Allow Me a Moment to Bitch About My Garden

I’ll post pictures later, but really, gardening is like playing CIV IV with the disaster mode on random and extreme. Last year, in a two day period when I was not at home, an entire bed got RAVAGED by tomato hornworms and I had to spend a day like a crazy person screaming and plucking the bastards off one at a time and then burning the bodies and sprinkling diatomaceous earth on the bed (which I don’t like to use because it is an indiscriminate killer).

This year, I have one bed completely ravaged by leaf spot. I’ve removed all the diseased leaves and am going to go throw them over the hillside since I can not compost them, and I am going to try some baking soda and water and some neem oil. You can’t cure the disease once it occurs, only control it. That also means that this year I have to make sure there is NOTHING remaining in the soil for the disease to stay over the winter, and I need to plant something else in that bed next year, which is ok, because I had planned to anyway.

Issue #2 is that my pole beans are under assault by Japanese Beetles. They like the beans, and they like the giant sunflower leaves, it appears. So, again, picking the bastards off and burning the bodies, spraying with neem oil to kill off future generations, and I’m gonna leave a couple cans of fruit cocktail out for the fuckers to drown in.

One of my formative memories as a child was my next door neighbor, a Syrian immigrant from Beirut, out in her yard sprinkling salt on slugs and individually cursing and hissing at each offending slug. My dad and I were sitting there watching for at least an hour, neither of us saying anything, and my dad finally quipped “I think I finally understand Medea.”

I am now my neighbor.

99 replies
  1. 1
    Mary G says:

    Poor John. Gardening can break your heart.

  2. 2
    cmorenc says:

    There is an organic bacterial pesticide Bacillus Thuringiensis readily available off-the shelf that is harmless to humans, but which quickly causes a fatal intestinal infection in tomato hornworms. Spray it on judiciously in the evening, and the next morning, any remaining hornworms are hanging dead from your tomato leaves. Trying to find and pick all of ’em off by visual inspection is surprisingly difficult – they can grow to the size of a small cigar and yet blend in astonishingly well like a branch of the tomato plant. And even if you find all the hornworms present today, there’s no guarantee more of the moth-eggs won’t hatch tomorrow to begin chomping on your tomato foliage anew.

    Be sure you get the correct bacterial treatment for hornworms – I learned there is another similar-sounding bacillus that has an entirely different gardening purpose and which won’t necessarily affect hornworms. But the right kind is quickly deadly to them, harmless to you.

  3. 3
    Emma says:

    I am planning my first garden in many years. South Florida is the absolute uncontested kingdom of the little insect bastards. Stories like this make me… well, no, not want to stop gardening, but…

  4. 4
    oldgold says:

    I recently experienced similar problems in my garden – East of Eden.
    I wrote about my experiences in the weekly Sunday Garden Chat post.

    After a week of researching like a dipsomaniac on my slug beer traps, I woke to the errors of my ways.

    My intent was to ruthlessly kill the slugs, except for those chewing on the kale.

    As I was fiendishly setting my slug beer traps, filled with Bud Light Lime, my neighbor Noah Tall sauntered over: “OG, have you considered PETA?”

    Me: “OK, OK, I will switch-out the Bud Light Lime for Beck’s Double Diamond Blonde.”

    Noah Tall: “You better read”

    So, I did and it touched the smithy of my shriveled soul.

    “When slugs and snails are eating seedlings and newly planted vegetables overnight, not only are plants harmed but the gardener’s heart is also damaged by the killing. At worst, this war leaves gardeners feeling desperate and hopeless. It is exactly these desperate people that I wish to help.

    Frequently the dead slugs do not get buried. But if killing is the method of choice, at least you should give the slugs a dignified burial.

    Reading that last sentence, chugging my last bottle of Bud Light Lime, I screamed “Amen” followed by “Uncle” and declared the Slug War over.

  5. 5
    frosty says:

    My approach has been to plant everything, set up the tomato cages etc, do a little weeding, then go on vacation and see what happens.

  6. 6
    germy says:

    I remember my wife going to our garden and finding japanese beetles having their morning orgy on her flowers and vegetables, and she pinched them off one by one, cursing at them.

