The misunderstood mole in the garden. Yes I said misunderstood because this ugly looking critter is not responsible for eating the roots of your prized hostas or tender flowers. A mole burrows under ground and eats grubs and earthworms NOT plants. As you can see from the pictures, moles do not have eyes and their ears are almost nonexistent. There very powerful front claws could cause you some serious injury (my husband could barely hang on to this guy).
The mole is responsible for the tunnels in your yard that the VOLE uses to get to your hostas and other plants (to devour). I do not mind moles in certain areas of my gardens that are not planted or thriving. Call me crazy but the mole is doing me a favor and helping to turn my hard red clay soil into something workable. Because of my neighbor putting down hazardous and dangerous chemicals I get overrun with moles and voles this time of the year, I have to take measures to protect my existing gardens. This is also the time of year when my dogs go crazy digging for moles and usually tear up my garden in the process. So what do I do?
I use castor oil in my watering can and water the hostas and plants where I see tunnels and holes. Oh I forgot to mention- those holes you see at the end of the tunnels? Those are not mole holes but the entrance/exit holes made by either a vole or chipmunk (or ground squirrel). Castor oil and water are effective at deterring moles and voles in my shade garden. So every week or so you want to water your hostas and other tender perennials and flowers with a couple tablespoons of castor oil in my 2 gallon watering can and water the plants and ‘holes’ in the garden.
There is a reason you have moles- you have grubs and other food sources for them. Now you may see your neighbor putting down a ton of chemicals in late summer & fall to get kill the ‘grubs’ and by the time spring comes it is too late to these treatments. However I am going to suggest safe, natural ways to effectively get rid of grubs anytime because those grub killing chemicals are not good for our environment or beneficial insects. I am not a tree hugging, never ever use the bad stuff, gardening gal but I am aware of what I am doing and try to be as responsible as possible. There are 3 alternatives:
- Milky Spores (is available online at Home Depot)
- Neem oil (is available in store at Home Depot & Lowe’s)
- Beneficial Nematodes available online at Home Depot)
With that being said, I try to look for alternatives to kill off fleas, ticks, and even roaches such as Diatomacious Earth (which is also available at Home Depot) which can be used in your home and garden and is NOT poisonous to humans or animals. Most of these products you can order online and know that you are not harming nature in the process.
Oh by the way, nothing eats moles- not even my dogs or cats. They have an odor and taste that keeps them pretty safe from any predators. When the dogs (or cats) catch one that is alive, I get out the heavy duty leather gloves and pick it up and relocate it to the park across the street. I have to do that because I just can’t kill living creatures.
Thanks for stopping by and I will be writing more gardening tips so keep watching! If you ever have a question, feel free to contact me and I will try to answer it or find resources for you to read.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @the Garden Frog Boutique