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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
TomNJ
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Default Who dug up my corn!!

I planted my corn bed last month and not a single plant emerged. I thought that maybe I was negligent during a hot dry spell and the germinating seeds dried out at a critical time, so I replanted the bed last week This time I watered every day, sometimes twice.

Yesterday I noticed what I thought were deer hoof prints in the corn bed, until I realized that the holes aligned perfectly with the rows and spacing of the corn - straight rows at one foot intervals. Some critter actually dug up and ate every corn kernel, all 500!!

Whatever it was it had a keen sense of smell as it just dug up the seeds where they were planted, no where else. It went down the rows and dug a hole every foot exactly where the corn was. One friend suggested it was a skunk, and another said a Brown Thrasher. I doubt that a bird could have that good of a sense of smell, so I'm thinking skunk or opossum.

Any ideas??

PS - I replanted today with an earlier variety and will cover with row cover fabric until the plants emerge.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
bower
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Could this be birds?
Almost sounds too methodical, to get every last kernel though....
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
Worth1
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Crows, blame it on crows.
They were watching you plant it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
ContainerTed
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I would bet on a raccoon or a squirrel. I had a couple dozen germinated walnuts with 10 inch plants showing above the mix. I set them on the back patio and then got called to town on what turned out to not be an emergency. After about 2 hours, I returned to find that a single squirrel had dug out all of the one gallon containers and eaten the nut and its plant material.

The little glutton did not leave a single one. They have an amazing sense of smell. And, the raccoons around here do not allow me to plant corn. After three attempts and no harvest, I gave up. Once they find the first kernel, they take it all.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
b54red
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My guess is wild hogs. They do the same thing to peanut farmers sometimes. They are very smart and cunning and will devastate a crop. Only solution is to kill them if you can spot them which is easiest at night.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
TomNJ
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No wild hogs around here. I eliminated chipmunks and squirrels as I doubt they could eat 500 germinating kernels in one night. Raccoons would be my prime suspect, but I can't eliminate skunks or opossums as we have lots of all three. Could groundhogs be a possibility?

In any case I covered the bed with row cover cloth today and hope this will discourage and further poaching!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
uzlaguzla
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I have had the same thing happen. Shoot a crow and hang dead one in the garden.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
Koala Doug
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I think it was a vegan chupacabra.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
Worth1
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Crows are smart and can see you planting seeds from a mile away.

I didn't think the chupacabra got that far north.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
Rootwad
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I'm with Worth on this one and when the corn comes up they will pull it up and eat the seed and leave the stalk.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #11
dustdevil
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Generally, crows wait until the kernels sprout. They take one of their feet to uproot the young plant and eat the kernel off the bottom and toss the plant.
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Old 6 Days Ago   #12
dustdevil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContainerTed View Post
I would bet on a raccoon or a squirrel. I had a couple dozen germinated walnuts with 10 inch plants showing above the mix. I set them on the back patio and then got called to town on what turned out to not be an emergency. After about 2 hours, I returned to find that a single squirrel had dug out all of the one gallon containers and eaten the nut and its plant material.

The little glutton did not leave a single one. They have an amazing sense of smell. And, the raccoons around here do not allow me to plant corn. After three attempts and no harvest, I gave up. Once they find the first kernel, they take it all.
Hi Ted. Use bailing wire to secure chicken wire(mesh) over the container. Use a stake to keep the tree rats from being able to move the container. Place a toe popper next to the container
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