Monday, 5 May 2014

Gardeners Confession Time

I havn't mentioned gardening on here for a long time, I might even say a suspiciously long time because if I'm honest I've been avoiding even thinking about it.  My gardening history is:

2009:  Moved to a house with a large yard, planted flowers and seeds, they bloomed and grew gorgeously.

2010 and 2011:  More effortless growing.  I had a comfortable rest upon my laurels.

2012:  It rained and rained and rained.  The garden, along with the rest of the UK, got washed out.

2013:  The yard was subjected to a reign of terror by slugs and snails who ate everything.  I was angry, disappointed and I cursed the molesting molluscs and their families, chucked out all the stumps of my beloved plants and swore off gardening*.  Then got an allotment with some friends;  I'm nothing if not reliably inconsistent.

Late 2013:  After a Summer spent struggling with the neglected and tangled patch of land we inherited which some would call an allotment, we decided to give it up.  Me and Claire had a frank talk about it and felt like we'd been avoiding a taboo topic!  We were both feeling guilty about not being able to devote time to it to make it work, but it did feel good to give up the responsibility.

*I think Colin must feel the same because when I asked him what the collective name for slugs and snails is he replied "Bastards".

This brings me to 2014 and the second plague of slugs and snails.  Last week I saw that they'd eaten the one tub of flowers I've planted so far.  The speed with which they destroyed them gave me the creeps and I'm now scarred of planting out the peas and tomatoes that are getting too big for my kitchen windowsill.  I never suspected that the simple act of planting seeds in pots and leaving them outside could be so traumatic.  Before they ate everything I tried migrating the snails ie.  moving them to the park (the slugs got away scot free as I couldn't bare to touch them).  After the plague I've decided I'm going to have to play dirty and have bought slug bait.  It's a bottle of granules that swell up with moisture, the slugs eat them, get full, crawl back home with a food hangover and die of over eating.  The granules are non-toxic so are safe around investigative dogs, cats and toddlers.  It seems to be working but I can't be sure as there's so little greenery left that there's nothing to judge it by, so I may have to put out a brave little pea shoot to test the waters.

So The Garden 2014 so far:  Slugs and snails eating everything, slug bait in place, yard otherwise bare (blue slug bait is the only colour) and seedlings safely behind glass but getting a bit too big to stay there.

How's your garden growing?  Any tips for organic slug slaying?

3 comments:

  1. We grow organically and don't use slug bait. Even the blue ones harm birds when they eat the slugs. It does take time, our garden was decimated in its first year, less so in the 2nd, less again in the 3rd and by the 4th year not bad at all. I save plastic pop bottles, cut off the narrow top part, about 4" down. This creates a tall collar and quite good slug defender. Beer traps are very good (but not so nice to pour out). I will pick up slugs with a trowel, snails by hand, sling them in a bucket of water then put them down the drain. Some people put them in their compost bin but if they lay eggs in there, I think that will make it worse!

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  2. I sink jam jars into the soil and half fill them with watered down beer, I get the "slops" from the local pub. It catches loads, I tip them into a bucket and then out onto the field over the road. I also have a resident hedgehog and a Thrushes anvil in the garden but the slugs keep coming as do the snails. Sheets of cardboard laid flat on the soil overnight should have a cluster of slugs and snails ion the morning. Some people put out grapefruit skins but they are too small for more than a couple of nasties. all I can say is Fight the good fight.

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  3. Thanks for the advice. We have an occasional hedgehog that trundles through the yard but with it being a yard rather than a garden it's not a tempting habitat. The pellets are working but I'm concerned about the birds so don't know if I'll stick with then or not. I'm overjoyed that I can plant seedlings out now though.

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