Sunday, May 14, 2017

Woodchucks and herbivory

Buttercrunch lettuces chewed by a neighborhood woodchuck

I used to like woodchucks, many years ago.  They were cute and furry. I like to promote wildlife friendly gardening and ecological restoration of landscapes in my talks and personal encouraging around gardening.

But woodchucks (like deer) have long exceeded the carrying-capacity of their habitats, and being adaptable, have spread into many less desirable spaces as new generations need to find new spaces (like the space underneath our neighbor's house).

So I was not happy to discover this morning evidence of nibbling (really chowing down) on my buttercrunch lettuces, collards, and chard (they're quite particular).  Fortunately, my wire cloches protected some of the greens (and I'm really rather tired of them at this point in the spring, having eaten greens since fall), so I'm not too concerned. Woodchucks don't like onion relatives, or tomatoes, unless it's really droughty, in my experience.

Notice the chewed up collard between the ones in the wire cloches!

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