Sunday, March 22, 2015

Snails - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Pretty?

The Bad
 
 Now I know your wondering
 ''what in the world could be "good" about
Snails in the garden?''
 
The Bad
 
That's what I thought also, until a few years ago.
Not only was I seeing a ton of regular garden snails, but I also noticed a bunch of different smaller ones.
My early morning "pickings" weren't making a dent in
 their population like it usually did.
 
The Good?
 
I thought 'Oh Great, they've sent word out to all their cousins!'
and I'd have no garden left pretty soon.
I don't like to use any kind of chemicals in the garden ,
not only because of our pets, but for us too. 
I prefer to "keep the garden in balance" using Nature's methods,
for every bad bug there's a beneficial bug out there waiting to devour it.
 
But drastic times sometimes calls for drastic measures.
I was pretty discouraged and against every ounce of my being..... broke down and bought some snail bait. :(
 
I put it out and the next day I had a Snail graveyard.
There were more kinds I hadn't seen before -
then hindsight set in.
Why didn't I research these different looking snails?!
 
The Good
 
Well, I researched.
I found that there are predatory Snails that feed
 on regular garden Snails! Carnivorous Snails? Who knew?!
What had I done!
I killed the poor Beneficial's that were helping me.
I was sick and so mad at myself.
 
The Ugly
 
This year I purchased my regular veggies,
I planted and imagined all the
Tomatoes, Cukes, and Zukes I would have.
I went out the next morning and this is what I found:
 

AGGGHHHH!!!
 
This was what was left of one of my poor Tomatoes!
I'd show you the other Toms, Zukes, and Toms but there was absolutely NOTHING left. Eaten all the way to the ground!
One thing surprised me though.
The Cuke I had put a bird cage over (to protect from the dogs) seemed to deter the Snails too. Weird.
 
 
 
As you can see I have now surrounded the cage with egg shells. Snails don't like crawling over the jagged edges and thus stay away. But why didn't they just crawl in there prior to my egg shell barrier and eat the Cuke, it was the same as the others they ate. Again - weird.
I will not be buying Snail Bait, I have learned my lesson,
one I had known but in desperation forgotten.
 
So when I'm asked what's for breakfast?,
the answer will be eggs,
for lunch? eggs, 
for dinner? eggs!!
I need more shells darn it!
And I need to replace the plants that were eaten...grrr!
 
I know there are other methods to lower the Snail population.
 I will be putting out beer for them in tuna cans, praying the Beneficial's won't be tempted to the hooch. 
Snails hate copper also, I don't happen to have copper strips on hand, I've heard pennies also work, but the way the dogs run around they'll probably be flipped hear and there.
So I'm sticking with my egg shells which are
also an excellent soil additive. 
 
I remember when I was little my sister and I would collect empty Snail shells and paint them with nail polish. Hey, we grew up on a farm! We played with lots of unusual things ;) 
We had quite the collection.
I also made my little red wagon into a Snail home 
and made them live in there by placing a piece of wood across the top. LOL
Boy, what fun our kids miss out on today with all the electronics and video games they have!  
 
 
I was surprised to find some examples of painted snails on Bing!
Didn't realize others painted snails too!
See, we weren't that weird!
 
 





Hmm, You just may one day find painted Snails in my Shop! 



So remember there are a lot of good bugs out there in your garden, and many other ways to deal with the bad ones besides pesticides.
 
 Garden Beneficial's
and what they eat:
 
Lace Wings - Aphids
Lady Bugs - Aphids, Thrips, Mealybugs, Mites
Assassin Bugs - Beetles, Caterpillars
Praying Mantis -  Anything that moves, unfortunately sometimes that includes Beneficial's
Ground Beetles - Slugs, Cutworms
Damsel Bugs - Aphids, Caterpillars, Thrips, Leafhoppers
Hover Flies - Larva ~ aphids, Adults ~ Pollinate
Parasitic Wasps - Larva ~ Cutworms, Tomato Hornworm
Tachinid Fly - Larva ~ Caterpillars, Earwigs

 
While we're talking bugs,
Earwigs just love Hollyhocks.
Just look at those leaves!
 
