Foxes and sweetcorn

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Florablunder

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Foxes and sweetcorn
« on: June 10, 2021, 15:50 »
After nurturing my sweetcorn seedlings for what seemed like eternity, I finally got them into the ground a few weeks' ago - but now find they seem to be under attack from the local foxes. I've tried surrounding the seedlings with a make-shift barricade of canes and netting - but this keeps getting pushed down (and one of the canes was snapped in two!). Several of the plants have been nibbled/squashed - don't think they will recover. I've got another batch at home that I'm waiting to get bigger so they have some hope of survival when I put them out. Anyone else had this problem? I have a niggling suspicion that the more I try to protect them, the more the foxes will try to get in - it's a battle of wits!

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JayG

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2021, 16:49 »
I got pretty dejected last year after numerous attacks carried out by what I assume were fox cubs (they had yet to learn the difference between chicken poo fertiliser and a good meal, and also like to play - they flattened and ripped holes in the enviromesh covering the leeks and carrots, dug up and killed my outdoor cucumbers which were in a planter, and almost uprooted one of my 15 year-old blueberry bushes.)

This year (and I'm typing one-handed so I can keep the other one on my wooden desk!) although I've seen an adult fox in my garden, there has been no damage so far...

They are such agile and sometimes determined animals it's hard to keep crops safe using normal gardening methods.

Fertilisers like blood, fish and bone are a definite no-no, and you might consider using growmore rather than chicken poo as a general fertiliser if you don't already.

If I'd had a repeat performance this year, I would have invested in an PIR activated water sprayer in an attempt to deter them, although that does require a mains hose connection of course.

Good luck, hope they get bored with sweetcorn PDQ!
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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jaydig

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2021, 18:13 »
Would it help if you could get hold of a good load of gooseberry prunings or blackberry branches and spread them out under and around the bed where you have your corn?  I don't know if the thorns would put them off or not, but I'm sure someone on here will know.

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Learnerlady

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2021, 08:56 »
Oh no, just started to use BFB instead of growmore as thought more natural. Allotment is next to open fields an d trees so hoping Ive not caused myself a problem. Also have chicken pellets but not used these yet. Hadn't considered they might encourage foxes!!!
Off to the plot shortly, fingers crossed.....

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Enfield Glen

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2021, 09:38 »
Just been over to water and the 3 I planted out yesterday been played with, 2 OK but one has had the top taken off, assume they are playing with the leaves. Will have to put protection up when I put the rest out, first time its happened. seems every year there is a new battle to fight.

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JayG

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2021, 10:50 »
Oh no, just started to use BFB instead of growmore as thought more natural. Allotment is next to open fields an d trees so hoping Ive not caused myself a problem. Also have chicken pellets but not used these yet. Hadn't considered they might encourage foxes!!!
Off to the plot shortly, fingers crossed.....

I think the time to worry is when you know you have a problem - considering the number of foxes there are in towns and the countryside these days we don't get that many posts about it on the forums...  :unsure:

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jambop

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 11:18 »
I just do not understand the fox problem in the UK. My BIL in Edinburgh is plagued with them and environmental health say that they are protected and therefore not considered a problem. This of course is a cop out because being the opportunists that they are the numbers of urban foxes is out of control. I can tell you this travel about ten miles out into the country and foxes are dealt with immediately... and it is summary!
Down here where I stay in France foxes are strictly controlled, it is in the country but foxes are not tolerated at all. The local hunt shoot anything up to 6 to 7 hundred foxes a year and that is just keeping them in check! A fox in a garden here would be dealt with as soon as possible usually by the local hunt. Another garden pest here is the roe deer these animals are also out of control and hundreds are shot every year but it barley keeps them in check... wild boar again out of control same measure can hardly keep up with the population

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Learnerlady

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2021, 22:04 »
Oh no, just started to use BFB instead of growmore as thought more natural. Allotment is next to open fields an d trees so hoping Ive not caused myself a problem. Also have chicken pellets but not used these yet. Hadn't considered they might encourage foxes!!!
Off to the plot shortly, fingers crossed.....

I think the time to worry is when you know you have a problem - considering the number of foxes there are in towns and the countryside these days we don't get that many posts about it on the forums...  :unsure:
So far all ok, phew :)

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Growster...

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2021, 07:28 »
We had the same problem, but with badgers, which just hurled themselves at the netting until it collapsed.

The occasional roe deer was spotted, but my chum in the next plot had a fox living in his compost heap for a while...

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Florablunder

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Re: Foxes and sweetcorn
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2021, 21:02 »
That's an interesting point about the chicken poo - I usually just use growmore, but I think I did put some chicken manure pellets in when I planted the sweetcorn this year. I haven't used BFB for years, for the same reason - it seemed to invite trouble from the foxes - didn't occur to me that chicken poo could also have the same problem. There is a family of foxes literally living on the next plot - I watched them playing one morning, and they are quite sweet - but what little devils too! I wonder if there is something I could spray on the plants to put them 'off the scent' so to speak??



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