It’s mid-June and I haven’t written a word about my garden this year.  It’s about time to get up-to-date.  The asparagus has already done its thing and was delicious, what there was of it.  It seems to be petering out over the years, probably because I don’t do anything for it or to it other than pick it.  The horseradish and rhubarb are HUGE and trying to take over the whole garden space.   The tomatoes, peppers, parsley, cilantro, and potatoes are thriving–that’s just about all I’ve put in this year – and all would be well if it weren’t for the MOLE!

Last year my nemesis was a rabbit, the first ever seen in this neighborhood in mid-town.   In fact, a photo of our young bunny was the first picture  ever posted on my blog.   I was a novice then and am not much better at pictures now.   Really must get myself one of those flip minos I read about!  That first-ever bunny ate up my broccoli but soon disappeared.

Now I have my first-ever mole.  Haven’t even seen this one but it wreaks havoc in the mulch and I know very well where its hole is.    Every morning when I look at the garden the mulch (using lawn clippings very kindly provided by my grandson, Danny) is all torn up and upheaveled. And the little snap trap that I put over the hole is sprung but empty.   Fortunately, from what I read, moles don’t eat plants – what they are after is grubs and worms and bugs and those are things that are surely happy under my mulch.

I just looked up Ruth Stout and can’t believe that her book How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back was first published way back in 1959.  I immediately took that book as my gardening bible and have used her ‘no work/no dig’ technique ever since.  Her secret was to surround her plants with lots of  hay (and any other available compostible material) which keeps the weeds down, the ground moist, and feeds the good earth to boot. Although she died in 1980 at the age of 96, a new edition of Ruth’s book came out in 1990.  She lived in nearby Redding, CT, and I actually visited her and her garden in the 1970’s.   Ruth was a free spirit who loved the simple life, and her book is a treasure for organic gardeners.    Every gardener should read it. My garden has 45 years worth of leaves, clippings, egg shells, vegetable scraps, etc., in it and is really good dirt.  Plants thrive and worms abound.   But now, a mole has found it and is having a hey-day!

What to do?  Ask Google, of course.  Besides costing money, most of the contraptions for getting rid of moles seem to involve impaling the critter rather than catching it.  It seems easier to first try repelling them.  I read about a repellent containing fox and bobcat urea which is supposed to strike fear into the heart of a mole.  Another repellent contains castor oil.  The one I’m going to try first (because I have the key ingredient right in my yard) is a Mint Mole Blaster made by blending mint leaves with water and boiling it up.  It is said that moles hate the smell of mint.  I’ll report on my success.  I hope we’re onto something here.

In the course of my googling I learned that Mole-in-the-Hole computer games are popular.  Have a try at Whack-a-Mole,  simple and fun and
good for channeling mole angst.


God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.  – Genesis 1, 28