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applestar
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My new garden helper -- chipmunk (or mole)

"DID SHE SAY CHIPMUNK?"

...yes I did :D

This year, I'm using my single bin plastic compost enclosure for the kitchen scrap compost pile.
It's designed with slide-up doors on the bottom so you can pull out finished compost from the bottom while adding ingredients from the top. The idea is good, but it's actually a bit of a pain to selectively scrape out finished compost and not accidentally also pull out unfinished ingredients.

I knew there were good finished stuff on the bottom, and I need some to repot and uppot container plants, so I half-heartedly tried getting some out of the little door yesterday, but -yeah- it was a bit frustrating. But in the process and while I was at it, I thoroughly scraped up the good compost infused topsoil from around the bin. There were some nice loose mounds on one side of the bin which was kind of odd, but it was perfect for freshening a section of a raised bed for fall planting. I thoroughly watered the bed and the scraped area around the compost bin after sowing the seeds.

Then this morning, I saw that there were new loose mounds of what looked like compost had been piled on that same side as well as the front of the bin. Odd... Grab a trowel and examine the piles -- oh yeah, good black gold compost ... Oh wait there's more all along the one side of the bin... Get rid of those crabgrass and creeping Charlie and follow along to the back of the bin, push aside the oregano.... Ah Ha! A mound and a hole!

It's either chipmunk or mole. I'm thinking chipmunk because I found a bunch of plum pit shells in the loose mounds. (But it could be a mole feasting on the earthworms that no doubt have been attracted to the compost-rich soil)

I got a couple of nursery containers and was able to scoop up the loose finished compost/topsoil mixture into the containers -- about 3 gallons worth, maybe more. I destroyed the mounds and the hole in the process of course.

...and guess what? It's now 4-5 hours later, and I can see from the upstairs window that there is a NEW fresh mound of loose compost on that one side of the bin. Maybe there will be another ring of loosely mounded compost all along the bin by tomorrow 8)

...I think this may turn out to be an easy way to get enough for my repotting/uppotting project. :()
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rainbowgardener
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Re: My new garden helper -- chipmunk (or mole)

:) nice! I like finding ways to coexist with the critters.
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Bobberman
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Re: My new garden helper -- chipmunk (or mole)

not ground hogs because they are tomato hogs
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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: My new garden helper -- chipmunk (or mole)

No. The mounds and the hole are too small to be groundHOG. There was a chippie that nested near the regular 3 bin compost pile (which I'm not using this year). Maybe it followed its nose to this one and moved in. I don't mind sharing the compost pile scraps with little critters like this if it keeps them from going after my garden. (so far, no recognized chipmunk damage in the garden -- I foiled them with the spring peas and corn sowing by pregerminating :wink: )

There's a severe thunderstorm coming our way, so I rushed out and scooped up another gallon or so of the good stuff. I put them all in a 5 gal bucket with holes for drainage/air and put it where it won't get rained on -- definitely looks like I have about 4 gallons so far. :()
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Bobberman
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Re: My new garden helper -- chipmunk (or mole)

I like chipies but so do our 6 cats! The only thing that the cats do not bother is the toads!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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