previous
  • NEW Video Series: There's a Better Way
    NEW Video Series: There's a Better Way
  • Bold and Beautiful Zinnias
    Bold and Beautiful Zinnias
  • Pick Plants for Fragrance
    Pick Plants for Fragrance
  • Using Containers as Elements of a Design
    Using Containers as Elements of a Design
  • Building Better Borders
    Building Better Borders
  • 10 Seed-Starting Tips
    10 Seed-Starting Tips
  • Plant Finder: Spring Plants
    Plant Finder: Spring Plants
  • Pantone Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid
    Pantone Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid
  • Rhodies to Treasure
    Rhodies to Treasure
  • Black Plants Done Right
    Black Plants Done Right
  • 10 Combinations for Shade
    10 Combinations for Shade
  • Garden Design Basics
    Garden Design Basics
  • Indoor Seed Starting Materials List
    Indoor Seed Starting Materials List
  • How to Grow Mustard
    How to Grow Mustard
  • Seed Starting in Speedling Trays
    Seed Starting in Speedling Trays
  • 3 Ways to Design with Containers
    3 Ways to Design with Containers
  • Get your FREE Everyday Roses download now!
    Get your FREE Everyday Roses download now!
  • Rex Begonias
    Rex Begonias
  • Homegrown / Homemade
    Homegrown / Homemade
  • Planting the Right Way
    Planting the Right Way
  • 20 Gardenworthy Self-Sowers
    20 Gardenworthy Self-Sowers
  • Go Green on the Patio
    Go Green on the Patio
  • DIY A-Frame Veggie Trellis
    DIY A-Frame Veggie Trellis
next

A barrier of poisonous plants deters voles

Use voles' appetites to their disadvantage

Voles, unfortunately, moved into my garden about 15 years ago. Most of my hostas were devoured before I realized what was going on. My pachy­sandra was riddled with tunnels, and the voles even went so far as to take out a cherry laurel and a young Japanese maple. A solution that I have had success with is to bring in plants known to be poisonous, such as hellebores (Helleborus  spp. and cvs., USDA Har­diness Zones 4–9), monkshood (Aconitum spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8), bleeding heart (Dicentra  spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9), lily-of-the-valley ( Convallaria majalis spp. and cvs., Zones 2–7), mayapple (Podophyllum  spp., Zones 3–9), and daffodils (Narcissus  spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9). I plant these in drifts to encircle areas planted with the tasty, more vulnerable plants. Also, when I cut back spent foliage from the toxic plants, I mix the cuttings with old leaves from the woods, chop it all together using my lawn mower, and dig it into new beds or use it as light mulch.
—Mary Bowe, Richboro, Pennsylvania
From Fine Gardening 148 , pp. 12