Saturday, April 30, 2005

Aphids and Gophers, Ladybugs and Snakes

Today I discovered a few aphids on my tomato seedlings and picked the pests off by hand. Since these seedlings have been set outside during the day, and for such a short time, this doesn't bode well for their prospects... I have seen a ladybug or two in the area and find myself eagerly awaiting their return. My hope is that I have enough extra seedings to ride out this infestation until the ladybugs arrive. It strikes me as a bit funny that the success of my tomato crop will depend upon these tiny creatures.

Will the ladybugs make it to the garden in time? Stay tuned...

Meanwhile, gophers or moles (I don't know which, probably both) have the run of this land. There isn't much I can do to stop them at this point. I've tried mole-chaser windmills, and a strange device that is hammered into a hole in the ground and periodically emits a buzzing sound. The packaging says the sound will annoy the gophers--it certainly annoys me. The only short-term (non-poison or trap) solution seems to be chickenwire around the plant roots. So, the raised beds are set upon chickenwire. All of the other plants will be in trouble. My longer term solution will be to create snake habitat and find myself a large gopher snake. I will cheer the first time I spot one.