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Seed Sense: Question of the Day- Klepto Chipmunks

This time of year we're getting more questions than we have time to answer. I'm in the office in front of the computer less and less and outside (when it's not pouring rain) more and more. A great place to post a question is on our Facebook page where other gardeners can weigh in and give advice. We all have lots to learn from each other! If you have any suggestions for this question, feel free to leave a comment to the blog post.

Here's the latest Q from Patti in Rochester, NY:

 

 

Hank's Bean photo by Miachael Asbill Hank's Bean photo by Miachael Asbill

 

 

My garden is beset by squirrels and chipmunks who, for every two packages of beans I plant, dig up and devour at least 1.5 packages. Either that or redistribute them in odd places around the yard. When they were done having  their way with the recently sowed seeds, I realized I have eight seedlings and most of those are pole beans. This is turning into one of those I-don't-know-why-I-try years.

Dear Patti,

Darn chipmunks!

You could try starting the beans in seed starting trays and transplanting if need be. Just be very gentle when transplanting the beans. They don't love it. Another trick is to direct sow the beans and then lay down some type of light/water permeable cover. Row cover works or you could try screen or hardware cloth to create a barrier just until they germinate. Keep an eye out and remove the cover so the seedlings don't get squashed.

Don't give up! Every year is an experiment and learning experience in the garden. Gardening is just as much about learning to let go as it is about learning to grow.

Stay seedy,
Ken

4 thoughts on “Seed Sense: Question of the Day- Klepto Chipmunks”

  • H_O_G_

    My neighbors cat loves my backyard....and the critters that find their way to my produce...I'm not advocating the killing of squirrels, chipmunks etc. I'm just stating that cats tend to keep critters away from the garden.As a-matter-of-fact, birds actually benefit from the cat. Without ground critters, birds can hide in the foliage of plants and eat seeds as well..

    Reply
  • Krystal

    Okay so what I've been doing is buying cheap bird seed and putting it in large piles near where the chipmunk lives. I've found if they have a food source they leave my plants alone. Also keeps the squirrels and birds at bay as well.

    Reply
  • Patti

    Patti of Rochester here. I have a dog who has upon occasion brought me the gift of a dead squirrel. She's a ratter, and loves to lie in wait of the beasties. However, her definition of when to attack is different from mine. She'll happily, patiently be poised to pounce whilst they merrily wreak havoc on the seed bed and then attack as they attempt to leave.

    I've also put up and kept full birdfeeders that result in a good scattering of bird seed where the chipmunks and squirrels frolic. They are numerous and insatiable in this suburb.

    I've developed a good eye for spotting misplaced bean, pumpkin, squash and pea plants in the yard. They do not always transplant well. And the rabbits and the sprouts are a whole other issue! I guess I need to be more liberal with the netting and chicken wire...

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Reply
  • Engy

    we also have lost a lot of our garden to chpnumiks and most of our green beans have fattened a already fat wood chuck but to stop growing vegetables?I love flowers growing in the yard and garden and would have more if I had more space . but really if I had more space I would grow more vegetables, that is just who we are. We love the food we grow, we rejoice when he first cucumber or zucchini is large enough to come into the house, and oh my that first corn and tomato pie of the summer some dishes are not the same without fresh from the garden ingredients.Our plan is to fight these raiders much the same way bugs are kept off plants with floating row covers only woven wire (1/2 hardware cloth) does not float like row cover does. I plan to build hardware cloth covered frames over the strawberry rows to keep the chpnumiks away from the strawberries. Similar covers may keep the wood chuck from the beans but I will have to be creative to keep him from the tomatoes.I may also have to transition to raised beds with wire bottoms as both pest can borrow up from underneath but that may not stop the chuck as I did have him in my live trap this week but he tore a hole in the cage door and escaped before I got home from work He really needs to be relocated!

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