Last week, despite much preparation to avoid having this problem again, I walked outside to find my just ready to start producing pea plants decimated, the bean plants chewed to the nub, all the lettuce munched right down to the dirt, all the spinach nibbled, and a bite taken out of my first tiny bell pepper.
And it’s even worse. I don’t just have one groundhog in my garden. I’ve got a mama, daddy and baby groundhog living under my bathroom! They dug under the wall (that one room is over a crawlspace) under the back decking, then dug under ANOTHER wall to get inside my fenced in garden!
So this is my plan of action. I’ve got the Havahart Trap set and baited. I put wood ash in the burrow hole that comes up into the garden, though that was less effective at first. You need to use a LOT of wood ash.
I also put mothballs in that hole, and it seems to be keeping them from using that hole to get into the garden, though I’ll have to renew them periodically. The hole under the back deck is more problematical, and I have to make sure all three are out before I treat that hole!
There are some other things I will be doing but none of it is easy. I live in a small city, so the lead cure (shotgun pellets!) is out of the question, even if I could bring myself to do it, which I probably couldn’t, even though I was ALMOST mad enough to consider it!
I’m buying some rebar and having it cut into 2.5 foot lengths and using it as stakes to pound into the ground along the wall they’re digging under into the garden. I’ll space them approximately 4 inches apart. Yes, this is a lot of pounding. There’s about 12 feet of wall! The good news is that rebar will last a lot of years before it rusts away. I’ll probably just do it where the hole is first, since they burrowed right under the cinder block and brick I piled into the hole. Depth is key here! Best to do it immediately after a rainstorm, but I can manufacture one of those with the garden hose if I need to, just to soften the ground a bit and make it easier to pound those stakes in.
If this area wasn’t under my bathroom there’d be some other things I’d try, like flooding the burrow, but that isn’t safe to do under a dwelling crawlspace. I’d also try a Smoke Bomb if this wasn’t under my bathroom, but that would be if all else failed. I really don’t wanna kill the critters. (Okay, okay, I have had a FEW murderous thoughts about groundhogs and woodchucks, but I’ve managed to squelch them!)
I just hope I can trap them and relocate them. That would be the ideal.