[nafex] Nocturnal Diggers?

Thomas Olenio tolenio at sentex.net
Thu Jul 20 10:00:07 EDT 2000


Hello All,
 
I do have a question for you, but doubt whether it has to do with ribes
directly.
 
I put in ribes this spring, filling the holes with 50% rotted silage, and
mulched them in with 3" of clean straw, and then capped that with some
cedar mulch (some only got cedar mulch).
 
With all the rain this season they have done very well.
 
The problem is that some animal is now pawing through the mulch 2 1/2
months later, pulling it away from the plants during the night.  As the
plants are starting to sucker, I do not want the suckers destroyed.  The
pawing looks like very delicate work, and not something as clumsy as a
dog's digging.
 
I am in a sub division, but close enough to fields, wooded areas, and a
river to hit them with a good stones toss.  So this could be varmit
trouble, or could it be a cat?
 
Any ideas on animals that like to paw through mulch?  What would they be
looking for?  It does not disturb the soil, just moves the mulch away from
the plant.

Moth balls are not an effective detterent.
 
I have noted that those only mulched with cedar are not pawed, but those
with a straw mulch covered with cedar are.  I have alos noted it is
primarily the black currants which get pawed.
 
Since I have a dog, this varmit/pest is not bothered by the scent of a dog
in the area, and gets through our casual fencing that keeps the dog in
the yard.
 
Any ideas?  
 
Small planting of;
    Crandall - black currant
    Red Lake - red currant
    Pixwell - gooseberry
    Un-named Red Currant
    Un-named Jostaberry
 
Regards, (and thanks in advance)
Tom
--
Thomas Olenio
Ontario, Hardiness Zone 6a


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