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A Villain Returns…

My nemesis the groundhog came back with a vengeance the other day, decimating a perfect stand of perennial sunflowers and causing considerable damage to a large swath of cup plants in a few short hours. I‘ve always preached humane tactics in dealing with such wildlife – it’s their land too – but not anymore. This beast (or beasts, as I’ve been warned there’s always more than one) has taken too much. It’s one thing to indulge in a necessary nibble now and again for survival purposes, but when something doesn’t know the meaning of moderation, it’s time to go. For the moment, I’m going to try a recommended remedy: tennis balls soaked in ammonia and placed strategically throughout the garden. Apparently groundhogs don’t like the smell of ammonia. Sadly, neither do I, but I’ll try anything at this point.

Last year the creature destroyed a beautifully lush pot of sweet potato vines, stripping every last leaf from the plant, which just barely started putting out new foliage before the summer ended. We are not having that this year. If it takes ammonia, tennis balls, chicken wire, poisoned apples or buckshot, this thing is being eradicated – if not from the earth then just from our yard. This is a ruthless business, and if there is a shortage of cup plants then there will be a shortage of seeds for the goldfinches later in the season. Nobody messes with the finches without retribution. Groundhog, you are officially on notice – and there is no second chance.

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