Archive for Snails

Gardening: 04-23-08

Ladybug tomato 72 days 04-12-08

Today was just a simple day of gardening: watering all the veggies and flowers, walking around looking at the bok choy seed pods, and…urgh picking snails off my precious peas! I hate snails with a vegence! They’re annoying little buggers. I’ve tried about everything to get rid of them: coffee, coffee grounds, copper, etc etc etc. Today, I crushed a bunch of egg shells and put them in front of my peas and the other stuff they like to munch on. The crushed egg shells are suppose to hurt their bellies and deter them. I hope this will prevent them from crawling all over my peas and eating them to the nubs.

On another note, my scarlett runner beans, sequioa beans, swiss chard, radish and lime basil I planted a couple of days ago have sprouted and are doing well. I planted out the scarlett runner and sequioa beans this afternoon. I put some in the ground and some in pots, just in case we move too soon, I want some beans to come with me. This morning, I also staked my tomatoes I have in containers. I have a supersweet, gardener’s delight and ladybug hybrid tomatoes in pots. I noticed that I have flowers forming on my squash seedlings. Eek. so exciting. I’ve had tomato flowers for awhile now (probably in the past 2-3 weeks) and I can’t wait to have tomatoes. Yummy!

Yesterday, I visited my parents and little brother and came home with tons of Asian groceries, Bento boxes, and some gardening pots and a garden hose. I have a neat blue pot that they gave me since they weren’t using it. It’s a rectangular pot that sits 4 inches tall and probably 6 inches wide. I’ll take a picture tomorrow and post it. I think I’ll put some low growing plants in it. I don’t want something that will take away from its pretty “pot” beauty.

My co-worker gave me two apricot seedling and a lilac plant. It was a nice gesture from her. I had given her some tomatoes, peppers, bok choi, and squash seedlings I had extra of and she came back and gave me some plants. She’s so nice and very kind. Tomorrow, I plan on continuing the acts of kindness by giving her an avocado plant I had started from a pit and some seeds I know she’ll enjoy (bok choi, sunflowers-tall, catnip-for her cats, basil, and California poppies).

Tomorrow, I plan on giving everyone a good soaking with fish emulsion. Hopefully the cats don’t get wind of it or else it’s going to be a full house. I also want to plant some of the bean seedlings I started indoors. For errands, I have to bike over to the Library and pay our electricity bill. Gee how fun uhh? Well, it kind of is since I’m biking. I love biking! Happy gardening everyone.

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Radishes, radishes, radishes!

I think my cherry belle radishes are ready to harvest. They’ve grown into little round bulbs a little bigger than a quarter. I really wanted to wait to harvest them when my tomatoes are ready to pick but that’s going to take awhile. I plan on giving them to my father-in-law who loves radishes. He can have this batch while I plant some more later.

I hope he won’t mind eating produce from my garden. I know some people are hesitant to eat from other people’s gardens but hey it’s food after all and at least people can trust a home-gardener’s produce since they probably don’t use a great deal of pesticides and harmful chemicals.

Have you ever met one who’d rather eat stuff from the grocery store than in their own garden? Well, now you know one. Yours truly was hesitant and weary of eating from her own garden in the beginning. Weird but true. I was just worried about the soil and what the previous owners buried in it (I had found odd accoutrements in my soil when I was adding soil). But, I realized that most farms use steer manure in their gardens and sell edibles at the grocery store, then why can’t I eat from my own, organic garden? I finally overcame this fear when one morning, I was out in my garden looking at my lettuce. I picked a piece off and dunked it in some water from a watering can and reluctantly ate it with a face that could scare you. Then, an epiphany came to me: it tasted just like lettuce! I was so excited, I picked a bunch of lettuce leaves, went inside and whipped up a bowl of salad with radishes and dressing. I ate it thinking: this came from my garden! I grew this all myself. Here’s a picture of my first harvest that I actually ate and enjoyed. I was so proud!

My first homegrown salad (click to enlarge)

 I also have some cherry belle radishes that I planted last November flowering. I’m going to allow them to flower so I can collect seeds from them in the summer. They’ve gone to a point of no return. They’re no longer any good but instead bitter and hard like a rock.

Radish flower (click to enlarge) 

My watermelon radishes are progressing. They’re slowly grudging along. I’m still fighting those darn snails but I think I’ve come up with a way to deter them: coffee! In Nature magazine, two researchers tested their belief that coffee will deter and kill snails and slugs. They suggest spraying your plants (except for lettuce since coffee may turn it yellow) and adding coffee grounds around the plants the slugs/snails like. There is something in coffee that upsets snails and slugs’ internal parts and they will avoid those plants that have caffeine on them. It doesn’t hurt to try and we have lots of coffee laying around. I’ll let you guys know how well it works or if it works at all.

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