Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pesky possums

possums are loving my crop of broccoli and silverbeet 

Possums are the bain of my life. They are constantly eating my veggies and, in the past, have almost made me give up. I have tried a few different strategies...quassia chips, organic 'poss off' sprays which is simply some smelly citronella and other things which is supposed to keep them away but none of them have worked. Every now and then, I think they have moved away because things will stop getting eaten, and then, just as soon as everything has sprouted, they come back and eat everything up.

When I worked at my local nursery, one of the biggest questions I got was, how do you keep possums out? I live in a very bushy suburb and my dad and I have specifically planted up our garden with lots of native trees and bushes, so naturally, they are attracted to this.

My only answer is, to physically block them out. So, on Monday, I got me some trellis and erected some small barriers around my garden beds. In the past, I have never had to buy this stuff, I usually find it in council clean-ups, however, lately, I haven't managed to pick any up. My nursery sells a roll of 6m for approximately $22, it is uv resistant and so it doesn't break down in the sun, and it can be reused for years.

I protected these seedlings about a month ago and these broccoli  and silverbeet  seedlings are doing really well. I have simply used some old wooden stakes, hammered them into the ground and used old pantyhose to tie the trellis to the stakes. 

I also use old birdcages (found from council clean ups) to protect parsley, lettuce, kale and spinach
I fenced this bed off only a couple of days ago, so many of the seedlings had been munched  on a lot! I am hoping they will spring back to life in the next few weeks.

OK, this bed doesn't look like much at the moment but this is my 'soup bed'. I have planted carrot, leek, silverbeet, broccoli, celery and parsley seeds. These are all perfect seeds or seedlings to plant right now. They just need some sun, water and food (liquid fertiliser). 


  1. I find possum tuberculosis to be a pretty effective repellent. Check out this article from kiwiland: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/possums/5

  2. oh wow, that's intense. Are you from NZ? I don't want to kill them, I just want them to stop eating my garden! If only I could have a reasonable word with them. Do you use this method? I know possums are a pest in NZ and it is legitimate to cull them, however, in Australia, they are natives and I am pretty sure it is illegal to poison them? Meg.

  3. You're definitely correct Meg, it is illegal to kill possums in Australia. Depending on which state you are in and the circumstances you may not even be allowed to catch and relocate the ones your garden. In NSW (which is where it looks like you reside) if there is a possum in your house you are supposed to obtain a permit from the National Parks and Wildlife Services before any attempt is made to remove it. You're also not supposed to relocate them more than 100 meters from where you find them. Many people do trap them however and take them a bit further away so they don't come back, but eventually (usually sooner rather than later) more will come along and take its place anyway!