The Battle of the Slugs OR Die, Slimer, Die!

I love to garden but I hate slugs. Spiders and snakes: no problem. Moles and gophers: my cat, Pomeranian, or husband will dispatch those. Slugs are more prolific and tougher to get rid of.

After trying for over a decade, I won the battle of the slugs using three methods. The first method was an accident, sort of. I knew that slugs would die if you salted them. I wasn’t going to salt my lawn or flowers. However, in a fit of rage, I grabbed a spray bottle of cheap (Dollar Tree) orange cleaner with oxy-bleach. Guess what? The slugs practically melt before your eyes after spritzing it a half dozen times. I was positively giddy killing those slimy leafeaters! However, with hundreds of the vile critters, (over a dozen per two square feet), it would have taken forever to hunt them down. Besides, my trigger finger went numb after the first twenty minutes.

This slug fence works! 1/2 inch of sisal (jute) rope on top of wooden borders.

To the rescue: my husband. He said he remembered something about sisal rope deterring slugs. He stapled half-inch rope on top of the wooden edging around the beds, making sure there weren’t any open spots. Voila! We watched as slugs climbed up the sides of the boards and turned around and went away. Of course, by now we had two spray bottles. They could slither away but were soon dark spots on the grass, waiting for natural decomposition.

A slug’s natural predator: wild turkeys!

While these two eradication programs were going on, we had a benevolent act of nature occur. The wild turkeys that come by twice a day to feed on spilled birdfeed (I think the blue jay does it on purpose) decided to fly over my deer-proof fence. The ten or so turkeys wiped out the rest of the slugs. After two weeks, I found one slug. He was trapped within the borders of the raised bed, unable to get out over the rope. I tossed him into the grass. Maybe a turkey will come by for a snack.

Try something a little different this week: HOW TO FIX A BROKEN LIFE

Alternate Ways of Gardening Part 1

Too hot, too cold, too wet. I’ve lived and gardened in the heat of Arizona, the iciness of Alaska, and a very wet part of Oregon. I’m also nearly seventy years old and have fibro myalgia that causes joint and muscle pain.
I’ve learned to adapt. Here’s one alternative way to get plants to grow.

Fish totes and plywood boxes: awesome raised ‘beds’


Fish totes are the three-foot-wide plastic containers crabbers and fishermen use to keep their catch. They’re sturdy and have forklift pockets for ease of movement – if you want or have to move them.
My husband drilled drainage holes in the bottom of ours and lined each with a pallet bag to keep the initial fill of soil in them. The bags decompose after a year or so, but that’s long enough for the soil to settle. When I needed more area, my husband built plywood boxes and set them on pallets to get the same versatility. I use a four-in-one garden soil mix from a local sand and gravel company. There’s pit run sand, compost, and a couple of other components. All I know is that it’s great stuff.

From my garden last year

I couldn’t bear to toss the weak tomato (left). It was struggling in its two-gallon pot. The ground was too low for me and hard to dig by mid-summer, so I put it in a new fish tote with a few pepper plants. Deer ate the peppers but forty days later it didn’t matter. The tomato plant had grown over where they had been.
As the summer sun moved across the sky, what was once the sunny site in the yard was now in the shadow of the garage. No problem. My husband put the forks on the tractor and moved it (and the other containers) into the sun.
I’ve planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and loads of other plants in these super pots this year. So far, we’ve had a very chilly and wet year: only three days in the seventy-degree range. The extra warmth these ‘raised beds’ get has put my tomatoes way ahead of my neighbors’ plants. It’s not a competition thing. I grow for food. Any extra goes to bless the local food bank where they have a very efficient distribution system.
What tricks do you have for growing in your part of the world? Let me know in the comments section.


After the day is done or when it’s too hot to go outside, read a book! Here are a couple of box sets you might enjoy.
Murder is to Die For: Cozy Mysteries
Cute But Crazy – Quirky Careers
Unforgettable Blessings
Unforgettable Courage

Chill Out in the Garden!

April 11, 2022, Willamette Valley, Oregon (my yard)

In the northern hemisphere, it’s springtime! Or, depending on where you are, summer! Here in Oregon, USA, we’ve had a very long winter. We had snow on April 11 and only last week, there was frost on the windshield in the morning. It looks like I won’t be getting any cherries, plums, or peaches this year. The apples and pears bloomed late, so we may be okay there.

Gardening is great exercise!

What does the warm weather mean to you? To me, it’s gardening season. That also means I need to get in shape. Here’s a chart that should make you happy about spending time weeding and trimming. Need a butt lift? Move loads of soil or compost around!
Before you commit to your garden project, be sure to have your gear. Plenty of water to drink, a hat, sunscreen, gloves, and of course, a camera to take before and after pictures. Stretch all those muscles first, too. I have a five-gallon bucket with a swivel seat on it that holds my tools. Very nice to have portable accommodations. I never have been a fan of the kneeling pads but my chair/toolbox combo with a handle is great.


MOST IMPORTANT: Audio gear! For me, it’s my Echo frames. Not only do they hold the lenses that help me see, these also have little speakers above the ears and a mic somewhere in front. Since they’re linked with my smartphone, phone calls come through, too. Gloved hands are dexterous enough to tap the right temple, and it’s answered. Need tunes? I tell Alexa, “Shuffle music by Led Zeppelin” or Leonard Bernstein, depending on my mood. I wear scrubs so the phone’s nearby in a big pocket.

Tunes are good, but my go-to request while working and always while driving is, “Alexa, read my book.” Whatever book I’ve been reading on my Kindle device, continues. It DOES NOT have to be an AUDIBLE book, either. Alexa’s voice is pretty cool and way better than the first generation of book readers.

Any story that is ‘Text-to-Speech: Enabled’ on Amazon will work on your Echo. You can do so much more work when you’re listening, waiting for an exciting scene to finish. Even when I’m spent and finally go inside, the story follows me. No Echo frames? Any Kindle or Echo device will keep up with your place in the story. Just ask, “Alexa, read my book.” Smart stuff is awesome!

MURDER IS TO DIE FOR: Diehard Dames Amateur Detective Series

Looking for a long read to listen to for the road or a special project, check out MURDER IS TO DIE FOR. This cozy mystery set won’t make you blush (it’s not spicy) but will keep you intrigued.

Vegetables and Salad Dressing #Recipe by @_NancyRadke

Growing your own vegetables is a lot of fun and can be very rewarding. I wrote before about growing sprouts inside during the winter, to get fresh produce. Mungo bean sprouts make a great addition to omelets, and alfalfa sprouts add vitamins to a salad.

This month I was given a small cold frame along with potting soil. I just planted a tiny patch of onions, lettuce, radishes, and arugula. It’s cold outside, and if it continues to be cool, I should have some radishes to eat in a month. I look forward to the salads I’ll make from these.

Vegetables

A great salad dressing can be made with a few simple ingredients. I use fresh orange juice for this and the lightest olive oil I can find. You can fudge on the kind of mustard. I use raw honey for the health benefits and Bragg’s Vinegar. I feel that a good olive oil is the most important ingredient, as it makes a huge taste difference.

ORANGE SALAD DRESSING

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. honey
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt + pepper

Put all in a small bottle, shake well. Use on both fresh fruit or vegetable salads.

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CUTE BUT CRAZY: UNIQUE AND UNPREDICTABLE

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