Right, that's it - I am officially fed up with the mice stealing my seeds and war has been waged. I had a long chat with a friend last week and a plan was hatched. I need to get seeds sown but I need them to not just be mouse fodder so I have come up with what is hopefully a mouse-proof container. I already had a cold frame in the polytunnel but the mouse could dig in to it through the soil underneath. I have now put some boards under the frame and because they were not a perfect fit I have also lined the inside with fabric. Oh yes and that is 2 mouse traps inside as well.
|Mouse proof cold frame?|
Today I sowed beetroot/sweet peas and placed the chard and summer cabbages that I had previously sown under a propagator in there. The leaves are some lettuce seedlings I have bought that I am hardening off a bit before planting them in the polytunnel. I am also worried the mice will eat them so since taking this photo I have moved the mouse traps to where I hear mice squeaking, under the shelving and when I plant out the lettuces I will place the traps nearby.
As a back up plan I also have an old fridge I could use, turned on it's side, the door removed and a plastic lid fitted. At the moment my still slightly dodgy back isn't up to transporting the fridge to the polytunnel so that particular plan in on hold just for now ... however old, clear, lidded storage boxes may well also be bought into mouse-proofing duty.
I will report back next week as to the success of this mouse proofing. Also if the temperature creeps up just a bit and the sun comes out I will try sowing some tender seeds such as tomato, pumpkin, courgette etc. In fact, thinking as I type, I could start these inside and once germinated move them to the polytunnel. As the cat is no longer allowed upstairs and he was , in previous years, responsible for upending and/or weeing in seed trays, I could start seeds under my bedroom window and move them once germinated. I suspect it is a bit chilly in the loft.
Speaking of the loft, the mangetout I sowed up there last week have already germinated and the beans are almost there. Yay, let the veg growing begin!
|Germinated mange-tout seeds|
In other news I have taken delivery of more seed potatoes. Many of the varieties I used to grow in the UK are not available in France so as a friend was popping to England recently I asked if she could get some seed potatoes for me. I now have a total of 6 varieties chitting in the left room:
King Edwards and Kestrel from England
BF15, Desiree and Charlotte that I bought here - I've never grown BF15 before but another friend recommended them.
A variety called Reine de something which was a freebie from my local agricultural supplier/garden centre.
I do now feel that things are moving in the right direction in the garden and this despite the pretty much horrible weather we have had all week. There were moments of sunshine, like when I was showing Annie (from Mammasaurus, who stayed in the gite last week) round the veg garden but they were brief and we were soon sheltering in the polytunnel as rain turned to sleet turned to snow! It was wonderful to meet Annie, in person, having corresponded through the medium of social media for what I have just realised is exactly a year. This is my 53rd HDYGG post and I have not missed a single week. I love the record it is building of the garden here at Eco-Gites of Lenault from one week to the next and over the changing seasons and I love reading the exploits of other gardeners. Thank you Annie for running the link up and thank you for coming and staying here.