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from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Woodchuck Foiled

Gardener saves salad from neighborhood bullies.
Pop-Up Net

The Pop-Up Net can be used over a 3×3-foot bed (as shown) or anchored right to the ground.

It’s the time of year when I walk the perimeter of our backyard and make repairs to the fence. It’s the only thing that separates our perennials from the gang of woodchucks that terrorizes the gardens in my neighborhood. In the back corner, some of the boards have rotted and come loose. Through the wide gap (plenty of room for a woodchuck), I can see my neighbors’ yards, including the garden of Vicki, who also works here at Gardener’s Supply.

For years, we have commiserated on the woodchuck problem in our neighborhood. I finally gained control by fencing the back yard and burying chicken wire along the perimeter. It’s totally secure as long as the fence is maintained. Vicki, on the other hand, has an exposed yard and a fence would not be practical. Year after year, she’d tell me of lost crops: lettuce, broccoli, peas and more. Eventually, she succeeded in growing lettuce in Self-Watering Hanging Baskets. A small crop, but a victory nonetheless.

I felt a little guilty, knowing that the woodchucks I’d displaced were surely feasting on her crops while my asters and phlox were safe. So, I was excited to hear that she’d found a way to protect her crops from the woodchucks. What’s more, no shots were fired! The secret is the Pop-Up Net, a self-supporting cube that protects a 3×3-foot zone. Vicki anchored it to the ground with the stakes that come with the net, but it also fits perfectly on a 3×3 Grow Bed — or any 3×3 raised bed. “Every night we had salad — thanks to the Pop-Up Nets,” Vicki says. “I was worried the woodchucks would dig under the net, so I banked mulch around the edges. But, even when I forgot to maintain the mulch I had no problems. Maybe I just got lucky.”

The nets come in two heights: a 20″ tall and 48″ tall. “This year, I plan to try more crops — probably beets, carrots or chard, and maybe some brassicas under tall net,” Vicki says. “Also, I’m looking forward to having flowers in my hanging baskets again”.

David Grist,

Online Content Coordinator, Gardener’s Supply

12 Comments

  1. Meg in VT
    March 30, 2009    

    Is there a zipper or something to allow access for harvesting lettuce (or whatever) or do you need to lift up the entire net, meaning staking and ‘unstaking’ each time? That seems like an obstacle to a daily crop like lettuce.

  2. March 30, 2009    

    Sorry Meg, no zipper. But, it seems like a good idea. I’ll pass the suggestion along to the people who choose our products. Maybe a Velcro opening?

    Thanks for your feedback.

    -David, Gardener’s Supply

  3. Sheila in CT
    March 31, 2009    

    Would this work on your tomato self watering planter? Chipmunks ate about 10 pounds of my tomatoes last year from my planter and I would love to fool them this year. They always picked the prime ones to eat!

  4. March 31, 2009    

    Hi Sheila. That’s an interesting idea. I measured our Tomato Success Kit, and it’s about 42″ high when the cage is installed. The large Pop-Up Net is 48″. So, the planter and cage would fit, but it would be tight. It would be best to choose one of the smaller, indeterminate tomato varieties.

    If you decide to give it a try, be sure to let us know how it works out.

    -David

  5. Anonymous
    May 21, 2009    

    I’m not convinced. I had woodchucks “eat”, “tear” or “push” their way through deer netting I had erected around my raised bed last year. I’d see this as not much security.

  6. Anonymous
    May 24, 2009    

    What about shasta daisies and coneflowers? My ground hogs ate them the first day I planted these flowers. Any solutions out there?

  7. Anonymous
    May 24, 2009    

    Electric fences with two wires, one at ground level…a few inches from the ground, and one at waist level…keep deer, groundhogs, rabbits, and other desructive creatures away from sensitive plants. Get a solar charger and you even go green!

  8. May 25, 2009    

    How do I get a woodchuck out from under my shed? He’s not bothering my garden yet because I spray everything with a garlic/pepper spray but I know I’m gonna lose something!

  9. May 26, 2009    

    Yes, electric fences will work for woodchucks. As for getting one out from under your porch, try trapping them. Woodchucks are vegetarians and find broccoli irresistible. For more ideas, read:
    http://www.gardeners.com/Controlling-Woodchucks/5458,default,pg.html
    -David, Gardener’s Supply

  10. Anonymous
    May 26, 2009    

    So far this year I have had some success from a marauding woodchuck by using coyote urine. Thus far my lettuce, parsley and tomato plants have not been disturbed (I’m keeping my fingers crossed).

  11. November 30, 2009    

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. November 30, 2009    

    Hello,
    This is Ghanshyam.
    Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,
    A definite great read…
    Thanks.
    vancouver flowers–vancouver flowers

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