Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogging Sahara

Sheesh! Y'all must have thought I'd fallen off the Blue Ridge Parkway or been attacked by slugs. Actually, except for work (which has been physically and emotionally exhausting this week), there's not much been going on in Scrapsville.

The slugs won the war in the garden. I have 2 tomato plants still standing and beginning to produce, one very small jalapeno pepper plant with a tiny jalapeno, and one bell pepper plant with a small green pepper on it. The squash plants were losing the battle, so I sacrificed them to the slugs to protect the tomato plants.

My daughter turned me on to a podcast "You Bet Your Garden", which has greatly increased my pathetic knowledge base. His recommendations for slugs: Lay a board in the middle of the garden. The slugs will all congregate under it in the heat of the day, and you can just lift the board, gather all those slimy produce thieves and drop them in a jar of soapy water. How simple is that?

The pet fur actually worked for the bigger slugs--they wouldn't cross it--but the tiny ones managed to find the bare spots around the stem and crawl up.

The other thing I learned? Wood mulch is not something you want to use around your plants and in your garden. It encourages slugs and moles and voles. What did I put in my yard this year? At least 30 bags of cedar mulch, both in the garden and around my flowers. And there are mole tunnels leading to the base of one decimated bachelor button plant and one nearly dead sweet william.

I need to have two oak trees taken down, as they are dead or nearly dead, and if there was no disease or infestation in them, I had planned to have them chipped up for mulch. Not sure I'm going to do that now.

The deck garden has done beautifully, though. On the to-do list for today is making pesto, to use up those basil leaves while they're still in good shape. And 2 pepper plants I didn't have room for in the lasagna garden were placed in small pots; lo and behold, there are 2 peppers on them. Other herbs will be cut back a little and hung to dry in the closet: oregano, chives, rosemary.

Then maybe a little hand sewing in the evening. I took the yarn hair off the two Handy Dolls, because it was shedding, and attached the doll hair Jean sent me to one of the dolls and it looks so much better. As soon as I get a few more made up, I'll post a picture.

So that's the scoop in the land of Scraps today.
What's on your to-do list?

8 comments:

cockermom said...

Man, aren't the moles just EVIL this season? We just got a new riding mower and the first time using it I hit a patch in the back yard and thought I was gonna fall thru!!! Nasty creatures...but Bindi sure loves to dig them up (which just makes a bigger hole...arrgghh!)

MightyMom said...

moles? I've never seen a mole hole.

glad you're still among the blogging....

I'm in the middle of a 5 day off stretch..possibly 6 cuz I may call in Monday, it's the first day of school and I have an apt at 12:15 that afternoon...making it impossible to get enough sleep to function all night long...PTO is a good thing~~I feel a fever coming on...probably gonna peak about 10am Monday morning...one of those 24hour bugs donchaknow.

SueR said...

I don't know how you feel about slug bait, but it actually works pretty well. I let the slugs have the hostas this year though--less I have to clean up in the fall. Did not know about the mulch. I just bought 10 more bags last week for the garden. Tomatoes are a disaster anyway--would you believe the chipmunks got at them? Who knew?

AnnieO said...

We don't have moles but Mini the Cat keeps catching gophers in the backyard. I use cocoa mulch--it is organic but isn't wood. Sorry your garden took such a hit this year. Maybe next year lessons learned will make it a lot better! I haven't blogged much either lately. Too many jobs and not enough playing...

*karendianne. said...

You know I was wondering about those slugs so I'm glad to get this update. Really interesting. I surely have enjoyed seeing photos of your deck garden and I'm thrilled to know you're enjoying the fruits of your labor. What times dinner?

Catherine said...

I still think about the pet fur keeping the stems of little plants warm. Can't help but laugh a little at the thought. I've never seen a mole or what they do -- but your post and a friend's tales about mole tunnels had me doing some research -- I had no idea they were so destructive!

Michele's Quilting Journey said...

Waging the mighty battle, here in Oregon, on both slugs and moles. We diversify our predatory wildlife with gophers and voles. I saw a little stray cat with a critter in its mouth yesterday and I thought yes!!! Good boy! Let's hope the critter ate lots of slugs before the little cat topped off that food chain;)

Jean said...

You can also use beer to trap slubs...put a shallow pan of beer in the garden overnight, they will crawl right in and byebye slugs. They won't cross a trail of salt either. It dries them up.