dlhein
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Location: NY

what is digging up my new plants?

I planted three corydalis lutea about 2' apart and another one about 8' from those. The next morning one of the three together and the lone one 8' away were out of the ground laying next to their holes. The dirt was all piled around the holes. It looked like someone was neatly getting ready to plant them! And I couldn't see that any of the plants were eaten and no animal evidence in the vicinity. I have planted a lot of plants back there and this has never happened. Has anyone you ever heard of this? And why just those two both times and not the other two? I am so baffled by this. What should I do? Yesterday after replanting them I sprinkled some Milorganite about in a circle about a foot away from each one because I do that to deter deer (which we don't have a major problem with) from my hostas just to be safe and it seems to work. I know I probably shouldn't fertilize a plant that soon, but it was just a small amount far from the plant. And this morning the same two were dug up in exactly the same way again! javascript:emoticon(':cry:') It almost looks like a person did it, but I can't imagine who would. What should I do? I'm afraid if I move them to another location whatever is doing this will mess with the two that haven't been messed with yet. Thank you.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I actually had to look up the plant name. Pretty!
So you planted small starter plants of these and they were dug up rootball and all?

dlhein
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Location: NY

They actually came as roots packed in Canadian peat moss. Just the roots with a good amount of short growth at the top. So they would be easy to pull out of the ground. They were just laying there next to the hole they got pulled out of.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

OK, in that case, I have a similar situation going on with onion sets (tiny onions planted like bulbs but shallowly so the topknot is above ground)

In my case, the culprits are robins and blackbirds (thrush family birds). I believe they see the topknot of the unsprouted or barely sprouted onions and think they are worms or slugs or something. They yank the onions out of the ground and leave them lying next to their holes, new roots drying in the sun.:x

They scratch around the mulch and soil near the holes, tossing loose mulch and weeds around. I end up with uprooted onion sets and new seedlings buried under mulch flung around by these birds. I've been forced to patrol twice a day -- in the morning and late afternoon -- to put everything back in place. :?

I can't wait until the onions grow enough roots and tops and the seedlings to grow enough not to be buried. :roll:

Does this sound like your situation? I know the blackbirds are great slug and snail hunters so I generally LIKE that they're in the garden.... Ah well. I was advised to put birdnetting over the onions in case you want to try that.

dlhein
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 9:07 am
Location: NY

I called the place I got the plants from. They said it's skunks. They see fresh dug up dirt and they think there might be something there. They don't bother the plant itself, just get it out of the way. And he said the reason they dug up the same two the next night is because they were the ones that looked like fresh dug up dirt. He said to cover them with a plastic pails at night and that eventually the skunk/s will give up. It's just strange, because I have planted so many perennials in our back yard and this is the first time this has happened.



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