For the "Organic Gardening Section" and "Dealing with Slugs and Snails".
I don't garden on a large scale but have been gardening and composting for many years and still learning. When I mentioned a few years ago to a neighbor that I was having trouble with the above critters, she gave me some Chinese vegetable protectors. You probably know about them? These are round, green, plastic jobs about the size of a saucer. They taper outwards towards the top and then curve over at the top to point slightly downwards. I have never had a problem with my few lettuces or brassicas since then, by gently pressing them into the soil. I used to protect my young seedlings from the wind, the cold, slugs and snails by cutting out the bases of large fruit or baked-bean tins but these Chinese things last longer and are more efficient. Wouldn't be without them now. But our Army Worms devastated our crops this year. Best way is to go out an hour after sunset with a torch and laboriously go round picking them off with long-nosed pliers and dropping them into soapy water.
I am still battling white fly and will try to invent a solar-powered, yellow light to attract them away from my Kale. Yellow sticky pads cannot keep up with the sheer numbers we have. Any good suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Slugs and Snails
You want to grow a nice organic garden full of pesticide-free goodness, but the snails and slugs are always claiming the first bites on everything! What's to do? From the shear number of folk remedies available to combat them, you can easily see what a problem snails and slugs can be in the garden. Their aesthetic failings aside, these munchers can ravage a plant's leaves in no time at all. Prevention goes a long way. First remove the clutter from your garden, including decorative elements that give these guys shelter. Morning watering allows the soil to dry before night-feasting snails can come out to enjoy the moist environment. Rough mulches can deter these pests as well. Then give some of those folk remedies a try, but remember that what works in one place might not be right for another set of pests and conditions. Try, try again!
(Louisville, Ky, Usa)
Slugs and Snails
Alan from Boulder, CO writes: "No one here has mentioned the beer trap yet, so I figured I might as well post it. It works for me out here in Boulder, but I guess it's not foolproof. Anyhow, the idea is that the slugs and snails are attracted to the yeast and sugar in the beer, but the alcohol kills them. Or dries them out. Here's my set up: a Frisbee turned upside down and filled with about two centimeters of cheap beer. I push the Frisbee down into the soil a bit, so that it's easy enough to crawl into. Whatever container you like, it should be shallow and fairly smooth. Something the slugs or snails won't mind climbing on. I leave a can of beer open in the refrigerator when I'm trying to kill them off, because you want the carbonation to be out of it. Bugs don't like bubbles, I guess. Toss the beer and the trapped slugs out every morning, then refill the tray with beer every evening until the problem goes away. It's a home remedy, for sure.
Slugs and Snails
Michelle from Miami, FL writes: "After trying everything under the sun to deal with snails in my flower garden, on a friend's recommendation I tried used coffee grounds (not fresh). I sprinkle the grounds around the base of the plants that the snails love and voila, no more holes in my plants! They simply don't like the smell and move on. I like this much better than drowning the poor creatures in a can of beer or watching them melt with salt.
Slugs and Snails
T from Maryland, USA writes: "I've been 'stockpiling' egg shells for a few months now in anticipation of my new veggie garden. Rinse the shells well and air dry them, then put them in a large plastic bag, crush them up a bit, and store in the freezer. Add some to the soil for nutrients, and sprinkle some around plants as they come up to deter slugs.
Slugs and Snails
Dj from Pdx, Or writes: "Slug and Snail - Radishes, dorky but true: I have had good luck with radishes. Okay I sacrifice virgin radishes to the slug and snail gods/esses. Apparently the slugs and snails in my area are partial to radishes and will munch on those plants before they munch on my green beans, corn and cucumbers. I have a small garden so I do not know if the radishes are more attractive than say brussel sprouts. I just let the radishes grow and never pull them and the slugs seem to be happy with the arrangement. I am going to try the radishes in one of my flower beds next.
Here is a BBC article on Soil Health (or the LACK of) which I trust many of you will find as interesting as I did. "The Answer lies in the Soil" etc etc
There is also a book by David Coory entitled "Stay Healthy by Supplying what's Lacking in your Diet" (11th edition 2021) which is claimed to be NZ's top selling health book.
Cheers from Down Under
We are a little late because we have been out of town, but I finally got plants put into my garden. I don't plant a ton, just enough to have fresh basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro and peppers for the summer.
My little guy came out to help me plant. Digging in the dirt is fun! Here is a picture of him planting a Tabasco pepper plant. If you can find a Tabasco pepper plant, I would encourage you to plant one. It is the most beautiful plant in the garden when the peppers come in. They are small and upturned and look like Christmas tree lights!
Then you make Pepper Sauce. Super easy. You just put the peppers into a jar and cover with white vinegar. In two weeks you have hot pepper sauce. Not too hot. You are basically making a tincture with vinegar instead of alcohol. And this is so pretty sitting on your table.
By the way Mmsg - my son says we don't have any wild oats growing near us here like we did when we lived in Kentucky!
And Robert Henry, what is the best way to keep down the weeds? I have heard of putting paper bags around the base of the plants to keep down weeds, but should I be concerned about chemicals in the paper? Thanks!
~Mama to Many~
(Ten Mile , Tn)
(Ten Mile , Tn)
(Ten Mile, Tn)
Hi there again you jolly posters!
Here is a follow up to my ranting and raving from a little earlier to-day.
This "Soil Association" Site has been around in the UK for long enough (1946) to have a track record to be appreciated for what it achieves. My famous Aunt liked it a lot, which has to be an enviable endorsement! Prince Charles possibly approves also.
You could do a lot worse than this one if you seriously wish to get started on your "Growing Journey".
At least their hemisphere is the same as your one and you don't have to convert Januaries to Julys etc like we do down here !!!
Scroll down to their "Top Tips for Growing at Home" for a nice succinct summary (with no padding and dross).
Cheers from Down Under
Karl ([email protected]) from St. Louis, Missouri writes: "Pepper and tomatoes (all) plants need to be "hardened off" prior to planting in the garden. Harden off by taking the plants outside during the day. Make sure to put them in the shade. Return them inside at night, usually 3-4 days of hardening off is sufficient. Tomato and peppers usually are planted outside in the garden around the second week of may depending upon your planting zone.
DPK from Hoosick Falls, NY writes: "My mother has always sworn by egg shells crumbled up a bit and scattered beneath tomato plants. She says they deter insects and provide nutrients needed by tomatoes in particular. We never worried about cleaning the egg shells up before tossing them out there, but some people think it a good idea, to keep the odor down.
Jane from Sussex, England writes: "When I first started gardening it was with a great boom! I read up on everything I could find at the time, (this was 40 years ago, before the days of the internet) and proceeded to scout around to see what I could find with regard to improving the soil at our new, little house in Greenwich, Connecticut. Great success story! Having been told that it was a hundred percent safe to use, I was given sludge (aka treated sewage) by the town, which was dumped at a really good distance away from the house, and also I was given a load of seaweed from the beach. The latter is also something that I believe would be preferable to keep at a distance while it rots. Eventually I carried barrowloads of my collection to where I wanted to plant tomatoes. Added all sorts of other natural items, with great and unprofessional enthusiasm! The end result was spectacular, enormously tall plants full of great tomatoes, and a bonus in the shape of a beautiful snake curled round the base of one of the plants. I vaguely remember it was called a bull snake, quite harmless. This is the story of someone attempting their first garden. Somehow I think that it was my best and most successful one.
Frank from Tulsa, OK writes: "I read a few years back in an organic gardening book to add 1 tablespoon of epsom salts to a gallon of water every time you water your tomatoes. I tried it last summer and my tomatoes grew like gangbusters. You do want to do a soil test before you add epsom salts first because you can harm your plants if you already have high levels of magnesium in the soil. Oh, one more thing --tomatoes don't like getting their leaves wet, so I always water from the bottom.
HI U GOOD FOLKS DOIN,,,,,,,,,,,,, SJS, as all know, but I came upon a radish that grows 2' long and will break up your hard pan and improve your garden. It is from Japan and called a Daikon radish and is the latest rage to improve your garden. I planted my entire fall garden in them. Folks know to use a subsoiler behind a tractor to do this, but why not let nature do it for you? Tomorrow I will plant them where I will plant my melons next spring. We are still eating watermelons after using worm castings this year under my plants. This trick should make our yield even better next year.
Most know that there is a clay hard pan below the topsoil that plant roots cannot penetrate. If you break up this hard pan then your plant roots can go deeper and live longer in drought times. I thought I would be smart at 65, then 75 and maybe will make that goal at 85. Anyways, I can use this knowledge in my next life, if I don't come back as a goat.
Our fall garden consists of lettuce, radish, onions, garlic, beets, kale, rudabeggers, purple top turnips, mustard greens and collards. All loaded with Vitamin K which takes calcium out of your blood and deposits it into your bones, where it should be. Your cardiologist tells you that it is cholesterol that plugs your blood vessels up. Shame on him. It is calcium in your blood that plugs you up.
Finishing up a 'nother 30 round of EDTA CHELATIONS to clean my vessels out. I have now done over 100 chelations in the last 14 years. And no, it is not covered by insurance. Too cheap and too effective. MD's want you coming back add infinitum, which means forever.
Yo Redneck buddy............. ====ORH====
(Ten Mile, Tn)
HI U OLE PATOOTS DOIN, ORH here, and think my 15 year old footballer is a keeper. He is in honors math and is a kid that I can mold into a savvy man. He works with my tractor driver to get our plants transplanted. I dig the holes and he puts the volcanic ash and Epsom salts in the hole. Phyllis then puts the plants in. He dug out my worm bed today and put the castings along my raised bed plants. He could not believe how much you have to pay for worm castings when you can get them for free. When he digs out weeds then they go into a bucket and then to the worm bed. This way we don't lose the rich dirt and the worms turn the weeds into fertilizer.
Today he also learned why a specific elm tree is called Ironwood. The tree has the appearance of the arm of a muscled man. Since he lifts weights, he understood that. He is coming around and it makes me proud to be a part of his education. At my stage of life, I need him more than he needs me. It is a win-win situation.