If you are a pak-choi seedling and you live at our farm, you face certain challenges in life. Even before you get planted in the garden and battle the delights of our climate, things are risky. Especially in early spring, when Mumma rats are hungry, and there is little lush greenery about.
As a luscious small green thing, coddled by time indoors and not dormant like everything else on the farm, our seedlings flap their axial leaves like beacons to hungry rodents, who, if they get a chance, will do what rodents do best: eat things.
The solution is a seedling rat-proof-house, re-purposed from steel shelving. It saves our spring seedlings from the jaws of rodents, and subsequently also prevents us swearing more than is proper.
Stephen and Michael made this very effective rat-proof seedling raising solution out of an old set of steel shelves last summer, after the farm’s swear-word count in response to nipped-off seedling tops was getting quite off the scale.
They used rodent-proof mesh and took care to join the sections as you can see above. The unit also has doors of course, which are kept shut with a bar across them. It worked! No more seedlings nipped! Huzzah!
This spring we’re using it again, covered with a tarp on all sides but north, as we start off early pak-choi, beetroot and gazillions of other greens in soil blocks and seedling trays. A simple solution to a big problem, made out of what we had to work with (plus the roden mesh).
Grow, little seedlings, grow!
Good job!!! I re-built my vegie garden after Black Saturday…started off with four old sleepers in a square…then sourced some very cheap, arsenic-free, new ones at a dispersal sale (provided I buy a whole pallet load of 60) so we ended up with a huge ‘raised-bed’ monstrosity called The Vegetorium. I used the lasagna method to build up the soil in the beds with mulch and layers of flattened cardboard cartons from the supermarket – they’re more than happy to give them away. Our cows donated barrow loads of manure to enrich it all and the vegies really took off.… Read more »
Nice little design to exclude the rodents. How do you keep them from browsing through the newly transplanted beds of these baby greens?
We don’t have a prob with rodents down in the garden (maybe cause there’s no significant cover for them), only up near the greenhouse, where there’s lots of things to hide under or behind. In a seedling house area, it only takes one rat to find it and they can eat everything, conveniently located in one tightly packed space… out in the garden it’s a different story… fingers crossed!
I’m tempted to build houses like this for my tomato plants to keep the squirrels out. They get more of them than I do I think. Thanks for sharing.
I think the warmth of the greenhouse can be a factor… we lost a series of apricot seedlings and peanuts when roddy found a way in
in the garden itself roddy seems to exist harmoniously with his surroundings and keeps himself safe by an intricate labrynth of tunnels
roddy is a bush rat, brown with an exaggerated posterior !
Great job and an inspiration to us to get our act together and protect our own tender babies from rats, possums, wallabies and Earl, our plant pruning American Staffy. We breed them tough here on Serendipity Farm and they have to be! The rats get eaten by the feral cats before they can eat our seedlings as do any baby possums and wallabies but our insects and fungal preditors are waiting in the wings to take up the fight…sometimes you have to wonder why we do this?!!!
I’m eagerly awaiting the article titled “How to kill rats without using poison or cats”…
Hmm. *apparently* you can buy carpet snake poo and sprinkle that about to keep them away? or a buy a carpet snake?
We use a selection of birdcages , from kerbside clean up sessions.,They work well for rodents,but slugs can still get in.The slimy critters!
great options, i have them stealing the duck eggs from under them.