  7. 7
    germy says:

    The ladybugs my wife bought are doing a spectacular job protecting her roses. So some good news from our garden for a change.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    I don’t have a space to garden so..

  9. 9
    dnfree says:

    Japanese beetles love purple. We had those decorative sweet potato vines that are purple in our window boxes one year, and not only were they eaten by Japanese beetles, so was everything else in the area. Other years we don’t have them at all. So stay away from purple things. The light green sweet potato vines don’t seem to attract them.

  10. 10
    Ohio Mom says:

    Interesting to hear there is a reason for canned fruit cocktail to exist. Always wondered about that.

    Now instead I’m going to wonder how a Syrian immigrant from Beirut ended up in Bethany West by God Virginia.

  11. 11
    MagdaInBlack says:

    Ducks LOVE LOVE LOVE tomato horn worms ( hint hint )

  12. 12
    germy says:

    @MagdaInBlack: I think two or three ducks would be the best thing for Cole. They’d eat his plant pests and provide eggs for his morning breakfast.

  13. 13
    MomSense says:

    At least your neighbor doesn’t call the poison lawn service to come spray all the time. I’ve tried reasoning with them – but they are certain that if it weren’t healthy it wouldn’t be allowed.

  14. 14
    namekarB says:

    This year my brother and I did something totally different. We planted weeds and are hoping a garden will take over

  15. 15
    MagdaInBlack says:

    And they would look lovely under the willow tree =-)

    (chickens like horn worms too)

  16. 16
    gvg says:

    @cmorenc: the problem is that the BT will kill all caterpillars which means no butterflies or moths. there are good guys and bad guys in our view, but they all die from BT. Also They grow up to be hummingbird moths which I like in that stage and are a pollinator.
    Suggestions online are a sacrificial plant away from the others.

  17. 17
    NeenerNeener says:

    At least you’re not buying those Japanese Beetle pheromone traps. When I was foolish enough to try them I ended up with more beetles on my birch trees than in the traps. I guess the beetles were intent on having a good dinner before they went looking for sex.

  18. 18
    CaseyL says:

    @namekarB: I can’t decide if this is Botanical Reverse Psychology or Botanical Homeopathy :) Good luck with it though!

    My plants seem to be doing pretty well, possibly because they’re in containers on a deck 15′ above the ground. But I am getting leaves shriveling in on themselves, which per Google may be because of temperature changes (we’re in that part of the year where it starts out quite chilly in the morning and warms up to summer temps by mid-day). And one of the tomato plants is generally sickly, though that hasn’t stopped it (her? them?) from blossoming like mad. I don’t see any bugs on it/her/them at all, but I do pluck off the sickly looking bits.

    Strawberries are doing great (knock wood). I’ve eaten three berries so far, and they were amazing. Three of the plants have put out runners. Two runners have pots under them, a gentle hint to take root. The other runner doesn’t, yet, because I’m pretty much out of pots!

  19. 19
    germy says:

    @NeenerNeener: I made the same mistake about ten years ago with those stupid traps. And my neighbor had one hanging as well. We had more beetles than ever before.

  20. 20
    Neldob says:

    I am thinking of cultivating a bed, broadcasting a variety of seeds, raking them in and see what does best, well and ok. Will report back, if I do it. My strawberries were good. Slugs the size of tiny horses. What have they done with my tiny chariot?

  21. 21
    germy says:

    @CaseyL: Maybe not enough drainage? Are the tips of the leaves yellow?

  22. 22
    zhena gogolia says:

    This is the only airports tweet we need:

    Jason Gay

    Verified account

    Follow Follow @jasongay
    if you guys think there were no airports built in 1776 you have not been to LaGuardia

    5:26 PM – 4 Jul 2019

  23. 23
    BigJimSlade says:

    For snails, I practice free aerial relocation

  24. 24
    Ken says:

    @MagdaInBlack: Are the ducks and chickens dainty eaters, or will they knock over the tomato plants in their hurry to pick off the worms?

