Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Voles...part one

I have mentioned my yard in only one other post. But working in my yard is absolutely one of the things I love to do. Its great exercise, gets me outside, uses my creativity etc. But I fluctuate on how much time I can/do spend out there. Usually by the heat of summer I'm over the digging, tilling, transplanting and focus on watering. By fall I'm OVER ALL of it. Fall is a great time to transplant plants however so on to my post. I have begun the annual dividing and moving of the hostas. I have probably one hundred hostas and some of them are BIG.
When I divided my hosta i always have plenty to give to friends, family and coworkers and keep some for myself. A couple of years ago I started a bed along the woods edge with these hosta as well as azaleas and hydrangeas. But a couple of   my huge hostas barley came up this year. Something had been chewing on them. After much research and yard inspecting I had voles! I knew we had moles (a totally different creature but both are burrowing animals) My dogs have found moles on occasion but I had no idea voles existed until this. And they are HARD to get rid of. I probably won't ever. So,  3 bottles of posion peanuts, one expensive exterminator, some crying, stopping of the tunnels, traps etc. later....I have decide to make hardwire cloth cages. Time consuming and this will be expensive. But I want to try to keep some of the hostas. 

So here is my tutorial for the vole proof plant cage. I guess we will see if this works...
Hardwire cloth with 1/4 inch hole size
zip ties
HEAVY DUTY wire cutters

I just kind of eyeballed the size I thought I would need. Zip tie the ends together leaving 1/3 of the bottom without a zip so we can enclose the bottom like a present. Zip tie the bottom together if the gap is big and there ya go. I have learned in this process that hostas are wide and not deep if that helps. I also am going to try to cage some of my new hydrangea plants.

 There is a product out there called "volebloc" but I have not found any in my area. I may try to use some of that too depending on what I find out in my yard this fall.

Wish me luck!

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