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Moles and Hazelip Beds

 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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We set up our beds last autumn in the style of the great Emilia Hazelip and I'm pleased with them - so are the moles....in every single one of the TEN 12m(36ft) beds!!!  Now I guess that's almost to be expected as I was trying to encourage more worms and earth living things and I take it as a kinda compliment that Mr and Mrs Mole have moved in but....  Whenever I go to plant a little plantlet, pull aside the mulch and make the little hole, my trowel disappears into the abyss.  And they get quite fed up if I plant sommat in their tunnel and just chuck it right out again.  Plus some plants are wilting and it turns out that they've reached the tunnel and now have their roots dangling in 'mid-air'.  Do others have this issue?  How have you handled it?
 
Mekka Pakanohida
Posts: 383
Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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I left it alone because I am reminded of a story from the Bullock Brothers Homestead.  It revolved around cattail, them losing them to animals, otters moving in, now everyone is happy 7 years later or so as the super fast synopsis goes in my head.

That's what I am doing with all these sort of problems here.
 
            
Posts: 177
Location: California
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The cats and dogs really help with the voles/gophers out here. The cats don't get supplemental feed other than goat milk (they are -very- healthy and happy), and rodents are their favorite snack. The dogs are less helpful in gardens as they'll dig to root the critter out and make a mess of your beds.
 
Sam Surman
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Alison I don't really have any experience of moles, but a friend in france puts chicken wire under his deep beds to keep the moles out! I think he had a similar experience to you.

cheers

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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we don't have moles, but do have lots of gophers, in the forest garden i have learned to embrace them. i use them to help me plant, help me loosen the soil, help me with drainage issues, help me with a lot of things. when before they would do nothing but piss me off when i had the wrong mindset. for example the lower area in the forest garden is pretty thick with the white clover right now, the gophers go through and eat some so its not so strong, they also make there little mounds of fresh soil where they plug holes with excess tunnel dirt. this is where i plant my seeds/starts. as the soil is loosened, its got no competition, and well draining, and possibly even fertilized by gopher pee/poop. plants that are planted on the gopher mounds grow at least 2x faster than ones plopped into thick clover.
 
Sam Surman
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hubert cumberdale wrote:
we don't have moles, but do have lots of gophers, in the forest garden i have learned to embrace them. i use them to help me plant, help me loosen the soil, help me with drainage issues, help me with a lot of things. when before they would do nothing but piss me off when i had the wrong mindset. for example the lower area in the forest garden is pretty thick with the white clover right now, the gophers go through and eat some so its not so strong, they also make there little mounds of fresh soil where they plug holes with excess tunnel dirt. this is where i plant my seeds/starts. as the soil is loosened, its got no competition, and well draining, and possibly even fertilized by gopher pee/poop. plants that are planted on the gopher mounds grow at least 2x faster than ones plopped into thick clover.



I like this answer, getting back to principles...
 
Ken Peavey
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Location: FL
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Moles like a quiet neighborhood.

Shove a stake in the ground leaving 2-3 feet above the soil,
Tie an aluminum pie pan to the stake in a manner which allows the pie pan to hang freely and blow in the breeze.

A light breeze will blow the pan, bouncing it against the stake.  This has worked for me.  My neighbor started doing it, drove the moles into my yard.  I repeated it, together we drove the moles into another neighbors yard.  That yard is unkempt, strewn with debris, and now full of moles.

I've heard that putting a radio/stereo pointing into the ground is effective, but I also like it quiet.


 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
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These things are popular in Portugal, mostly for birds rather than moles as far as I know.  This is a home made one, but you can also buy ready made ones from agricultural merchants.

 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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My goodness Burra, what a contraption!  I like it though.  Thank you to both of you, I'll fashion a noise maker (amazed actually that the moles are still here as my children are SO noisy and home-educated so around all the time). 

Any ideas for in the polytunnel where there's no recognisable breeze?
 
R. Peacock
Posts: 35
Location: eastern part of West Tennessee
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You can always change the flavor of your worms.  Apply castor bean oil in liquid or granular form to the soil.  Do not do this shortly before harvesting root crops and careful of getting on leaf crops.  The worms eat the soil with the oil and make themself unpalitable to moles.  This does not work on voles or gophers as they are plant eaters.
One other method of mole elemination involves releasing rat snakes into the tunnels.
 
Alison Thomas
pollinator
Posts: 933
Location: France
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Gosh that's interesting about changing the flavour of the worms!  We don't have any rat snakes here in France though I think I prefer the moles to just not like what's on the menu and go off into our fields - goodness knows there's enough other places for them to go.

I'll be searching out castor bean oil.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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