New Tomato Seedlings and the Mole

Never thought I will become a Garden Person! Well, I did and I love it. The hard, sweaty labour included. I simply see the exercise as a replacement for a good workout in the Gym. Going to the Gym has never been my idea of exercise, anyway.

Always loved digging my fingers in freshly turned soil. Since I took up some veggie gardening I love it even more. Working with my hands in the soil also forces me to take very good care of my hands and nails in between gardening sessions.

The current drought is somewhat of a problem in the Winelands, but my Spinach seem to love the TLC they receive when I catch all the creepy crawlies by hand. No harmful pesticides around this Ouma’s garden.

Natural Pesticide Recipe

I have been searching high and low for the easiest natural pesticide recipe I can find. There are numerous available from all the wonderful gardeners that share their gardening tips on the internet. I found that one ingredient that the natural gardeners tend to prefer, is garlic. Other favourites are cayene pepper, jalapenos, lavender and also planting certain veggies in between others. I preferred the easy mix as usual.

Chop Two hands full of Garlic cloves & Two hands full of green jalapeno chillies in a blender. If you decide to chop by hand, remember to thoroughly wash your hands afterwards and do not touch your eyes while working with the chillies.

Add the chopped mix to 1l of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Allow to softly bubble for 5 min. Then turn off the stove and replace the lid. Let the mixture sit to cool and infuse for 24 hours.

Strain the liquid through a very fine sieve or muslin cloth. Discard the solids.  Dilute the liquid with 2l of water and use to spray your veggies to keep most of the nasties off your precious veggie babies.

TIP: The best way to prevent snails and worms from eating faster than you can, is by a daily, early morning visit to your garden and catch them by hand! It is incredibly relaxing to rise early, while the dew is still wet and gently work through the leaves and plants to pick the few snails and worms that do make it to your garden, off the stems and leaves.

Tomato Seedlings

At the beginning of the month I decided that is was time for a new batch of tomatoes. Last year we had a beautiful crop of home grown tomatoes. We juiced glasses full of tomato juice, 3 x a week.  5 Medium to Large tomatoes provided two medium sized glasses of healthy sweet tomato juice. I added mint leaves or basil leaves for added health benefits and taste.

I saw an ingenious video of using plastic spring water bottles to grow your seedlings in. Decided to give it a go and it worked like a dream. We have loads of 5l plastic water bottles sitting around waiting to be either recycled or re-used. So re-used became the answer for the tomato seeds. Watch the video and use what you have available.

The Mole

The only real problem since the inception of the Vision of having my own Veggie Garden, has been the pesky MOLE. He/She has been tunneling through my newly planted seedlings since day one. I tried a variety of solutions to getting rid of the neighbour’s mole but nothing seemed to work. The only solution that did work for a fair amount of time was using the Castor oil and Soap solution and spraying it around the beds, but I have to repeat the process ever so often as it washes away… and then mister/missus tunnels again.

Catching and killing is not an option. The typical Mom-in-Me can’t stand the thought! Perhaps if I can catch and release in the woods, but who’s to say another one won’t return. I have loads of earthworms in my veggie garden, so I am sure the moles are just waiting to take their turn among my springonions, spinach and tomatoes.

Last winter I found a “cute mole” swimming in the pool. He was bound to drown if I didn’t rescue him. Dumb me released him on the other side of the house and now he is back to haunt me. Will keep you updated once I found the solution to getting rid of The Mole!

Currently this mole is driving me crazy. Every morning all my spinach roots are hanging in mid-air, wilting in the hot sun, me desperately pushing down the tunnel and re-fixing the spinach. What a waste of precious time.  And as it turn out, pretty hard on my freshly painted nails. 🙂 No wonder the large vegetable farmers opt for catching and killing moles.

Any advice perhaps?  Please leave me a comment if you had experience of How to get rid of a Mole