I wish I could say controlling voles, or getting rid of voles, but I can’t. The best I can manage is politely discouraging them.
But it isn’t bad because the method I’m using has other benefits, flowers, for one.
I’m planting narcissus (daffodil) bulbs along the perimeter of the garden. Voles dislike narcissus, I like them, so it’s a win both ways. Plus, I didn’t have to spend any money because I’m transplanting daffs from an area where they aren’t doing well to a nice area with better soil and especially, much more sunshine. They’re tiny, but I hope they will get bigger over the years now they are divided and in an improved location.
They’re practically antiques since they were likely planted around 80 years ago. I like the idea of giving them a new lease on life. Their former location was too shaded. It even had shade from a huge evergreen, so early Spring sunlight was out of the question as well. No wonder they weren’t blooming anymore.
Planting bulbs in this way is a technique borrowed from permaculture. Planted around a garden, or around an orchard or an individual fruit or nut tree, they keep the grass down. This is good because grass competes with the garden plants for nutrients and water during the growing season. If the spring bulbs are planted at the perimeter of the garden plants (outside the drip line of trees), they don’t hog the water but keep the weeds back.
Hopefully another function, besides being pretty, will be to keep the odd vole away. I’m not holding my breath, but it would be a nice side benefit.
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