Garden Maintenance: Moles in my garden

The little creatures that don’t bring a smile to our faces, rather a grimace.  These little miners have got a bad rap, are misunderstood, and mostly falsely accused.  The little tunnels just under the surface of the soil, usually criss crossing our beautiful lawns, are the golden mole, and the heaps of dirt scattered all over the lawn is the mole rat. Believe it or not they have an important job to do, they airate the soil and eat insects. The bulbs and roots that they do nibble,  just as fynbos requires fire to propagate properly so do some bulbs that experience trauma propagate, to ensure a sustainable harvest.  Maybe the time has come to learn to live with these misunderstood little creatures as the chemicals used to kill them is actually killing us, not only does the chemical kill the mole in the ground it kills all the little micro-organisms in the ground eventually rendering the soil dead.  Dead moles are picked up by birds of prey or our four legged family members, a horrible thought.

There are a million options on how to rid your yard of moles, this in my opinion means none of these methods are fool proof, so maybe working smartly with your prized plants is the way to go, for example plant up vulnerable plants into  ordinary plastic pots, and submerge into the ground with the lip of the pot just sticking out of the ground, spread a layer of mulch over the top of the bed and no one would be any the wiser.  We have planted clivia into a rock garden with beautiful results the moles can’t get to them and they do well in such an environment, so there are ways to co- exist with these little creatures, just find a way that works for you, living with them is so much less stressful than trying kill them.