Rats, worms, moles, and dirt

Peach blossoms in greenhouse

Peach blossoms in greenhouse

Before I discuss some of the nasty beasts in my garden, I wanted to start with the pretty blossoms of the mini peach and nectarine trees in the greenhouse. I think I’m going to do some hand pollinating in there today. With the dreary rainy weather we’re going to have all day, these harbingers of spring will help perk me up a bit.

Now on to some nasty beasts. Derek (no, he’s not the nasty beast) had some big excitement last night. He shot a rat with his .22 pistol. He never takes his pistol out of its hiding place, but last night he had good reason. Rats have moved into the greenhouse and we want them out. Not only have we found tell-tale rat droppings, the little suckers have been eating the plants in the greenhouse. Apparently, the find a mixed green salad of lettuce, kale, and baby pak choi quite tasty. So, after shooting one rat and hopefully scaring the other off for the night, we’re going to have to add greenhouse rat-proofing to our garden to-do list. We’re going to block where they’ve been getting in and set up some rat traps for good measure. The rats must die.

Worm bin

Worm bin

Now on to better creatures. My brother-in-law Jeff has a friend who wanted to give away her worm bin. Of course, I’m not one to turn down a free worm bin, so we took it. The kids call it their worm farm. Looks like we’ll be giving worm composting a try. We placed the worm bin close to the back door of our kitchen so it will be convenient for throwing food scraps into.

Raised bed with hardware cloth

Raised bed with hardware cloth

Now back to the bad critters. Our fight against moles continues. We’re setting up some new raised beds this year and with the new beds, we’re mole-proofing them from the beginning. Each new bed will be lined with hardware cloth before being installed in the garden. For the existing beds, the retroactive hardware cloth installation continues. Ack!

Topsoil and compost pile

Topsoil and compost pile

New beds need to be filled with soil. Yesterday, I had 5 yards each of organic topsoil and compost delivered. I always order a bit more than I think I need, but dang, this is a lot of dirt! This will mean a whole lot of shoveling and schlepping in the wheelbarrow. I guess I’ll consider this part of my overall strength training exercise routine for the next few weeks.

Next week, I hope to post more about what’s growing in the garden instead of the maintenance, set up, and critter eradication tasks we’ve been doing. Right now, the garden seems all work. Next week, I’ll post about some of the fun.

Sandy

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5 Responses to Rats, worms, moles, and dirt

  1. tlsclark says:

    What a beautiful and inspiring blog. For once it’s good to know that I’m not unique in my goals. You are welcome to visit my blog at http://www.toliveandtolearn.wordpress.com.

  2. Pingback: Merciless gardening | The 10 Year Challenge

  3. kitsapFG says:

    Who would have thought that rat hunting was part of gardening!? LOL! Seriously, I know they can be nasty invaders and hopefully you busted up the party before too much damage was done. That is a HUGE pile of soil to move but it should give you some nice new beds in the end.

  4. Pingback: Berries, garlic, and a rat update | The 10 Year Challenge

  5. jean says:

    lordy, only in america! you shot a rat? never heard of a rat trap?

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