And another sad tale
You know the straw bales I told you about, a few posts back?
Well , they're doing great... and I'm really enjoying experimenting with them.
Unfortunately, the bales are doin' good... real good...but the plants themselves aren't.
Well some of them are, and I have to say that the tomatoes are simply flourishing and lovin' their new home, as are the peppers... but I can't say the same for the 14 zucchini plants I planted.
They were trying to flourish, and for the first day or so, it did my heart good to go out there and watch 'em puttin' on new baby leaves and shooting up.
But then disaster struck, and I'm now down to 3 pitiful little zucchini specimens.
And what was this disaster?
Slugs and snails!
Slimy, slippery, disgustingly voracious little bastards they are!
I went out one morning and had a look at the plants, and noticed that several seemed to be missing.
So I investigated further, and found slimy trails, and then a couple of little slugs happily munching their way through the stems of MY zucchini plants!
And they were lookin' at me... and even smiling at me, as they munched away at those tender juicy, potentially bountiful stems.
No worries, sez I.
I will simply put out some hollowed out orange skins on each bale, along with some coffee grounds scattered around the plants themselves.
Because I read in a book that that's a sure-fire way of getting rid of slugs and snails without resorting to snail bait.
Snail bait that's toxic to cats and birds and who knows what else.
And I have to say ... it worked.
The first night anyway.
See, what you have to do with the orange skins is simply place them out... and the slugs and snails will flock to them. And then you go out (several times) after dark, and dispose of the full-to-the-brim-with-slug-and-snails orange skins... into a bag with salt in it.
Which I did.
Several times the first night.
But only once the second night... because it started raining.
And risking pneumonia for the sake of zucchini plants that I might not live to eat the fruit of, seemed kind of silly to me.
And besides...the coffee grounds had sort of washed down into the bales, kind of defeating the whole purpose of irritating the damn slugs and snails tummy's' as they crawled across it, on their way to the all-you-can-eat buffet.
So... I decided that 8 zucchini plants were probably enough for any one person, because I simply couldn't drink enough coffee, or eat enough oranges and grapefruits to keep the vast hoards of gastropods under control.
And that's when I resorted to beer.
Okay, so I tried drinking it myself first... but then figured that me being half tipsy wasn't doing a bloody thing to protect my plants... so I started setting out tuna cans of beer for the snails.
I mean... Who wants to party alone, anyway, eh?
I set out 5 cans filled to the brim with beer, and happily went back inside.
And when I went out to check about an hour later, I saw vast herds of slugs and snails racing towards the beer... with sculling some primo ale with their mates, on their slimy little minds.
And I smiled to myself a little.... knowing that they were in for the surprise of their soon-to-be-annihilated little lives.
The next morning, I went out with visions of counting bodies in the hundreds...
But there wasn't one damn snail or slug in any of those cans.
Not a one!
Just my luck to be blessed with teetotal snails, eh?
They didn't even get high on the fumes, as far as I know!!
So I tried another brand of beer.
The Old Guys (expensive) favorite.
No luck there either.
I'm now down to 3 miserable little zucchini plants and one pitiful half eaten apple cucumber plant, as well as the healthy tomato and pepper plants... and today I'll be putting out 6 more peppers of various descriptions, and about 10 cilantro plants as well.
And I'm not ashamed to say...I'm resorting to snail bait.
Another sad tale...
We're now getting closer and closer to the date of the auction on my little dream house, (Dec 10) and I've been "praying without ceasing"... that the little beauty will be mine.
Now I don't often pray for myself, but I figured as long as I was praying for others, God wouldn't mind me asking for something for myself for a change.
I also asked him to give me a sign that this was meant to be...
Something that I would have no trouble recognizing, because to tell you the truth, sometimes I have to be hit over the head with stuff... you know?
So every now and again, I would smell a lovely fresh piney smell, sort of mixed with the smell of "mountain misery" - and it smelled just like home.
Sunlight on pine trees, dry, crushed pine needles.. and the heady fragrance a local plant...Mountain Misery
And everytime that I smelled it, my heart would swell and tears would spring to my eyes... because God was giving me a sign - just like I asked - in answer to my prayers.
And then one day I noticed that the smell was particularly strong in the bathroom, and I figured that that was just because it's quieter and less hectic in there, with nothing else to draw my attention.
And my heart swelled and tears started rolling down my cheeks... because I knew in my heart that God was listening to me.
Until I flushed, that is.
And then I realized that it was only the toilet bowl gel.
And that God has a sense of humor...