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Rodent-proofing planting with companion plants  RSS feed

 
Posts: 579
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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I have had good luck planting asparagus and day lillies around perennials I need to keep the rodents away from.

I'm planting grapevines and need a lot of that kind of companion plant, which I was hoping garlic would work.  But I read in a questionable article that garlic will stunt the growth of grapes.   Other references don't mention it one way or the other.   Grapes don't like the cabbage family, but that's not garlic. 

Has anyone used garlic around grapevines and noticed the effect?
 
gardener
Posts: 4956
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Garlic will not exhibit allopathy towards grape vines as long as there is some space between the garlic and the vine.

This link is a nice list of companion plantings that work very well.
comapnion planting table

Have fun and enjoy.

Redhawk
 
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Awesome list, thanks Bryant!!!
 
Cristo Balete
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Thanks, Bryant.  The only trick is, the garlic would have to be up against the grapevine roots in order to keep away the rodents.  The voles that decimated some of the vines last year were very small, could get through 1" chicken wire.    And the garlic doubles and triples within a couple of years, so it would be up against them later down the road.

 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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If by rodents you mean gophers, I can't imagine that garlic or daylilies would do much, except perhaps to serve a bait and distract them towards themselves and away from other plants.  In my situation, nearly anything that makes a large root or tuber will get eaten by gophers, including onions and garlic.  All my root crops have to go in raised beds with metal mesh underneath to exclude them completely.  Only plants in the amaryllis family (such as daffodils and narcissus) and some in the iris family, seem to be poisonous enough to be immune.  They reguarly destroy a certain percentage of other plants too, especially when they are young.  But all important plants, especially new trees that are quite valuable, get planted in wire baskets.  By the time the wire rusts in a few years they are big enough to tolerate some root damage... Traps can help too, but it takes a bit of skill to set them effectively.
 
Cristo Balete
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Alder, I was surprised that the day lillies perform miracles.  They will even come back after a whole summer with no water in clay soil.  The gophers and voles go around.  Even the wind tunnels that might be near their roots don't set them back.  Same thing with asparagus.  It is fearless in the face of dry clay soil and rodents want nothing to do with it.   It's just that I don't need another 40 asparagus plants!

Garlic is my bulb of choice for rodent avoidance, it usually improves growing conditions, but I guess not for grapes.   The wire mesh doesn't last more than a year in my soil, their claws just yank it apart. But I do use the basket for the first year to get a bigger rootball, and then when it falls away, the bulb protection takes over.

I've used daffodil bulbs for 20 years for protection around fruit trees, blueberry bushes, 4-6 around each tree or bush, depending on the size.  Sometimes the bulbs get pushed up in the late fall, but for the most part they, too, don't care about the wind tunnels the gophers and voles put nearby.   It's just that they aren't available at all times during the year, and I'm doing a large grapevine planting now.  It would be nice to get it all done at once. 
 
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