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Welcome home - from the moles!


By beattie


I’ve been away from home for four weeks. Wondering if the rabbits have managed to invade the fortress that isn’t theirs, thinking about the weeds popping up all over the place, the finished flowers and dead stems waiting to be tidied up, the leaves needing to be scooped off the paths and steps. But there’s always a surprise…..

The moles have been incredibly busy and have tunnelled under all of the paved area here (plus random molehills in a few other places as well.

It took me two and a half hours to lift each slab in turn, fill and level underneath it (adding more rocks in the tunnels) and relay the paving. The slabs are laid straight onto the (stony) earth, not on several inches of rammed hardcore, or cement screed, as for a permanent feature.

Here is the result, late afternoon -

I was interested to note that, although a few tunnels ran across the middle of slabs, most of them ran around the edges and along the lines where slabs meet. My theory is that the rain filters into the ground along these lines so they are damper (more earthworms) and softer here. Any other theories?

Tomorrow the weeding calls…..

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That's hard work, picking up slabs, and levelling ready for replacement.. I have to do that sometimes because of the mass of roots from the huge silver birch next door.... pushing up my pavings by as much as a couple of inches ...

Well done ... I guess the soil which gets the most rain is definitely softer, and easier for the moles to dig.

15 Oct, 2011


Thanks Terratoonie! It was quite tiring, but relatively easy as I'm not THAT worried about it being dead level - just good enough is good enough.

Your task where you have to accommodate a couple of inches sounds really difficult. Do you cut the surface roots off?

15 Oct, 2011


Oh Beattie, what a welcome home eh? You must be shattered after all that hard work.

15 Oct, 2011


That was HARD work Beattie . . . well done you, but what a "welcome"! Let's hope the pesky moles don't come back.

15 Oct, 2011


Poor you, moles can cause havoc and such a mess plus extra work.

15 Oct, 2011


Oh, dear pet! You didn't need to come home to that! I don't think we have moles over here, only the bloomin' badgers dig things up! Well done on all that really heavy work, take care of yourself!

15 Oct, 2011


Thank you for your sympathy everyone. I'm wondering if the moles and I are going to have some pitched battles over this territory. Mothballs used to work, but I think they aren't allowed to contain smelly naphthalene any more. The smell used to drive the moles away.

15 Oct, 2011


All my sympathy goes to you Beattie. Terrible creatures they are. I have never seen one in my life, but it would probably be better having them instead of the foxes.

16 Oct, 2011


Hi Beattie ...
You asked about the surface roots... I cut off pieces which are over 18 inches long and are often as thick as a thumb ... and sometimes I need to lift the pavings each side as well because the roots continue across ...

It is very difficult to make the ground as flat as possible, and then replace pavings in their exact squares ... usually removing them a couple of times before they seem level enough...

I hope you find a way to deter the moles ...

16 Oct, 2011


That is hard work Beattie! I hope you enjoyed your break away from home.
I'm sorry I don't know a cure, I can only think of Wind in the Willows - perhaps if you got Ratty to take Moley away on a visit to the wild wood, he would leave your garden alone!

16 Oct, 2011


LOL Sticki! I read yesterday that weasels will eat moles - and they're about the only thing. We're adjoining a wild wood - perhaps I can persuade him to go there, Ratty isn't here or I'd get them to go together. :-)

We have foxes passing through too Costas, but at least they're not setting up home. They make little diggings but I just shuffle the earth back into place. And they eat the rabbits, which is a very good thing :-)

Tedious for you Terratoonie, to keep on having to remove roots from the same area. At least thumb thick is cuttable by long handled cutters. Trying to saw on the ground is a desperate business. Been there, got the blunt saw....

16 Oct, 2011


Lol. Beattie...
I have to hand-saw some roots which the long-handled cutters can't access... I have a similar blunt saw ;o)

16 Oct, 2011


What a welcome home poor you, hope you had a good time away

16 Oct, 2011


Yes thank you, we had a lovely time, been to plenty of places, visited rellies, relaxed. Roll on the next holiday! :-)

16 Oct, 2011


Interesting to note how the moles tunnel under the cracks. Your theory sounds good to me :o)
Welcome back !

17 Oct, 2011

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