 
 Earwigs ride the line between bad and good. They are beneficial in that they eat Aphids, Mites, and Nematodes. However, they also eat ornamental and vegetable plants, particularly Dahlias, Zinnias,  Hollyhocks, Lettuce, Strawberries, and more.
One way to help control Earwigs is to fill tuna cans with 1/4'' of oil and sink them into the ground close to the plants
  The Earwig's only insect predator is the Tachinid Fly. Attract this Fly by planting Alyssum, Calendula, Dill, Parsley, and Fennel.

 Sowbugs are another I always thought was bad.
I had to learn to stop stepping on them!
Sowbugs are considered beneficial because they are effective decomposers. Sowbugs like to live in compost and eat dead vegetation, including rotting wood.  They feed primarily on dead plant and animal matter and this is what makes them beneficial in nature. They are very effective decomposers and can be one of the most important parts of a compost heap.

Organic Pest Control
A few ideas ~

When it comes to Aphids, the easiest way to control them is with a water hose. A strong blast of water every few days will knock them off so that beneficial insects can eat them.
 
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth 
No preparations necessary!  DE kills aphids, white flies, beetles, loopers, mites, snails, slugs, leaf hoppers, and harmful pests.

All Purpose Insect Spray
Chop or liquefy one garlic bulb and one small onion.
Add 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper and mix with 1 quart of water.
Steep 1 hour, strain through cheesecloth, then add 1 Tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the strained liquid; mix well.
Spray your plants thoroughly, including leaf undersides.
Store the mixture for up to 1 week in a labeled, covered container in the refrigerator. 
 
I'm joining:
Huckleberry Love ~ Much Ado About Monday
Create with Joy ~   Inspire  Me Monday
Table for Seven ~ Inspire Me Mondays
The Dedicated House ~ Make It Pretty Monday
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Cupcakes and Crinoline ~ Projects Inspire(d)
Yesterfood ~ Treasure Box Tuesday
Cozy Little House ~ Tweak It Tuesday
Coastal Charm ~ Show and Share Party
Kathe with an E ~ Your Going to Love it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesday's
Ivy and Elephants ~ What's It Wednesday
Knick of Time Interiors ~ Vintage Inspiration Party Wednesday
Someday Crafts ~ Whatever Goes Wednesday
Create with Joy ~ Wordless Wednesday
Craft Spices ~ Wordless Wednesday
Oh My Heartsie Girl  ~ Wordless Wednesday
Be There 2 Day ~ Wordless Wednesday
A Delightsome Life ~ Hone and Garden Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen ~ Share Your Cup Thursday
Milas Little Things ~ Idea Box Thursday
Posed in Perfection ~ Creative Ways Link Party
From My Front Porch To Yours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
Tootsie Time ~ Fertilizer Friday
Nancherrow ~ Fridays Unfolded
French Country Cottage ~ Feathered Nest Friday
A Charm of Home ~ Home Sweet Home
Shabby Art Boutique ~ Shabbilicious Friday
Romantic Home ~ Show and Tell Friday
Life with Lorelai ~ Home Matters 
Shabby Nest ~  Frugal Friday
Our Secondhand House ~ Home Matters
Reviews, Chews and How-To's ~Awesome Life Friday
Rooted in Thyme ~ Sweet & Simple Fridays
The Cottage Market ~  Junkin Joe
The Homesteading Hippy ~ From the Farm Blog Hop
One More Time Events ~ Share It One More Time
Crafts a la Mode ~ What To Do Weekends 
The ROSEGARDEN in Malevik ~ Saturday Show Off
Pieced Pastimes ~ Saturday Sparks
Life on Lake Shore Drive  ~ Party Time at Bouquet of Talent
2 Crochet Hooks ~ Snickerdoodle Sunday 

 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Seafood Feast for Dinner


My Seafood Chef showed up the other night ♥ 
Uncle David's catch ~
Broiled Rockfish Parmesan and Garlic Butter Shrimp.........
OMG you are SO GOOD Cody Newton!
No leftovers last night
 

Adding secret sauce to Uncle David's catch
 
 
I got to play Sous Chef ;)
A little wine for the sauce the rest for Mom
OK I have to admit, I understand why
Ramona (guilty pleasure - RHONY)
insists on Pinot Grigio, it's delish!
First time I've had it,
not going to be the last. :-) 
 
Adding that ''special touch''
 
Voila`
Cooked to perfection
Katie waits for anything to drop to the floor

Cooking the Shrimp
 

- Concentration -

Yummy! 
 Damn you're good Cody ♥ 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy First Day of Spring!

