Critter v. Lettuce

So I went out to check on my cold frame and the lettuce seedlings that went into the ground this past weekend, as well as the lettuce seeds I planted in three terracotta pots.  As I glanced into the cold frame, I saw in disbelief that my perfectly lined up rows of romaine and red leaf seedlings were no longer in neat rows.   What?  Did they decide on their own to just shift about and trade space with each other or find new resting spaces and then leave dug up holes where they were?  I so wanted to believe that completely illogical thought.  But I knew differently.  I knew that some critter had entered the cold frame and messed with my greens.  So I myself entered the cold frame to do some investigation.   I found five of my 18 seedlings pulled out of their original planting spots.  A few broken off leaves were left behind. Mocking me.  One seedling had been torn apart.   Oh, the horror!   But there was more.  There were three good size holes, likely caused by the critter digging his or her little paws into the soil to get at my seedlings.   I shook my head.   I was thinking that at this rate, between the Hagrid incidents and now this critter incident, this year’s garden was getting off to a rough start.  But I dismissed such thoughts and got to the task of sorting out the situation.  So I turned to the question of what type of critter was I dealing with?  I ran through the likely suspects:  my neighbors cat, the raccoon who waltzed right by Calvin and me last spring as we sat on the porch, or one of the many squirrels that play in our yard?   Then I saw it.  An acorn shell.  I had my answer.   As I left the cold frame, I noticed that the squirrel had also done a bit of digging in two of the three terracotta pots with lettuce seeds.  So I did my best to pat down the areas and will hope for the best.

So I went back into the house to find the heavy duty stapler and pulled over the existing plastic to close off a space where a squirrel could get in again.  Then I rooted through my gardening supplies and found some plastic mesh fencing and used it to cover up another hole. Let’s see if that works……



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