As I’ve mentioned before, we have industrial grade moles in our yard. When we put in most of the raised beds, we didn’t mole-proof them. It just didn’t occur to us. Well, it occurred to us that we had a problem when the moles started building massive tunnels in the beds. I guess the nice, soft soil was a mole’s dream house. Since then, we’ve been retroactively installing hardware cloth barriers in the beds. This task is no fun. It requires a whole lot of digging and stapling. But it is necessary. Over the last few weeks, we’ve finished two of the three beds in the greenhouse. Just one more bed to go there and then on to more outdoor beds.
Speaking of the greenhouse, the first bed that we mole-proofed is now filled with my first batch of seedlings. This bed has lettuce, kale, bok choi, and Chinese cabbage. I also threw in a few garlic bulbs I found leftover in an outdoor bed. On cool nights, I’ve been covering everything with a grow cloth, but generally everything is doing really well and showing good growth.
With my first batch of seedlings hardened off and planted, I started my tomato and pepper seedlings a few weeks ago. This year, I have started Italian Roma, San Marzano, Celebrity, Ace, and Sun Gold tomatoes. For peppers, I’ve started Italian Sweet, Creme Brulee, and Purple Beauty. For the last few years, I’ve had some trouble with my tomato seedlings, but this batch looks great! I also have some Candy onions started with this batch.
Finally, we harvested our last batch of overwintered carrots. The kids helped me dig out the carrots, then I dug out the entire bed so Derek could install the hardware cloth. Soon, we’ll get our first batch of peas planted in this bed.
Darn moles! I would not have thought to install hardware cloth either – but luckily we have not had that issue in our garden location (so far).
The seedlings look great! I have got to start moving some items out to the greenhouse to make room for more seed starting. Thankfully the weather is finally starting to ease up a bit and I think it may be safe to begin that process.
How nice to get that done though I bet! Have y0u noticed a problem with certain crops more than others? Or they just love your garden soil?
The moles are terrible in our area. They are throughout the yard (and the yards of the whole neighborhood) and will work their way into all the beds. I haven’t noticed any planting preferences. The interesting thing about the greenhouse beds is that the moles had to tunnel through 3 inches of crushed rock to even get into the beds and it didn’t stop them at all. Maybe they have a particular hankering for warm soil.
Moles can be so so destructive. We have a lot of them here, but they don’t get into the raised beds. They ate through my potato bags last year and ate almost all of the potatoes! Hopefully, we won’t have a problem with them at the plots.
Oh my! Crushed gravel was my backup plan! And nuts I was thinking it would just be root crops I needed to worry about. Sounds like some real engineering required but at least I will know that before building the garden or greenhouse.
Sorry about your moles…we’re lucky we don’t have any in the garden: just the crazy hens and once in a while a wayward squirrel.
It’s too bad about the moles. What a pain. But your seedlings look wonderful. I can’t wait to get more of mines started. So far I only have the onions.
Moles can drive you crazy. Shortly after I put in my raised beds the moles left their calling card. It looked like they were building a subterranean city underneath the gardens. It wasn’t long before nary an earthworm could be found in the beds. Then last summmer a snake, possibly a racer, very thin and about 5 feet long, began making appearances in the garden area. Moles suddenly became scarce. Don’t know if this reptile was responsible, but I sure hope it comes back.
The dirt under our raised beds is soooo hard moles can’t dig through and if it is wet then it becomes a drowning hazard…*; ) Also snakes and large birds of prey keep little rodents under control….but, we have an overland hazard…deer! They’ve already begun the garden bed inspection and are quite pleased that we have raised the beds for their convenience…*; (
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