  25. 25

    Last year my garden was ravaged by earwigs, which are nocturnal, so my ducks were of no help. I bought diatomaceous earth for this season, but have not had to use it. So far, so good. The ducks are doing a good job of keeping the flies down, they decimated my dandelions (wish I could send them out front). I just wish they’d eat spurge and stay away from my blueberries.

  26. 26
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Ken: @Ken:
    They tend to be a wee bit enthusiastic and they like to sample tomatoes.
    Thats why I always picked the horn worms off myself

  27. 27
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Is there anyone who can explain the QAnon obsession with JFK, Jr? I mean, it seems like most of their adherents would have hated the Kennedys.

  28. 28
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Gelfling 545: he was so hunky and like most male conservatives they’re deeply closeted homosexuals?

  29. 29
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Ohio Mom: Fruit cocktail slander on a Friday? This means war! Space bazookas at 30 acres.

  30. 30
    wasabi gasp says:

    we should all eat the weevils

  31. 31
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @mrmoshpotato: next topics for discussion for defenders of canned fruit salad:

    Velveeta: awesome, or merely great?

    Spam: why do we even need ham now?

    Blue: has there ever been a better popsicle flavor?

  32. 32

    @MagdaInBlack: I have raised beds and inexpensive fencing around them. The ducks can get their heads through to eat the bugs, they don’t like tomato plants or tomatoes, so I might lose just a few leaves, but their big, clumsy bodies can’t take down an entire plant. LOL

    ETA: They will, however, eat zucchini, pumpkin, blueberries and strawberries down to the dirt.

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Steve in the ATL: OK, that was a LOL.

  34. 34
    CaseyL says:

    @germy: Some of them, though not the tip at the end of the leaf, more the tip of one of the intermediate lobes. Other leaves have irregular yellow blotches all over.

    They’re in 18″ square pots. An instructor at the College’s Student Farm said I should wait to water them until I can stick my fingers 2″ deep in the dirt and feel no moisture, and then water them until they’re soaked all through. That’s what I do.

  35. 35
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    LOL oh yes they do love garden produce. I did not have the fencing at the time I was a duck rancher, but they had 6 acres, so they ( and the chickens and geese)found plenty to do =-)

  36. 36
    opiejeanne says:

    @wasabi gasp: But if we had to choose between them, we’d be forced to decide which was the lesser of two weevils.

  37. 37
    opiejeanne says:

    @MagdaInBlack: I noticed as a kid that chickens have a scorched earth policy when their range is limited. No weed shall grow within that small range, nor grass nor anything else green.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    I had success this year with Shasta daisies, grown from seed so I got a lot- enough to plant in swathes- I love the white/dark green. The seed I bought must have been mixed because there are singles and doubles. I also have poppies blooming – red. The hollyhocks are all but consumed by Japanese beatles though- they’re probably done. It’s a shame because they’re 6 feet tall. I love a flower that is taller than I am and I’ve never liked sunflowers.

  39. 39
    Wallis Lane says:

    Cole, you need to impose sanctions on the insects, and then pose for photos with them and send them beautiful letters.

  40. 40
    opiejeanne says:

    Something has been pulling up my corn plants with their tiny hands and then leaving the plants lying on the dirt. Sometimes the plants have been gnawed on, but never very much. Whatever it is did the same thing with my bean plants until I replanted them under a cloche and left them until the plants were bigger.

    We went away for 11 days and came home yesterday expecting to see at least one ripe tomato. It seems it rained a lot while we were gone and the tomatoes are a lot bigger than when we left but still very green. We do have a lot of lettuce that is ready, and two artichokes that need to be et right now. The garden is very lush and overgrown with volunteer flowers that are blocking the paths between the beds.

    Mary G said correctly that gardens will break your heart. One cucumber plant survived out of the three that were there when we left. We have a climbing rose called Blushing Lucy that has been very successful where we planted it against the old wooden fence that separates our front yard from the vegetable garden. It’s just covered with blooms, but there are a lot of dead canes among the healthy ones and we’ve never seen that before. Something may be munching on the roots or the canes near the ground. We have meadow voles, squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats, raccoons, and probably several other things that will damage shrubs.

