Monday, May 3, 2010

Varmints epilogue

If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know I have struggled this year with mice in the garden, especially when it comes to my peas. I planted a whole bed full of peas one day, only to find the next morning a whole bed full of little holes where the peas had briefly been.

Well, we have been finding those peas everywhere. I assume the mice must have eaten some of them, but they also dropped a number that have since sprouted in the potato bed, the blueberry bed, and the pot full of catmint. The best were the sprouts Kim found the other day, growing out of a knothole in one of the raised beds. It's almost endearing enough to make me reconsider my feelings about mice. Almost.

We have also had some issues with the local deer, which in the past have shown a preference for the tender young growth in the orchard. So we had a deer fence built along one side of the orchard, and then on the weekend we raised to deer-proof height the existing fence on the other three sides. That was easy enough to do: we screwed cedar boards into the fence posts and strung three strands of wire to a height of about 7 feet.

We were warned by experts that the wire alone could prove a hazard to deer - they might not see it, and could injure themselves trying to jump the fence and getting hung up on the wire. The remedy is to tie flagging tape to the wire at regular intervals, preferably white since it's most visible at night when deer are most active.

With all that white tape fluttering in the breeze it looks like a wedding in the orchard.


~Kim~ said...
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Miriam said...

I DO remember that post, Kim - it made me feel better somehow about setting the traps, knowing that at the other end of the continent, someone was going the extra mile to be kind to their resident mice!

We're thinking about replacing the white flags with odds and ends of glass and beads and other shiny things, so thanks for the ideas about pie plates and CDs!

Paula said...

Things that flutter and reflect light wildly will go a long way to keeping birds out of the orchard at harvest time too...

I like it festive!

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