Apparently I need a snake

Since I bodged together my “anti-mouse seed protector device” convinced that it would keep my seeds safe, I have received a lot of helpful advice.  However most of it was pointing out the error of my ways.  And it turns out my “anti-mouse seed protector device” is actually quite useless.  Although it did make me feel good thinking I was doing something to take the situation in hand.

Because it was a little wet and I didn't get into the garden I have just added a load of random pictures

Because it was a little wet and I didn’t get into the garden I have just added a load of random pictures

I decided to poke about a bit on Google to confirm what people were telling me and it seems to be true.  Mice can squeeze in through gaps that are the size of the end of a pencil.  My “anti-mouse seed protector device” is made of wire that has grids 2cm by 2cm which could probably fit two or three pencils in there.  If anything I have created a safe haven for mice to eat my seeds without being chased by the cat.

I did find out that the best way to block a mouse access point is with steel wool because they can’t eat their way through it.  Someone also suggested a snake would be a great help.  There are two things wrong with this suggestion:  1. I hate snakes and just the thought of them makes me shudder and 2.  There are no snakes in New Zealand and I think I would run into serious issues with the Biosecurity people if I tried to get myself one – not that I would, because I hate them.

I have discovered which brassica plant my romanesco is!  Hooray!

I have discovered which brassica plant my romanesco is! Hooray!

I think I need to go back to the drawing board to create a mouse free growing environment.

I didn’t get into my garden at all and two things prevented this.  Firstly there was so much torrential rain that the neighbourhood started to show signs of flooding.  Luckily the rain stopped not long after dark and the garden has started making that sucking sound as the water begins to drain away.

My kohlrabi is coming along nicely

My kohlrabi is coming along nicely

And the other thing that stopped me is we had to go on a long drive to speak to a keen group of people who wanted to hear all about my book and how it came about.  They were a really lovely bunch of people and we had a great time.  Although there was one little thing that was the tiniest bit frustrating for me… this lovely group met in a café in a garden centre.  I kinda promised myself I’d have a wee look about afterwards, but Hubby the Un-Gardener wanted to get on the road as soon as possible and all I could do was cast a backward glance at all the lovely plants as I dashed to the car trying to avoid as many of the big fat rain drops as possible.

The last and very bedraggled dahlia

The last and very bedraggled dahlia

It was a great day, even if I didn’t get my hands dirty.

Come again soon – I feel the need to go garden shopping.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

17 Comments on “Apparently I need a snake

    • Hi there. I think it is more the thought of them I don’t like. I had an opportunity once to touch one in Vanuatu, but I passed. And once in the UK there were grass snakes bathing in the goldfish pond and I gave the pond a very wide berth. And that is the extent of my experience with snakes. I guess I just find them a little creepy! It is also nice to know that we can run free in our garden knowing there is nothing out there waiting to kill you!
      I’m generally quite brave for a girl, but it would appear snakes are my weakness!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  1. Sarah, snakes are cool! We used to hunt them when I was little, in Sydney. Just imagine some eight year old boys coming back from playing in the bush, with a 12 foot red-bellied black snake dangling from a cleft stick. “Hey mom, look what I caught”!

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  2. Sarah, I know what you are going through with mice. If you look on my blog, I recently built a fruit cage for my blueberry bushes. I was tired of the birds eating all of my berries. I would maybe get 3 or 4 before they were all gone. I have won the battle against the birds but still have a problem with chipmunks. They have begun to tunnel under the cage and wire. I’m so angry! A friend told me to sprinkle red pepper flakes around the outside of the fruit cage. The chipmunks and mice hate getting it in their eyes and on their faces. I’m going to the spice market to get a container. Maybe you should try this in combination with smaller sized netting. Reapply after rain.

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    • HI Sheila. I guess I have been blessed to have avoided a lot of pest interference in my garden on the whole and so when it happens it is a big deal.
      There are a lot of pests we just don’t have like chipmunks, squirrels, moles and that nasty caterpillar that can decimate a tomato plant overnight.
      I may just have to resort to your spicy spray for my mice. It will be interesting to see the results.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • HI Heidi. New Zealand is a great place where kids can run bare feet through the fields without fear of anything poisonous or nasty waiting to harm them. It is so reassuring.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. What is your stance on slugs? I notice there is a fine specimen floating towards your brassica futures in the first photo. I can send you a few snakes if you like. Ducks like slugs but I don’t think they are all that partial to mice. Cat’s like mice but aren’t all that partial to slugs…what about owls? I think I am clutching at straws here. Maybe you need to treat your 2 influx problems with different solutions 😉

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    • Hi Fran, the slug in the photo is the best kind… a dead one!
      If we were able to import a snake then we would need to import some kind of creature to keep the the snake in check as there is nothing here that would do it. But then that animal would need something to control it and before you know it I would have upset the whole biological order of my country. I don’t think my fellow kiwis would be very pleased with me!
      I’m beginning to find expired mice in all sorts of strange places so I may not need the snakes after all – but thanks for the offer!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Isn’t nature great? She provides the right conditions for something to go nuts and then provides something to take care of it…we humans had best watch out! 😉

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  4. I have a serious phobia of snakes that was given to me when I was about five years old. I found a snake coiled up in our garage and went to find my mother to show her the “big worm”… she removed it from the garage with a hoe and chopped it to pieces while I watched. She meant well but it instilled a very, very deep fear that I need to conquer somehow! Gardeners really shouldn’t be afraid of snakes, especially here because we have plenty! I’m always watching for them and don’t usually see them until I forget to watch for a second. That’s when there’s always one right under my feet, lol. Anyway, I’m envious of you. I’d love to live in a country that doesn’t have snakes!

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    • Hi there. Gosh that is a terrible tale! I can’t imagine living and gardening in a country with snakes. We wander across the paddock, in the long grass, with no shoes on. In fact I spend most summers barefoot, as do the kids. There is very little here that is dangerous enough to harm you. We don’t even have moles, squirrels, raccoons or tomato hornworms to steal our crops. We are indeed blessed to live here.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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