Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Great Snow Event (hah!)

The great snow event here was nothing compared to what much of the rest of the country experienced, but for coastal California at an elevation below 2000 feet, it was a BIG DEAL, and a photo opportunity...

Some highlights from the garden.

Ear of the Devil lettuce


Snow Angel, Coastal California style

Butterhead lettuce

Early Champagne rhubarb


Couve Tronchuda


  1. Lovely snowy photos! It must be very odd to see snow when you don't usually experience it.

  2. Ha ha! The Great Snow Event indeed. I'll raise you three feet. But really we only have about a foot except where it was piled up and it is melting rapidly right now. I think the big driveway pile is now shorter than I am. I even see some grass in protected spots. Still you have some pretty photos. I wish I had all those things growing.

  3. Pretty frosting on the greens, Mother didn't forget your neck of the woods, a great event indeed!

  4. Wow look at those snow look like sprinkle fine sugar on the lettuce.

  5. Very pretty, but I'm sure you're glad it didn't last long!

  6. We didn't get any at the house in San Diego, but we were having a ski weekend at Big Bear and we lost a day of skiing due to the snow. But we made the most of it and bought a sled from the corner market and sledded, skied and boarded down the street!

  7. We even got a little snow here in Altadena! We got a freeze too, or at least what we call a freeze.

    I need your advice--slugs, how do you deal with them? The slugs have now devoured every single Monticello poppy seedling I had going for this year. Luckily, I have lots of seed. But, I really need to learn how to get around these buggers.

  8. Christina, Oh no, I'm horrified at the thought of you losing all your poppy seedlings! I'm fortunate to not have much of a problem with slugs, but you got me curious about what to do in such a situation as yours. I consulted my favorite vegetable gardening book - Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Pierce and she says that a multi-pronged plan of attack is necessary. First a prolonged campaign of hand picking is the most effective control. She recommends going out to the garden after 10 PM when they are out and feeding. In addition to hand picking, set traps using black plastic, wooden boards, or flower pots to create spots where the slugs will hide during the day, make sure the spots are plenty moist to create a favorable environment for the slugs, and then go out and hand pick them during the day. Hand pick every night/day until the population is visibly reduced. She has a cute story about a man who paid his son 5 cents for each slug/snail he caught until it got to be too expensive to pay him and he had to start collecting them himself. Eventually they got the population under control. Squish the slugs you find and bury the dead boogers in the soil or compost pile, their decomposing bodies will add nutrients to it... Or if you have chickens they would find the slugs to be a tasty treat.

    Iron phosphate based baits such as Sluggo can be very helpful if you scatter it around the perimeter of the planting beds and in areas around the rest of the garden where the slugs are hiding and breeding. Don't scatter it around the plants you're trying to protect, you don't want to attract the slugs into the area you're trying to protect.

    Reducing places around the garden where the slugs can breed and hide will help.

    Physical barriers such as floating row cover over the planted area with the edges buried in the soil around the bed will exclude the munchers. I have a collection of 1 gallon plastic water bottles with the bottoms cut off that I use as cloches to protect individual seedlings - remove the caps and cover the tops with a bit of row cover or fine mesh to completely exclude the snails or slugs, although I don't find that necessary since the earwigs, sowbugs, and rats that I'm excluding don't tend to crawl up the sides of the cloches. If you have raised beds with a wooden perimeter you can attach copper strips around the edges, slugs and snails don't like to come in contact with copper since it gives them something akin to a shock. If you use copper strips you have to make sure that there is nothing creating a bridge from the exterior of the bed to the area being protected.

    Another good source of information about controlling slugs is the UC IPM Online page about snails and slugs:

    Good luck!

  9. Nice photos! I wish that is all the snow I knew of :-)


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