Friday, June 20, 2008

My assignment

Today was Take Your Dog to Work Day. Mia's lying on the couch next to me, trying to recover from the heat that descended on us today. I don't know if this counts as work but my dad gave me an assignment earlier: find out how to get rid of earwigs in the fruit trees, and how to get rid of morning glory and crabgrass. Oh, internet research! Can do.

[I just heard a coyote howling! That's exciting.]

So here's what I've learned this eve:
(Please note I'm citing my references--like a real assignment--with links to the original article/source if you want to do some follow-up research of your own).

  • To trap earwigs, you can: use a mixture of 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp dry yeast, 8 ozs water. Mix all the ingredients well, place in a small plastic container (like a cottage cheese container), with holes poked in the lid. Bury the container to ground level. Clean it out as needed.h
  • Or: take a few rolled up newspapers secured with a rubberband, wet it and leave it out overnight near your affected garden beds. In the morning dispose of the newspaper in a plastic bag, (being careful not to spill the ends or unroll the paper). It will be filled with earwigs. They love to hide in dark damp places. Secure the plastic bag so the little creeps don't escape and throw it away.
  • But also: Occasionally, earwigs damage soft parts of plants. However, the main food of earwigs is insects, including plant pests such as aphids. [When I brought up the fact that earwigs might actually, you know, have a purpose, I was told that the Ew Factor outweighs the Nature Factor. Hmmm.]
Morning Glory
  • Morning glory spreads by rhizomes (horizontal underground stems), which are, like the above-ground parts, extremely vigorous and strong. Above-ground stems also have the ability to produce roots and new rhizomes where they touch the ground. Worst of all, new plants can be propagated from exceptionally small rhizome pieces, so digging and especially rototilling can make matters much worse. [This doesn't sound very encouraging.]
  • However, the most effective approach to control is exclusion of light. It will usually take less than a year [oh, only a year, eh?] to completely kill off morning glory if it is prevented (completely!) from seeing the light of day. There are various ways to accomplish this, the most effective being covering the ground with carpet, cardboard, layers of newspaper or turf.
I didn't make it as far as crabgrass because when I was reading about the tenacious Morning Glory one of the remedies suggested was Roundup. My dad should marry Roundup, he loves it so much. Of course, he has assured me, it's perfectly safe to use. Because Monsanto says so.


Um, so yeah, I'm even less a fan of Monsanto than before. If that's at all possible. You've heard of Meat Tube, right? The stickers were super popular in Portland.

[Somehow all of this research didn't make me feel any better about totally dropping the ball and forgetting to write/submit my final paper for a stupid online class @ PCC that was due on the Friday we moved here. Let's just say I had other things taking up that space in my brain. I don't dare check my grades. Although I am curious about my final A&P exam. So much work (and money!) and no payout. I guess I did glean some very useful knowledge, from the A&P series, but it sure as hell wasn't worth $7500 in student loan debt. Edit: I decided to be brave and check my grades. Somehow I pulled a B in A&P---he obviously took mercy on me---and even without my final paper I managed a C in the other class which is better than I expected.]

Oy. Since this has been a text-heavy post, let's look at some pictures.

a macro shot of a peony
love the textures

we put down wood shavings in the dog pen
after we'd hoed, lopped, raked, and shoveled

This weekend, we're:
* putting up the tent [privacy is at a premium when you live with your parents]
* weeding [before Dad can get Roundup-happy]
* still watching Lost [in the middle of Season 3]
* hoping Keith feels better [he was sick in bed all day today so I played nurse]


therapydoc said...

I actually am really afraid of those things.

stephen said...

I'm going to try the rolled up newspaper trick...damn earwigs are eating my veggies.