  41. 41
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’m glad you enjoy fruit salad so much to make a bunch and eat it for days on end.

    As for your attempted comparisons, nope.

  42. 42
  43. 43
    mrmoshpotato says:


    the lesser of two weevils


  44. 44
    namekarB says:


    Depends on the variety. Bantams will not tear up the garden like the larger poultry. So if you want great insect control and bonus chicken manure, Get a Bantam rooster and 3-4 hens. Bonus is they are fun to watch

  45. 45
    LuciaMia says:

    Have you grown zucchini or pumpkins yet? Wait till you have to deal with squash borers.

  46. 46
    MagdaInBlack says:

    I do love bantams, esp the little Cochins with fuzzy feet =-)

  47. 47
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Makes as much sense as anything.

  48. 48
    TomatoQueen says:

    For that damned unknown eater at the base of the plant (chipmunk? vole?) I splurged on a $15 bottle of pepper wax spray, figuring that the White Flower Farm sunscape plants I’d just put in (yellow foxglove, deep blue delphinium, and white Canterbury Bells) deserved at least that much in protection. To my great surprise, the spray lasted all summer, one little squirt of it, and while the blue and white plants were too damaged to survive, the yellow foxglove returns every year (some biennial that one is) and is now sending out runners. Nothing bothers it, and I’ve still got that bottle, for in case.

  49. 49
    Neldob says:

    @namekarB: those nice lttle fluffies that lay blue eggs, Silkies, are gentle too. Even the rooster was nice.

  50. 50
    justaguy02 says:

    For Japanese Beetle control, use Surround at Home® Crop Protectant from Gardens Alive. Non-toxic, protects against sunscald, it is wonderful, down side is you have to spray after rain, that’s it. Orchards use it to protect fruit from all types of insects.

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:


    Something has been pulling up my corn plants with their tiny hands and then leaving the plants lying on the dirt.

    Smells oddly like raccoon to me.

  52. 52
    HRA says:

    I had a large garden for many years while the family numbered 8. There were 3 rows of tomatoes, 2 of peppers, 2 of zucchini, 1 of pumpkins and 1 row against the back of the garage where I planted beans with a rope set up to climb to the top of it on a nail. I did putt out all of the small tops I could gather for beer slug treat. My method was to hoe one day and water the next if needed. I never had what I read here of invasions of bugs and the only slugs were those that took the bait. I also put fresh beer in the containers after rain or watering.

  53. 53
    gvg says:

    @Yutsano: One summer I was having a problem with plants in pots being moved around the yard and left out of the pot if I didn’t happen to find them fast enough. One of the plants was a water lily from my wading pool. I thought it had to be teenagers until I caught the culprit in the act. It was a neighbors dog who thought it was fun to pick up pots, until she got bored, and left them wherever. Same dog began barking at me in my own yard, as if I was the trespasser. That is when I installed a fence. Digging fence post holes is shall we say, not my favorite activity, but I was on a tight budget.
    Long ago I discovered the hard way that squirrels will dig in any newly planted little pot. They can smell fresh turned soil and assume (per experts) that it was another squirrel burying an acorn, I had to make hardware cloth boxes to cover my seed trays when starting seed. Once the soil doesn’t smell freshly turned, the squirrels will ignore them. However moist watered everyday seedling trays get earthworms, which then attract armadillos which also dig out all the soil looking for the worm. So keep seedlings covered.

  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:


    I also put fresh beer in the containers after rain or watering.

    What fermented wastewater did you serve them?

  55. 55
    Jeffery says:

    Hopefully as your garden matures more wildlife will move in and deal with the pests.

  56. 56
    Catherine D. says:

    AKA, why I have a CSA, aside from hating sun and hot weather.

    Have any other bakers tried sourdough discard for slugs? It’s supposed to attract and trap them. I would donate if it works.

  57. 57
    thalarctosMaritimus says:

    @opiejeanne: OMG

  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    Gauff just won her 3rd round match at Wimbledon. Pretty amazing. She lost the first set, was down 5:2 in the second, and fought back to win.