 
Time is flying by!
Good thing I took the time to take a brief walk
through the garden this morning
 or I may have missed it! ;)

The Lilacs are starting to bloom :)

 

Lemon Balm has reseeded itself in various
places this year. Some just may make it
into my Etsy Shop when their a little bigger.

Cecil Brunner is about to explode with blooms.
 
 
Look who I found getting warm in the Sun,
 a HUGE Moth. A wonderful night time pollinator. 


Nectarine has lots of blooms this year, 
looking forward to some yummy fruit
 

Queens Tear blooming in foreground
and Forget-me-nots behind.
 
Ladder of watering cans,
 
with Lady Banks in bloom.

I usually keep the Oxalis under the bench,
well, not this year.  :/
 

My Pittosporum has sprouted a couple new plants!
Probably rooted branches prior to pruning.
Going to try to fit the larger on in the front garden,
 the smaller might make in into my shop. 

Succulents are even blooming!

Weeping Peach too. :)

White Alyssum has reseeded in the calf buckets, yay!
 
Cherry in full blooming majesty
 

 

I planted Strawberries in the wheel barrow
with lettuce in between them.
 

The messy deck still needs to be cleaned up from Winter.

Feeding time :)


A baby from my Sister's Koi,
not much of a baby any more!


One of the little guys T, M & C 
got me last year for my birthday.

The only original I have left
after the Raccoon raids.

There's more hiding, not as friendly as my originals,
but after what they've been through
can't blame them for staying in the shadows.

 
 So now go out and....
 

I'm joining:
Huckleberry Love ~ Much Ado About Monday
Create with Joy ~   Inspire  Me Monday
Table for Seven ~ Inspire Me Mondays
The Dedicated House ~ Make It Pretty Monday
A Stroll Thru Life ~ Inspire Me Tuesday
Cupcakes and Crinoline ~ Projects Inspire(d)
Yesterfood ~ Treasure Box Tuesday
Cozy Little House ~ Tweak It Tuesday
Coastal Charm ~ Show and Share Party
Kathe with an E ~ Your Going to Love it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style ~ Wow Us Wednesday's
Ivy and Elephants ~ What's It Wednesday
Knick of Time Interiors ~ Vintage Inspiration Party Wednesday
Someday Crafts ~ Whatever Goes Wednesday
Create with Joy ~ Wordless Wednesday
Craft Spices ~ Wordless Wednesday
Oh My Heartsie Girl  ~ Wordless WednesdayBe There 2 Day ~ Wordless Wednesday
A Delightsome Life ~ Hone and Garden Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen ~ Share Your Cup Thursday
Milas Little Things ~ Idea Box Thursday
Posed in Perfection ~ Creative Ways Link Party
From My Front Porch To Yours ~ Treasure Hunt Thursday
Tootsie Time ~ Fertilizer Friday
Nancherrow ~ Fridays Unfolded
French Country Cottage ~ Feathered Nest Friday
A Charm of Home ~ Home Sweet Home
Shabby Art Boutique ~ Shabbilicious Friday
Romantic Home ~ Show and Tell Friday
Life with Lorelai ~ Home Matters 
Shabby Nest ~  Frugal Friday
Our Secondhand House ~ Home Matters
Reviews, Chews and How-To's ~Awesome Life Friday
Rooted in Thyme ~ Sweet & Simple Fridays
The Cottage Market ~  Junkin Joe
The Homesteading Hippy ~ From the Farm Blog Hop
One More Time Events ~ Share It One More Time
Crafts a la Mode ~ What To Do Weekends 
The ROSEGARDEN in Malevik ~ Saturday Show Off
Pieced Pastimes ~ Saturday Sparks
Life on Lake Shore Drive  ~ Party Time at Bouquet of Talent
2 Crochet Hooks ~ Snickerdoodle Sunday 
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