Porcupines

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Umbrian

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Porcupines
« on: March 27, 2012, 06:29:32 AM »
You are true artist in the garden Daisy! I particularly love the imaginative planting of Tete a Tete either side of the steps. Unfortunately I cannot grow bulbs in my garden, the local Porcupine population regard them as a gourmet meal and search them out wherever I put them. I do try to grow some in pots but last year they even got to some of them even though I placed them on the wall of the loggia! >:(
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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John

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Porcupines
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 08:44:23 AM »
Umbrian, do they even eat Colchicums?
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

Umbrian

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Re: Porcupines
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 06:47:18 AM »
YES John, they gradually managed to eliminate a large group I planted several years ago. They also love anything with a fleshy tap root and have caused havoc with my Hollyhocks for example. These self seed profusely but a "black" one I had gave up the ghost last year after being attacked on a regular basis. Iris are a great favourite and I made the mistake of planting some at the top of a terrace bounded by a path, they have very strong claws and managed to dig out all the hardcore under the gravel of the path in their efforts to get at the rhizomes. Even after I moved the iris, to avoid having to remake the path every spring, they continued to visit that area so they must have long memories! Much as I love Iris and bulbs I have decided to go with the flow and save myself a lot of heartache, not to mention expense, our property is too large to fence and on the whole we like living with nature.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

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JTh

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Re: Porcupines
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 09:15:06 AM »
At least your hedgehogs give you some eco-friendly pest control, I have read that a single hedgehog can keep an average garden free of pests by eating up to 200 grams of insects each night, and they  are natural slug predators. Maybe you could try to offer them some more tempting food than your plants, such as dog/cat pellets plus water?
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Umbrian

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Re: Porcupines
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 06:23:59 AM »
Hi Jorun, are you confusing porcupines with hedgehogs if your last post was in reply to mine? Can hardly believe that though ??? I know hedgehogs are very beneficial in the garden but porcupines are a real pest being so much bigger and with voracious appetites.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.

Daisy

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Re: Porcupines
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 06:42:24 AM »
That must be a nightmare Umbrian. I get very upset with the polecats digging out my plants in pots, while hunting for worms and soil grubs, but it only happens occasionally and not on the same scale as your problem.
I am surprised that they go for narcissus and colchicums. One would think that being poisonous, would keep them safe.
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

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JTh

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Re: Porcupines
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 08:44:14 AM »
You are of course right, Carol, I read porcupine and thought of hedgehogs. It must be frustrating to have those unwanted guests eating all your bulbs and more, are there no deterrants like bloodmeal and orange peal that may keep them away?
Retired veterinary surgeon by training with a PhD in parasitology,  but worked as a virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS  since 2004. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

Umbrian

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Re: Porcupines
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 06:48:58 AM »
Have tried various deterrents - scattering human hair around the plants (I think my hairdresser thought I was some kind of witch when I asked her to keep some for me!) getting Colin to pee around them, scattering chilli powder (rather expensive) but nothing works for long. Thanks for the suggestions though.
MGS member living and gardening in Umbria, Italy for past 19 years. Recently moved from my original house and now planning and planting a new small garden.