Saturday, October 11, 2008


Did you get your gardening stimulus package this week? I did. One of the offerings was a real deal and I have already used it. Of course just like the other one it benefitted the big box store but then they are the ones who sent it out so I didn't have a whole lot of choice. $10 off a purchase of $25 is more than I can turn down. I rushed over there to purchase a large bag of potting soil, seven six packs of winter annuals and a package of bird netting.
I haven't worked out whether it is economical to buy 6 packs and pot them up into 4" pots but I think it must be. This is generally what I do in the fall with violas and snapdragons, as I feel it gives them a much better chance when I put them in the ground. Those six packs are usually a little root bound having been forced into flower with goodness knows what. 
The netting is for a newly conceived project. 
 My beetroot seedlings are eaten down to the stalk. That is what awaited me yesterday morning when I went out into the garden. Not only that, but the chard as well. Who was that overnight marauder? I could guess that it was the hispid cotton rat again- annoyed with me for having pulled out many of the Gomphrena. For the last three nights I have set the havahart trap with tempting strawberries and apple cores and every night the trap is triggered, the bait eaten but the trap empty. We have a little Houdini on our hands. The only thing we can surmise is that the critter is a big one and the door closes on his back, after which he backs out with booty in mouth.
So the beds must be covered every evening to protect the other seedlings; lettuce, pak choi and arugula. That is what the netting is for; a frame work which will cover over the square foot bed and protect it , not just from this houdini but from the cabbage white butterflies. For now the the beds are covered with the frost covering, the trap is set again and we'll see what tomorrow brings.


  1. Can't wait for you to post what it was!

  2. Could it be small enough to fit through the holes in the trap screen sides? Or are the holes too tiny?

  3. It's always a possibility but I really have my doubts about that because they are less than 1/2" apart and I think at that size they are probably still in the nest. I am going to borrow a larger trap from my neighbor and see what shows up in that. All safe last night but lots of activity in the potting shed so the trap is in there tonight.

  4. On your trap, I have a Havahart trap and once had a rabbit escape because those wire hoop-things weren't flipped down to 'lock' the doors. Perhaps that was the problem with yours? Those should be set so that when the door springs closed, those fall against them and lock them closed.

    Good luck with your trapping!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  5. I had that happen once so I am always careful to make sure they are facing backwards. I'm mystified by this one. last night I put the trap in the shed and the bait was gone but the trap not sprung. I have borrowed a bigger one from my neighbor but I am afraid of what I might catch. It is huge. I found all the seedlings of the sprouting morning glory eaten down to stubs so I think it may be a rabbit. I've had one before but don't know what would lure him into the trap.