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Author Topic: Soil from mole hills  (Read 17296 times)

james willis

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Soil from mole hills
« on: February 23, 2010, 10:43:06 AM »
I have read several times that the soil from mole hills can be made good use of in compost mixes.  Could anybody please tell me if this is true or if it is one of those old tales that gets repeated without any serious evaluation?  Plenty of mole hills to go at here.
James Willis, 86400, Blanzay, France

ranunculus

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 11:49:23 AM »
It has certainly been well riddled!  :D
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

David Nicholson

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 11:58:23 AM »
James, many of the expert Auricula growers of 'yesteryear' would use nothing else. They added plenty of sand and a dollop of dried cow manure and the Auriculas grew like cabbages.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
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David Shaw

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 12:52:04 PM »
I always understood that soil from mole hills was some of the best you can get. On the other hand, I am grateful not to have the moles in the first place!
David Shaw, Forres, Moray, Scotland

Martin Baxendale

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 01:40:56 PM »
I would imagine it's good for adding to composts because the soil where moles are active is sure to be rich but well drained, full of worms (which enrich the soil) churned up from below long-undisturbed grassland so with few weed seeds, nicely worked into a fine tilth by the moles' claws.
Martin Baxendale, Gloucestershire, UK.

Gail

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 01:49:41 PM »
I use our mole hills; on our heavy clay I'm very grateful to have a source of finely worked soil.  I usually mix it with equal quantities of compost.
There are rarely worms in it though Martin - the moles eat those!
Some people really hate moles and I can see that if you are a tidy gardener they would be frustrating but several years ago I was out checking my seed pots early in the morning and a mole scuttled behind me and I followed him round the back of the house.  An absolutely enchanting creature and that viewing was really one of my garden highlights here.
Gail Harland
Norfolk, England

Darren

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 03:28:32 PM »
I like moles a lot too Gail, but then I don't have lawns and our soil is so stony and shallow they would need drilling gear to get anywhere! Susan's folks have used molehills too - for the same reason as you I think, as they are on heavy clay.

Susan herself sees moles as her little archaeological helpers and if she is near a potential site (McHadrians wall for instance - the one built by the Scots to keep the Romans from pinching the whisky) she can often be seen kicking through molehills and rabbit burrows in search of bits of pottery, flint tools etc.

Darren Sleep. Nr Lancaster UK.

TheOnionMan

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 03:42:28 PM »
Eeek!  >:( 
Mole tunneling can be fast, furious, and devastating.  Moles, voles, and shrews (we have all 3) will use each others tunnels opportunistically.  Studies done on the diet of all of these, and the various species of each, belies the belief some are purely insectivores, when in fact the so-called insectivores will eat vegetation as well (root, bulbs, tubers).  I remain vigilant on my war on these creatures (chipmunks too).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 10:56:26 PM by TheOnionMan »
Mark McDonough
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antennaria at aol.com

Tony Lee

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2010, 05:39:08 PM »
I have never seen  moles so active as they are this year,I have collected several bags from the side of our lane and river banks,The question is sterilize or not sterilize ?(I have a microwave in the garage)

TheOnionMan

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2010, 07:06:14 PM »
I have never seen  moles so active as they are this year, I have collected several bags from the side of our lane and river banks,The question is sterilize or not sterilize ?(I have a microwave in the garage)

That depends on whether you collected bags of soil or bags of moles.  ;D
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com

james willis

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2010, 09:47:01 PM »
The moles have been very active around the village this year, and taking a friend's Jack Russell for a walk last week  I reckon he excavated over a hundred mounds within an hour: he returned home triumphant but filthy.  We haven't had a mole on its mating search within our garden for about five years now but when it did call it left total destruction in our rough pasture from which we are still trying to recover.  I think I shall try some of the soil but I shall not attempt to steralise it - no spare microwave and my wife, gardening enthusiast though she is would be mob-handed on my case.  Now to try some auriculas sounds good.
James Willis, 86400, Blanzay, France

Lesley Cox

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 10:12:09 PM »
Oh, the dear, furry little creatures. I'm SO sorry we have none at all to add to rabbits, stoats and other European delights that live in our fair land.

James, many of the expert Auricula growers of 'yesteryear' would use nothing else. They added plenty of sand and a dollop of dried cow manure and the Auriculas grew like cabbages.

I don't suppose the dried cow manure had anything to do with it? ;D BTW How does one dry a cow? Dry OFF, is one thing, but dry? Oh well, a very large bath towel I suppose. ::)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 10:18:03 PM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 10:16:03 PM »
Mark, I'm very sorry to see that you have fallen over. Do you need a hand up? No broken ankles I hope. ???
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

TheOnionMan

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 11:04:15 PM »
Mark, I'm very sorry to see that you have fallen over. Do you need a hand up? No broken ankles I hope. ???

No Lesley, I'm fine.  Just trying to understand the perspective of folks such as yourself living in the opposite hemisphere.  I think the blood is starting to rush to my head  ;D ;D   I see that your arborescent croci are still doing well.
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com

TheOnionMan

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Re: Soil from mole hills
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2010, 11:06:53 PM »
The moles have been very active around the village this year, and taking a friend's Jack Russell for a walk last week  I reckon he excavated over a hundred mounds within an hour: he returned home triumphant but filthy.  We haven't had a mole on its mating search within our garden for about five years now but when it did call it left total destruction in our rough pasture from which we are still trying to recover.  I think I shall try some of the soil but I shall not attempt to steralise it - no spare microwave and my wife, gardening enthusiast though she is would be mob-handed on my case.  Now to try some auriculas sounds good.

James, with all that mole activity, you can probably make a mountain out of a mole hill, and thereby grow your auriculas in a mountain habitat!   :D ;D
Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA (near the New Hampshire border)
USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com

 


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