Archive | July, 2016

Rats: Everything You Never Wanted To Know

29 Jul

If you aren’t in the parking lots, play area or dog run after dark, you may not realize the severity of the local rat problem. As an FYI, these are some of the best resources I have found.

  1. Health department inspection data is easily found on the Rat Information Portal (RIP). Type in an address and see where the problems have been flagged.
  2. Managing Rats In Urban Gardens is an informative article that dispels myths about cats while outlining effective prevention and control methods.
  3. Learn how to spot the signs that they’re near: Read these simple tips, them submit sightings or signs of digging, holes, droppings or gnaw marks each and every time you see one. Quick and easy ways are via RIP/311 online or the free 311 app.

Thanks.  -Denise


From the BBG: Managing Rats in City Gardens by Caroline Bragdon

29 Jul

This article, written by the mind behind NYC Rat Information Portal  was originally published by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in 2006. It dispels many myths,

  • Myth #1: Cats deter rats significantly. They do not.
  • Myth #2:  Rats thrive on vegetable garden produce. They’ll eat it–but they also need animal proteins such as dog waste and food waste.
  • Myth #3: Sonic “scaring” devices and things like mothballs, pepper sprays, peppermint, or other chemicals will deter rats. They won’t. As Bragdon writes,”Beware of anyone claiming they have a secret weapon or chemical that will get rid of rats. There is none.”

Managing Rats in City Gardens by Caroline Bragdon

Many gardeners have had at least one encounter with rats; the typical urban gardener has probably had many. There is only one species of rat in New York City—the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus). The Norway rat is a commensal rodent, meaning it lives in close association (literally, “shares the table”) with humans. Urban gardens are particularly hospitable to rats because they provide food, water, and safety.

Rats will burrow into any available earthen space within close proximity to food but prefer fresh, fertile soil to make their nests—a garden is prime real estate to them. A rat burrow can be anywhere from one to six feet deep and will have an entrance, an exit, and maybe even an escape hole. A typical burrow will house a family of approximately eight rats. By counting the burrow holes gardeners can estimate the number of rats living in their garden.

Gardeners are usually left up to their own devices when it comes to pest control. Some people want to maintain a pesticide-free environment; others are desperate to get a bad situation under control and will try any remedy. Rats can usually be managed effectively without relying on toxic pesticides. In fact, a good rat management program focuses primarily on prevention.

LEARN WHAT RATS NEED AND ELIMINATE IT Recognizing how to make your space less hospitable can help you to devise a rodent-reducing plan. Rats must eat one to two ounces of food a day and have daily access to water. Rats will eat everything that humans eat and many things that we would never eat. They are not vegetarian; like most mammals, rats (especially reproducing females) need animal protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their diet. Continue reading

Disturbing Discovery

16 Jul


CV’s rat population is thriving.

IMG_8992IMG_8995There is another rat burrow under the garden shed. And a new tunnel hole on the slide.  You can see three spots on the slide where the rats are gnawing on the plastic.

We should monitor the area around the new toy shed.

Read more about norway rats here.


The War On Rats

11 Jul

rat_mouse_PNG2461[1]is On!

Due to a worsening rodent condition, we’re clearing out non-essential items from the garden. The rats are under the slide again, and it appears they are trying to tunnel under one of the raised garden beds.

All stray pots, containers and debris will be removed from the garden area. Claim your items by EOD Tuesday 7.12, please.



We hope everyone will continue to report rat sightings, suspected holes and/or signs of rodent digging to the office via No rats go unreported!  Thank you.


Sat July 9th: Crazy Growth Report!

9 Jul

I hadn’t been outside in a few days, so today I was amazed by how fast things are growing: Almost all of the tomatoes need staking/pruning/ support.

There’s also sprawl from the ground cherries that I tried to reign in…The cucumbers are ready to climb so I pulled down some of the snap peas… I suppose I will snip off the scapes this weekend and plan a garlic harvest.  Who wants some?


Have you watered lately?  Its hot and those tomato plants are thirsty, click here to volunteer to water on a specific day.  See you outside!!!  -Denise



Have You Seen the Scapes?

2 Jul

We’ve got garlic scapes!  Must be time to plan a pot luck!

The sun is working overtime to grow our veg! Fun to see things change so fast. Check out the watering schedule if you haven’t signed up yet. Thanks! -Denise

Related: Little Cans for Small Hands

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