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vegetables and fruits wildlife won't eat

 
Posts: 9
Location: southern Tasmania, cool wet climate but not so frosty
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Could anyone suggest what vegetables and fruits I could grow which animals (particuarly possums and wallabies/small kangaroos) won't devour?

I already have a possum proof zone, but wish to grow in other unprotected areas, I am considering:

sour/bitter fruits such as Quince, Greengage, citrus, rhubarb

stinging nettle (alot!)

Tubers such as :Jeruselem atrichoke, potatoes, mashua, (and yacon, chinese artichoke, ullucus, arracacha, oca,horseradish if i can ever find them), I'm hoping tuberous plants will be less effected, but have no idea..

cheers

 
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: San Diego, California
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Maybe Prickly Pear or other cactus fruits?
bitter almond? medlars?
 
gardener & author
Posts: 1944
Location: Tasmania
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Possums are tricky.

Different possums in different places eat different things. Some people will grow potatoes without problems, others will get all of theirs eaten by possums. Sometimes possums will leave something alone for a while, and then they'll eat it.

One year I planted buckwheat and the possums were really interested in eating that, and ignored my other plants while there was still buckwheat left, so planting stuff that they prefer might be a good strategy, although it also might encourage them.

Mustard greens grew fine here early in the season, but now a possum has decided to eat the one plant I had left.

Zucchinis were fine, possums like to eat pumpkins/winter squash though.

Possums or rabbits ate all of my beans, but one bean plant that was hiding in some borage plants got ignored - I wonder if hiding the plants in amongst stuff they don't eat is a good idea?

The possums here ignore tomato plants until the tomatoes are ripe, and then they eat the tomatoes themselves but not the plants.

Wallabies will eat the entire vegetable garden, but are safer around fruit trees than possums.

Nettle was growing on a part of my land, where there is a lot of wildlife, so that might be ok. Nettle where I am seems to just grow in spring, and then it disappears until the next spring. If there was a enough of it, it could be dried and used all through the year though.

A strategy might be to plant stinky plants that deter them near your edible plantings, and that will hopefully keep them away. I considered a border of wormwood all around my garden, but it's allopathic so I don't want that to be too close to my plants.
 
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,500' Zone 8a
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Prickly Pear is the first thing animals eat down here.
My Goji berries are never touched.
 
gardener
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Location: South of Capricorn
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my experience talking to other people about what the bugs and critters will eat or leave alone seems to vary wildly, and I suspect it depends on what else the critters have to eat in the neighborhood and how much it appeals to them.
A friend of mine not far from here cannot grow greens of any kind because birds rip out his tender plants, but has trees loaded with peaches! The birds eat all my fruit, but greens are fine. So i think you might be stuck experimenting!

Passifloras in my experience are pretty resistant, once you get past the small stage where caterpillars can decimate a weak vine. Nobody is going to eat an immature passionfruit, and there is only a small window in which you need to protect the ripe fruit.
 
Kate Downham
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Posts: 1944
Location: Tasmania
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I wonder also if a border of sharp sticks or prickly stuff sticking up around a tree would deter possums and wallabies? I might try this for any isolated trees I want to plant outside of fenced areas.

Also hawthorn seems to do OK where I am, and I read somewhere that tastier fruits can be grafted on to mature hawthorn, so hiding grafted fruit branches here and there through a hawthorn hedge might be one way to deter wildlife. Blackberries seem to grow without wildlife trouble here too.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,500' Zone 8a
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Kate Downham wrote:I wonder also if a border of sharp sticks or prickly stuff sticking up around a tree would deter possums and wallabies?


Years ago, I used to use chopped up Bougainvillea branches on top of the mulch. It most definitely kept the rabbits back.
 
pollinator
Posts: 651
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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The American Pawpaw might work. I think there are some growers in the great down under.
 
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