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CULT:MICE/VOLE deterrent

From: "Dan & Marilyn Mason" <dmason@rainyriver.Lakeheadu.Ca>

April 5-  Christy Hensler Newport, WA z4b wrote:

<I'd already decided to try something similar this coming
fall to help deter mice.... A real "bearbait" type brew of
garlic tops, onion trimmings, nemesia....>

Maybe mice and voles could be distracted from your iris by
growing a few sugar beets around the back edges of the
garden where you grow your irises. Just leave the beets
in the ground over the winter.

We always have a few voles or mice get into our log lined
root hole where we store our potatoes, cabbages, beets,
rutabeggas, etc. They usually have a smorgasboard trying out
some of each kind of vegetable over the winter. They leave
plenty for us. This year they seemed to prefer potatoes to
the other vegetables.

One year we grew a few sugar beets just to try them out. We
figured our cow would eat them if we didn't like them.
Anyway, that winter when the sugar beets were in our root
hole, no other vegetables were touched by mice or voles.
They prefered the sugar beets to everything else.

While on the subject of deterring mice and voles and
thinking of cows-- I have an acre of apple trees and short
rows of seedling trees, and grafted trees. I have used a
"paint" or "whitewash" of fresh cow manure, clay subsoil,
and lime painted onto the lower trunks of all my younger
trees, seedlings, and grafted whips each fall just before
the ground freezes, or continuous snow cover arrives.
This 'paint' has been very effective for me for many years.

If I didn't paint my seedling rows for instance, once the
snow melted in the spring I would see a row of sawdust where
my 1 year old trees had been, and many older young trees
would be girdled. I tried old white latex paint with freshly
harvested and dried cayenne pepper ground into powder and
mixed into the paint one winter, but the results were

I would suggest if you try spraying your iris with cow
manure and clay, to try it on a test patch of more common
varieties in case it increases chances of rot. Where I
garden I have very little problem with rot over the winter
in irises, and I have never had a problem with voles or mice
eating iris ryzhomes.

Mice are attracted to tall grass, and hay mulch, etc. Try to
keep mulched raspberries, etc. away from your iris patch.

Dan Mason  zone 3, NW Ontario

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