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Castor Bean Plant

October 3rd, 2009

This year I planted a few castor beans seeds. 3 of them germinated and one or two of them were eaten by chipmunks, which I presume died shortly after eating them since they’re very poisonous. Castor bean plants and beans/seeds are poisonous, so you may wonder why I’m growing them. I’ve read that they’re a great way to deter moles and gophers from invading your gardens, and since I had a mole problem in the back garden I decided I’d try a castor plant to see how it worked.
It seemed to do a decent job, I noticed moles in the spring and early summer, but when the castor bean got large I haven’t noticed as many. I’d say it a great way to combat moles, not only do you not have little moles tunneling through your garden, you get a very large striking plant in the garden.
My castor plant is probably 8-9 feet tall and the leaves are huge, I decided this was the bean stalk that Jack must have climbed in the nursery rhyme. It’s starting to bloom, I’m not sure if it will produce any beans since it’s getting pretty close to the end of the season.
I’ll definitely be planting castor plants again next year. I’ve seen a few purple castor beans in some other local gardens and they bloomed much earlier than mine and are much shorter, I may try to find those next year since they must have a shorter growing season.

Do you have any poisonous plants in your gardens? Or any plants that are supposed to help with rodent control?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.