding your plants eaten to the ground after all the work that goes into producing and tending them. Even ugly fencing doesn't keep them out.

There's no one in my daily life who gives one hoot if there are flowers and plants besides Boxwood on the entire street...and the deer have stripped all the outer branches of the Boxwood already this winter. Yes, they've been sprayed weekly with alternating concoctions to no avail.

I look at all the beautiful pictures of your gardens and sigh with dejection after I see how many gorgeous flowers are out there.

Fences are going up until the babies can get bigger and I don't care how trashy it looks in front of the house and at the street...or how much my father snipes about it.

Okay, I'm done venting for the time being...but only because I need to get dinner ready!

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Save your flowers - - plant some veggies for them!!! We had a groundhog family move in 2 years ago and my husband has tried everything to get rid of them - - bubble gum (suppose to clog them up till they die - didn't), smoke bombs in their nest, even took a few shots with a bb gun (can't miss these guys, they are chubby as puppies). They have terrorized his veggie garden to the point that he is saying with certainty that he is not going to bother planting one this year - - we'll support the local farm stands. This makes me a little nervous though because they did not bother my flowers when there were veggies around and maybe now they will!!!

Ground hogs are a common "crazy making" complaint. DH spent hours on the internet looking for the answer and I was amazed at how many sites promote really wacky tactics for their demise. You have lots of company newbie in NJ!!!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:42PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I've read about the bubble gum "solution" and was very tempted to try it but was afraid they'd die under the shed without me being able to retrieve them and make it stink more than they already do...LOL.

Nan, if I had any sunny spot that would support veggies I'd plant something there. I'd give my eye teeth to have a REAL tomato.

Trouble is I'm "sun challenged" at my father's place and those spots are reserved for whatever butterfly/hummer plants I can cram in there...even loads of containers since the ground is water pooling clay except 3 small beds I was able to raise so roots/bulbs don't rot.

A guy I met last summer at Home Depot while buying repellant said he was buying Havahart traps because he'd just seen groundhogs scaling his 5' fence around HIS veggie garden.

Suspect you'd better convince your husband to plant something for these miserable herbivores to eat besides your plants/flowers. It would be worse to have lovely gardens, years in the making, eaten away.

Thanks for the commiseration...LOL.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 7:32AM
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floodthelast(5 N. OH)

Your spot of gardening earth sounds like mine. I have a nice dog though, she handles everything bigger than a mole. She also poops in my beds buries raccoons and randomly digs through them. So it's a difficult situation so far. Check my latest posts and we can commiserate about clay and water whenever you like.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 9:40AM
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Get a Doberman or two! My girls take care of any groundhogs, rabbits, moles, etc. including the cursed black snakes that scare the crap outta me. The snakes don't eat the veggies, of course, but they hang out in the shade of my raised beds and, worse, climb up the trees and into the birdhouses! A few years ago, a big one climbed in the birdhouse and knocked off four new sparrow hatchlings.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 1:48PM
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playintheyard(zn6 MA)

Oh that reallt **cks!! How heart breaking!! Get the traps and some poison make him a nice veggie dish!!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 5:26PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Floodthelast, are you the one who posted pics of the flooded backyard? I was so upset to see those plants under water. I feel for you. You must cringe when reading the old recommendation to test whether or not you have clay by seeing if water's still pooling after 5-6 hours. I get kick out of that one.

Your dog actually gets raccoons?? Holy cannoli!

The only "pets" I have are my yard birds and I spoil them rotten. I even have a soft spot for the 6 squirrels who frequent the area for some food and water from the makeshift birdbaths.

One neighbor down the street has 2 Golden Labs that her husband always thinks will "stay in the yard" when he lets them out at night. She could rap him over the head. They end up roaming the neighborhood but are totally worthless in the "critter control" arena. They just slobber all over anyone they come across.

My father has offered to try a trap but there are more than just one...at least 3 I've seen traveling together. We'd have to transport them under cover of darkness since it's illegal to trap and/or relocate in NJ. Besides, a friend has people relocating them in woods near his property and he has a heck of a time from their "gifts".

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 7:39AM
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