Monday, May 20, 2013

peas, beans, tomatoes...and a rat snake

Oh the woes of the backyard gardener.  Or any gardener, I guess.  We've had such trouble with the critters eating our seedlings for the last 2 years. You can see in previous posts how that progressed last year. We left the fence up from last year so that the bunnies wouldn't get the garden, but we still had trouble with field mice, and even birds, this time.  I really hated the plastic wrap that we ended up using last year.  Even though it worked well, the plastic just looked so ugly in the backyard.  A guy at the hardware store said that bird netting would help if we wrapped the fence in that. It really didn't help much at all though. So we found another solution. This motion-activated sprinkler was rather expensive, but if we can get the kids to STOP TURNING IT OFF, then it does quite an effective job. I think that if we can just get our garden past the seedling stage, we can put the sprinkler away until next year.  

While the sprinkler has been working for us, we neglected to remove the bird netting from the fence.  (And I tell you, we will never try that stuff again!) We returned from a shortened-by-rain camping trip this weekend to a poor rat snake stuck in the netting.  His midsection was just too fat to squeeze all the way through.  Paul finally got him out of the fence, but he still had several sections of the netting wrapped around him.

Once he was out of the fence, Paul could better secure his head so that I could painstakingly snip each section of net without harming his scales. After close to an hour of work, he was free to slither off.  I hoped he might stick close by to keep the field mice, chipmunks, and birds away, but I think he might have been scared away by his traumatic experience.

As for the seedlings, they are in various stages of establishment.  They are as follows:



bell pepper (that re-leafed after all but one leaf was eaten by the field mice)


field peas, in the foreground, and bush beans, in the background

and cucumbers, in a new bed that Paul recently added

How is your garden growing?

1 comment:

  1. Not sure how our garden is growing because we haven't been back to it in 2 weeks. Slackers. Amazing how you saved that snake!


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