Saturday, June 2, 2012

Wrap, Trap and Repel

With fifty plus pots of lilies, many in bud, waiting on the stone wall outside of the basement door we really had to find a way to begin moving plants to the garden.  This paper orchardist's tape wrap is likely an exercise in futility.  A determined rodent could gnaw right through it but perhaps its taste, smell or mouth feel would be off putting.  Its application presents a dexterity challenge but new experiences are reported to be of benefit to aging hands and mind.  So far no new oral expressions of discontent have been created around this task although some old favorites have been heard.  One hand can roll the lower leaves upward and hold the end of the paper while the other hand makes the spiraling wrap.  The first hand is then freed to tie the precut string.

An application of bark chips completes the move and this lily is ready to flower.

We considered the wide range of rodent control devices.  One prebaited plastic box affair is in service.   Its poison bait is disappearing but we have no idea who is eating it.  We could be killing thousands of ants.  The poison is a threat to animals that could find a dead rodent.  That outcome is troublesome so this device is headed for the trash.

Repellent consisting of dried blood, rotten eggs and garlic laced granules has been sprinkled at the base of the planted lilies.  It will need to be reapplied after last night's rain.  The effectiveness of this product is in question but can you ever have too much protection?

Sticky traps were also purchased but these remain unused.  With bluebirds in the garden the idea of catching the wrong animal is troubling.  The glue in these traps sticks to everything.  Even if the furry pest were caught, it would still be alive and probably angry.   Who wants to deal with that?  If I can find the sales slip these will go back to the store.

The current version of spring traps is working here.  Past attempts found the mouse size traps to be of little help.  The rat sized trap is doing the job.  Rodents travel right next to the stone wall.  By placing the trap perpendicular to the face of the wall, the critters simply walk across it.  Five of the enemy have been removed from the area of the chewed lily.  More of these traps will be purchased.

The chewed lily is doing well.  The splint and tape are holding the damaged stem in a upright position.  The leaves are bright and full so the plant is going about the business of nourishing the bulb for next year.  Little of the stem survived the attack but the plant is making do with what little remains.  So far the kill ratio in the Lily wars is about even.  We hope to turn the tide in our favor.  

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