Friday, March 4, 2011

Gone...... in 96 Hours

Ok, not quite the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds"- but 96 hours is how long it took for the nocturnal nosher to munch, his or her or their way through my 6 cabbages and nibble the tops off the broccoli, 4 nights. All Gone. See previous blog "Oh Cabbages," for my woeful story.

As Yoda might say "Dejected, I am." Putting it mildly, I am or even "Got the scarecrow, I should have."

I have been so absorbed looking for the owl statue we used to have, along with trying out my homemade recipes to keep the critters off my vegetables, I forgot about my blog and how you might have been on tenterhooks (joking here) to see if the latest mad experiment of garlic pepper, hot pepper flakes etc., worked....well it didn't. Back to the drawing board, or potting shed methinks. It has been quite an exciting two weeks, what with the leak behind the dishwasher ruining the gypsum wall, and the lost dog we found.

If that wasn't enough she·nan·i·gans: as in: Secret or dishonest activity or mischief;
for one gardener to handle, all the nasty, little, lubber grasshoppers hatched, and when I say I have   had about a hundred.........kidding I am not.
Those Little "Lubbers"

I was determined not to use toxic pesticides in my garden and so I poured vinegar on them, then doused them with the hose set to "JET" stream, and all to no avail. They bounced right back, all perky and determined to eat my broccoli, potato, spanish needle, peppers and Crinum Lillies, I swear I heard them chuckling and one of them even winked at me in contempt, or maybe it just had a little bit of vinegar in its eye....

In case you are not familiar with these delightful insects, they eventually morph into something that is at a minimum 2" long, and that's just the male Lubber, the female can get to 6". When they are full grown they are invincible and nothing appears to eat them - apparently they give off a bad odor and hiss at their attackers. Check out this link for more info.

Here is another useful website for you all, for identification of pests, advice etc.

Wednesday morning and at least 30 baby lubbers (a riot almost) had taken up residence on my Bell Pepper, complete with large chew holes.
Anole Lurking for Lubbers
I know that the anoles and other lizards snap them up, but they will do so much damage by then. You know I need that food for my family (Publix has a nice line of organic veg, but I worked for this). Putting my squeamish side, well um aside, I devised a solution to my problem. Dark humor here folks. I filled a very large bucket 1/3rd way with water, and just scooped them in where they swam (breast-stroke I believe it was) and tried to climb out. Sorry guys and gals, that is not happening. So I am ashamed to admit that I did actually add a little bit of Borax laundry powder (this is war after all and we all know Cockroaches and Fleas also hate Borax). And ....for good measure I gave it a vigorous stir. Well it does not give me any pleasure at all to say they were all dead within an hour. These little pesky beasts will eat EVERYTHING they can until they morph to the next stage.

There is a lot of hype about Borax out there on the web. For sensible and useful tips on Borax:

Tomats on Window Sill

On a brighter note, the 20 various tomato plants are doing well - both those in pots and in the ground. The only problem is 50% of the 50 ripening tomatoes have little peck marks in them. Since this is a yearly occurrence, I usually plant twice the number of tomato plants we actually need. I know the birds are hungry and are beginning the nesting ritual, but at this rate I'll have nothing left. So I remove some of the larger and still green tomatoes and put them on a sunny windowsill to redden up. Problem solved. Once the birds have finished nesting they slow down pecking the green tomats........................ and immediately start on the red ones. Also the sugar snap peas are doing really well, I think they are so graceful.
Sugar Snap Peas

 I did find a way of keeping the nocturnal visitors off the rest of the garden. I placed used aluminum pie dishes filled with stones here and there. When the critter steps on the pie dish it makes a rattling noise and scares them off. Then of course........there is my secret weapon. A bobcat has just been spotted today in our yard. Last May I saw a really big one jump the fence, the little one we saw today might be a yearling. Very exciting stuff!! Have a wonderful weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Eeek! Those bugs are giving me a chill up my spine! I like your idea of the pie pans with stones in them...I may have to try that!


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