This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

mouse traps in the winter tunnel

winter tunnel IMG_1432 winter tunnel IMG_1433

All our snow is gone now. We got a couple inches of rain last night. In one night we went from a foot of snow to almost no snow at all.

I had opened my winter tunnel to the rain and air for the past couple days. The soil looks nice now. Unfortunately, the plants are still mouse-eaten and frost-killed. This morning I pulled all the damaged plants. The mice ate parsley roots, lettuce and spinach stems, and entire chard plants.

My husband was up early this morning and he repaired the tunnel top pole support for me. We put down four mouse snap-traps and closed the tunnel up just as our temperature was plummeting back down to freezing at about noon.

I'd like to replant my tunnel with fresh greens seedlings. In February, our sunlight will be high enough for plants to grow. I just put a dozen or so 6-packs planting pots in the dishwasher to clean them up for planting seeds. I think I'll plant spinach and lettuce indoors under lights that will be ready to transplant out into the tunnel mid February. I hope I can get rid of the mice by then.



Anonymous Mer said...

Looking great! :)

January 14, 2018 7:56 PM

Blogger Joe said...

Here we started the year with a week straight of sub-zero lows and even a high below zero. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty in my cold frame, but I finally worked up the courage to open it up yesterday. No mice (whew!), but lots of frostbite. My spinach should pull through ok, and some of the lettuce plants are (barely) alive, but everything else was just mushy. I had started some new plants indoors under lights midway through the cold snap, just in case. Looks like that turned out to be a really good idea. Now I just need some warm weather so I can start hardening off the new plants.

Would it maybe work to apply some castor oil to repel your mice?

January 15, 2018 11:48 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Joe - Your weather sounds just like ours. Maybe castor oil will help repel the mice. Good idea. I'll spread some around. But I think of castor oil more to repel digging rodents like voles. I hadn't caught any mice in my traps when I checked yesterday. It sort of looked like there was a bit more damage to the plants though. I started up some more seeds yesterday.

January 15, 2018 2:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

will you please list the varieties you grow that are the most successful

January 17, 2018 10:19 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes! Hopefully tomorrow.

January 18, 2018 11:10 PM

Blogger Nicky Altieri said...

I have not visited your blog in several years. I had to give up gardening for a few of reasons, one is health/back issues. The others have to do with other pursuits more suited to my abilities to move, or to my limited movement.
But I was thinking of you today and am so happy to see that you are still at it! I have bookmarked your page again and hope to follow you this year. Probably without commenting.
I wish you all the best.
Nick Altieri

January 19, 2018 12:41 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Hi Nick. Glad you checked back. Yup, I’m still at it. Im sorry to hear that you’ve had to give up gardening. My best wishes for your health. Kathy

January 19, 2018 10:39 AM

Blogger Katrina Ruggiero said...

I love following your garden adventures! I have had a hard time these past few years maintaining one here in CT as I work nights and have to little ones at home. But my 3 year old is finally getting to point where she will be able to help me! But I am sure I will still have to hover on my 18 month old as he tries to put enormous amount of dirt into his

If you have some cats or friends with cats - I have heard about using the fur (and droppings) to repel mice. Maybe put a couple of human made hairballs around! (The droppings - I would worry about contamination...but maybe in a container???)

January 23, 2018 3:10 PM


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