Urban Gardening: Finding Critters

We’ve been gardening in our urban alley for 4 or 5 years.  We’ve had success and failure and a whole lotta learning.  This year was looking to be promising – I had a new strategy and was sure this would be the year we’d grow a significant amount of food in our parking space.

And then company came to visit.

Urban Gardening: Finding Critters urban gardening urban garden Fence Garden

Yes, that picture was taken a few seconds apart.  Shaeffer isn’t big on Raccoons and this young one is leery of him.

We’ve had raccoons for years.  We usually cross paths with them late at night when taking the dog for a pee or late at night when they decide to mate (which, incidentally, sounds like war of the worlds).

raccoons come with city life.  As do rats.  And squirrels.  Pigeons.  Rabbits and the occasional fox.  Sometimes I see more wildlife in a few days here than I do at our cabin up north.  Most of the wildlife is harmless (and kind of fun to see) but somethings been digging in our garden.  I’m pretty sure it’s not the raccoon and I’m fearing it might be a rodent.

The funny thing about my unknown guest is that he or she (or they?) don’t seem to bother the plants.  I’m finding patches of dirt that have been tossed about – but not a single plant has been touched and nothing has been eaten.  I’m going to have to install a wildlife camera or a small fence to see what type of garden party happens when I’m not around.

Who/ what do you think has been visiting us?


  1. Last year a skunk decimated our vegetable garden with its digging. Plants were uprooted or buried and it left craters throughout the garden. This year we’ve managed to keep it out of the back yard but it and many of its friends/family still roam freely though the neighbourhood.

  2. daphnegould says:

    At our place the skunks rototill our gardens regularly looking for worms or grubs to eat. Luckily the vegetable garden is behind a fence with hardware cloth going down a foot into the soil.

  3. Larissa says:

    I was going to say skunk, but they beat me to it. Another possibility is a fox digging for mice or other little critters.

  4. Rodney R says:

    I’d bet on a skunk or opossum.

  5. I have TONS of squirrels in my neighborhood. Last year they dug up all of my greens in that way. This year they’ve only been digging around the herbs, without uprooting them. I sprinkled my greens with a capsaicin product and they’ve left them alone so far this year.

  6. John Friedell says:

    I’m guessing a cat.

  7. ecoteri says:

    My parents have had trouble with raccoons digging up their lawn for years – they dig out huge clods of lawn looking for grubs. only on my parent’s back lawn, none of the neighbours. Mom and Dad finally set up one of those scarecrow motion sensors which is great unless they forget to turn it off in the morning – a few of their neighbours slip through my parent’s yard to get to the field in back and one morning there was a bit of hysterical laughter and shrieking as the scarecrow pinned my mom’s dear friend to the back fence – she got SOAKED. But unless they run the scarecrow, the raccoons dig up the yard….

  8. Ugh, I get the feral cats. Which is a health hazard because they use my garden as a litter box. I actually spread red pepper flakes around to deter them when I start seeing it.

  9. Those photos are adorable. A cat, perhaps?

  10. If the critters are digging small holes, it might be moles.

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