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I have heard nothing but good things about the effectiveness of beer traps to control slugs and snails in the garden but what if, like me, you’re a teetotaller? Will yeast work as well as beer? Will plain water lure any snails or slugs and what about using stout? I’ve tested four different baits in four different traps and run this experiment three times in different parts of the garden to see what snails and slugs prefer to order at the bar.
Seeds that are directly sown into the garden need protection. I have had many new seedlings emerge in the garden only to have them accidentally dug out by foraging birds or purposefully eaten by hungry garden visitors. I invented my own method to protect my emerging seedlings. Small, simple to make, re-usable covers that pin into the soil with wire hooks.
I have found that some Solanum, like tomato and capsicum seed are slow to germinate, capsicum (bell pepper) being the most difficult I’ve encountered. While my tomato seed will usually germinate within one week, capsicum can take two or more weeks. What can be done about this? Just add heat.
Those white butterflies flapping merrily around your vegetable garden may look lovely and whimsical but they are the bane of most gardeners. Once their eggs hatch into plump green caterpillars your crops leaves will slowly but surely develop ever increasing holes. It’s not impossible to beat this plant predator but it does require planning and forward thinking to save yourself from an infestation where you have more holes in your vegetables than leaves.
It was the start of September and I excitedly sowed my bean seeds. They sprouted and grew well but just as they started to flower they began to show signs of what I thought was nutrient deficiency. They had pale mottling across their leaves and lacklustre growth, which didn’t abate with the application of liquid fertilisers so I went in for further examination. A close look revealed little tiny rust coloured speck like bugs. Once again I had to refer to my gardening books and the internet, I found the tiny little blighters were in fact spider mites.
With the onset of winter and wet weather comes the unrelenting nighttime raids by hordes of snails and slugs, their one goal, to feast on all the sweetest baby leaves of any newly planted seedling. This got me wondering what, of the many organic deterrents, actually work? With this in mind I set out to try the most popular, often suggested methods for saving seedlings from these persistent feeders.
So, you’ve noticed chewed holes in the leaves of your vegetables consisting of fairly small bite marks that create large ragged holes, but no silvery snail trails. You may have earwigs. Here’s how to identify and trap earwigs in an eco friendly manner.
I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.
~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes