Monday, July 19, 2010

Out Damn snails

It has been 2 months since I transformed my winter garden.  Harvesting the last bits of lettuce, kale and misc. other greens in order to get started on several variety's of tomato,  white early corn, six different variety of beans, moon and star watermelon, pattypan squash, persian cucumbers and other delights of summer.

As I begin to till the soil I find some of the decollate snails still surviving from last summer.  These snails are cannibals; they eat garden snails.  

 Not terribly concerned I decide to wait it out before purchasing more.  Convinced they will do their job and keep the bad snails in check.  Alas, they are lazy, anorexic snails, perhaps content to eat just one snail a week and not procreate.  Unlike the abundant population of garden snails I keep finding

Pulling out borage which had taken over one bed, some of the stalks thick as tree trunks.  Discovering little pearls buried in the soil.  Eggs!!!  SNAIL eggs.  I scooped them out and disposed of them in the city green bins...

 Earthy scented, brimming with compost and lovely seeds hand picked carefully, thoughtfully and wisely.    I companion planted beans,corn and strawberries.  Each lovingly spaced, watered and set to sprout.   Melons spaced to stretch out and become perfect sun kissed orbs.

Week one, little green sprouts appear, bursting through the soil.  I am so proud.  I protect them with what I can

Week two the first little leafy bits appear.  Then overnight disappear.  silverly snail trails drunken with my baby shoots trail down the sides of the beds and disappear.  Early morning trips filling bowls full of the buggers and flinging them far off in to the woods.  I cannot bare to kill them... but somehow sending them air-born in to the ivy strewn hillside several hundred feet away seems acceptable.  

Week three- I dissent in to the hallows of Osh to purchase Sluggo... I cannot take the appearance of snails everywhere.  When I get out of my car they are in the trees, mocking me outside the windows two stories up on my house.    Driving me mad!!!

I have purchased a gigantic container of the pesticide and at sunset descend upon every place where the little buggers dwell.  Covering the ground in little aqua colored pellets.

Week four- they seem to have disappeared.    Yet there is still a lace like appearance on all the bean stalks

My gardener is convinced they are still around.  I allow him to pour more sluggo around.  

Week five- Feeling like somewhat of a failure.  Most of one bed has yet to do anything.. Did the birds eat the seeds?  In the past I had always draped my beds with bird netting to prevent the loss of seeds, but after rescuing several lizards trapped in the net, I had decided to forgo the net.  Perhaps a mistake I will regret.

The hot spell has sped the ripening tomatoes to beautiful hues of pink, and burgundy and acid green, we are finally tasting the first bits of summer.

There are a few beans beginning to ripen,  I have now purchased netting and draped them.  I replanted most of the seeds.

 One verdant ink spotted leaf peeping through the webbed netting promise at least one moon and star watermelon.

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