Plan C – Possum Pot

Possum marks on avocado tree

Possum chewed avocado tree

My strategy for dealing with possums in my garden has evolved.

Plan A – live and let live. Grow enough of everything to provide for the local fauna with plenty left over for us. If there wasn’t enough left over, at least we could go to the grocery store; possums and bandicoots don’t have that option.

Then the possum started stripping bark from my avocado tree killing it before any of us could enjoy the fruit.

Plan B – Plastic bag deterrent. Two days ago I tied plastic bags around my avocado trunk above where I think the possums might be gaining access to the tree (a branch near the fence).

This morning the nibblings in the photo above showed what a waste of time that was.

Plan C – Possum Pot. This morning I cut a plastic pot in half, cut a hole in its bottom and put it around the trunk of the tree in the hope that this will prove just too much of a hurdle for the possum. I left the plastic bags to increase the hassle factor.

If this doesn’t work, Plan D is a toss-up between a large glass of neat vodka consumed while looking out a window that does NOT give a view of my dying avocado tree (leaves rain down these days). Or possibly I’ll chop the damned tree down, turn it into mulch – tasty bark and all – and plant a thorny cactus in its spot. That’ll teach the wily old possum!

Or I can go to the shops, buy a box of avocados and live in peace and harmony with the wildlife – oooohhhhmmmmm.

Just look at the photo below. Check out all those flower buds and that new growth. This was going to be a great crop. Will any of it survive? Will the tree survive? I want to sit down and cry!

On a more constructive note, yesterday I planted basil seeds in the bed near the back door. The weather has been really warm and I think it’s time to plant straight in the ground. We’ll see if I’m right. I also planted out some thyme and rosemary that had been sprouting in pots.

Right now, all the beds are looking great. I’m slowly winning the battle against pests: I pick off cabbage moth caterpillars and squash their eggs when I find them (the eggshell trick didn’t work); aphids are being kept in check by spraying my concoction on leaves – mainly the Brussels sprouts – when I see them; I continue to add to my twig barricade around seedlings too keep the bandicoot out (more diggings this morning but their prevalence does seem to be diminishing); the coffee grounds I sprinkle around (and the twigs) have kept Tash at bay. It’s a daily job and set-backs occur, but I’m quietly optimistic. Now all my psychic energy is going into the possum pot – it’s just gotta work!

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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6 Responses to Plan C – Possum Pot

  1. gosh it seems amazing that he is intent on decimating that tree – normally they would just be after something they could eat. I hope the bucket stops him

  2. I’m tempted to go nibble on the bark myself. I can only assume it’s really tasty. I have a huge batch of parsley that possums apparently love that this guy is ignoring. It’s spring time, everything is in bloom so what is is about avocado bark that is so attractive?

  3. shanegenziuk says:

    Those bloody Possums make me want to pull out the remaining strands of hair on my head! Had the same experience with a Fig tree, just starting off in life and getting ready to fruit. They showed it no mercy.
    You might be able to get a cutting from the tree, or even graft it onto another avocado? Not sure what would happen if you cut it below the chew, it might start to grow back. However you do it, best of luck with those possums 🙂

  4. This morning I see no new evidence of chewing which proves absolutely nothing (but brightens my spirits)!

    The avocado tree started from a seed sprouting in our compost. Three seeds actually. I planted them all in the garden (why not?) and this one is the sole survivor. It’s clearly made of stern stuff so I’m sure it can outlast a season of chewing.

    I also have a gorgeous little fig tree that I planted a couple of months ago (I bought this one – my compost pile does have its limits). Its first leaves appeared in the past week. Now you’ve got me nervous. I have a sudden urge to go down and weld together a steel cage to protect it.

    I can only second your statement: Those Bloody Possums!!!!

  5. Pingback: I Do NOT Hate Possums | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

  6. Pingback: Can I Hope for a Mango? | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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