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Now is the time when your garden is most likely to have visits from resident woodchucks. These large, herbivorous rodents are eating fast and furiously as the days get shorter, in an effort to put on a layer of fat that will sustain them through hibernation.  The middle of the day is typically spent sunning themselves, but early morning and evening will find woodchucks eating and putting on a layer of fat equaling about a third of their weight.  They lose anywhere from 20% – 37% of their body weight during hibernation.  If they don’t gain enough weight now, they won’t survive until green grass and other plants are available again in the spring.  Hopefully knowing this will make sharing your garden with an uninvited guest a bit easier.

7 responses

  1. Kathy Schillemat

    Nope, I still don’t like when they raid my garden.

    August 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    • Hate to say it, but I’m with you all the way…

      August 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

  2. We planted most of our endless supply of sunchokes outside the garden along the back fence, and it’s worked: the groundhog eats the sunchoke leaves and doesn’t even try to get in the garden itself. It’s the first time in 5 years we’ve succeeded in keeping them out.

    August 28, 2012 at 3:23 pm

  3. Ruth Claff

    OK. I am guilty, and I feel it. I did not want to share (newly planted late crop, fenced). I trapped. Woodchuck caught. I loaded the (smelly) trap in the back seat (wouldn’t fit in the trunk) and then, being so nervous about the relocation, I backed into the truck of friend who I forgot was parked behind me. Luckily no damage. Drove about 3 miles near conservation land, and let him/her out. He dashed out, but stopped and looked back at me. “&*%$+#!” I feel terrible. But… I might have carrots and kale.

    August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    • I totally understand. Just to let you know, transporting wildlife is illegal in some states…

      August 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  4. I am willing to share part of my produce — within reason — but those woodchucks aren’t about to share anything with anybody.

    August 31, 2012 at 1:55 am

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