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Old 17-05-2008, 08:41 AM posted to aus.gardens
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Default something's been eating my peas

My my attempts to get a vege garden happening has been thwarted by many
obstacles. The main one is the general lack of rain. I have to say that
we have just received a nice steady 23mm soaking. Can't remember the
last time we got something like that. I've been fighting a battle with
our heavy clay soil. Gypsum and organic matter have made a major
difference. Seedling no longer go yellow with shock when the roots find
the soil.

Then there are the pests. Snails haven't been a major problem due to
the dry weather. Harlequin bugs have been a major problem. They just
sucked the life out of any new plants before they could get established.
Getting the kids to take out a jihad against them did trick. Next
were the earwigs. I found shallow containers with cooking oil fixed
them. They went to the oil and drowned. Blackbirds, the aptly named
"Turdus merula" were also in my sights. Not literally, because I'm not
sure lead and gardens mix They were constantly pulling up seedling
and scratching the mulch off the beds. I had to resort to bird net. We
were constantly chasing them out of the yard. I tried training the dog.
She'd chase them whenever I was present. But the moment I was out of
sight, she'd just curl up and sleep; only to spring into action when
"the boss" would appear.

With the pests under control, I thought it would be safe to plant out
some peas. I planted the seeds and they duly popped up. They looked
nice and healthy. There weren't too many signs of attack. That was
until one day, I noticed the tips were nibbled off. I hadn't sighted
many harlequin bugs. Out came the snail and earwig traps. Then we
discovered the culprit... It was the the dog. She was nipping the
soft, juiciest tips off the peas. I've put up bird net until the next
lot get established.

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