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voles and mulch and cover crops  RSS feed

 
Posts: 7
Location: willamette valley, oregon
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this year I was diligent about cover cropping, mulching (with cardboard, and some very weedy/grass areas with black plastic) in an attempt to not have bare soil.  One unfortunate result was that voles have found the cover to be quite convenient.  They ate all my brussel sprout plants almost as soon as I set them out.  I also think they are eating the stems of my squash - not the squash, just the main stem which of course kills the whole plant!  At first I thought it was gophers (which I continually trap), but I have found pathways under the mulch, and I saw a vole running through the squash, so now I think it is probably voles.

I don't want to leave the soil bare!  Anyone have advice for having mulch and cover, and also not losing plants to voles?
 
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Posts: 398
Location: Wisconsin, USA Zone 4b-5a
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Not my expertise, but here's a couple of threads that may help:
https://permies.com/t/40/38956/swale-headaches#535809
https://permies.com/t/1334/critters/Sepp-Holzer-moles-voles
 
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Posts: 4892
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I plant garlic as a perimeter barrier around our gardens, it seems that voles aren't fond of the odor garlic puts off in the soil because where there is garlic there are no voles and where there isn't any garlic we have voles.

Redhawk
 
J Blair
Posts: 7
Location: willamette valley, oregon
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garlic - great idea,thanks!
thanks also for the links
 
Posts: 49
Location: Hudson Valley Zone 5b
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They don't seem to like burrowing under woodchips.

I have voles in my orchard. They love burrowing under cardboard / hay; cardboard / woodchips; and just hay. So far not under just woodchips. Although they don't seem to be as active in the summer. Activity increases through the fall. I guess other food sources become scarce.

Next year I'm going to experiment with woodchips first, covered seasonally by hay, with hay raked back in the fall.
 
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