emember my “rule” of putting more than one seed per cell when starting seeds? Besides combating low germination rates, it helps to have extras when it comes to supplying the local rodent supply with fresh greens and sprouted seeds come spring. I’ve had this problem before, and licked it here in this post. But this year I am starting my seeds in the big greenhouse, not the brooder. So I suspected that I might have some problems.
I was hoping that having the cover off the greenhouse all winter for our “poor-boy Coleman moveable” greenhouse, would keep the mouses from setting up housekeeping, besides exposing my greenhouse soil to the elements. However, when I was tidying up the potting bench I discovered a few prune pits stashed in some pots, showing me that at least last fall the mice had been using the building as a warehouse for winter stores. :(
I decided to conduct somewhat of a test – I put seeded flats that I really couldn’t have molested by mice on a “mouse proof” table (plywood atop two 55 gallon drums), and put our personal salad greens, and cold weather crops on the bench where I suspected we might see some mouse damage. Sure enough, in three days the mice had moved in and they started rifling through the flats.
I knew they love spinach seeds, and sure enough they found the cell packs with spinach and then moved on to snip a few kohlrabi, mustard, turnip and cabbage starts. I seed the arugula in clumps for easier one time harvest, so those are fine really, and since I had seeded extra, a missing sprout here and there is no big deal.
Who knew mice could be so persnickety, but still eat spinach? Apparently Thai basil, and marigolds are not on the menu and neither are any of the other herbs I seeded.
Their favorite however, over and above spinach, is pepper seeds just sprouted below the soil surface. So I will be keeping an eye out for any more damage, because the mice are such destructive little buggers and are a pain to trap, you never get all of them. I’m hoping my mouse proof area will continue to thwart them, since the hanging table is a pain to manage, and I can remove the barrels easily when I am done with them.