Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CSI: Harried Homemaker Acres

We finished our big garden renovation in late March and began planting cold hardy vegetables. It was so exciting to be done with hauling dirt and filling boxes and to finally begin growing things. I could almost taste the crunchy radishes and crisp lettuce we would soon harvest.

Our garden, however, remained mostly empty over the next couple of weeks.

Hello, peas? Lettuce? Where are you?

At first we thought that seed germination had been slowed down by our schizophrenic weather. This, however, wasn't so much a slow down as it was a complete and total breakdown. Next, Hubby Dear hypothesized that we hadn't mixed up our soil well enough and that was the cause of all our troubles.

Any peas? Nope, just holes where peas should be.

What on earth could be causing all of this? My theory was rodents were eating the seeds. Hubby Dear disagreed, saying that no mouse is smart enough to dig perfectly round holes, retrieve the seeds, and disturb nothing else. Personally, I have the utmost respect for the cunning of rodents. I've even heard of a mouse that runs a theme park in Florida.

Our crime scene investigation finally came to a head last week. Hubby Dear was planting our Yukon Gold potatoes when a mouse popped out at him from the garden bed. I told him so! We researched various ways of getting rid of rodents in the garden, but didn't find anything that appeared to be more effective than traditional traps. (And before the tender-hearted among you ask, no, we didn't consider catching Mickey and his friends and releasing them in the country. We are in the country and we don't need any more mice!) We laid out several mouse traps baited with peanut butter and caught seven mice.

And what about our garden? In the last week, it has rebounded nicely. We replanted some things and have everything from peas to beets to two types of lettuce coming up. There has been no further evidence of rodent damage.

Gardening isn't easy. Just when you think you've got things figured out, a new challenge arises. Looks like we need to keep a large stock of rodent traps as part of our preps and gardening tools.

1 comment:

  1. What a relief to have uncovered the culprit! I hope everything goes well for the rest of the season!