    If she stays healthy (a huge if for a 15 year old) she could have an amazing career.


  59. 59
    HRA says:


    Whatever brand was in the refrigerator and most usually was Old Vienna.

  60. 60
    Raven says:

    This is great! I know how much everyone here hates the New York Times! This guy is their senior vice president and deputy general counsel and he wrote a blurb about “The Record Service” in Champaign-Urbana back in the day! TRS was a “worker controlled collective” that started in the Illini Union basement and grew into a viable business for more than 20 years. My ex was one of the “workers” and I had a contract to clean the floors (I learned how to use a buffer in the Army and it came in handy). W The store had a 5 cent a record “community tax” and the proceeds went to start other businesses and bail out people who got busted for anti-war and dope stuff.

    The first stop on David McCraw’s stroll down memory lane: the late, great Record Service on Green Street.

    “If you happened to be a kid from a small town, Record Service was everything you were not,” says the Monticello native and 1976 UI journalism grad, now the senior vice president and deputy general counsel at The New York Times Co.

    “To climb to the store’s upstairs space in Collegetown was to enter a veritable den of cool — the kind of cool you had zero shot of attaining. Which was pretty much the reason for going.

    “There was nothing about the place that didn’t say cool — the music that was playing, all those tables filled with records, customers drifting by in bell bottoms and peasant blouses. The place even had a cool smell.

    “Mainly, though, it was the guys who worked there. They met the world with a pitch-perfect indifference, knowing smiles and ironic commentary. Their hair was flat-out intimidating. You would go from table to table, flipping through the albums and reading the liner notes, carried along by some vague hope that whatever you were buying for four dollars and change would earn a half-nod of approval from the guy at the register.

    “It left me with an astonishing collection of unlistenable music: Nicky Hopkins, the Mark-Almond Band, Joe Byrd & the Field Hippies, Uriah Heep. Of course, good was never the point. Cool was. And for a few minutes each week, you got to stand close to it at Record Service.

    “There was nothing better than that when you were 19 and unshakably unhip and still believed that music could change the world and maybe even you.”

  61. 61
    mattH says:

    I need to plant something else in that bed next year, which is ok, because I had planned to anyway.

    If it’s bacterial blight, it’s 3 years to be safe with no solanacae rotated in, so no peppers or eggplant on top.of tomatoes.

    So sorry.

  62. 62
    JaySinWA says:

    @opiejeanne: Crows do that to beans at least, pull up fresh spouts and eat the softened bean leaving the rest of the plant.

  63. 63
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @HRA: Never heard of it, but the interweb tells me it’s a beer in Canadia.

    Drunk Canadian slugs

  64. 64
    la caterina says:

    @Raven: I know that guy! Worked for him as a paralegal when he was a new attorney at a large large firm (that was his third or fourth career, he’d already been a journalist and a college professor). Dave encouraged me to go to law school in my late thirties and he took me to lunch once a semester to cheer me up and convince me not to drop out. His nasty letter to one of Trumpov’s attorneys who had threatened to sue the Times was all over the tubes a couple of years ago. I hate the Times’ political “reporting” as much as the next person, but I still remember Dave fondly. He’a a mensch.

  65. 65
    JaySinWA says:

    @Yutsano: Our raccoon corn fiasco was with them ravaging nearly fully developed ears of corn. I don’t see them going after fresh sprouts.

  66. 66
    Yutsano says:

    @JaySinWA: With raccoons it’s really hard to say. They’ll go for anything they can get their grubby little paws on.

    The fact is, if they evolve opposable thumbs…well…maybe they’ll be nice to us when they take over the planet.

  67. 67
    Van Buren says:

    Everything I planted this year has become expensive rabbit food.

  68. 68
    Raven says:

    @la caterina: That is so cool! Yesterday I was reminiscing
    about the 4th of July, 1970 and I mentioned a guy and another (lawyer) here i BJ knew him!

  69. 69
    Zinsky says:

    Spring has been wet in Minnesota. Too wet. My hasta beds are now rice paddies. We hope the waters in Minnesota wash down through Iowa and wash the pollution from the hog factory farms and human fecal matter like Joni Ernst and Steve King into a large holding pond whereby the foul stench can all can be eliminated!

