Life begins the day you start a garden -- Chinese Proverb
Monday, April 05, 2010
Limitations of Spring: Weather, Slugs
With hail in the forecast last week I was glad I hadn’t invested too much effort or cash into this year’s garden. To protect the few tender seedlings that I had already put in the ground, I placed a few “cloches,” fashioned from recycled plastic drink bottles, over them. The hail never materialized but we have had high winds and heavy rains the past few days. Above is a 5-inch green bean seedling in its plastic housing.
Of course wet weather means snails and slugs are on the prowl. I never have good luck with greens. What few butter head lettuce seedlings that sprouted in the half wine barrel appear to have succumbed to the slimy pests. I can’t figure out where they hide during the day. Could they possibly climb the height of the barrel then commute back down under it at dawn? It seems like quite a haul, and it’s not like I can just tip it up and casually peek under. It weighs about a ton. Or, could this be the result of marauding birds? These two pictures were taken only days apart.
Whatever the culprit, they are ruthless. Here is a small arugula seedling I placed a berry basket over. Notice the damage on the protruding portion of the tiny leaf? Someone’s been sampling.
During a dry spell Saturday, I got to work on some seed starts for succession planting. Here is a photo of what I am calling my pop-bottle “greenhouse.”