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He's Back!
by Peggy Cox

I planted marigold flowers with my peppers and tomatoes this year. Mainly because the day before, while I was at an annual street fair in a neighboring town, the groundhog, known in Whiting, New Jersey, USA, as Whiting Willie, stopped by and dug a new hole, the first one this year. He let his presence be known in June 2009. He started a new tunnel going underneath the place where I live. When discovering the new hole when watering my container growing veggies that evening, I filled the hole back in, same as I've done many other times over the years.     

I went out and bought a dozen red bricks, about eight inches wide by close to fifteen inches long. Laid the bricks in the area that Willie has been digging out for the past few years. Have filled his holes and diggings in with assorted size bricks. Even put dried blood in the area. Even tried trapping and catching him, with plans to relocate him. Willie is not a young groundhog. He's an old fat one that's too smart to go into one of those cages. He's no dummy, that's for sure! 

Last year, Willie took a few chunks out of my eggplant. He even would eat the leaves on the eggplant plants. I caught him in the act one time going after my tomatoes. I was so stunned, I just stood there and watched him doing so. Then, I relocated my container growing tomato plants and eggplants. I had them right next to the railings on my front steps. He'd climb up on my front steps and climb right into the 23 gallon plastic containers that I use for my veggie garden. Another time, I grabbed my camera and caught him snacking on other greenery close by. As soon as the tomatoes start to ripen I'd take them off my tomato vines so I'd beat Willie to them.

This year, hopefully the marigolds and the bricks will keep Willie away. Had even talked to the local game warden about Willie. He told me that because I live in a senior citizens complex, to contact them about Willie. They're the ones who would put the traps out in the yard to try to catch Willie to relocate him.  Everything that was suggested has failed to date because, once again, Willie returned to dig yet another hole. 

I asked about putting a fence up where my Mini Garden is located, but, that's not allowed in the senior developments. We have about four feet between the building and the sidewalk where we do our gardening and the like. Veggie gardening is in my blood you might say. I really don't want to fall to defeat by the paws of Willie, the groundhog, as others have done. Next step is to try the Coyote urine/pee to possibly keep Willie away.