Deer Gardener

  • Aug. 22, 2011 1:00 p.m.

by Elaine Nyeholt–‘Plip Plop Plunk’ The satisfying sounds of slugs hitting the bottom of the container, as I ‘stoopedly’ scour our lawn in hunting mode. The baby slugs have hatched! Usually babies are good news, but not this time. During recent rainy days, I noticed many blades of grass have tiny sluglets clinging perilously to the tippy-top. Fear of drowning, a rational fear in my opinion. A wet-vac would be such a huge asset on these days. They gather easily and make the teensiest sound of ‘plip’ in my tin.Next come the ‘plop’ size slugs. They are usually oozing t’ward the edges of the lawn and thus are pretty easy to spot. These adolescent slugs are beyond drowning and voraciously seeking food, not unlike human adolescents huh? Their colouring can be beige, orange or black.The most satisfying sound is the ‘plunk’ of course. When these whoppers land I have prevented an entire generation of slugs! Yay me! The sleek black slugs showed up on these islands in the last 10 years or so. I do not recall them prior to then. Likely they arrived in soil brought here from the mainland. However the appearance happened, they have found a Shangri-la. The plip, plop, plunk rhythm accompanies me and I have time during this brain-less occupation to notice if the anticipated plip does not occur… O NO! Where did it land… Please, not on my person! Yuck. The creature, once scooped, curls into a fetal position, making it easy to retrieve. A ratio of 20 plips to five plops to one plunk seems a good guess. FYI Whilst we were at camp, the deer did a remarkable job of selectively eliminating my need to make a fence for the peas or beans. Good thing Bayview Market is a reliable source of excellent produce. The deer also trimmed the tops of the carrots, but the carrots are still growing nicely.Ya gotta love growing beets. Deer don’t bother them if there is any other choice. My beets didn’t sprout as fully as other years, so we haven’t been eating endless beet greens, but they are coming along nicely now. Lettuce, onions and garlic have done well for me this year too.It’s a wonderful year for potatoes. I’ve been sneaking the delectable baby spuds for awhile already. As soon as the plants bloom, they can be lightly harvested. Any volunteers growing in a less desirable location can be pulled up and utilized now. Continue loosely mounding grass clippings or other mulch around the potatoes to prevent any green showing up on the product. Since the green is caused by bright sun, I guess it’s a moot point! The mulch will ultimately enhance the soil for next year.In the flower garden, my yellow and orange blooms are excelling which makes me feel happy. I have brilliant multi-coloured calendula, California poppy, St. John’s wort, yellow daisies, dahlia and a really satisfying rose (well-fenced) that I forget the name of. Deer do not bother with the former, and they will bloom until frost, if I just remove the spent blooms, so that is a huge blessing.It’s tough to weed in the rain, but do keep up the good fight. The nastiest weeds are setting seed now, and will cause such grief down the road if they succeed. Tom Cat is bringing in copious loads of weed seeds in his lovely tail, sigh. A sign of the times.Contact me atdeergardener@hgqci.org

Just Posted

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Haida artist Derek Edenshaw helps Rupert spruce up city

A giant kraken, painted by local artists under Edenshaw’s tutelage, is now on display

Haida Gwaii teacher denied paid bereavement travel leave

Arbitrator sides with B.C. Teachers Federation in dispute over funeral trip

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

Rainbow Yarnbombing takes over

Haida Gwaii Knitting Group surprise the islands

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read