Sunday, November 25, 2012

Slug farm

One thing that I am cursed in regards to is gardening. Let me tell you, it's just NOT happening. Am I raving yet? Oh just wait, I WILL be.

Years ago, in the youth of my post-baccalaureate education, I didn't try very hard.  I got plants and kept them in the same pot I bought them in. When my basil plant got fruit flies, I put it outside the door. I forgot to water plants until they wilted. When I went to Death Valley to sample for the first time, I thoughtfully left my Rosemary on the deck to be watered by the rain- which is did not. It was actually blackened by the time I got back.

Then came a glorious summer when my good friend, let's call her Michelle, took me under her wing and helped me plant a small garden. Michelle is a gardening genius, able to keep plants alive for MONTHS at a time. She lent me everything I needed and that summer I enjoyed several tomato plants, flowers, a tiny strawberry vine, and lots of spring greens. I enjoyed the greenery and Rosie enjoyed chomping on the greens all summer long.

Last year I tried to grow salad greens and some daisies on my own. No go. Barely anything even sprouted, even though I remembered to water them every day (possibly part of the problem). I kept hoping that they were just taking a long time to germinate, but that hope was sadly misplaced.

After that I took a different approach. I bought a miniature rosebush and a variety of herbs, already sprouted, and put them in larger pots. I also bought a vibrant, leafy Ajuga reptans (or chocolate chip plant). I stacked them all up near the windows. How could I fail?!

Well let me tell you. All of my herbs withered. The rose lost most of its leaves. I continued to water (in moderation). I had high hopes for ol' A. reptans though. Some of the lower leaves had withered, but I assumed that it was adjusting to put energy into growing up, not out.

However, after another week, the Chocolate chip plant, which was the largest and healthiest at the start, turned crunchy brown like its namesake. What the HECK. Frustrated, I figured I should make the best of it and transferred the rosebush into the former A. reptans pot. And do you know what I found? SLUGS. I had a SLUG infestation in my houseplants. How does that even happen??

I put a the bottom of an Altoids box in the pot and filled it with beer, which is supposedly the absolute best way to trap slugs. My slugs, of course, are straightedge and refuse to fall off the wagon. Currently I'm trying to dry them out but that's one drawback to using the new low-energy efficient bulbs.

Of course, if I had the old-fashioned heat-radiating ones, the rose plant would probably spontaneously burst into flame.

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