  70. 70
    mrmoshpotato says:

    OT: Reading through Popehat’s Twitter and saw this thread from a Nashville lawyer detailing wrongs that have been righted in Tennessee.

    I have a feeling I’m not the only one who needs this.

  71. 71
    dsc says:

    we use the nematodes from this place to control fleas (we have SIX dogs and 4 cats)–I cannot recommend them enough–get some of these:

    “Gardeners and homeowners consider them to be one of their most devastating pests. They can cause substantial root damage in their grub phase, and also attract burrowing animals that dig up your lawn or garden bed searching for the grubs to eat. The adult beetles feed on plant foliage resulting in rapid defoliation and crop loss. “

  72. 72
    trollhattan says:

    Suspect any university town worth it’s salt had a hippie-run alternative record store/unofficial hangout. For me the zenith was Rather Ripped Records in Berkeley, but we had our own student run store on my little campus in the Valley. It had a formal name I no longer recall but it was affectionately known as “the loose caboose” on account of being…wait for it…housed in a caboose some enterprising soul hauled onto campus. They’d give you a buck for your unloved records and resell for two bucks. The churn rewarded the persistent shopper and occasionally a gem fell into one’s hands.

    Tower in SF “Columbus at Bay” was a whole other universe–seemingly acres of records. Where do you even begin?

  73. 73
    debbie says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Ha! If it hasn’t changed since I was last there in 1995, then he’s right! That place was the King of 1950s Ugly.

  74. 74
    Raven says:

    @trollhattan: I was in the LA Tower and took some pics and they threw a fit! I got to Berkeley TDA (The Day After) the Chicago Seven verdict and they had the hatches battened down but not much happened.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    I hate those bemasked fuckers, mostly from the existential threat they present to my fish but also the holy havoc they wreck during their occasional attempts. They also present a big challenge to our urban chicken-keeping friends because the birds have to be sheltered in the coop by sundown, no ifs ands or buts.

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    @Another Scott: That was a great match.

  77. 77
    trollhattan says:

    Good times. There’s a reason “trigger-happy policing” still resonates fifty years on. (r.i.p Marvin)

  78. 78
    Raven says:

    @trollhattan: See how far “university towns” have come. We have a fucking axe throwing league that is held in a bar. What could go wrong?

  79. 79
    Mag says:

    For Japanese beetles, I have found the best approach is to have smallish bucket, an old 32oz yoghurt tub does the trick, filled with slightly soapy water and then pick the beetles off by hand, drop them in the water, and drown them. Since they naturally just drop when threatened, I place the soapy water beneath the leaves as I go to catch them as they fall if I miss picking them off. I try to go out several times a day, which is hard to do with a 9-5 job. So, that’s how I spend my lunch.

  80. 80
    dsc says:

    I had a friend who surrounded her chicken run with red, climbing roses–a favorite of japanese beetles. every day she would walk out there and call to her chickens who would come a runnin’. she’d give those roses a shake and the chickens would fight to snatch them up! every year there we less beetles!

  81. 81
    trollhattan says:

    Had JUST learned these joints existed when sure enough, somebody opened one in town last month. Beer and axes. Yup! Uh, Nope!

    Not that we didn’t try in Scouts. Amazing to observe all the weird angles a hatchet can take bouncing off a fir.

  82. 82
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    OT. I have just spent the best part of two hours on the line with NHS 111. (For those who don’t know it is a non emergency number where you can call and get medical advice). MY problem: apparently my new blood pressure medication has lowered my sodium levels to nasty proportions (which I don’t understand seeing as I use so much salt). Anyhow, back story: Dr. called and changed my meds late Friday cause of the sodium levels, called it in to the Pharmacy but it won’t be ready until Monday and I have a blood test on Thursday to see if it is working. I basically called 111 to check that I would be okay and if I should keep taking my current meds and then change my blood test appt to later to give the new medication to kick in. Dr. that called me back was also concerned and started calling round pharmacies to see if he could get the new medication filled “right now” Who knew low sodium was such a problem? Anyway, bottom line, I have just received the most stellar treatment ON THE PHONE AND WITH NO CHARGE. For about two hours, all after calling a simple 111. As I told the Dr. “GOD BLESS THE NHS”

  83. 83
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Glad to hear that. It’d be nice if the richest country in the world would get with the program.

