Carolyn Schaffner writes...
>and Iris -- um ---er, ah, iris???
Yup. IRIS. My major iris concern at this point in time are moles-voles
versus my iris planting.
We have three 185 foot rows of siberians, newly set out last fall. I plant
four fans of each variety in a 12 inch rectangle spaced on 30 inch centers.
Every day, my attention is drawn to several clumps-to-be where one or more
of the fans are yellowing slightly. When you experimentally tug at the fan,
it lifts out cleanly -- totally chewed off about an inch below the soil.
Poke into the hole and you find a void where the roots once were. A little
exploratory digging reveals a neat tunnel, coming from the last victim,
heading towards the next hors d'oeuvre.
The answer? VOLES!!! microtus pennsylvanicus mostly, though the golden
meadow vole also dines at my table.
The solution? Legion! There must be at least a hundred 'sure-fire'
guaranteed, never-fail vole cures. Any time you see scores of nostrums you
may be sure that there is no good solution to the problem. My best cure so
far is a poisoned bait using zinc phosphide as the active ingredient.
Unfortunately, this 'cure' comes with many problems and not a few dangers.
Mike Lowe, who goes to prepare a feast to set before his #@&*!! voles.