Deb's Big Backyard

  Deb's Big Backyard

Still Buggin' Me



by Deb Quantock McCarey


I got up this morning with the birds.  With the sun rising, I couldn't help but think God Bless America.  What a great 4th of July this is.


As I began watering the tomatoes in our edible garden, I looked down and my mood shifted.  It was dark, and I was mumbling "God Damn Slugs".  Please, pardon my French.  But the slugs are back.


The first time they bugged me was several years ago in my Hosta garden.


 My IPM (Integrated Pest Management)  measures eventually resolved that.


Now, slugs were inching up the stems of my Prudence Purple tomato bush, and one was actually relaxing on a healthy green leaf


Kevin saw it first.  He felt it.  Lots of slime.  Two antennae.  No little bug feet.  Brownish gray.


But he didn't know what it was then.  Now we do.  


It seems like lots of gardeners are familiar with these common pests, and no one likes them.  


A shout out to FB friends curried advice:  Beer (yes beer), bury it in a can near the base of the plant and the little lushes will lap it up and drown.



Frustrated gardeners employ other measures, too.


Cornmeal:  When they eat it they will die.  Spray the leaves with a "coffee wash," it deters them;  spread crushed egg shells around the base of the plants, it will cut them up; or pour salt on them and they will dry up.


But my pesky day with garden pests was just starting.  I am a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, and most Thursdays I do a volunteer gig at the Museum of Science and Industry's Smart Garden, which demonstrates how to grow veggies in urban environments.


When I got there, my MG bud Jenny offered me her cup of Joe.




It was full of cabbage worms, and today we were handpicking them off the leaves, which don't look lovely now.  



 But the battle with these pervasive pests is well underway.




So, don't bug me today about the pest problems in your garden, I have plenty of my own.  Or on the other hand, please do.


I'll figure out how to eradicate them, then share how I did it with you.





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