Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dahlia Pests: Some of 'Em Are Bigger!

Moose ignore dahlias in Sonja Benson's Fairbanks gardenOkay, so maybe we're exaggerating just a little bit to say the moose infestation in Sonja Benson's garden in Fairbanks, Alaska, is a specifically dahlia pest problem.

In fact, Sonja says this particular mother-and-calf duo didn't bother her dahlias OR her veggies, and that for the most part, the moose don't come through until the weather cools and she's done picking her dahlias in mid-September.

The fact remains that as communities expand outward, all but the most urban gardens are increasingly subject to depredations by deer, elk, moose and other ungulates. The good news is that while we can't say they're totally deer-proof, dahlias are low on the menu ratings for most of the ungulates. Roses, peas and beans are all things they prefer. (It's just as well, because to fence deer out of your garden, you must build at least 8 feet high, and then who can see your lovely dahlias? As for elk and moose, fences are of no use at all; they just knock them down.)

For the most part, you can plant your dahlia tubers and pick your beautiful dahlias without having to share them with your larger wildlife neighbors. It's much more fun to share them with your friends, as Sonja Benson will tell us in the next Lynch Creek Dahlias posting.

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