Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Slugs, Coke bottles and a tetanus shot

An eventful day in the garden! I planted the rest of the seedlings, but in the process managed to step on a rusty nail in a piece of timber hidden under overgrown grass. I was wearing runners, and it went straight through and into my foot, and I have no idea when my last tetanus vaccination was, so it was off to the doctor for me. Ouch!

So your community service announcement for the day is: When gardening, wear serious boots with solid soles, watch where you're stepping, and keep your tetanus shots up-to-date.

i must be getting serious about this gardening business though, because when I did it, I called my four year old to tell the husband what had happened, and I kept planting. Well - it was important that all the seedlings went in today!

When we arrived home from the doctor (and dinner - it was too late to cook by then), I went outside - watching carefully where I walked - to cover up the plants for the night. And I found this not-so-little fellow:

He (or she - they're hermaphrodites) is a leopard slug, and while they will eat plants, they much prefer snails, other slugs, pet food and cat faeces (!). There are quite a few of them in the garden, and perhaps that's why there aren't so many snails. Apparently they are also useful at cleaning your bathroom - they will eat the mould from your tiles - but you need to watch your step at night: they're prone to exploring the rest of the house, and are very squishy when stepped on in the dark. If you're into garden porn, google leopard slugs to see their extraordinary mating ritual.

We've found a use for the Coke Zero bottles the husband seems to empty at an alarmingly rapid rate. They make great little seedling protectors from snails, and are fabulous miniature greenhouses:

We didn't have quite enough to cover all the plants - I'm hoping the leopard slugs will stand guard duty on the rest.

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