How to Rid yourself of Snails!

We all know the joy of plants can come at a price, whether it be a plant disease, fungus, or pest. We love growing and caring for our vegetables, shrubs and indoor houseplants, but one snail can ruin a plant in a very short span of time. If you’re not sure if you have a snail problem, or how to fix it, you’re in the right place.snAil

With snails, most of the damage happens at night, when they emerge to feed. They prefer clipping tender, young shoots, but may chew irregular holes through leaves and flowers or feed on soft fruits and the bark of young plants. As they move around, snails leave a slimy trail that dries to a silvery film by morning.

Control of snails is a major problem in all habitats. There are many things that can be done to reduce the potential of a problem occurring. Eliminate (as much as you can), items that are sitting on the ground (as they are possible resting places for these slimy pests) such as boards, boxes, stones, debris, weeds, plants in pots that have runners on the ground or any other items that provide shelter. Reducing hiding places decreases snail survival.121.png

A few options are available to kill the snails. You can treat for snails organically with Diatomaceous Earth or you can also rid yourself of snails chemically. Using a dust or solution that contains spinosad + iron phosphate can lure snails from their hiding spots. Bonide Slug & Bug bugandslugKiller contains both of these chemicals AND prevents those disgusting slime trails! Just spread the pellets around your garden, landscape, or in your indoor plants and start to enjoy your greenery again!

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The Word on Tomatoes: Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Interested in growing tomatoes? With the wide variety of tomatoes available it can be overwhelming to choose. Do you want beefsteak, cherry, Roma or an heirloom tomato? Better yet, do you want determinate or indeterminate tomatoes or both?tomatoes

What does determinate or indeterminate mean?

Determinate tomatoes grow to a specified height and then set their flowers and form fruit all at once. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow and produce fruit throughout the growing season.

Characteristics of Determinate tomatoes:

  • Smaller plants, good for containers
  • Fruit ripens early in the season
  • Produces a lot of fruit at once; ideal for mass canning
  • Plants usually die by midsummer
  • Requires little staking or caging due to smaller size of the plant.

Characteristics of Indeterminate tomatoes:

  • Larger plants that continue to grow throughout the season
  • Fruit is continually set so it produces through the season
  • Plants require strong support due to their size
  • In-ground planting is better in vegetable beds

So, which is best for you? If you are planting in limited space you may choose determinate varieties. If you want fruit throughout the season and have the space then plant indeterminate varieties. Ideally, you could choose to plant both so you can enjoy tomatoes all summer.

How do you identify determinate and indeterminate plants? Look on the seed packet or plant tag for the word “determinate” or “DET” or “indeterminate” or “IND”. Not all plant tags will show this information, but a quick internet search of the tomato variety will give you the info you need.

Remember – no matter what tomato varieties you choose to plant – nothing tastes better than a home grown tomato.

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