It must be something to do with the availability or otherwise of food sources, but I seldom get badger damage in the Summer. I suppose that during the Winter many sources of food will have been used up, and by about March / April the badgers are desperate to find something edible. Or perhaps it's just that earthworms are particularly succulent at this time...? The badgers sometimes dig huge holes in my garden, but more often it's lot of little ones. There is often a long "furrow" ending in a hole, so I presume that the animals push their noses around in the soil until they detect a worm, and then dig down to catch it. Of course, the biggest accumulation of worms is in the compost bins. I have been very aware just recently that when I take the lid off one of the bins, it rustles as the surprised worms quickly try to hide. Just look at how many there are:-
The worm population appears to be about evenly split between the red compost worms and the white potworms, which is strange since I have read that the two types like different conditions.
Naturally the badgers are also aware of those worms and they do their best to get at them, and if given half a chance they will unpack the whole compost-bin to do so, gaining access via the (pointless) little door at the bottom. Having had to re-pack the bins on countless occasions, I have taken to barricading those doors as comprehensively as possible:
A badger is surprisingly strong for its size, and very persistent, so it will have no trouble moving a paving-slab unless it is held firmly in place! Here's another variation on the theme...
Those metal spikes are about 18 inches long! Notice here another use for those wire shelves from the mini-greenhouses.
Curiously, the badgers seem to be easily deterred by the netting which covers several of my raised beds, even though the nets are relatively flimsy. Perhaps badgers have a special fear of nets (which I could understand) and therefore give them a wide berth? I am gradually acquiring more nets and poles to support them and I look forward to the day when my whole plot can be properly protected!
Do you often see the badgers as I note you haven't photographed them?ReplyDelete
No, as I say in the post, I have never seen a badger in my garden. I suppose I could be doing them an injustice - the damage might be caused by something else, but I think not!Delete
P.S. My brother has seen badgers in his garden and he lives only just over 100 yards away...Delete
I just wondered if you had seen any at all in 'real life' but maybe nmot actually in your garden.Delete
Can you see where they would get in?
Oh yes, there's plenty of evidence of their arrival! Big tunnels underneath the fences. One of my neighbours keeps trying to block the tunnels, but when he does, the badgers just dig another one!Delete
Wow - I've never seen so many worms in compost before...ever! Badgers aren't too much of a problem here but the squirrels seem to have been particularly active this past winter. The beds were not frozen over for a good chunk of the time and they did a number on them in their quest for nuts. Thankfully I had netting and/or chicken wire covering up the garlic/asparagus beds!ReplyDelete
We have some grey squirrels here, but we seldom see more than one or two, and they do little damage to the garden. They are more interested in raiding the bird-feeders!Delete
My goodness! I am so jealous of your worms! Is that pic in a dalek? Or a worm farm? Please please tell me your worm secret!ReplyDelete
I've seen those furrows in my beds too but I thought it was a neighbourhood cat. There's only one tunnel between mine and my neighbours garden which we keep blocking over but somehow always opens up again. I haven seen any hard badger evidence though but I'll keep my eyes peeled
Yes, the pic of the worms was taken in the top of one of my "dalek" bins. In the bins go not only garden waste, but also veg-peelings, kitchen waste, coffee grounds, bought flowers, etc.Delete
That is an amazing amount of worms in the compost! Your badgers sound like even more of pest than our deer. We do have voles here that tunnel around the garden and sometimes come up to eat plants. I've never seen one of them either, but I know they are there!ReplyDelete