When we found out that woodchucks were climbing the fence around our vegetable garden, we knew that the situation called for more drastic measures. First we tried sprinkling our own urine (which we collected in a bucket) and a garlic-cayenne concoction between the garden and the woods.
It didn’t work. This morning we found that our lettuce, kale, peas and carrots had been chomped on. This was depressing, considering the scores of hours we spent building the fence and planting the garden.
After doing some research, I learned that woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, are masters of persistence, adaptability, digging and climbing. An adult eats over a pound of vegetation daily, and they live in burrows with up to three entrances. People have tried everything from putting gas cartridges into the burrows to shooting them with shotguns.
And this is a particularly bad year for woodchuck damage, according to the folks at Amherst Farmers Supply. I bought 8 ounces of fox urine and seven little plastic bottles that have holes to let the scent out but not let rainwater in. (How do they collect fox urine, anyway? The mind boggles.) I may have to go back and buy three more bottles because our garden has a perimeter of 120 feet and the product label says to place the bottles 10 to 12 feet apart.
I originally chose coyote urine, but the helpful man at Amherst Farmers Supply consulted some chart and told me that fox urine is what’s recommended. Who knew?
So tonight I’ll be hanging these tiny plastic bottles filled with fox pee around the garden. I’m hoping that when the woodchuck shows up for a meal, he or she will think there’s a fox around and hightail it back to the burrow. But we’ll see. I now know I’m dealing with a formidable opponent.