Let it grow: Avoid setbacks caused by outside pests

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Folks are still planting? Of course we are.

The nurseries still have pansies, more snapdragons, violas and plenty of winter herbs and lettuces.

In January, here in Shelby County, we get some 60 and 70 degree spring teasers.

In some areas the crocus and daffodils are starting to emerge. That offers us a taste of good things to come.

Right now, the hellebores or Lenten roses and rosemary plants are in their glory.

With all of the gardening fun we have this time of year, sometimes we have little setbacks; rather little hardbacks that invade our planting beds.


These creatures are nocturnal feeders (prefer dining at night) that can create havoc in the soft soil of your garden.

These little buggers will dig for grubs, ants and other hibernating invertebrates; not only in your soft soil, but your lawn as well.

Armadillos leave holes about four by five or six inches in your ground and three-toed, clawed footprints.

These creatures have been in the United States since the early 1940s, having migrated north from Mexico.

They haven&8217;t been in Shelby County that long though.

In the early 1970s, they were usually only found in southwest Alabama. Now you can find them as far north as Tennessee.

To control armadillos, there are four options:

1) Remove the food source (ha-ha).

2) Live trap them and take them to a wildlife preserve far from your home.

3) Poison them (not good for domestic and other animals).

4) Shoot them (better check local ordinances first).

Good luck with your pest controls and gardening. I&8217;m counting the days till Groundhog Day.

For more on these and other gardening tips, listen to Home Grown Tomatoes every Saturday morning from 6-8 a.m. on 101.1 FM or log on to HGTradio.net