Rabbits and Moles

What’s been happening?

Sorry it’s been almost 3 weeks since I have sent a post but with the exam season in full swing by the time I got home from work I really did not have the energy to write a post. A lot has been happening during that time so here is a quick round-up.

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Last time I wrote a post I mentioned Pete and I will be strimming the weeds and adding some weed killer well this has been done and the transformation is amazing. Now when you arrive at the railway you are not greeted to a railway bank garden with a crown of nettles and brambles. Instead it is now clear and clean and looks great. This has also reduced the rabbit issue a tad as there is now more space without cover and this makes them nervous as they would be in plain sight of the buzzards circling overhead. I have now spent some time the other week digging out the roots of said weeds and this will help keep them under control more in the future. A real big bonus as many will probably tell you we do have bluebells growing and we have to be careful. Now they have finished this means we can really clean the area and now that the weeds are gone they will have plenty of room to grow and even better for us a huge display of bluebells to be seen next year as they are not covered in the weeds (in case anyone was thinking we would just dig them up and get rid of them!) and I for one cannot wait till next year now.

Last weekend

I had a little help from one of the other member’s son who was dragged away from his computer and brought down with them to help out. The job for the weekend just gone was to clear enough room for 3 wigwams to go up and the runner beans planted. This has now been done and all seems well. The young lad helping this week, will hopefully be thrilled next time he comes down once (if the bunnies don’t get them) the beans take off and climb the canes and he has now built his first wigwam so another skill learnt. The weekend was incredibly hot (unlike the weekend before which was rain showers – got very wet) so we had to go carefully and not over do it in the strong sun. Another job was to plant beetroot and pumpkins these have been planted in a roughly dug terrace on the side of the bank on your left as you come in. I plan to improve this over the winter months so it will look better and easier to work. I have been worried about these as especially for the beetroot as I know rabbits like them. So without erecting a 3 foot high fence (however, if pushed rabbits have been known to jump as high as 4 feet apparently) around the entire garden or get a gun licence and sit around shooting them. I need to try to live with them as my rather annoying neighbours and try to make getting at these as difficult as possible.

Right now

It is now Tuesday as I write this and I have checked on all my newly planted plants and happy to report that I have only lost 4 runner beans to rabbits so far, as I have left them to defend for themselves. The others I have covered over the top with chicken wire with about 2.5cm (1 inch) holes and weighed down the ends with bricks and stones. They may try to dig underneath this but it would be harder to do this and may just not bother. The plan is that these plants will be under cover for a couple of weeks to allow them the chance to settle in. Rabbits love new grown plants as they are tender so I am hoping that they eventually will not be as appetising in a few weeks and I can remove the unsightly mesh. I also have thought they may just sit on the wire and push them down but this has not been done yet either, so fingers crossed. I have also as an experimented planted 3 of the beetroot next to one of my tomato plants as they can be a little pungent and rabbits are not so keen on strong smells and they have other than the odd nibble left them largely alone so the hope is that they will protect them. The rabbits so far have not touched them.

 

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The Bank with it’s protected crops
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The Crops under it’s chicken wire to protect them from the rabbits
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The beans about to planted with the new wigwams.

 

Beetroots hiding under the tomatoes
Beetroot hiding under the tomatoes

A new pest has shown itself and as you may have picked up from the title of this blog post the pest in question is a mole. I checked on the plants today only to find a few mole hills right next to my beans now this does not seem to have affected them too much I am hoping that the mole will move on or stop attempting to dig up from underneath the beans. Honestly if it is not one thing it’s another. I shall update on this new threat in future posts. The things the war-time gardener had to worry about.

It is always good to make a record of what is growing veg wise so for those that are wondering ( I shall make an edit as I need to get the names of the plants my mum has donated, or I find the packet of the ones I have started) here is a list of the veg and its variety so far.

  • Runner beans – Polestar
  • Pumpkins – Hundredweight
  • Tomatoes – TBC
  • Tomatoes – TBC
  • Beetroot – TBC