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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Voles and chewed root balls.

Now that the snow is clearing, the vole damage becomes apparent. The voles have eaten  the roots of this rose to the point where the weight of snow and wind has upended the plant, exposing the rootless crown.

I did manage to collect some cuttings which I have placed in a jar of water, along with some willow stems to encourage rooting.

This Hellebore suffered the same fate last fall, I potted a couple of sections that still had roots and after over-wintering in the greenhouse are now ready to be planted out as soon as the weather allows.

The four stems (below) are all that was left of this rose, to which I applied rooting compound and potted back in November. they spent the winter in the greenhouse to encourage root growth. Three have survived, which I will pot on this spring and replant in the garden 12 months from now.

If you find a hole next to a hosta plant it is almost certain to be a vole

They will eat the roots and then pull the whole plant below ground one leaf at a time, until there is nothing left.

Root vegetables like these beets are also at risk, along with potatoes, carrot etc

Encouraging predators into the garden, birds, for above ground hunting

and snake for below

will hopefully keep these little critters at a manageable level.

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