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Old April 27, 2018   #1
ako1974
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Default Garlic varmint?

I have been seeing the standard "drill holes" in my garlic beds. Something has dug straight into the straw and into the ground. I don't see any loose cloves laying around. I've always known squirrels dig in and around my garlic, sometimes removing a clove or two.

There seem to be more holes this year. When I opened the door this morning, I flushed two blue jays from one of my beds. I've never seen them in my garlic before. One year, I had an issue of dying and missing young onions. I couldn't figure out what was going on until one day I noticed a robin pulling them all up and flinging them.

Have you ever seen blue jays digging in your beds? Especially where you may have planted garlic or some kind of root?
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Old April 27, 2018   #2
KarenO
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I would guess it’s not the garlic they are after but some sort of grub or insect
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Old April 27, 2018   #3
GrowingCoastal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ako1974 View Post
I have been seeing the standard "drill holes" in my garlic beds. Something has dug straight into the straw and into the ground. I don't see any loose cloves laying around. I've always known squirrels dig in and around my garlic, sometimes removing a clove or two.

There seem to be more holes this year. When I opened the door this morning, I flushed two blue jays from one of my beds. I've never seen them in my garlic before. One year, I had an issue of dying and missing young onions. I couldn't figure out what was going on until one day I noticed a robin pulling them all up and flinging them.

Have you ever seen blue jays digging in your beds? Especially where you may have planted garlic or some kind of root?

Yes I have! I grow my garlic in pots. Why the jays pulled the tags from the edge of the pots I don't know but they did! I see them fly into the yard and kak up a mouthful of birdseed gleaned from the neighbour's feeder to bury in the lawn, or acorns from neighbourhood oaks.

Last year I had onion sets pulled out of pots by the many sparrows who are always scratching and looking for whatever in the yard. I wondered what was going on.
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Old April 27, 2018   #4
ako1974
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I figured, too, they were after straw for nesting. But they didn't have to make holes for that. Dang birds!

Karen - yeah, maybe they're going for insects or worms just below mulch level?

After one flew off the bed, it landed on my fence and started going at a zip tie I have on there. I guess it may be a mixture of foraging and curiosity.
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Old April 27, 2018   #5
Nan_PA_6b
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I have a robin who studies my gardening closely. This year I put down leaves and compost. He digs little holes in both. He's looking for worms or other insects. He may pull up a plant or two by accident, but he's looking for meat. I feed him chopped raisins every day and he loves those to supplement his diet.

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Old May 1, 2018   #6
bower
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I had the same problem with ravens here, when I used leaves to mulch the garlic. They didn't damage the plants at all though, but they were tearing up the mulch to go after insects underneath. This year I pre-empted their frolics by removing the leaves myself.
I've seen the problem before with young transplants, that the birds would pick them out and fling em as they're looking for bugs or worms. I find it safer to cover the beds until transplants have rooted in, before letting them go about their buggy business.
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