Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A hot box and miracle ducks

Ben serving dessert for the children, waiting oh so patiently.
We celebrated my sister Mel's birthday on the weekend at the lovely home she shares with her husband, Ben, and their three children.

I couldn't resist taking a look around their garden, which they've just finished planting. Mel showed me the big seed raising hot box Ben has built, and said I could take their old smaller one if I wanted.
Seed raising hot box.
This was perfect timing, as I recently bought a whole lot of seeds from King Seeds and had been trying to figure out where and how to raise them at home. The box itself is a bit old and the hinges have rusted out, but it still works so I'm stoked. I need somewhere to raise seedlings before I plant them out, to give them a chance to get established before the slugs and snails attack. Lots of things I've planted direct to the garden have been decimated.

Today I washed all the pots I've been collecting over the past few months, in hot soapy water. That should kill any fungus or disease that might have been on the old soil.
Clean seed raising pots. 

Then I spent a good couple of hours filling the pots with seed raising mix, making little labels by writing with vivid on cut-up yoghurt containers, and then planting my seeds.
Seeds planted in the hot box.
I've got a mix of flowers, herbs and vegetables in here. Baby J was my helper today - he told me he was going to be the Mummy, so he planted peas into the holes I poked in the seed mix.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing little shoots come up in the next week or so. Hopefully this will help me beat those slugs.

We've had another weapon show up in our slug battle too. A couple of ducks have randomly started visiting us. The neighbour across the road has a big collection of ducks that live on his lawn, and I've been wishing some of them would find their way over the high fence to our house. Well, last week a cute little couple did just that.
Mrs and Mr Duck.
L filled up our paddling pool for them, in case they wanted somewhere to swim or drink. I've seen them drink from it a couple of times, so that was a good idea.
L making a little duck pond. 
Every day I keep hoping they will come back. One day just the female came back and had a sleep.
Cute sleeping duck.
The next day they both came back again. Today I haven't seen either of them. I really want them to keep coming back because ducks are excellent slug hunters with their long beaks. And they don't mess up the lawn and garden with scratching like chickens do, since they have webbed feet instead of claws.
Mrs Duck grubbing for slugs while Mr Duck keeps watch.
How can I encourage the ducks to keep coming back, without feeding them. If I feed them, they just hang out on the deck waiting for more. I don't want them making a mess of the deck, but I do want them searching for slugs on our lawn. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. Could you leave food in the places you want them to be? Have you spoken with your neighbour? They may have an idea or two? Excited for your hot box!!Di


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