I've been having trouble re-planting a bare patch of lawn at the back of my small garden. I was wondering if birds had been raiding the seeds (and I have bought some plastic netting ready for next attempt), but just a few hours ago at dusk, I spotted a mouse hopping out into the sown patch and helping itself. The mouse came back about 30 seconds after being scared off - so it clearly found getting into the garden for the seeds worthwhile.
The garden backs onto a small woodland area, and I don't think I can realistically mouse-proof entry to the garden physically (e.g. with wire mesh).
I don't want to bait or poison any mice. First I don't like the idea, also these are just wild mice, just taking an opportunity to fill up from my garden, they aren't an infestation, there are none in the house.
It is not a huge area, I have about 4 square metres of lawn to return from bare mud to grassy. Overall the garden is also small - just 5 metres by 5 metres.
What is my best option to get a green patch on the lawn?
Ideas I have considered:
I have read that peppermint oil is repellent to mice, but will putting a line of it or something similar along the back fence be effective? Is there any other way to mouse-proof my grass seed in the garden long enough for it to sprout before being eaten?
Alternatively, I may be better off pre-germinating the grass somewhere mouse-proof and spreading it out after a certain time as in this question: Will pre-germinating grass seed produce a green lawn in less time than just seeding and watering properly? - if so, how long is good enough to not be interesting to the mouse?