Pests & Annoyances – 3

Today I bring you 3 garden annoyances – I will try not to whinge too much!

Annoyance 1 – Rodents????

There’s something eating my broccoli plants.  I recently planted out 3 nice broccoli seedlings and this is what happened to them:


Since I took these shots the remaining leaves have been nibbled off.  The same thing happened last Spring to the broccoli and during Summer to my young passionfruit vine.

The leaves disappear, presumably they are being eaten and I think I can discern toothmarks on the stems leaving me to suspect either rats or mice.   But if anyone has other ideas I would be grateful.  If it is rodents then I am in a bit of a quandary over what to do.  If you read most gardening books they have a really nasty habit of skirting round the issue of rodents in the garden and beyond poisoning (which is not an option due to a roaming toddler) offer little in the way of real advice.  The organic guides are particularly bad in this respect.  101 different treatments for powdery mildew but no one seems to have come up with a way of keeping mice at bay.  Ideas would be marvellous!

Annoyance 2: My own stupidity

Now anyone who read my post on horseradish will know that I cleverly ignored all advice and planted it direct into the garden.  Now guess what is happening – horseradish shoots are appearing  everywhere…..well not actually everywhere but inconveniently next to other plants that I don’t want to dig up in order to remove the roots I missed when harvesting.  I think I’m going to have to (look away now if you are totally organic…..)……………. poison it, unless I can think of another option.

Annoyance 3 – Dilemmas

My next door neighbours have two beautiful eucalypts growing right up against our adjoining fence.  The trees are lovely but are getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger.

It has got to the point where my garden gets no sun at all after 2 in the afternoon which frankly is upsetting my veggies (and also my washing which often refuses to dry in protest).  As you can see one of the trees is also growing at quite a jaunty angle and as a risk adverse mother of young children it does have the tendency to cause me to have 3am anxiety attacks and visions of flattened toddlers.  My neighbour has found a man who can who has agreed to remove the jaunty angle tree after Ramadan (YAY – roll on Eid!) but she wants to keep the other tree.  Now this remaining tree is a Manna Gum which is a variety that grows very very large and has the tendency to drop limbs, but does provide habitat for all sorts of desirable creatures.  My dilemma is how much to push for its removal.  Does my desire for the perfect tomato outweigh the rainbow lorikeets need for a place to rest his feet?  Which does the world need more: low food mile veggies or birds in the city?  Does the answer to that change if you know that my neighbour also has two very large trees (a eucalypt and a casurina) in her front garden and my front garden is all wattlebird friendly natives?

Kermit had it right -“its not easy being green”….


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6 Responses to Pests & Annoyances – 3

  1. Mark Willis says:

    Re Annoyance No.1: have you considered owning a cat?

    • Liz says:

      Yeah I know but no, I couldn’t do that to the local bird population. Its all a bit catch 22 – I need something that eats mice but not birds.

  2. Suzanne says:

    You have every right to be concerned about the gum trees when you have young children playing in the yard. They look extremely large. If you get the first one taken out, suggest, rather strongly, that the manna gum be trimmed……… an arborist that knows which ones to take off………….
    I would be very unhappy………….and frightened at the same time….!!

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Suzanne – now I don’t feel nearly so much of a drama queen and much more a reasoned individual – thankyou! I spoke with her today and she did say she would trim the manna gum – as for the qualifications of the guy doing it – I think I should probably follow up……

  3. michelle says:

    Rats, if you have them you have a tough row to hoe. I’m at war with the rats right now. I’ve caught 54 of them in snap and electrocution traps in little over a month – that’s how long I’ve been counting, I’ve been trapping for most of the year. That seems to be the best method – trap trap trap trap, every night that you can manage it. Release the unsprung traps during the day to spare the birds and little ones. I’ve had some success with protecting young plants with row cover until they are large enough not to be tempting taste treats for the vermin, but it’s tough to protect the more mature fruiting crops. You have my sympathy.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Michelle, Thats a lot of rats you’ve been dealing with. For me I find evidence of them all year round but its only at this time of the year that they start eating my crops – perhaps they are babies or their other food sources dry up. Not sure. My partner has set trap after trap with no joy at all – except a blackbird who lived to tell the tale. I have sprinkled chilli powder over my developing sprouting broccoli heads in the hope it keeps them at bay. Not sure if it will but if it does I may need a lot of chilli powder……

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