Allotment Stuff > The Basics

Tip for stopping mice from digging up pea seeds

(1/3) > >>

Maybe other growers have come across this before, but here's a little success story.

No matter what I've tried previously, (presumably) mice have always dug up my pea seeds before they've germinated.  Last month, I covered each seed with a mini-cloche made from used tropical fruit-salad containers.  They're about 3" diameter and same in height so a perfect size, and being transparent, you can see when germination has occurred.  I use a hot metal skewer to make a small hole in the top and then poke a wooden kitchen skewer through the hole to secure them into the earth. A bit of soil around the perimeter keeps everything firmly in place with no gaps for anything to get through/in/under or whatever. A row of them looks a bit odd but so far, I've had 80% germination rate and no signs of any disturbance.  Hope others find this of help and good to hear what others do.

I germinate my precious breeding project peas indoors and transplant (food crop peas are down outdoors though).

I know mice arenít supposed to be interested once they germinate, but Iíve had problems with something eating the seeds even when the plants are several inches high, often chewing through the stem at the same time and killing them.

Sounds disgusting but Iíve had success with scattering wet litter from my catís tray around the area (not touching the peas). Nothing contaminated with poo of course, cat faeces is nasty stuff, but I figured that mice would keep away from the strong smell of cat urine.

It is impossible to grow peas in my area without nets.  The pigeons would destroy them in no time.

So I simply put the nets (with a fairly small mesh) on at the same time they get sown.  The nets pegged down close to the soil seems to provide an effective barrier.  I sow a little deep but do not firm the ground immediately.

That said, I really don't know if the local mouse population is low or high. Maybe I'm keeping them off, maybe there are just not many about!  Germination this year was not perfect - I'd estimate 60%. No problem as I sow a little bit more densely than recommended.

PS This is for snap peas, which we prefer.

Thanks to Galina, Iíve begun to use two litre water or milk bottles with the tops and bottoms cut off. This is after starting the plants in modules though. The bottle cloches round two or three plants, secured with a short stick or cane, are tall enough to stop pigeons as well as any other mice or voles which might nip them off above ground level. The bottle cloches have made a huge difference to my pea success. If Iím sowing and growing quite early in the season, they provide some wind and cold protection too.

Pigeons of course will have another go when the plants are fully grown and thereís enough of a bunching for them to sit on top and have a good go at them. Then nets or string or sparkly things help.

I chit my pea seeds on damp kitchen towel in margarine containers in my office cupboard. I make sure that there is a decent root on them and then set them wholesale in 4" wide rows which I cover initially with clotches or wire netting making sure that the seeds are pushed into the soil. I never have trouble with mice eating them. Once the plants are 4" tall I put barrier netting round the rows to keep the pigeons off.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version