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I planted various broadbeans and snow peas under bottle cloches but when I went to check on them the bottles are still in place but the peas and beans have gone. 
I think what is happening is that there is a mole and then the rat follows the mole along the tunnels under the bottles and then pops up and eats the peas and beans. 
I had put chili powder in there as well.
I think that the wretched beasts have now learned that a bottle means there will be a goody underneath.
Has anyone got any solutions.  I am thinking of putting a wire mesh below the bottles but then I will have to ensure that I dig them all out at the end of the year. 
I have also got some of those ultrasonic devices, they have got rid of moles in the past.

Even plants like broad beans that will survive very harsh winter weather need reasonable temperatures to germinate.  I think the expert view is 7 degrees Celsius.  So starting them in autumn while it is still mild works as does spring sowing from March onward as the weather gets warmer. January or February sowing in a greenhouse or somewhere else with some extra warmth can get things off to a successful early start

Much depends on when you planted them.  You don't say exactly but even with the aid of bottle cloches I'd be astonished if anything direct sown in January or  February would germinate yet.  In most parts of the country it is simply too cold.  It certainly could be pests but they might have rotted or might just still be there waiting for milder weather.

Digeroo wrote ‘planted’ rather than ‘sowed’ so I assumed these were module grown plants. If so, it’s really frustrating and I don’t have any solution.
Rats do burrow without the help of ready made mole tunnels but are usually deterred by bottle cloches in my experience. Rat activity is pretty random so I can only suggest growing some more plants and planting them out when they’re well established and about 6” tall. Better luck second time.


--- Quote from: JanG on February 27, 2022, 06:15:50 ---Digeroo wrote ‘planted’ rather than ‘sowed’ so I assumed these were module grown plants.

--- End quote ---

You make an excellent point. I think I have got this wrong.

Nevertheless it is highly puzzling.  Why would rats bother to tunnel underneath rather than gnaw at the cloche and push it over?  Rat tunnels are pretty obvious.  Could there be another explanation?  Slugs?  Getting cooked by sunshine?  Humidity causing damping off?

I’m still not quite sure of the picture. Did you plant out plants of a few inches high and now the plants have completely disappeared, top growth and seed, and there’s no sign of a hole anywhere?
Mice or voles are just as likely as rats, and make smaller holes


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