Carnage in the asparagus bed

aspargusandbacThe tulip is called Shirley. Thank you Andrew.

I have just spent an hour watering the asparagus and lily bed.  Or as I call it, flooding the mole rat tunnels.

The whole bed is riddled with new mole tunnels and as a consequence the mole rats. Or do I start calling them They Who Must Not Be Named like Voldemort in Harry Potter.

I pulled off the heavy mulch I had laid down over the long bed all winter (not knowing that it is the pefect cover for underground rodents. They can’t be seen by the raptors overhead or the pine martens at night.)

I’m sick of writing about the havoc and destruction they are causing. And you are no doubt doing the eye roll right now. Here she goes. Moaning.

Asparagus beds, once planted, can be productive for over twenty years.  That’s six weeks of delicious harvesting of divine spears every late spring.  I even use them as currency round here as few people grow them.

For six years I was the asparagus queen. Even Jean Daniel’s brother who is a market gardener was amazed I could produce such tasty spears.  And not those white slimy ones so favoured by many. Blech. lilies up

But now I have almost succumbed to the plague that has affected everyone else.

I have been able to harvest a meagre handful from about the four crowns which seem to be left out of the 30 I planted way way back in the confident years. Thirty feet or so of vegetables.

But if you think of the work that goes into a vegetable that will give you now about four meals….

arturpestThe good news is the lilies are all up. And as I had planted them all in plastic pots (one per bulb) they have not been eaten. I’m thrilled.  Even more so as the lily beetles don’t seemed to have travelled up to this top vegetable garden to feed on the leaves.

And this afternoon the postman delivered a long awaited parcel. The possible solution.

A sonar pest repellent. Here being introduced to the once best pest repellent on the farm; now semi-retired.

As seen on TV! Not Artur, but this Riddex product. Recommended by Nicolas’ dad.  I will see how it goes.

I have plugged it into the circuit in the open barn in the wild hope that the sonar noise will scare away Rat Taupier in both the potager in front, and up to the top potager. I have been told it has a range of 200 metres, but I suspect that might just be As Seen On TV talk. We shall see.   And in the meantime I am considering replanting aspargus crowns inside wire cages this winter. Sinking them like shark proof cages into the ground.  I don’t think the sonar will deter them forever.

And please note my disguised water barrel at the very top of the asparagus bed. In keeping with the aesthetic police, I have decorated my ugly (see it from outer space) cube of plastic with fronds of dead broom branches.  More pleasing on the eye I’m told. And it no longer spooks the horses.