|These look better than slugs -|
Sunday became warmer and warmer. I knew something was amiss. One circuit was tripped and the condenser outside would not go back on.
Monday brought relief from the same repairman who fixed the unit once before, on a similar impossibly hot day.
He brought in a roasted slug in his pliers. The slug complete the circuit and blew up the capacitor and himself, but also mucked up some of the connections.
The condenser is near the water faucet, so the slugs have a constant supply of moist organic material to feast upon. I will have to clear out more of that and host another beer party for them.
Copper will not stop slugs. Eggshells will not slow them down. Diatomaceous earth may help and even be a deterrent, but it washes away in the rain (when the slugs party) and when watering the plants.
Slug poison will kill other creatures - not a good idea. I am sticking to beer traps and diatomaceous earth, which is used in food products and also consumed for health reasons (no thanks).
The repairman said earwigs were a serious invasion this year, although I have seen very few. I believe our beneficial insect balance has reduced them. An earwig is very tough to kill, because of its outer shell, so they also short out air conditioning units.
I mentioned the little brown beetles to him, which are numerous in the house. Once it rained, 10 more were in the bathroom, not crawling all over but dead or dying. He called them flying tanks, because they fly into him while he works in his repair shop outside. They are round, fat, and well armored, more so than earwigs.
|Tomorrow blueberries will be planted.|
I bought blueberry bushes at Almost Eden and received a quick education on caring for them.
Today I needed to stop at Lowe's to get peat moss to make the soil more acid. That is the key to berry production. Sassy went inside with me and got an enormous amount of attention. That is her favorite store, and a new group of people will fuss over her each time. Many of the staff know her by name.
I will need netting later when the berries ripen, and I may dedicate one bush to the birds - no restrictions.
One reader mentioned not watering when it was super hot - due to evaporation. That is a good point, and a reason why the deeper bird baths are so popular. I put water in the shallow baths, but that is gone later in the day. The community pools lose water but remain tempting and popular.
One myth is that water droplets burn plants in the sun. That is physically impossible and also proven to be false. Evaporating water is cooling, not burning, or all the ponds and cricks would be on fire.
The basic message of hosting beneficial creatures is:
Avoid all poisons.
Diversify the planting.
Provide water, shelter, and overwintering places for the next generation.
This has been quite an education. Before I would look at retail store plants and wonder why anyone would plant them. Now I go through the Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden book and shop for them.
Walmart had lots of bee balm, so I bought some more. This morning a bee was working the new blossoms as I watered some plants.
Coreopsis was just a name until I learned it was great for beneficial bugs. Now I have some in various places in the yard.
I always liked dill, but this summer I was purpose-driven to get dill started, along with its cousins Queen Ann's Lace and Laceflower. The whole carrot family seeds itself for the next year, so I will continue to enjoy them.
People look down on dandelion, ragweed, goldenrod, pigweed, and plantain, but they are either medicinal or good for harboring insects.
Sunflowers are a favorite of mine for bird seed, but they are also early exploiters of EFN - that extra sweet nectar created away from the flower to lure the pollinating insects.
|She is in the photo for the cream later.|