I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I woke up to 4-5 inches of snow. What a relief for the perennial and fruit trees since we haven’t gotten a lot of snow this past winter.
I call this time of year the shoulder season when one day is cold and the next day warm-it’s not quite winter but not quite spring either, hence the name. It seems after today it will warm up a lot outside so it will be a good time to get back in the garden. Snow one day and temps in the 60’s for the next week.
I planted shallot bulbs and peas this past week outside. The shallots were planted in the upstairs garden behind the cold frame and the peas in pots on the deck.
The garlic is coming up nicely from last October but the asparagus hasn’t popped up yet-maybe with this extra moisture I will be seeing asparagus soon. Last year was the first year I got about 12 meals from the asparagus.
Update: Regarding my mouse problem in my cold frame from the previous post
I screwed in the foam window gasket around the lid which was loose as it lost it’s stickiness so the little varmints couldn’t get in thru the cracks and put wire around the corners on the inside in case that was where they were getting in. They didn’t try to eat the foam last year so it seems it’s working.
I put two sacrificial plants in for 3 days to make sure it was mouse proof and it worked. So I went and replanted the rest of the arugula and bok choy back in the cold frame as they did recover inside under lights.
This year I have had a rodent problem in the garden, two years ago it was an ant problem. Now the ants are under control but the mice and packrats are out of control even though I continue to trap them and I’ve gotten a lot of them. I’ve never had a problem like this before in my veggie garden but luckily I have had a super productive year.
Actually next year, 2021, is officially ‘The Year of the Rat’ in the Chinese Zodiac but it might as well be this year. The mice and rats have been eating holes in many of the veggies.
Rat damage on a Cherokee green tomato
Tomatoes-My tomatoes have been hit hard but thankfully I have lots of them. I think rats are destroying some of my tomatoes and on other tomatoes there are little bites so I think they are mice-either way I can’t sell them. I’d be thinking, “I will wait one more day to harvest some particular tomato”, and then the mice/rat gets it first so I’ve had to resort to taking them a few days early and let the tomatoes finish ripening inside the house. I have too many tomato plants to completely wrap each plant to keep them out. Very frustrating.
Peppers- I have to cut out part of the peppers that has been eaten too. They eat a hole at the top of the pepper and get the seeds. They don’t seem to care if the peppers are still green or red. So I’ve resorted to tacking down the pepper bed with some hail netting and using 2″ x 4″ boards to keep the netting snug at the bottom on the ground so they can’t get under it. So far so good.
Butternut squash-Then there are the butternut winter squash. They are almost ready to harvest. I’m waiting for the skins to get that beautiful butterscotch color. Well some mouse has been attacking them too. They nibble small holes in some of them. So I’ve resorted to completely wrapping each butternut squash in pieces of row cover to keep them from getting them.
I have not been able to plant any lettuces in my lettuce shade garden this season either. They first ate all my Fava beans last spring and so I have had to forgo growing lettuces in that area. Instead I’m going to plant the lettuce that I’ve started this fall into my covered coldframe up by the house. In a few more weeks I’ll also plant lettuce in my greenhouse (it’s still to warm inside the greenhouse to put them there but I am ready when it cools down more).
So it looks like either trapping them or wrapping your plant up tight to keep them out works. I would never use poison as we have a cat that also hunts them and our neighbor’s dog too. They could die from eating a poisoned rodent. Plus birds of prey like hawks would die also.
I have heard from other gardeners in this area that they too have had rodent problems this year. How about you? Have you had problems with rodents in your veggie garden this year?