The Old Rectory


Isle of Wight

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An occasional (depending on how busy I am gardening!) comment on beautiful plants or moments as they happen in our garden.

Tulip troubles

By roses382, Apr 1 2017 08:22AM

Every year I plant lots of tulip bulbs, and then am frustrated by the serious assaults on them by rodents and squirrels. Last year I kept the planted pots in the greenhouse, but they still suffered damage. I kept humane mouse traps in the vicinity, and every morning would be dismayed to catch 3, 4 or 5 mice. I would then pop the traps in my pocket and release the mice at the bottom of our field. And then one day I was listening to the radio, and the person speaking said that if you did this, you have to release them 3 miles away as they would keep coming back. So for what seemed like weeks I drove the dog and a biscuit tin of mice to release them and hope they didn't come back, feeling bad all the while that I might be separating families, but better that than the horrors of lethal traps or worse still, poison. And then I had a breakthrough. I discovered the tiniest of holes going into the greenhouse, where the electricity supply goes through the wall. I blocked it with a bit of brick, then was amazed the next morning to find the brick had been pushed, and sure enough, the traps contained mice. I then blocked the hole with a scrunched up ball of chicken wire, and placed the brick on top, and have not had a single mouse in since. Consequently, this spring I have pots and pots brimming with tulips. They were kept in the greenhouse until just before the point of flowering, so are a little early, but that is OK. And the squirrel that visits now, seems more interested in the Peanut feeder (he shuns the Squirrel feeder, which has easy access, preferring to perform acrobatic tricks to reach the bird one!).

And finally I can enjoy untouched tulips!

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