About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Zombie sunflowers

Something was eating my sunflower seedlings.


Trail of evidence on the seedtray

Judging from the trail of slime left on the soil, it was either a snail or a slug. An exhaustive search eventually exposed the culprit:

slug
Monster slug hiding out amongst the toilet roll pots in which sweet pea seeds are planted.

I'm too squeamish to touch a slug, never mind squish it (though I can cope with touching a worm, now) so I carried the cardboard pot to the driveway and used a trowel to flick the slug off there. Hopefully a bird or hedgehog will find it and enjoy the meal.

I was getting ready to (read: vaguely thinking about) replace the eaten seedlings with new seeds, when I noticed they're still growing - look!


Zombie sunflower seedlings

Ghoulish headless seedlings, still relentlessly pushing upwards. These plant really are amazing!

5 comments:

  1. Wow! That is a monster slug! We don't get them that big here - we've got a hedgehog who takes care of them long before they reach that size!

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  2. Hi Tink :-)
    We've seen a hedgehog bimbling about, and I found a toad the other day - unfortunately I found him because I was in the middle of destroying his hiding place (a patch of ground elder) - and there's a pair of very bold blackbirds, but none of them managed to get to this big boy! Maybe your hedgehog could come over and give ours a few tips ;-)

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  3. Good for you for not squishing the slug. Apart from their nutritious qualities to other wildlife, they also provide a useful service in helping to break down dead vegetable matter. I appreciate that it's annoying that they also feel the need to do the same to precious plants, but just as a weed is only a plant in the wrong place, a slug in your seed-tray is simply a compost-maker who needs to be relocated. I stick mine on the compost heap.
    cj

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  4. I had wondered whether slugs might be similar to worms in their compost-munching abilities - thanks for confirming that, cj. I'd be a bit nervous about actually moving slugs to the heap(s), though, as there are precious plants nearby. Maybe I should be braver. I have heard that they prefer wilted leaves to growing ones, so all I have to do is keep up with the weeding to keep them well fed and off the veg patch.

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  5. You can tell from the slime trail if it is a slug or a snail- slugs have a continual trail, snails have trails with gaps in them, because they move in a different way. (I really hope this is true- I 'knew" it was true when I was a kid, but someone might have been making it up!)

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