Saturday, July 2, 2011

Eggshells in the Garden: Protecting Against Slugs

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

I thought the ship had sailed for this post this year, but see that scrawny little's had a rough spring. We had flooding where our water table was so high and the temperatures so cool that the garden would squish under your feet. I didn't plant any seed. And then we had weather hot and dry and blistering and I didn't plant any seed. And then finally at the end of May things sort of evened out and I planted my garden, but the basil still didn't get going. Then finally, finally it began to grow. And then I noticed little bits of leaves missing from eager slugs having a nibble. This often happens to basil (as well as zinnia, sunflowers, strawberries, and surely other things too). The slugs eat the seedlings (or fruits in the case of strawberries) so voraciously that they will often entirely consume or at least kill the plant. If you notice this happening to your seedlings, crush some eggshells and create a barrier around the plant (about 2 eggshells per plant). The slugs will not cross it. It is cheap. It is easy. Though it may drive your better half crazy that you're keeping empty eggshells on top of the fridge. Don't worry--he'll forgive you later when he eats your spaghetti sauce.

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