Slugs In The Garden

My Japanese garden is mulched with crushed oyster shell, you’d think snails and slugs would avoid the razor sharp grit but no ! 

You can paint copper rims on you’re flower pots or place a few beer slug traps around, which I call my Slugtober Fest stations, but here’s an even better thing to try.. Coffee !

FROM Garden.Org

While drought plagues some regions of the country, gardeners in other areas are dealing with excessive rainfall. All that moisture means a bumper crop of slugs devouring prized plants and turning the lawn into a slug-ridden mine field. If this sounds familiar, fire up the coffee maker and brew some high test. USDA researchers in Hilo, Hawaii, have found that caffeinated coffee kills or repels slugs and snails better than the commercial slug bait, metaldehyde. The higher the caffeine content, the better.

Even coffee grounds will repel slugs, but the liquid coffee appears to be more effective. It can be poured onto the soil as a protective barrier around plants. Unfortunately the coffee may harm beneficial insects as well, so keep it off the foliage where the good guys are likely to be feeding.

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Battling Birds

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Thank goodness, the birds have returned ! I was so weirded out by their absence that I called around to see if there had been reports to the Arkansas Birders or Agriculture societies reporting a lack of feathered friends. I had considered the possibility that hawks had nested in the woods nearby and I did spot some nests very high up. Squirrels had all gone as had all ground creatures so there was a chance the large hawks that I’d watched in the autumn had nested within range of my yard.

I continued to put out the safflower seed in my tower feeder and, finally, the sound of finches filled the woods at the edge of my yard last week. Then, this week, the beautiful Cardinals and musical Mockingbirds arrived a plenty. Oddly though, I seem to have a large flock of Robins nesting here this year and the Mockingbirds are very unhappy about it. Both bird families have decided to nest in the same needle-holly bush and neighborly arguments are going on almost every evening. My holly bush sounds like the Cramdens have moved in.

I will probably have to change to black oil sunflower seed since safflower has become so expensive. But, if you live where safflower seed is affordable, it’s great to use because it’s too bitter and most furry creatures stay away from it. I haven’t had any problems with raccoons or squirrels since using it.

When I switch over to sunflower seed I’ll be mixing the seed with very hot chili oil. This does not bother the birds at all but rodents and furred critters can’t take it.

Here’s a tip if you have raccoons in your attic or barn :
FIRST : place radios near where they are nesting. In my case they were in my attic so I put radios in a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen up near the ceiling. Put the radios on timers, set them to “talk show” stations and have them play during dawn through daylight hours. Even though raccoons are usually nocturnal, living in the suburbs have changed their sleeping habits but babies still sleep during the day.
The idea is to disrupt their sleep by blasting them with loud and angry human talk. Rush Limbaugh talk networks work very well for this (you may like to listen to those guys but the angry tone of their voices can drive animals nuts).
MAKE SURE THE RADIOS DO NOT BOTHER YOUR NEIGHBORS

SECOND : If you can, take a week vacation away from your house. Otherwise, if you’re home make all the noise you want to during the day !…. Banging pots and pans etc. Raccoons come back in from foraging at sunrise and go out at dusk.

I did this and, after 2 weeks on vacation, I came home to a raccoon free attic. I fixed the attic fans where the fat devils had pried their way in and enjoyed a raccoon free home ever after.

Next post : I’ll be planting new seeds directly in the garden this year. Let’s see what I’ll grow !
AND It’s Peeps Season. If you make any Peep Art please share it 🙂

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