My Garden ruined last year by a skunk!!

jmaeyoyo's picture

My Garden ruined last year by a skunk!! (post #16181)

Last gardening season,we had a large skunk spray between the houses, where my vegetable garden is located. I knew when he sprayed, because my closed up garage smelled bad for days, even though the door was closed. My neighbor saw the skunk, and said he was the size of a large racoon. Is this possible? I have never heard of a skunk growing this big? The vegetables left that weren't harvested had to be destroyed, because of the smell; I felt it wasn't even safe to compost them. I don't know anything about skunks, and their habits but do know gardening in this house for 22 years I have never experienced a problem like this. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to keep them away from the area where this garden is located?

southernsoil's picture

a 22 cal. (post #16181, reply #1 of 13)

a 22 cal.

jmaeyoyo's picture

That would be messey, because (post #16181, reply #3 of 13)

That would be messey, because of the size. It took me awhile to understand your message, but when I did, I had a good laugh!!! Thanx

SteveA's picture

Has the skunk built a home (post #16181, reply #2 of 13)

Has the skunk built a home nearby? Under a porch or shed, perhaps?

Do you often find that it has been rooting around in the ground? You might have too many worms (sorry -- I'm just editing an interview on the topic of invasive worms so it is at the front of my brain)

--Steve Aitken, Editor, Fine Gardening

jmaeyoyo's picture

No telling where the skunk (post #16181, reply #4 of 13)

No telling where the skunk lives, our house is banked up against a large wooded area; He or she could be living anywhere. I never saw any evidence of this skunk before, his appearance could have been random, this is actually my hope.

BeeJay's picture

Something disturbed your (post #16181, reply #5 of 13)

Something disturbed your skunk. They don't waste ammo randomly. And they have to have a target. My brother trapped them in a live trap with a 20 foot rope so he could pull them away without getting too close. With the skunk in the trap he was never in target range and they never sprayed.

Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
KimmI's picture

To eliminate a skunk odor on (post #16181, reply #6 of 13)

To eliminate a skunk odor on outside areas, soil, shrubs, siding you might want to try a mixture of 1 cup lime in 1 gallon bleach. Use real care because this can cause serious damage to plants, I understand, and you may want to just let the odor naturally disipate.

The sign of a good gardener is brown knees, not a green thumb.

southernsoil's picture

Once heard that tomato juice (post #16181, reply #7 of 13)

Once heard that tomato juice works against the foul odor. I have never had to deal with this situation so my earlier advise whose meant to be taken lightly as I see you did. Ha ha. I have never caused harm to an animal. Not personally I mean. I do eat meat though and some of my kin have had skunk stew I'm sure.

Astrid's picture

Tightly rolled newspaper with (post #16181, reply #8 of 13)

Tightly rolled newspaper with a match to the top will get rid of skunk gas quickly. Open the doors and windows first, of course. The smoke eliminates the gas.

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
jmaeyoyo's picture

I love all your comments (post #16181, reply #9 of 13)

I love all your comments about skunks! I'm still laughing about the whole subject. one was funnier than the next one, but not laughing too loud since I had destroy about 1/3rd of my garden's produce last year! .... Please someone answer me, can a skunk get as big as a racoon? My neighbor insists he saw him, and said he's huge. Guess I'd better go on an information site about skunks, what the heck, first time for everything!!!

Astrid's picture

Skunks look bigger than they (post #16181, reply #10 of 13)

Skunks look bigger than they are because of the their thick long fur, and if approached suddenly will shake all over to look bigger and try to scare you. Of course a shaking raised tail and one whiff of spray is a very good reason to hustle the other direction.
Check along the edges of your house for spots where they might be able to dig in under , as in plumbing connections. Disturbing them during late winter time might happen, they like to get into cozy spots to get ready to produce their young.

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson
Londonhouse's picture

We had a problem every year (post #16181, reply #11 of 13)

We had a problem every year with skunks under our barn. They would dig under the stone foundation of the barn and fight and inevitably spray. We finally enlisted the help of a trapper. Females will live together in a commune. Males are solitary. If you have a male skunk you can trap it and drive it several miles away or dispose of it and you're done. (Note: If you don't dispose of them or take them really far away they will find their way back, just like a cat!)Unfortunately,we had female skunks, and when we were done trapping we had a whopping ten skunks! We used a hav-a-hart trap to trap them. First place the trap in an old grain bag (not plastic they will dig and tear it up) with just the open end exposed. They will not spray in an enclosed space because they don't like their own smell. This way you can carefully pick up the trap and transport them without getting sprayed (hold the open end away from you when carrying). Place the trap near the area you suspect they are traveling. Use vanilla extract for bait - they can't resist it (this also keeps other animals such as cats out of the trap). You can also try using hardware cloth between rows in your garden to prevent digging,as they are probably looking for grubs or worms (you will see telltale digging holes)- they will not dig through the wire, however you will need to put gravel over it to keep them from moving it. Good luck - hope it's a boy!

Annya's picture

We have outdoor, semi-feral (post #16181, reply #12 of 13)

We have outdoor, semi-feral cats in California and leave a large silver dog bowl of dry cat food out back every night. Raccoons and skunks also come by. Somehow a "pecking order" was established years before the skunks arrived, first the cats, then the raccoons and then the skunks. Amazingly we see them all waiting for their turn and the parents train the babies. We have never had a big problem with spraying; occasionally the babies will be playing too enthusiastically and one will give off a whiff, but nothing more. Baby skunks are tiny black balls of fluff and will play with anything they find. None of them touches my vegetable garden and they will even back off politely from the food bowl if I go outside. Our only occasional problem is with "teen-age" raccoons. About once a year 2 will gang up on a 3rd and try to keep him in the swimming pool, so we have to out and yell at them; whereupon they all take off. I grew up in the country in England and have always been around wild-life so I naturally try to live with them rather than fight them. My husband tried fighting off the raccoons, so they snuck by regularly and threw the pool furniture into the pool. Since I took over, we have had no more such problems. My Tennessee husband does not quite believe it. But it works! (We buy the cheapest dry cat food at Cosco).

jmaeyoyo's picture

O.K. The Skunk is back!!! (post #16181, reply #13 of 13)

O.K. The Skunk is back!!! Husband took out garbage last week, and he sprayed in the garden area again, and the smell seeped into the garage again. What am I to do?? Does anyone know of something I can place around my house to keep this stinker from being around our house. Folks, it's close to planting the Veggie's again. WHAT AM I TO DO??