Garden and Ego Destroyed by Skunks

At the risk of turning Root Simple into a skunk complaint blog, please witness the devastation to both my ego and my small patch of rapini.

Luckily, I was able to get a picture of the perpetrator:

Skunk lessons learned the hard way:

  • tightly secure vegetable beds with bird netting
  • don’t do a half-assed job with the hoops that support the bird netting
  • don’t think that “this year those skunks won’t go digging for grubs.”
  • transplant instead of sowing directly (more work, but it just works better for me)
  • lay compost on beds and let the skunks work it in with their high heels

Here’s what the our new keyhole bed looks like with anti-skunk measures in place–bird netting supported by bent PVC pipe.

Now if only I could repair my crushed gardening ego

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    • Yes indeed–it’s called “straw wattle” and I got it at a irrigation supply store. It comes in 25 foot sections and is basically rice processing waste bundled into sacks made out of a plastic mesh.

  1. My goodness, only in LA do you get skunks that look like THAT!
    My mom lives on the hill overlooking the Ralphs, and she gets lots and lots of creatures digging up her seedlings. In fact the neighborhood cats regularly get in fights with the skunks! She takes those free black seedling trays (especially the broken ones) from the nurseries, flips them upside down, sinks them into the dirt a bit, and “pins” them in place with lots of wooden skewers. I believe she crushes them a bit or makes bigger holes in them so that more sunlight can get through the plastic lattice. It looks awful, but the sprouts find their way through the lattice, and the dirt below stays in place.

  2. Can’t give you any firsthand experience, as mine are shipping, but the testimonials on Amazon convinced me to give Solar Nite Eyes a go.

    • If I had a rural piece of land and livestock I would definitely get an outdoor dog. Our late doberman (though he spent most of his time on the couch indoors by his own choice) used to keep a lot of the critters at bay. His skunk hunting usually ended badly–with him running through the house rubbing that horrible smell all over the furniture.

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