Rodents got to my chestnuts

Went to check on my raised bed air prune bed full of chestnut seedlings today. They were doing great up to this point. The morning they were all on their sides. Looks like rodents went and ate the nuts that the news seedlings were growing out of. Not what I wanted to see. How do you all protect against this kinda thing. I had hardware mesh stapled over top of grow box, but as seedlings grew taller I had to open up the top.

Just recently I fought a chipmunk that decided to make a hole through my honeyberry bed and killed the young plant. I decided to use the spot for alpine strawberries seedlings, but first, I dug out soil about I foot deep. Then I made a tray from 1/2 inch hardware mesh to cover whole bed with sides be a bit more than a foot to stick out od the ground, when I replace the soil back. Then I planted the strawberries and covered the bed making sure there is no space between mesh tray and top cover. roots of the strawberries are thin and not too long, so mesh would not be an issue for them. For nut trees, I am not sure how fast the root will grow… But if you need just few seedlings, you can dig deeper for each seedling and make mesh tube that is closed on the bottom and put it through the whole made in original mesh tray. Something like this:

I use hardware cloth with small holes for the seedlings, like this -

1 Like

You let them grow through? Then do you just cut them out?

Get a cat

I watch them to see when they sprout then cut a small hole above the sprout.

About to use this idea, I believe. I’m worried about rodents.

I have used a old metal trash can.
The can I used , had a hole rusted in the bottom.
I sat it on a piece of tin, put 4" limestone gravel in the bottom ,
Filled with old compost soil , put nuts in , watered well. Put the lid on for the winter. In the spring I just took the lid of.
This was out by it self , in the garden, nothing around for rodents to climb on, to get in the top.
A squirrel or chipmunk. Could have jumped up there, but they didn’t .
One could make a hardware cloth cylinder cage on top ,
Say 2-3ft tall , so they could grow completely protected.
To " dig " the trees , I just kicked it over ,rolled it around a little, and pulled the trees out.
I also lost a lot of nuts before I started doing this.

Also …
I have used old soup cans , top and bottom cut out, cut the thicker metal ring at top and bottom in several places , burn them in a fire to remove zinc.
Put nut in can with a handful of soil,
Smash top and bottom " almost " shut ( flat ), leaving just enough space for the root and shoot to get out.
But not enough for a mouse to get in
Took these and planted in their permanent location.
Marked with a stake