Thursday, June 29, 2006

Saving The Squash.

After spending several days in California and enduring heat in the 100's, I am enjoying the wonderful, 70 degree days that we are having here in the Pacific Northwest. In only four days my garden has sprouted, flowers have blossomed, and it truly feels like summer is here. I've spent the past two days cutting back, deadheading, mowing, etc. This afternoon I finally took some time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the sunshine's warmth. How wonderful it is to have such an opportunity!

In my garden, we have been having difficulties with cutworms eating the squash plants before they get a chance to grow past their first emerging leaves. My DH had a brilliant idea which I'll share. We had some old black perforated drain pipe that was about to be sent to the dump (what a waste--but nobody wanted to take it home...) Instead, he got out the hack saw and cut it into six-inch segments. We placed each segment around a baby squash (and beans, and the list goes on...) and pushed it into the earth. The edges are jagged, which keeps the slugs at bay, and they seem to keep the nasty little cutworms away as well. I think that there will be the additional benefit of the black plastic keeping the heat in, which the veggies love. Perhaps they'll grow more quickly as a result. Now I'm hoarding my perf pipe for next year's use.


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While out watering, I noticed Eli stalking in the strawberry bed. Ironically, there was a lovely blue dragonfly sunning himself (?) on a little iron dragonfly lawn ornament. Yup, you guessed it--Eli pounced, caught him, and walked off proudly with the dragonfly hanging out of his mouth. After crawling into the beds, he proceeded to do his best to gobble him up, but he must not have been too edible, as I found his sad little remains later. You know nature--red of tooth and claw.

8 Comments:

Blogger Wildside Musing said...

Welcome back and great idea, Lisa! Early on this year I used yogurt cups as collars to protect some things from slugs and to keep them warmer. I thought it counter-productive since they were white (reflective) not black (absorbing). But the things in the yogurt collars did far better than the things in the plastic jug cloches... (Didn't admit to this at my blog yet... Because I kept the plastic jug cloches and tossed the cut up yogurt cups once I was done re-using them...)

3:24 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Fantastic idea for the cutworms/slugs! My garden hasn't been hit by them (knock on wood), but this give me some ideas if they do.

3:33 PM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

I wonder why that would keep the cutworms off? I've heard of people using similar methods before, so I'm assuming they only wander around at the very top of the soil. Hmmm. Well, good re-use idea, anyway!

5:58 AM  
Blogger Wildside Musing said...

Oh, and Lisa -- It was in the 90s here in our region while you were gone! Too hot for me, but the garden finally started growing.

6:20 AM  
Blogger Wildside Musing said...

Or perhaps you came back in time to experience some of that?! They are calling it a heat wave on the TV news, but methinks it's just "Summer!"

6:21 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

I was JUST reading about that method....neat. That was neat how a dragon fly landed on the dragon fly ornament...love at first sight? Of course the doom of a dogs mouth...
I have those catepillers just eating away at my geraniums during this hot CA weather...any tips?

6:57 AM  
Blogger Kim in Oregon said...

Great idea about the pipes. I just tend to use diatemacious (spelled so wrong) earth around things I don't want attacked....or just give up!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Great idea. I love finding a new use for stuff like that.

5:06 PM  

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