Monday, September 26, 2011

A Gardening Tip for Hosta Lovers

One of my curly leaf hosta Sep 2011 with no treatment
Last spring I read a newspaper column about problems with Hosta.( I'm sorry I don't remember the author.) Hosta are the plants that thrive in the shade. Since that is all I have, there are plenty of hostas in my garden.  The problem discussed in the paper was: "slugs causing lots of holes in the leaves" of the plants by midsummer. Now this isn't something that is so troublesome that I lie awake nights. But this is continually a gardening issue. The usual solution is to put saucers of beer under the plants and the slugs drown in it. This isn't for me. I'm not going to spend my life putting beer underneath all my hosta.

Well this new tip is a little bit weird too, but it was do-able for me. The author suggested putting crushed egg shells under the plants.  The slugs avoid the shells because they are sharp. This made lots of sense to me, and I'm always looking for non-chemical solutions. I have two different types of hosta that are particularly susceptible to the "hole issue," so I tried this new technique on them.  It works! The plants that become most holey are variegated leaves with large amounts of white area.

Here's a curly leaf hosta near my driveway.  This one got the first eggshells of the season! Sep 2011

So, we are eating eggs. Dr. Oz says this is OK!! Saving the shells isn't really a big deal.
  • For raw eggs; after I crack the egg  and drop it into a bowl, Iswish out the shell and let them dry in a container on the counter.
  • For hard boiled eggs; I save the shells as I peel them.
  • In several days time the shells dry out and become quite brittle. It is easy to crush them with your hand and take them out to the garden.
Ann's eggshell collection for 2012
Now I'm saving shells for next year. I'll just store them in a zip lock bag in the garage! Let's say, you save too many, not a problem.  Just throw the extras in your compost pile (if you have one) behind the garage.  Ground up, they are good for the soil.

Look out slugs, next spring you are in trouble!


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