Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beans, Weeds and Snail Zappers

Lazy Housewife Bean
What's the story with beans eh? I planted loads of them and they were all munched by snails and slugs. So I planted more and waited what seemed like a long time. Nothing happened. So I planted some more (remember those pots). And within two days they were up. But so finally were all those other beans I'd planted weeks ago. And now I have quite a lot of butter beans growing and some lazy housewives. None of the monkeys are terribly keen on beans so in anticipation of a bean-glut I decided to get my ears accustomed to the whining and buy some at the market yesterday... the masochist in me coming out.
Butter Beans
I think there are an unusually large number of snails about at the moment. We've had a lot of rain. I don't usually go wandering about my garden after dark but since puppy's come along I've been making hourly visits. And my footsteps are constantly accompanied by crunch noises and I'm not even trying for a snail squash. 

Every sunflower seed I planted has been eaten. My cucumber and zucchini seedlings... munched. Six basil seedlings... gone overnight. The only surviving ones are those I protected with my snail zappers. I was a bit skeptical about these because once I found a snail on the inside. But given my basil experiment they must work. I bought the copper strips from Diggers. Apparently they give a little electric zap to snails. I must make more.
Basil with protective snail zapper
In my spring planting frenzy I also sprinkled some lettuce seeds (mesclun mix) about in my new patch. And I have had something pop up. Trouble is, I'm not too sure if what's popping up are lettuce leaves or weeds. I suppose a bit of weed in a salad won't harm anyone.
Lettuce or Weeds?
My passionfruit vine is looking dreadful again. Last year Mr. P came along and sorted things out for me by chopping and building a bamboo trellis and tsk-tsking at my neglect and incompetence. And his efforts did seem to pay off - I saw one flower.

But now it's back to this.
Sick Passionfruit Vine
It seems I am not destined to grow passionfruit. These three vines have been here for two years now wasting space and I am seriously considering yanking them out. But a little voice inside stops me every time. Maybe some miracle will happen and they'll revive. What do you reckon?
Wokee running to me
And finally, we've named our pup Wokee (as in ewok). Eldest Monkey Boy is a massive Star Wars fan. The number of people who suggested the name (including 500m2) when we were already contemplating it was surprising. I suspect that little squashy face makes it an obvious choice for a shih tzu. Anyway, she's bouncing about and entertaining us with her antics and doing all the things I suspected she would. Except that she is smart. I didn't really expect that! And on the third day I was busy congratulating myself on just how smart she is and what a brilliant dog trainer / owner I was when she left me a present. A stinky little poo in the middle of the living room floor. And since then, despite my dropping her on the outside toilet spot every hour and in a high pitched, manic voice encouraging her to "do your business", she much prefers to do her business in a spot of her choice. Hmm. Cute, smart and independent. A formidable combination.


  1. I always put down snail bait,but with the little squashy face of cause you can't, so I suppose it's outside at midnight in your wellies,scrunching like my friend does,yuk.

    I've had hit and miss with some dwarf organic beans, like you the last ones planted came up first,but most didn't come up at all. The climbing snake beans are going bananas though,I think there will be a giant at the top. chuckle.
    Don't know what's wrong with your passionfruit,I think they only last about 5 years anyway.
    x happy gardening J

  2. Yes Jeanetteann it was secretly satisfying hearing the scrunch of snails underfoot! Maybe I'll give up on the passionfruit.

  3. AWESOME!!! She is seriously the cutest thing ever, and I love, love love the name :)

    And I seriously need to get some of those snail zappers. My basil is a joke.

  4. Oh that photo is just priceless! What a little cutie. I think the passionfruit needs to go... but I can say that pretty easily as I dislike passionfruit anyway.

  5. Um er um coughs nervously - I think your passionfruit looks pretty much, mostly ummm welllll should have more green on it than that at this time of the year - however you may want to wait to see what someone who has had actual success with growing one thinks......

  6. 500m2 do get some snail zappers, it's the only thing that's saved mine. By the way I keep trying to poet comments on your blog but wordpress or my iPad won't let me.
    Ali, I'm not so keen on it myself but the kids are.
    Liz I know it looks bad but there is a teeny bit of leaf on it! Sigh.

  7. Kill, kill, kill ...the passionfruit, not the ball of fluff!

  8. VG, they say that dogs are like their owners, so I'm assuming you are also formidably cute, smart and independent... :)

  9. That picture of Wokee is awesome! Great catch. I had not heard of a snail zapper before. I'll have to check them out.


  10. Ok Hazel I'll kill it.
    I'll take that as a compliment Mark.
    Thanks My Urban Garden. I made the snail zapper name up. You buy the copper strips, chop up an old drink bottle and stick the strips around the top.

  11. Not sure if they would do the same in Melbourne as here, but we cut our passionfruit vines back to almost nothing every year (after they've finished fruiting which is autumn). If you don't, the old branches just die off anyway. Maybe worth a go, but it may not be worth saving.


    My passionfruit never does great things either...and I'm pulling it out this weekend! The kiwifruit though has gone mad - so maybe try kiwi instead?

  13. I've always so wanted a kiwifruit. But I've read they are a very vigorous vine and would need a lot of space. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it would work on the shed! Thanks Mrs Bok - that's excited me.

  14. I killed a passionfruit too, they can be a bit finicky. Raspberries would go well there too - they're indestructible. Love the name wokky, too cute.


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