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Location: Eastern Virginia

Nutshells under garden?

I use raised beds with hardwood cloth underneath. It gets pretty expensive if you want more beds and have a bad vole problem. So every spring I have to rake up these large nut shells because they are everywhere. I can't identify the tree but the shells are as large as chestnuts but don't have the pricklies on the outside. They break in half or fourths and have a pointed end. So I came up with the idea to use them deep under the bed instead of rock or hardware cloth. But before I put them in I wondered if I was just making an apartment complex for the voles!! Any thoughts on this?? Thank you!!!

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Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:10 pm
Location: ID/WA! border

It would be a good idea to know what this tree is that is producing the nuts, Sistabelle.

There are plants that are allelopathic. That is, they contain a substance that is toxic to other plants. Some plants are more tolerant of the allelopathic substances. Some plants produce only a little toxins; others, quite a lot. Allelopathic plants are not all trees but here is your Virginia Cooperative Extension Service talking about toxic trees. Look at the second paragraph under "Black Walnut and allelopathy" for quite a list of trees in Virginia that could cause you trouble. (LINK)

I've had some bad experiences with voles in the garden. Mulch was great for them, and that wasn't so good for me. I think you may be correct in your concern but buried under the soil isn't quite the same as a mulch. First you could learn if the nuts themselves are safe for other plants.

Just my 2¢.


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