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Old May 1, 2021   #1
GoDawgs
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Default Thieving Whatevers!

^^&$@%))((^&^^%#%$@%!!!!!!!!!!!! Something stole my Jerusalem artichokes!

The three that had come up about 3" were gone this morning. Nothing but a small depression where they had been. No evidence of frantic digging, just a depression in the soil. I can't imagine what critter got 'em. And the ironic thing is I mulched them late yesterday and thought that since one had already disappeared I should put a small netting tunnel over the rest. As I walked up to the bed ready to deal with that this morning I made the discovery. I tell ya, I'm DONE with JA's. That's the second $15 gone down the drain. No more unless I find some at a grocery. Very fat chance out here in Cow Pie County.
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Old May 1, 2021   #2
brownrexx
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Had you applied any fertilizer when planting? Skunks will dig up my seedlings if I add fertilizer to the planting hole.
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Old May 2, 2021   #3
GoDawgs
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No, I had not. I was going to side dress after they got up a bit. I've not had any problems with skunks before even though I usually fertilize most stuff before planting. Oh, they're around periodically. The other night Lester cat smelled slightly skunky. Unfortunately he must have been close enough to a recent skunk marking that his fur caught a slight drift of it. No cuddles for him! AND fortunately he "aired out" over night. Whew!
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Old May 3, 2021   #4
JRinPA
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I'm lost, what's a JA? Also, can't see your pic.
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Old May 4, 2021   #5
GoDawgs
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JA's are the Jerusalem Artichokes. You didn't miss a pic because I didn't post one as there was nothing to take a pic of. LOL! Just a few indentations in the ground where the plants were.
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Old May 4, 2021   #6
JRinPA
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Ahh maybe it is the first emoticon thing. Firefox is calling it an image.
http://www.tomatoville.com/data:imag...ABAAEAAAIBRAA7


Jerusalem artichoke, yeah I couldn't figure JA. A guy on the other side of town grows them. He embraced the edible yard concept and he had them growing on the low side of his back yard, near a small stream, on the north of a treeline. I say had simply because I haven't been down there in a couple years.


Now I see Jerusalem Artichoke in the bold text, right next to the missing file, lol. My eyes focused on that broken link.


Should I be growing them? JA? That fellow told me you can use them like potatoes.

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Old May 5, 2021   #7
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I started some from an local organic foods store (so that's an easy route if you can find them) and they almost took over my garden. It took several years to get rid of them, or I would gladly send some along (with all appropriate cautions). Some folks encounter digestive issues; that wasn't our case but we also didn't find them that tasty either. YMMV. Your Mileage May Vary, @JRinPA
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Old May 5, 2021   #8
GoDawgs
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PhilaGardener, that is so very kind of you! Please check your PM.

I made a bed specifically for these things after reading about their invasiveness. It's bordered on all sides by old 6x6" timbers. But I suppose they could maybe slip under the timbers and pop up on the other side. Wily devils! But if they do, I live out in the country so.... that's why God invented lawnmowers.
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Old May 5, 2021   #9
JRinPA
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Maybe voles? I've been reading about how to do the wire grid to prevent vole damage, and someone mentioned voles pulling their artichokes underneath like bugs bunny did carrots.


The garden sweet potatoes I had last year were demolished by voles, also the turnips and some beets. The same sweet potatoes in the raised bed 30 feet away were fine. I have a 5x9 box made with 2x6 I could reassemble and bottom line with hardware cloth easily enough. I'm thinking I'll make that a mobile sweet potato bed?
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Old May 5, 2021   #10
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Voles.... hmmmm.... not knowing a lot about them I just got done reading about five pieces on voles. I think that if there were voles around, the cats would probably have caught one and brought the "present" into the house as they do from time to time.

I don't recall them ever bringing in any kind of rodent that large. Small mice, moles and shrews are pretty much the extent of their kills or captures. There also has never been any kind of above ground munching damage such as I've read about. They sure sound like little marauders that I can do without!

Your mobile sweet potato bed sounds like an idea though. But maybe save that for an intense turnip and beet planting since they didn't touch your sweets? Maybe sweet potatoes are too big. Go figure why animals do what they do. I'm just glad I haven't had an invasion like you had!
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Old May 5, 2021   #11
JRinPA
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Well what I meant was, I had sweet potatoes in two spots 10 yards apart. The 20 ft raised bed (were fine) and the old in ground garden (were demolished). In the old garden, the voles also ate out some turnips and nice big beets. I won't be growing anymore root crops in that garden. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and pole beans seem to work best there. Bush beans get eaten up as well.


I didn't really learn about voles until the last few years, growing root crops. But I have seen them now multiple times both here at the house and over at the comm garden. They are bigger than mice, but surprisingly quick and hard to stomp on!
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Old May 9, 2021   #12
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I had something eating my bonita sweet potatoes last year. I planted one 4' X 4' bed and about a third of the roots had been gnawed on. Oddly enough my two beds of Beauregard sweet potatoes didn't get touched.
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Old May 10, 2021   #13
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@GoDawgs I think it might be a skunk. I've seen one on patrol in the back yard and again a few nights ago. I used Down To Earth organic fertilizer when setting out my small tomato plants about a week and a half ago, much to my regret, it must smell like a banquet to the skunk because he went in with great enthusiasm. Potting soil strewn about and a deep hole in the pot. Very disappointed to see little Bradley dug up and almost dead (saved it in just the nick of time). Now I did what I did last year: I covered up the pots with black plastic lawn and leaf bags. Hole cut in the bottom, drawstring at the top, snug around the plant's base. With the dirt covered it is no longer attractive to the digging skunks. Also, the skunk seems to like the low-lying felt pots (7 gal.). He (or she) ignores the taller vinyl pots.
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Old May 10, 2021   #14
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Thanks for that, GT. Well, there has been a skunk around here lately. In fact, Lester cat came in one night last week with a faint whiff of skunk on him. Thank goodness he "aired out" overnight! He must have been in the vicinity when a skunk let fly. Skunks do mark their territory and I think we're on this one's rounds!
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