Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain and Slugs

Well, the rains came finally. I think we had a record of over twenty days without rain. Twenty days in June, in Everett, without was awesome! But of course we need the rain, badly so I'm trying not to complain. Plus I love the way the garden smells in the rain. Our old rose shrub, the lemon verbena, even the grass and the dirt, yes, garden dirt in the rain, what a wonderful scent.

It's also nice not to have to water everything. It lets me take a step back and observe more than I do when I'm constantly worried if I watered all the newly planted seeds enough, or gave my zucchini and tomato plants that long deep drink they crave.

And there is so much to observe. The radishes were a huge disappointment and I think it's because I didn't thin them enough. The green leafy parts grew huge and tall and the radishes themselves hardly grew at all. I need to get over my aversion to thinning. I guess it's sort of like editing my writing, I have to remember that always, always, always my writing is better when I revise and cut away unnecessary words, paragraphs and sometimes entire pages. Pulling out newly growing sprouts just feels wrong to me, even though I know it's necessary.

The snap peas are doing awesome, so is the kale, although I think I planted the green onions too close to the kale because they seem to be buried under the broad, fast-growing kale leaves. I planted more beet seeds this weekend because half of the first batch I planted did nothing, not sure what happened there, but the tomatoes and zucchini are doing awesome in the front yard with all the sun they've been getting.

As much as I love and crave the sun, I love the rain too. It puts such an intense infused look on the world, colors appear deeper, scents hover and permeate, everything looks richer. However, there is one thing I hate about the rain here in the Pacific Northwest, and yes I mean hate. Slugs. Rain invites slugs, and boy do they come. Obese, slimy, gorging-on-our-plants slugs. It's like they appear out of nowhere with appetites ten times their size. Do they even have teeth, I mean how can they devour a lily or dahlia or pea sprout so damn fast?!

I've learned a few techniques--all of them gross--to deal with them, from drowning them in beer to spreading coffee grounds around the plants, but every year they still manage to win a few battles. This past weekend, to my horror, Lily actually found one, picked it up, squished it between her fingers and tried to eat it in the span of about three seconds. YUCK! Oh the things she like to put in her mouth!

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