bark mulch with autumn oak leaves and fallen acornsI was just out in the garden, starting in on the sad autumn clearing up in preparation for winter, half-thinking about getting started on the mulching. But already the mice are starting to find nice homes for themselves in the flower bed, among the dying leaves of the daylilies and in the leftover summer mulch.

Note to self: don’t put the winter mulch on the flower gardens until the ground has frozen!

Otherwise, the field mice will surely dig their burrows in around and under the roots of the plants. That makes pockets in the soil for water to collect in, when we get the heavy autumn rains, and then freeze.

I’m pretty sure that’s how I lost some lovely plants last year. If the ice in the mouse holes didn’t heave them right out of the ground, the roots just rotted away from the extra moisture around them in the early spring.

I don’t much like mice, even when they’re outdoors where they belong, and not in my kitchen cupboards! But that’s a whole other topic…

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