Battling the Rodent Hoard
I'm losing this battle, but I keep trying. The pointy-stick experiment proved unhelpful and the dog fur mulch was stolen by the voles for their nests.
I replaced the peas with canteloupe and delicata squash seedlings and so far they are doing well. I'm testing out a glass door to get a little more warmth over the squash. It hasn't interfered with rain because it hasn't rained ALL MONTH.
Rumor is that voles don't like smelly herbs like mint and that you can use them as a deterrent. I have noticed that the voles have not eaten my basil, rosemary, lavender, or onions & chives, so maybe there's something to it. On Saturday I bought a six pack of sacrificial swiss chard for another experiment.
I surrounded each vole treat with a different smelly mulch. I decided to skip an unmulched control because everyone has lost so many chard and broccoli already.
2 days later...
The broccoli and chard are still there! Upon closer inspection, only the chard mulched with comfrey was nibbled.
In the meantime, the voles ate 3 more pepper plants and ripped up my potato plants. Next I'll be making a castor oil spray.
At least my tomato plants have been spared so far.