Tips on preventing Groundhog invasion

Asked February 4, 2019, 3:23 PM EST

It's winter but the hibernation period for our local groundhogs is short. What can I do now to prevent them from coming into the vegetable garden this spring? I already have the usual deterrent measures from the summer (the fencing, underground border guards, smelly artemisia and herb border). I would like to take some preemptive measures this winter. Also, the deer have been very hungry and have eaten all my shrubbery. The squirrels have not been hibernating. They are out and about despite the cold winter vortex. Thank you

Montgomery County Maryland wildlife groundhogs vegetables shrubs deer pest - other groundhog attacking vegetable garden deer eating all shrubs

1 Response

Here is our groundhog page: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/groundhogs
You might want to try an electric wire this year. It can be supplied with a solar panel.
Groundhogs are good climbers, so a high unstable or outleaning top on the fence can be helpful.
Trapping works well, too, if you can find a permissible place to dispose of the groundhogs.

Search 'deer' on our website. There is a slew of information. Fencing can work well. Small fenced areas can be less than 6 feet in height and still be effective, because the deer are afraid of being trapped in it. Also, leaving growth a bit long when you prune, so they can eat the tips and the plant will still look good. Deer repellents work. Do not use birdnetting--it doesn't work and it traps snakes.
Replace deer 'candy' that is highly attractive to them with plants that are less so.
Again, read through the deer info on our website. There are plant lists to guide gardeners.

ECN