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Sprouts Stolen, Potatoes Pilfered

I went up to the brassica cage to pick some Christmas sprouts and most have gone. It looks like someone has picked them but I really can’t see someone creeping around in the dead of night to steal our sprouts.

Potato pilferer – wanted dead or alive!

The only realistic answer is rabbits. They’ve gotten into the cage and eaten the sprouts. We’ve barely got a portion left for Christmas dinner. It’s really quite depressing. I’d looked about a week ago and was really pleased, looked like some excellent sprouts, amongst the best I’ve grown. Vanished leaving the marks on the stem where they were.

I hadn’t realised how efficient our cats were at controlling the rabbits until this year now the cats have basically retired. They’re all getting on now and are happy to have a tin opened rather than hunting fresh meat.

I can’t really blame the cats, I’m slower than I was in my prime too. We won’t be taking on any more young cats for a number of reasons. An energetic young cat would not be welcomed by the existing moggies being the main one. Imagine a couple of rowdy teenagers moving into the nursing home. Shame really, a couple of hunters would cure the pest problem in a matter of weeks.

Potatoes

Back inside we decided to clean out the potato store. The sacks sit on a pallet with a solid plywood top which keeps them off the concrete floor. We know we’ve had some loss to a rat that we caught in a trap but I wasn’t prepared for what I found under the pallet.

The blasted rat(s) had chewed through sacks and then taken potatoes under the pallet floor. There they’d chewed them and toileted. They must have had 5 kilos at least. And it stunk.

So out with the brush and shovel to clear the debris. Then we spread powder stable disinfectant around which was left for a day to soak up the rat wee. That was swept off the next day and more put down before putting things back in place.

Rat Proofing the Store

It’s pretty obvious I’m going to have to rat-proof the potato store. This isn’t as easy as it is for the chicken feed store which is just an old chest freezer. Since potatoes need to breathe in store. I think some sort of box with ventilation holes and a lid with fine mesh.

Such is life! Happy Christmas.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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February 2023
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