Story telling from Australia
Copper tape repels slugs and snails by giving them a small electric shock. Place it on the soil around tender young plants, or fix it along the rim of plant pots, and slugs won’t cross it. Beer traps, broken eggshells, sawdust and salt work too, in fact if you have any sort of mollusc eating any tender young vegetable, those remedies will work, eventually.
It’s tempting to break into song.
Ha ha ha,
Hee hee hee,
Slimy fat slugs
You can’t fool me.
But wait. Caterpillars will happily ignore all of the aforementioned slug remedies and continue feeding. So will curl grubs.
Maybe I should give up growing vegetables and open a zoo? Close Encounters of the Insect Kind.
Kids have sharp eyesight. I could charge primary school children an entry fee and take them on a tour of the back garden. They’re short too, close enough to the ground to find every hiding place of every slug that’s ever squirmed its way through this protected wildlife sanctuary that occasionally passes for a garden, where bugs, molluscs and leaf eating insects proliferate.
What do you think is at the end of this silver trail? Who’s hiding under that shredded leaf? Want to see what curl grubs look like?
Here’s the best bit. Every kid could take home a souvenir.
How many did you find Melissa? Three? Excellent. Pop them in this Tupperware.
Winter has a sting in its tail here in Sydney. The nights have dropped to single digits and I’ve wrapped the young grapefruit in an old tablecloth to keep it warm. Placing a mirror opposite the tree only worked for as long as it took for the sun to move. Astonishingly, that didn’t occur to me.
Close examination has revealed microscopic buds on the grapefruit, so if it survives my folly of planting it next to a wall that faces away from the sun, and if it grows tall enough to peek over the top of that wall, it may yet thrive.
The front garden is brighter now the hibiscus has been cut back so I’ve planted another blueberry, and the miniature lime tree Chris gave me has finally found a home. The tomato was probably an over enthusiastic mistake but the cabbage should do well.
I’m quietly optimistic, armed with a spray gun of molasses, warm water and washing up liquid to fend off caterpillars.
Just don’t be alarmed if you notice a spike in the price of copper.