Choosing the Right Size Vole King Baskets for Your Planting Needs

Hi there, and welcome back to the blog!  When it comes to gardening and landscaping, protecting your plants from pests is crucial for success.  You’re probably very familiar at this point in the summer with Japanese Beetles, Aphids, Squash bugs, etc., and the devastation they can cause, but don’t forget about underground critters!  Vole King baskets are an effective solution for safeguarding your plants’ crown (the base of the plant where the root ball meets the stem/trunk) and root ball from the voracious appetites of voles and other burrowing rodents.  Selecting the right size Vole King baskets is essential to ensure they provide adequate protection. 

Understanding Vole King Baskets

Vole King baskets are made from stainless steel wire mesh, and are designed to create an underground barrier around the plant’s life force - the root ball and crown.  The roots can grow through the pliable wire mesh - this is key because root girdling can also thwart your landscape from reaching its full potential.  Yes, this does mean that hungry voles can nibble on the root tips as they grow through, but they will get bored and move on, as this isn’t enough food to sustain them and their large families…that’s right, if you see one, there are many, many more!  Voles don’t like the feel of the wire on their teeth, but if they are really determined to keep gnawing, it’s sharp, and they won’t make that mistake twice!  Vole King is underground plant protection at its finest!

The size of the Vole King basket you need depends on the size of the plant(s) you are looking to protect.  We offer many different sizes to cover all of your planting needs.  Follow our guide below, but always feel free to reach out to us directly to discuss your specific needs!

Annual flowers: Use the quart size basket for individual annuals, or choose a larger basket (1, 5, 7-10, or 15 gallon, depending on the number of plants) for group plantings in larger beds.  For large group plantings, such as an entire landscape bed, use the 36" bed liner roll.

Bulbs: Use the quart size basket for individual bulbs, or the 1 gallon basket for individual large bulbs.  For a group planting, choose a 5, 7-10, or 15 gallon basket.  For example, 10 tulips fit great in a 5 gallon basket, or 20-30 fit a 15 gallon basket.  For an entire bed of bulbs, use our 36" bed liner roll.  You can find more specific information about planting bulbs with Vole King here: https://www.voleking.com/blogs/vole-king-news/hardy-bulb-planting-with-vole-king

Perennials: Use a 1 gallon basket if you plan to divide every 3-5 years, as recommended.  If you don't plan to divide your perennials, use a 3 gallon basket.

Small Shrubs (mature height 4'x4' or smaller) and Ornamental Grasses: Plant in a 3 gallon basket.

Large Shrubs (mature height of 5' or greater): We recommend choosing a 5 gallon, 7-10 gallon, 15 gallon, or jumbo basket, depending on estimated size at maturity, to provide plenty of protection for roots as they grow and mature.

Small Trees: Choose a 15 gallon or jumbo basket.

Large Balled and Burlap Trees: We recommend using the 36' roll and wrapping the burlap securely before planting.

Installation

Regardless of what size basket you choose, installation is basically the same.  We always recommend using gloves while handling our wire mesh, just to err on the side of caution (you probably wear gloves when gardening anyway!).  The first step is to dig a hole in prepared soil large enough to accommodate your basket.  Next you’ll gently remove your plant from the container it came in, loosen up the soil around the root ball, set it inside the Vole King basket, and roll up the wire mesh, cinching it at the base of the plant/tree.  Place your prepared plant in the hole you just dug, and fill in with soil.  It’s important to leave 1"-2” of your Vole King wire mesh basket or roll exposed above the soil, to prevent voles from burrowing over it and attacking at the crown.  This is especially important if you live in an area where snow cover is inevitable!

If you’re planting a group of bulbs or annuals, follow the steps described above, except place your basket directly in the hole you dug, add a layer of soil, place your bulbs/plants (give them plenty of room to grow by ensuring that none are touching), and fill with soil. 

Either way, cover with a generous layer of mulch, and viola, your investment is protected! 

Vole King is proud to provide a reliable solution for protecting your plants from underground pests while allowing them to flourish, and effectively safeguarding your investment.

Show us how Vole King is helping YOU!  Please tag us @vole__king and #voleking on Social Media!  We would love to see your photos, and may even feature them in a future post!  Happy Planting!