17September 21, 2017

Sometimes in the winter, we get very little snow or the snow that we get can drift around the yard. When this happens, you can have bare ground in your vegetable garden. As the wind blows, the soil is little by little, stripped away. Over a period of years, you can lose inches of soil in your garden. There is a way to protect your garden from winter soil loss. You want to apply winter rye seed onto the surface of your garden soil when you have taken the dead plants out of your garden.

Winter rye and many other plants are used as cover crops. As the name implies, winter rye is used to cover the soil in your garden. Once the plants are removed from the garden, you will loosen the soil and apply the winter rye seed onto the surface of the soil. You can slightly cover the seed by lightly raking the surface of the soil. If Mother Nature doesn’t supply you with water, you should water the soil as needed to keep the surface of the soil moist. The good news is that winter rye will sprout quickly. As the seed sprouts, the winter rye will put out a wide spreading root system in the soil. The seed will put up thick bladed grass like leaves. As time goes on, the winter rye will form a dense mat of these blades of rye. Once the ground freezes, the thickness of the rye will keep the wind from blowing away the soil in your garden. Come the spring and the thawing of the ground, the winter rye will spring back to life and continue to grow. Once the soil has dried a bit from the winter/ early spring moisture, you will till the winter rye into the soil. All that green growth will give you free organic mater that will provide nutrients to your garden. We carry winter rye seed at our garden center.

With the arrival of fall, the mice will be looking for a home for the winter. Often, the mice wind up in your home. Many people don’t like using the snap traps because they don’t want to deal with the setting of the traps and the disposal of the dead mice. Most people would be happy to just have the mice not wanting to come into their home. There is a product called Mouse Magic. The product looks like a very large tea bag. It is filled with a material that is infused with several types of mint oils. Mice hate the smell of mint and will avoid areas where they smell mint. Mouse Magic slowly releases its mint scent over a period of 30 to 45 days. It is meant to be used indoors or in protected locations out doors.

You want to place the packets inside your home in places where mice will come into the house. This would be a place like the bulkhead, inside the garage door, places where pipes or wires come into the home. All you need to do is to place the packets close to those entry points. As the mouse checks out these entry points, it smells the mint and will go away. By replacing the packets every 30 days or so, you make it an environment where the mice won’t want to enter your home.

Mice also tend to build nests in stored lawnmowers, snow blowers, and motorcycles and even in the car you use everyday. The damage that the mice can do can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If you place one or more of the Mouse Magic packets in or on the stored equipment, you will save yourself a lot of grief come the spring. Don’t forget to put the Mouse Magic packets in the shed and in the summer camp when you close up the camp. We have been selling the Mouse Magic for many years at our store and have had many success stories told to us.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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