Friday, September 4, 2009

Pestageddon or the tale of Sid

This is Sid and he is a snail. Ok, to be more accurate he was a snail, a snail with a tale. One morning we bonded over breakfast. While he munched on a stem of broccoli flowers that I had only moments earlier culled from the bush, I sipped a strong Earl Grey. He wasn't very talkative, indeed I think it was more monologue than dialogue wherein I was doing all the work. I am guessing he was either polite, and did not wish to converse with his mouth full, or he knew that bonding would only make the inevitable fate harder to deal with.

In recent months holes have been appearing in my greener vegetables. The broccoli leaves resembled green Swiss cheese, a kind of side dish to Suessian green eggs and ham. I didn't mind the leaves going on those, they were large enough to withstand the assualt. I even looked the other way when the geranium leaves turned lacelike, as although the greenery was holey the flowers reamined untouched (although I did spy the telltale slimey silver trail over one red geranium hea.d But it was when the culprits hit my lettuce, repeatedly, without any thought of my own desire/need for salady goodness that I knew their time was up.

And I guess so did Sid. I let him munch away while I finished my tea, hoping he was in the thrall of eating and didn't notice the looming shadow overhead. Hopefully the dispatching via carrot filled pot was quick and relatively painless. The same method was used for other members of his very extended family. Sorry Sid, next time maybe stick to the less edible greens! At the very least I was impressed that you, or one of your relatives from the distant past traversed the two floors to get to my balcony garden green haven.


Chandramouli S said...

Oh well, you couldn't help it and I'm sure Sid would understand now. Sometimes, we just have to be heartless to do the right thing. May be this is why god didn't let us speak/understand animals/birds language. Think of what would happen if we did!

Anonymous said...

Hi Prue~~ I was wondering how Sid or his mysterious ancestor made the trek to your balcony. I would think you're fairly pest-free up there. It's definitely a deal breaker when they go after the salad! ... I see these guys all the time in my garden. Just the other day I unwittingly stepped on one. The crunch was both morbid and satisfying.

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

I always feel a tinge of guilt when I have to kill a garden pest. Maybe that's why I prefer attracting the pest's natural predators so that they can do the dirty work?

As an aside, it's possible that you brought Sid and his friends onto your balcony in a plant you purchased from a garden center or received as a gift.

prue said...

Chandramouli - hehe too true, I never thought of it that way!

Grace - morbid and satisfying, indeed.

Fern - definitely guilt involved, particularly when they are bigger pests (aphids on the other hand are easily squished.) I do try and attract ladybirds for the smaller bugs, but what eats snails? Good point about plants brought into the garden - though I am going to stick with my mythology about Sid the magical building scaling snail :)

ATW said...

Before I started gardening I never knew how much damage snails can do they look so vulnerable, until all your green leafy veggies are destroyed. Entertaining post nonetheless.

Dot said...

Though I have an inkling of remorse for Sid your post was so well delivered I couldn't but chuckle the whole way through. I am amazed at the number of bugs I have up on my balcony though I think the winged insects are to blame. How did they know to come up to the 6th floor? ;)

Btw I left you a meme award on my blog, hope you don't mind! Dot