Thursday, October 4, 2007

good and less good things

Sheesh. There has been a bit of bad luck and frustration down here at the Princess Castle.

Here is a list!
  1. something has eaten 15 meters of pea seedlings (chomp chomp). I have no idea what it is but suspect rabbits or earwigs
  2. EARWIGS have decimated two generations of veggie seedlings in the glass house. They have eaten EVERYTHING!
  3. And what the EARWIGS didn't eat, the mice dug up and ate (yes even the brandywine tomato seeds)
In desperation I have put mouse bait in the glass house. I have been musing (and sulking) about how to manage the earwig problem, and serendipitously came across a fellow (at Joes place in Jugiong the other day) who suggested wiping down the potting benches with diesel. Noxious but effective as both a deterrent and exterminator apparently. I am DESPERATE, so will perhaps give this a go on the weekend.

So now I am behind with the spring plantings - the broccoli is almost finished, and I will now have to replant spinach, more broccoli, kale, tomatoes, onions etc. I am going to have to buy other people's veggies on the weekend. Sheesh.

blah blah blah.


BUT, on a happier note, I candled the 13 Jenni/Maurice eggs and ALL 13 are developing! What a clever little Maurice - quietly going about his Rooster business. What I am going to do if they all hatch? That's a lot of fluffy love!

As you can see Jenni is sitting very tight. The weather is much warmer and her nest is much better than Nefley's was so hopefully all will be well. So many little eggies! I wonder what colour they will be? They are due a week from Monday. Clever chickens!
Which all means that it is coming on time to find the last lot of babies some new homes. They are going through an awkward Boris Becker stage (perfectly normal for a silkie). Here is a photo of one of the strangely coloured ones. The other two are still perfectly black. I think these ones are going to be partridge - but I am not completely sure.

Pretty cute huh?


mangoman said...

We don't have earwigs up here. Wallabies, bandicoots and sundry other small mammals clean up most of my veggies.

For the mice - have you seen snake and mouse mesh. You set it around the bottom of your growing area and make sure there is nothing growing over it. Seems to stop them.

What eats earwigs? Must be something. Might chooks clean them up for you, or at least reduce their numbers. Of course, the chooks will also eat some of the plants, so maybe you need something that is just carnivorous. A blue tongue would do the job. Nice to have around as well.

sherd said...

The Boris Becker stage is an excellent stage!

Blogger hates me today, I hope I haven't accidentally posted the same comment 6 times...

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

That is a lot of bad plant luck. But those are some stinking cute goofy looking babies.

Jill said...

Your babies look sooooo cute!

The Duck Herder said...

Hello there folks! Two oldies and two newies! Nothing like EARWIGS to get lurkers to un-lurk. Although, now I read your comments, it is really just fluffy love that brings everyone out of the cyberwoodwork.

Fluffies fix most things!


Although the fluffies do a very cute thing when I let them out each morning. Jenni knows that EARWIGS congregate in little space between the door and the door frame, so when I let her out she jumps around and quickly gobbles up all the earwigs she can reach. Trouble is she has been doing this for 3 years now, and there still seems to be a daily supply of earwigs. hmmmmm.

I like the idea of a blue toungue in the glass house Mangoman - although it might not like it in there very much and I am not sure how they would go climbing up the potting shelves. Any other ideas? If not, then diesel it is!

Thanks for visting!

mangoman said...

Diesel will stop them moving around on a bench I suspect but not more generally in the garden.

You could try some traps? I am pretty sure that my dad used to use something like the cockroach traps we have used. A jar or tin with veggie oil and bran as a bait. With enough oil they get stuck in the jar or can. I think my dad used to have a few of these cans around the garden. He used to feed the product to next door's chooks when we moved into Canberra.

Might be a need for a multi faceted approach though I reckon.

The Duck Herder said...

hello mangoman! You are quite right - last year I used little jars with oil and water in them. This worked well in the glass house - and I have just started doing the same again. I think over time, the little jars work, but I must have a bit of a serious earwig build up over winter. But naturally, I also want a quick fix! as well as a hippy long term solution. and also, the oil I am using this year solidifies over night enough for the little buggers to get out! It is still a bit cold for this strategy to work, or else, the peanut oil is too old!

thanks for your advise - I think the multi-pronged approach is wize.