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Author Topic: Fox problem  (Read 698 times)

Redmires

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Fox problem
« on: May 10, 2023, 07:41:16 AM »
I'm at my wits' end. For the second year in a row (and at roughly the same, I think, although I'm not certain) a fox is targeting my front garden. Why s/he choses me is a mystery - there's very little bare soil and I haven't done any digging. Other gardens on the street that you'd think would be more appealing - freshly turned bare soil - are left alone. The strip of bare soil at the foot of my neighbours' slate-covered front garden remains untouched. I've put down HEAVY stones in the gaps that are big enough (anything else just gets shoved aside or undermined) and poked a thicket of prunings into all the other gaps, but besides being unsightly, this doesn't stop the fox. When there's no obvious gaps to target it just starts digging up the plants (well-established perennials).

I've got young plants I want to add, but I daren't. Last year the problem started when I did some moving and planting.

It's heart-breaking. Last year it worked gradually through the garden until there was barely a plant without broken stems and instead of looking at summer flowers I was left to survey a forest of dead prunings, dying mahonia foliage (I sunk stems of this into as many places as I could, for the deterrent effect of the vicious prickles) and stones.

Does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with the problem? I'm half-heartedly wondering about planting a sort of 'cover crop' of winter annuals in the gaps come late autumn, but it would be a lot of work and on current evidence the root systems would be no deterrent and the foliage cover not much help either - it's even had a go at a patch of sedum directly in front of the house.


MarcR

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Re: Fox problem
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2023, 09:57:30 AM »
Redmires,

Go to your nearest zoo, and request a small bag of Lion or Tiger manure. put 1/2 trowel-full at 15- 20 foot [5-7 meter] intervals. Refresh every 6 weeks.  I know it is a nuisance but hopefully less so than the fox.
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

alant

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Re: Fox problem
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2023, 02:08:01 PM »
Have you been using bonemeal, the local fox digs up plants where I have used it.

partisangardener

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Re: Fox problem
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2023, 02:41:18 PM »
Use hot chilly powder. All the places you want to keep of mammalians sprinkled with it. Try to avoid the wind against you. 8) :P
You have to refresh it after a rain and after some time if it rains not.
It does not bother birds much.
greetings from Bayreuth/Germany zone 6b (340 m)
Axel
sorry I am no native speaker, just picked it up.

Redmires

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Re: Fox problem
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2023, 09:58:01 PM »
I haven't used bonemeal. I can only imagine the fox is digging for invertebrates, but that just doesn't seem very plausible - I'm urban enough that I'm sure there are easier, more calorific scavenging options, plus the holes just seem way too big (this morning's was about the size of my 14L buckets). In any case, my back garden would be a much better bet for invertebrates.

For now I have largely reinstated the Mahonia forest. It looks awful, but neither the garden nor I can take much more damage and now that this fox has decided my garden is a grand spot for... whatever all this digging and trampling is in aid of, I don't think it's going to stop unless physically prevented from doing so. Part of what upset me this morning was that it had completely destroyed a plant grown from seed I collected on a walk with my father, who died a couple of years ago.

MarcR - do you have personal experience of using lion dung? I've seen it touted as a cat deterrent, but scent-based deterrents get a bad press - I'm not sure whether this is because they're inherently not very effective (this fox certainly hasn't read that s/he's not supposed to like garlicky smells, because it dug up my pink chives) or because they don't persist long enough to be practical. My front garden is so small that re-applying every couple of weeks would actually be doable, but sourcing fresh dung every time would not...

I shall give Partisangardener's chilli idea a try when I'm ready to risk some planting out, hopefully it will enable me to get some new plants in without a recurrence of the problem - I will report back. 

partisangardener

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Re: Fox problem
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2023, 08:37:17 AM »
The hotter the better, but watch out some preparations include salt, this would be harmful to plant life. With chilli I had never an issue, only human victims with their weak sense of smell will really come too near.
But if the fox is stupid enough to come to close out of habit without using his nose, the plant will bite... A lesson to be remembered.
I repeat always this heat is only illusion, when I fall victim to the chilli powder. It helps.... with me.
Last time I even got it in the eyes. I use it for the safety of my car and wasn't aware of the wind. When I park over night at another place, I throw a spoon full under my car. In my country martens bite in to rubber and wire coating, if they suspect a rival was intruding their territory. Cars are marked here..
My mantra helped, maybe I am trained now.

The best thing is chilli is easy obtained and useful in many respects.
greetings from Bayreuth/Germany zone 6b (340 m)
Axel
sorry I am no native speaker, just picked it up.

MarcR

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Re: Fox problem
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2023, 05:07:14 AM »


......MarcR - do you have personal experience of using lion dung? I've seen it touted as a cat deterrent, but scent-based deterrents get a bad press - I'm not sure whether this is because they're inherently not very effective (this fox certainly hasn't read that s/he's not supposed to like garlicky smells, because it dug up my pink chives) or because they don't persist long enough to be practical. My front garden is so small that re-applying every couple of weeks would actually be doable, but sourcing fresh dung every time would not... .....

Redmires,

I do have experience with Lion dung.  It successfully deters stray dogs, deer, Raccoons, and other pests.  I have only used it to protect a small area of my property; and I have no experience with Foxes.  I figure that since it deters stray dogs, it should work with foxes.
Marc Rosenblum

Falls City, OR USA

I am in USDA zone 8b where temperatures almost never fall below 15F -9.4C.  Rainfall 50" 110 cm + but none  June-September.  We seldom get snow; but when it comes we get 30" overnight. Soil is sandy loam with a lot of humus. 
Oregon- where Dallas is NNW of Phoenix

 


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