It looked like an alien invasion and it was the space crop that was their target. Okay, perhaps alien was taking it too far. Snails more like, but what a size they were and I have never had to deal with snails that size before. But it was the space crop they were targeting, my OurREDgeous Romain lettuce. I sowed the seeds a few weeks ago and they were coming up nicely, read about it here. These lettuce seeds were the first salads grown and eaten in space, on the ISS, the International Space Station.
It started off small fry. One plant out of about 20 disappeared one night. This was followed by another a few nights later. Finally, a few days later the culprit, or a relation more like, came back and munched the rest in one sitting. And I caught the little git at it early one morning.
What had been happening was a minor invasion of snails. More snails than usual due to the rain here in Cyprus. My concrete garden was a sodden mess. Naturally, snails love the damp and bit by bit they chewed their way through my Indian Marigolds. Next came a couple of sweet red pepper plants and then they went for my Space Lettuce. But slowly, slowly or siga siga as the Cypriots say, I was catching them and giving each snail a free flying lesson – over the wall into the very long grass a long way away, soft landing ensured. I don’t like to kill or harm other creatures for no reason at all, and eating to survive is no excuse for killing living animals.
But it got worse, a lot worse, and I hate to say, to my shame, I had to resort to a cull by using beer as a trap. Apparently snails and slugs love beer… except my lot do not like KEO, the Cyprus beer I used. and I only managed to trap two slugs that were not eating my lettuce anyway!
What to do?
Well, mosquito netting clipped over the garden tub is my plan for today. Which is fine if the crop isn’t taller than the tub. Otherwise it’s a rounded cloche I’m going to have to create. But not being adept at DIY or Origami or anything that needs creative fingers I’m not overly hopeful of success. All I can hope is that the weather picks up and the hot spring and summer kicks in, which means the snails etc., will have to hibernate.
Who said take up gardening, it’s nice and relaxing?
Copyright Tom Kane © 2019
As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.
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Living in Cyprus: 2018 is out now, packed full of photographs and over 230 pages in length. This book is three books in one with details of my recent trip to Australia and Italy’s Lake Como. This new release is three times bigger than any of the previous five volumes, 2013 to 2017 and at only £3.99 on Amazon Kindle is still a bargain price.
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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here
Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here
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