garden thieves

Pests & Pathogens

a101 theft

Last weekend my community plot neighbor told me that some critter had been eating his sunflower seeds as he planted them. Since I planted sunflowers a couple weeks ago, I immediately went to look for my sprouts. No sprouts! Some critter has eaten mine too!

While walked through the gardens I see that other gardeners have nice sunflowers growing, so its just our location. We must be in the territory of a very hungry little sunflower-eating chipmunk!

On top of this I am finding evidence of a pea-thief! I pulled aside the vines and found many empty and nibbled pods on the ground. Again, I am blaming a chipmunk! But fortunately, I have enough peas to share.

I will have to try some trick to get my sunflowers to sprout. I will plant some at home in peat pots. Sunflowers don’t like to be transplanted but peat pots should be OK. My plot neighbor is going to try using fine chicken wire on the top of the soil. We’ll see if we can outsmart the little critter.

I am also trying to grow soybeans at home because of the chipmunk/thief. So far, these are not sprouting well – old seeds. I have a newer pack to try, I’ll keep at it.

13 Comments. Leave new

  • I hate critters!

  • Sprouting your seed and then planting them is a good idea. Chipmunks like the seeds as they sprout in the ground, not the seedlings (unless the seeds are still attached to the sprout). Chicken wire over the seed patch might work. It's how I keep my dogs and cat out of gardens.

  • That pea thief is probably the same chipmunk that ate all our peas last year. Seriously like all but half a handful. David even saw him in the act.

  • I thought my pea thief was a bird. Lots of whole pods snapped in half. There are also ones that have "V" marks on them, like beak marks. I am going to try netting tonight. We'll see.–Makhappy522

  • Our pea thief turned out to be a woodchuck last year — my wife snuck up on him one day. It turns out they are very good at climbing fences. We got some extra fencing and curled it outward at the top, and that succeeded in keeping him out.

  • Makhappy522 – Watch out that you don't use loose netting that birds will get caught in. I did this once and trapped a nice little white throated sparrow by accident. Use tight nylon netting or chicken wire.

  • You can also try putting some of the fiberglass screening material. I use this whenever I seed greens until they sprout and start pushing up the screening material.

  • A rat trap works quite well for chipmunks. And I hope those peat-pot sunflowers work, because I just planted some of those today. Didn't know they didn't like transplanting.

  • I used to think chipmunk were just cute little creatures. Then I learned they truly are evil 🙂

  • Well I'm sure Mr Finch is right as his garden is very near to mine. That chipmunk must be FAT! But cute!

    Nad I can't blame them for eating the peas. The bowl of shelled peas I made the other day was truly delicious. I will go to the plot tomorrow and see if there are more.

    Someone said to me the other day that chipmunks are territorial and that my plot must be in the territory of a very clever one. Is he in my territory or am I in his?

    I still like them! But I can imagine how farmers who make their living from their produce feel differently. Maybe I will get a cute photo of him while he nibbles.

  • They must be territorial because I only even see one. We feed birds with sunflower seed so it is always scurrying around. It even went right inside the feeder once. It took to eating my brassicas this spring, glade it stopped!

  • Not only were there birds, it was a mommy and two baby bunnies eating the peas!! Found a hole in our fence where they were coming in. Also tied bright ribbons on top of the peas and the birds must be afraid of them. No more pilfered peas!!

  • Last week I weed whacked the thick growth of weeds around my plot. The fat chipmunk was in there and ran off. I bet he was hanging out here for cover and eating my peas.

    Now I notice my peas are ripening on the vines without being eaten. Maybe I'll get a meal of peas yet! Better late than never.


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