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Old 02-13-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Raleigh, NC
525 posts, read 1,857,413 times
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While digging in my garden I noticed lava rocks mixed in around the plant roots and bulbs. We have a lot of moles and voles and I was wondering whether the previous owner planted things with rocks to keep the critters from disturbing the roots and bulbs. It sure is difficult to dig up bulbs and plans with rocks in the dirt - at least my shovel thinks so.

I was wondering if anyone else has employed this method?
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:46 AM
 
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Yes, people use lava rock and expanded shale to deter the little pests. I planted some bulbs in the yard last fall and mixed in the shale. Hopefully it'll work. It's also used to lighten up heavy soil.

If you're having a hard time digging, it sounds as though they used a lot!
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Raleigh, NC
525 posts, read 1,857,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Yes, people use lava rock and expanded shale to deter the little pests. I planted some bulbs in the yard last fall and mixed in the shale. Hopefully it'll work. It's also used to lighten up heavy soil.

If you're having a hard time digging, it sounds as though they used a lot!
Thanks Gerania. Yes, in Raleigh, NC we do have heavy clay soil. At first I thought perhaps the previous homeowner had used lava rock as a decorative mulch and just missed some when they switched to wood but then I noticed the rock is only where the bulb plants are. I've got a vole problem but they don't go near the bulbs.

Many of the Iris and daylilies are overgrown and I'm thinking of dividing them and tossing in some rock when I move them.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 8,863,772 times
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I would bet they did it more for drainage than anything. Our soil here in NC has a lot of clay. Bulbs will rot without proper drainage. An added benefit may be a deterrent to voles.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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I used to live down there; I know what you're talking about. I was quite surprised to find that I have quite a bit of clay in my yard here in NJ.
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