Yes, groundhogs will eat your onions irrespective of their tastes. However, do not despair – here are 9 ways to prevent groundhogs from eating your vegetables!
Groundhogs (also known as woodchucks or Marmota monax) are herbivores; however, their omnivorous diet includes plant matter (grass, fruits, vegetables, roots, bark), small mammals (baby birds and mice), and insects (grasshoppers).
They eat the bulbs of onions as they contain some carbohydrates. In addition, onions are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and manganese. They also contain chromium which helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels by improving the ability of insulin to function normally.
Another reason groundhogs eat onions is simply for their water content as they don’t always have access to clean drinking water.
What other animals could have eaten my onions?
Groundhogs are not the only animals that eat onions. Other animals that may eat onions include deer, some birds, snails, raccoons, rabbits, rats, and skunks.
These animals may also consume other fruits and vegetables in addition to onions. If you have a garden and you are worried about your vegetables being eaten by these types of animals, you can try to protect them or repel the animals.
However, there are ways to protect your crops from these animals by fencing, repellents, and planting companion plants along with the onions. Let’s look into it!
How do I protect my onions from groundhogs?
There are several ways to protect your onion patch from groundhogs. Here are some ways you can protect your onions from groundhogs.
1. Motion activated sprinklers
Like most animals, groundhogs hate surprises, and they will run away if suddenly sprayed with water. I like this solution because it is humane, simple, effective, and does not require much time to set up.
The Havahart 5277 is a motion-activated sprinkler that is activated by the movement of animals up to 25 feet away and sprays them with a harmless water jet, frightening them off and keeping them at bay. The included metal stake makes it easy to install in your garden, and the sprinkler can be rotated 180 degrees for maximum coverage.
2. Ultrasonic sound emitters
Groundhogs, like other bigger animals that may invade your garden, tend to have a very good hearing. This means that loud or consistent noises will scare them away or at least shorten their visits.
One of my favorite technologies to keep pests away from my backyard is these cool solar-powered ultrasonic sound emitters that you can buy right off Amazon! In my experience, they really work, and the solar panels on top save you the time and money of changing batteries all the time.
3. Build a Fence
The most obvious and practical solution to protecting your onions from groundhogs is to install a fence around the patch. A fence should be at least 2 feet tall and sunk in the ground about 8 inches.
The best fencing material for this purpose is a cattle panel or hog panel as they are very sturdy and can withstand even quadruped animals such as goats, cows, and deer. However, most chicken fencing types will do. This will be strong enough to stop them from getting through while still allowing for airflow and sunlight.
If you don’t like the idea of building a fence around your entire onion patch then you can try fencing off only the area that your onions are in; this will at least keep some of the groundhogs away from them.
4. Spray Onions with Repellent
Groundhogs hate any strong smell, so you can spray your onions with repellents. One effective way of protecting your onions from groundhogs is to spray them with predator urine. You can also mix some soap in water and spray the mixture on the onion plants as this will make it taste bad for the groundhog. You should avoid poisonous sprays as they may not just affect the animal you are trying to repel but it may cause harm to other animals as well.
5. Place Fencing on the Ground
A fencing can also be placed on the ground to protect your onions from groundhogs. This way, the animals will not even approach the area. This type of fencing is suitable for small patches of onions as they are easier to install and maintain this way.
6. Put up a Scarecrow
Groundhogs are afraid of any moving object, so you can try putting up a scarecrow in your garden. This type of deterrence requires frequent relocation as the groundhog will eventually get used to it and thus not be scared anymore.
7. Use a Trap
This is the best way to get rid of groundhogs that are already in your garden. You can use a cage trap or a live trap to catch the animal then relocate it away from your property. The trap should be placed near the plant from where you have seen or heard the animal as groundhogs usually travel alone.
8. Interplant Companion Plants
Companion planting is a good way of deterring animals like groundhogs from your garden. You can plant onions with strong smelling plants such as garlic, basil, lavender and chives, these plants will keep the animals away because they don’t like the smell.
9. Grow your Onions Under Lights or reflecting objects
Growing onion under lights is another effective way of protecting your onions from groundhogs. The light will scare away the animals as they are afraid of any sudden movements. With this method, you can grow onions anywhere in your garden without having to worry about groundhogs.
These precautions should help you protect your onions and other crops from other hungry critters that might be interested in eating your hard work
Some animals are not deterred by fences, repellents, or companion plants. For most animals, the best options are sprinklers or ultrasounds devices as these take up little space and are quite humane.
You can also plant onions with strong-smelling plants such as garlic and chives which will keep the animals away because they don’t like the smell.