  84. 84
    HRA says:


    Yes and it was imported here in the US. It was the choice of my then husband.

  85. 85
    JaySinWA says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I had a sister in law that became delusional with a severe electrolyte imbalance, while hospitalized and misdiagnosed.

  86. 86
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @HRA: Ah, American slugs getting drunk on Canadian beer.


  87. 87
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I used 111 myself a couple of months back, called them at 23:00 about a problem that wasn’t going away if I ignored it (my usual approach to things medical). The call centre person ran through a checklist before booking me an appointment at 00:30 at a 24-hour urgent-care clinic (not an ER) at a local hospital. They fixed me up fine, no credit cards or in-scope out-scope insurance bullshit and I was asleep in my own bed by 2:30 — they did offer to keep me under observation till the morning but I declined.

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    IIUC almost all our slug varieties are imported from Europe so maybe Heineken or somesuch.

  89. 89
    KSinMA says:

    @Another Scott: Awesome match! I was supposed to be working … surprise; I didn’t get a lot done. :)

  90. 90
    mrmoshpotato says:


    so maybe Heineken or somesuch.

    Oh sure. Give the good stuff to the slugs. (No clue on Old Vienna’s quality.)

  91. 91
    Gardening Guest says:


    Something has been pulling up my corn plants with their tiny hands and then leaving the plants lying on the dirt.

    If you’re finding the corn plants on the ground with the soft kernel of corn missing, it’s crows. They pull up the plants to eat the kernel, which has lots of calories. Buy some scare tape (shiny mylar) and set it out low right over your corn rows, maybe 6″ off the ground. Crows don’t like to put their heads under it. String will work too, put it just a few inches off the ground over the corn.

  92. 92
    Another Scott says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Sodium (and potassium) are critical to nerve function. And if your nerves don’t work right, then your heart and muscles don’t work right…. It’s very, very important that sodium (and potassium) levels don’t get messed up too much and unfortunately too many medications do just that.

    Sodium-Potassium Pump.

    Glad you were able to get fixed up!


  93. 93
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Robert Sneddon: @Another Scott: @Another Scott: @mrmoshpotato: I have to say that I have been mega impressed with the service. I can call 111 any time of the day or night and they will help. I never had such a service in the US without having to give a credit card number first even if such a service existed (which it doesn’t)

  94. 94
    opiejeanne says:

    @namekarB: Don’t need a rooster unless I want chicks. I probably don’t want chicks.

    We had a banty rooster when I was a kid, or rather my grandpa who lived next door had the rooster. It was a hilarious little mug, but then a hobo ate him. We found the campfire and the bones on the back acreage, not far from the railroad tracks that ran across the back of the property.

  95. 95
    opiejeanne says:

    @JaySinWA: We thought it might be crows, but the chewed bits make us wonder if someone else is participating. These corn plants are nearly a foot tall now and still being molested, but I replant them when I find them the next morning and they seem to recover.

  96. 96
    opiejeanne says:

    @Yutsano: They already have opposable thumbs, or damned near.

  97. 97

    John, for the tomato blight you must get a bottle of Immunox. I buy the concentrate, in a black bottle, and mix a tablespoon in a hand sprayer. It is the ONLY thing I have found that will inhibit the attacks on tomato plants. It will help control even after the blight starts. Just spray the entire plant, especially the lower leaves.

  98. 98
    leeleeFL says:

    @Gelfling 545: The only QAnon people I know are musicians. I love then them and their music, but when they start telling me to listen to 4 Chan, My brain immediately enters “lalalalala” mode and my eyes glaze over. Likely a bit too much better living thru chemistry there somewhere, methinks!

  99. 99
    leeleeFL says:

    @Wallis Lane: Made my day!

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