I hope this works….

If you don't experiment, you don't learn.

Skunk Thwarting

All that ranting I did earlier on squirrels?  It turned out they were a mere practice run for the main event – skunks. Yes, we have skunks.   I was reading a random post on a random gardening journal and it was about how to get rid of (or protect your garden) from deer. However, the author also answered  questions about other animal problems and one of them was about skunks. All of a sudden it clicked. Skunks are powerful diggers. Skunks don’t eat the plants, they are after worms and grubs. Skunks are nocturnal.

My garden was getting dug up at a prodigious rate.  They figured out how to pull up the staples that were holding the netting down and were busy turning my healthy, green, growing plants into uprooted, just sitting there, sickly ones. The skunks were up-rooting the plants and I would plant them again in the morning.  Poor babies just couldn’t grow. The beans they hadn’t touched were almost 5 ft tall on the trellis, the ones that kept getting up-rooted were like 6 INCHES tall…..I was amazed they still stayed green.  The swiss chard that was unbothered was about 10 inches tall, the ones that were getting disturbed were 3 inches tall……in July…..  I tried putting rocks around the beans and swiss chard, it just slowed the critters down a little and they found a new place to dig. Soon my veggie garden was looking more like a Rock Garden….and not a pretty one either. It is not a nice way to start your day….going out to the garden and surveying ruin.

Then I read the garden journal. And read it again. Skunks. So I began to try some of the home-made garden protector ideas. Red pepper flakes didn’t bother them. Mothballs didn’t faze them.  They were hungry and after worms, what was sprinkled on the surface didn’t even slow them down. I say “them” and “they” because it seemed as if a mom and her brood were at work.  The holes were all different sizes and way too many for just one skunk it seemed to me. I finally found a wildlife website that offered solid advice. They said there were only two things that worked for discouraging skunks: bright lights and fences. Ya see, the little buggers can’t climb.  At all.

I was so happy!  The first night I remembered to shut the garden gate. Next morning there were still holes and dis-lodged plants. Perused the fence line. Aha!  Our garden is enclosed, but the north side is “shadow fencing”.  Slats which are offset one from another.  The cats could come in and out of the yard at will through this fencing, apparently the skunks could too.  I proceeded to screen the north side fencing using the leftover plastic hail/shade cloth.  Perfect length. anchored with zip ties and heavy rocks. Then I got my hubby to make a “sweep” for the garden gate. He used zip ties to attach a piece of wood to the bottom of the gate.  Success!  I say again “SUCCESS”!!!!!

shade/hail cloth put to another use

shade/hail cloth put to another use

I still had the south garden to secure. A while back my hubby had acquired a 100 ft of that red, 4 foot high, plastic “Danger Will Robinson” fencing and the stakes that went with it. We surrounded each bed with the red fencing, making it about 2 ft, 6 inches tall.  I am short, so that height will still allow me to lean over the top to harvest and weed

another use for this fencing....keeping skunks out, but not people.

another use for this fencing….keeping skunks out, but not people.

I am pleased to report that the skunks have been thwarted.

I  planted more lettuce, spinach and beans and know they will be safe…..except for the squirrels……oh noes!   I forgot about the squirrels!!!!!!

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