Success and Struggle

Let’s begin with the success.  Whenever given the option, I always chose the good news first.

Jarrahdale pumpkin in the making.

This Australian heirloom will mature into a bluish-grey beauty.  I planted these seeds a mere 8 weeks ago and the vines are growing up a storm, complete with baby pumpkins.  One of my most favorite things to grow, by far.

Persian Little Finger cucumbers climbing up the trellis netting.

Last year I grew my first cucumber plant, which happened to be a lemon cuke.  This year I added one more type of cucumber to my arsenal.  I’m super pleased with the Persian Little Finger’s growth and prolific cucumbers.  They are mild and slightly sweet.

Now here comes the struggle I’ve been facing and attempting to remedy.  I can only assume that mice have been living in my yard since time immemorial.  With the addition of the chicken coop and veggie garden, either their numbers have increased or they’re just becoming lackadaisical in their sense of stealth.  I’m willing to bet it’s a bit of both.  No matter how many I catch, there just seem to always be more.  I was first humbled by their presence in early spring when my potato foliage started disappearing.  I’ve learned that one of their most favorite snacks out of the summer vegetable garden is the beans.  I have had about 14 pole green bean plants of different types.  The mice go right for the main stalks of the plant, biting them right in half.  About 5 tall beans that had been making their way up the trellis with dozens of little green bean flowers started wilting while the others were doing just fine.  Upon closer inspection I could see that the stalks had been severed.  Talk about one of the biggest bummers of the spring plantings.  However, the silver lining of these rodent shenanigans is that I’ve been able to leave the plant base in tact and they have regenerated.

Now since I’ve been told that I have one of the largest melons (brains) in the animal kingdom, I hatched a plan to outwit my fellow green bean lover.  And it happened to be free, without even a trip to the local home improvement store.  Plastic bottles.  Yup.  Since the mice were only causing damage around the base, I was able to fashion a sort of collar for the bottom 8 inches or so of the plant.  The types of bottles that I used were slick enough that perhaps the mice feet cannot find any traction to climb up.  I cut the tops and bottoms off of CLEAR plastic containers (juice, milk, gatorade, water) and one cut through from top to bottom to get it around the plant.  Voila.

My poor decapitated beans.

So far so good on my homemade mice deterrents.  Take that!

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3 thoughts on “Success and Struggle

    • Do your chickens eat the mice? Wow, I’ve never heard of them catching rodents! My little Silkies squawk and run away when they see even a small lizard. They are actually out every day in many parts of the yard and I’ve yet to see them with a catch. I think they’re little scaredy cats. My cat on the other hand has been helping out with the cause, thank goodness!

      • I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes, either!

        My barred rocks go absolutely crazy for mice – they fight over them!

        I’ve never seen any of my tiny girls get mice tho, come to think of it . . .

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