Garden, round 2

So our initial garden has all but failed. All those little seedlings never became much more than the first pair of true leaves. We planted them, but most got eaten by slugs. The basils (the 4 that made it to the planting stage) refuse to grow and refuse to die.

Exception! The garlics, sent as a housewarming (gardenwarming?) gift by KPd, are doing fabulously. If you come visit, we can eat lots of garlic.

So anyway, we gave up and bought starter plants from OSH. Imagine it as something of a 30-times-the-cost head start. So now we have some baby lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, and pole beans. Oh, and a strawberry I got from work.

We've gotten more aggressive about slugs. There are eggshells and little mini-cups of beer all over the place. It looks like we didn't quite get the idea of compost and recycling. But something else must be eating everything too, and if they're not lured by beer and afraid of eggshells and coffee grounds, then we have no idea what to do.

The pole beans have already lost 3 of 5 new plants.

This at least is helping to cement our plans to move to SF when the lease is up. And if nothing else, we'll be swimming in garlic by harvest time.


  1. Any time you move to a new plot of land, you lose a lot. It can take years to know a plot of land.

    I put beer in quahog shells--the slugs don't fall in, they glide in on their own accord. They must like it. I catch a lot this way.

    I overplant everything all the time. I have about 23 beans planted around every pole, even though the directions suggest only 5 or 6. Worst comes to worst, I yank out as few plants. If you have a lot of critters, too many plants may help keep them sated.

    Don't get discouraged. Plants grow best for me when I forget where I put them.

  2. So I'm moderating comments because one time I couldn't find how to delete a spam comment in my blog.

    I just got an email telling me I had a new comment to moderate, but when I went to publish it, it had disappeared.

    If it was your comment, and you meant to leave it (I know whose it is, but just in case you didn't mean to leave it, I want to protect the innocent =), please try leaving it again, and I'll try reporting a bug.

  3. Mulch mulch mulch mulch.
    Also, did you try starting your seedlings indoors and then transplanting? Recycled milk cartons make excellent free containers. Just cut off the tops and use the bottom half. We have seedlings in our bedroom all the time underneath fluorescent lighting.
    Beer traps work great for slugs too. =)

  4. Beer traps kill many slugs, but miss many as well.

    Hay spread around works wonders--slugs won't climb over them.

    We used those little biodegradable cups for planting, but didn't have fluorescent lights to put them under and maybe the soil we used in them was too heavy and dense.

    Three tomatoes are now shooting up, and it's all I can do to keep tying them to their little bamboo stakes and expand the network of bamboo trellising. It will look like some kind of jungle gym for tomatoes by the time I'm done.

    There are also two squash plants doing amazingly (one was actually planted last year by my neighbor, and is growing across our sunny plot now).

    The garlics are still great, and the green lettuces are already big enough, and growing fast enough, to eat fresh salad once or twice a week.

    There's still something eating the pepper and pole bean leaves. I think even aphids or spider mites (based on the same methodology described by Science Teacher), and am just hoping that I can give them enough (but not too much) water and compost to strengthen them against such things, because the only other solution I found on the Internet was to spray stuff on my plants.

    I dumped a bunch of kale, spinach, and lettuce seeds around, and they're sprouting, so we'll see how that goes too...

  5. You can mix non-toxic dish detergent and water, shake it up, and spray on plants to kill spider mites or aphids. The soap clogs their ability to breathe. Kinda creepy, but effective. We generally just go with compost and light, though. I hate killing stuff.