Protecting Your Garden Produce from Mice

AcornMouseCoverMedI’ve posted before, my gardening experience with a terrified, newborn baby mouse but let me tell you what attracted the mouse family in the first place. Compost; eggshells, apple cores, banana peels and watermelon rinds drew them right to my garden. I cover the compost with horse manure but obviously not well enough. When volunteer pumpkins and tomato plants sprang from the pile in early spring, I was delighted and so were the mice. They started in on the tomatoes while they were still green. Ditto with the pumpkins. Further down the garden, I have cantaloupe. They like that too but so far I’ve kept them from eating it. I’ve found that if I place a white plastic tofu container (or the grocery store container that mushrooms come in) upside down on the ground and place the immature fruit on top of it, it keeps the fruit off the ground enough to keep the mice away. It’s necessary to keep an eye on them as sometimes the fruit rolls off. But it’s easy to put it back on the plastic. The plastic tubs help keep other feasting insects away from your produce too and they keep the fruit pristine.Poor Jonny's Cover  Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

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Gardening… I wish the Mice weren’t so Cute

The Acorn MouseI was watering my small pumpkin patch by hand when I heard squealing. Out ran two baby mice. The blast of cold water on their newborn skins must have been traumatic. One was so distraught he rolled over on his back and stuck his feet in the air as if he believed his life was over. He was so young, he had no fur to speak of, just a dark gray felt. I couldn’t leave him there. He was so tiny and light, I was able to flip him over with a piece of straw. He was then able to run. Quite quickly he ditched back into the leafy pumpkin patch. I harvested all but one of the pumpkins. They had already eaten half of it. Even if they hadn’t, I would have left one.

I really don’t want mice in my garden but darn it… that little guy was so cute… and desperate to survive. Just like the rest of us mammals.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78