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Winter Night Marauders

January 23, 2010

I don’t expect large pest infestations in the middle of the winter.  We just had a hard frost that should have set back most of the pests.  But something was eating my garlic that I planted in November.  I started seeing damage as soon as it started to sprout.  Recently, I noticed that the leeks were getting hit hard as well.  Finally, last night I went out with a flashlight to see what was going on.  It quickly became clear that the problem was – CUTWORMS!  There were a few slugs, but the cutworms were eating all the winter Alliums.

Mitigation strategies anyone?  My plans are to pick them by hand for a few nights and see if I can get the numbers down.  I’ll get the slugs too, while I’m at it and try to get things under control before spring. There are not many places for them to hide now, so night picking should be pretty effective.  I picked about a half a cup full last night, and found almost that many again this evening.

This is really a job for chickens!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Gail permalink
    January 24, 2010 9:08 pm

    You definitely need some chickens. I’d loan you my girls but they would probably be so happy there they would never come home to roost! I love the blog.

    • January 24, 2010 11:26 pm

      Maybe I can just trade you a few handfuls of juicy fat worms for a few eggs! The worms come pre-flavored – leek and garlic as gourmet quality chicken feed! I picked another handful this evening.

  2. Anne D permalink
    February 1, 2010 9:57 am

    I wonder if the eggs will be flavored? Let us know! And thanks for the blog.

    • February 1, 2010 9:51 pm

      Welcome Anne, Thanks for reading! I’m afraid most of the worms ended up in my soapy salty solution that I pop slugs into. Plain water works for the worms, but the slugs just crawl out again, and in the name of efficiency I was picking both at once. I can testify that Gail’s chickens make very tasty eggs even without flavored worms!

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