Wednesday, June 23, 2010


THE PILLBUG MANUAL


Inevitably, there are times in life when one has to acknowledge inaccuracies in one's mental archives. Such a time has come again for me (ninth time this week!). But often such errors are understandable, and fortunately seldom have Titanic-type results. This one involves a mere garden matter, specifically the affairs of a single potted plant, as posted about yesterday, regarding which my conclusions weren't exactly Sherlockian; I was too ready to jump to conclusions, a big problem in those less than 100 years of age. 

On my own behalf, let me simply state that when one sees the fragments of impatiens leaves scattered here and there amid frenetic ants, it is natural enough to right away think: its them! The ants did it! Ants always look guilty anyhow, scurrying everywhere like that, all the while looking around like they're about to be caught redhanded; one can be forgiven for thinking them guilty or capable of just about any heinous garden act-- look at the way they Svengali those aphids on my peppers, for example. Guilty.

Well the laurel worked with the ants, but it turns out that the ants were not the culprits!

I had noticed incidentally among the myriad scurrying ants the many pillbugs who were partying big time in their own subdued way-- pillbugs love moist places too, and as everyone knows, pillbugs consume decayed organic matter. Turns out however that, unlike everyone, I didn't read the small print in the Pillbug Manual: pillbugs eat decayed organic matter and tender young shoots, such as my new impatiens plant, the lowlifes.

So my apologies to any of you ants who may have read my previous post; but just let me say for the record that I know you're guilty of something, so take a good long look at your lifestyle and try to turn your self around. You can start by getting those aphids off my peppers.

Now if I can find a cure for those little pills...

4 comments:

Chrissy said...

Have u tried putting eggshells in a container of water and watering your peppers w/that? the smell alone will keep even u away (from the container that is)... I've watered my plants for a long time w/that concoction and they doubled in size and no bugs. Just keep adding water and shells to the container.

R. Brady said...

Thanks, Chrissy; I'll definitely have to try that...

sally carlile said...

I read you blog often (received a link from Marianne at bushafullofgrace.typepad) and I think you such a wonderful writer and this post in particular shows your deft use of words, images and humor. your writing is inspired and inspiring...

R. Brady said...

Thank you, Sally, for your kind inspiration.