Slugs 1, Gardener 1

The slugs may have won (?) round 1 but this Gardener has won round 2.  The cornmeal in cups worked the best, I didn’t try the beer since it continued to rain almost every day, and I did resort to putting down commercial pellets in a ring around all my new seed plantings.  So now I have beautiful sprouts – cucumbers, peas, and 3 kinds of squash – and my tomatoes and pepper plants are no longer losing leaves.  Phew! I went ahead and planted a spiral of corn in the middle of the squash hills, I have never had any luck with growing corn but I read about growing them in a spiral pattern so into the ground they went. And now that the sun is out for (fingers crossed) at least 4 days in a row I should see some rapid growth out there.

My potato-in-a-trashcan experiment appears to be going well. This is about 2 weeks after planting the seed potatoes:

potatoes1

And this is at 2 months:

potatoes

I noticed this morning there are some blossoms coming on one of them which I hope is a good sign. I didn’t expect them to grow this fast, I thought this would be a months long project…after the blossoms fade and the plants wilt/yellow – which from the internet looks like maybe 3 weeks from now –  it’ll be time to check for taters!

 

Slugs. Ugh.

A week after my last post I planted my garden – two tomato, two pepper and a spaghetti squash plant which I bought and a bunch of seeds (cucumber, peas, zucchini squash, butternut squash). I also planted 5 marigolds around the peppers and tomatoes. Trying something new, I’m keeping the hay as mulch as it seems to be keeping the weeds down and the soil from drying out. Which was fabulous at first, we had some nice warm sunny weather for about 3 days…then it turned into this damp, rainy, chilly place. Since I started gardening a few years ago my biggest enemy to my garden nirvana has been stink bugs and squash vine borers (SVB), but I have discovered the weather we have been having for 2-3 weeks is apparently a perfect environment for slugs. Ugh.

Last weekend I was starting to get worried because NONE of my seeds had sprouted. Well, my radishes did but those are sacrificial to ward off the SVB. But no sprouts anywhere, and I noticed the leaves of my pepper and tomato plants had holes in them and the spaghetti squash leaves had pretty much been chomped off. And the marigolds looked like they had been beheaded.   A few of my near-ripened strawberries were also used as a snack, but I’m pretty sure that’s birds or squirrels.  Initially thinking it was a slug problem, I took my frozen crushed up egg shells and spread them around each plant.  This seems to have deterred them off my existing plants, but as I found out this morning I probably should have done this around where my seeds were because in fact my seeds did sprout, but before the little leaves could barely unfold out of the dirt they are being devoured by the slugs – checking early in the morning allowed me to see the slime trails. So war it ’tis. I’m not a huge fan of using chemicals when it can be avoided, later this morning I am off to the store for cornmeal and some cheap beer – the cornmeal I’ll put in jars on their sides around each plant, and the beer will go in a cup buried to be even with the soil around my soon-to-be-replanted seeds.

In better news my potatoes in the garbage cans are growing like crazy! Today I’ll finish filling the garbage cans to the top with soil, and crossing my fingers the drainage holes were enough to keep them from rotting with all the wet weather.

I’ll post an update on the slug-fest as soon as it stops raining… :/