Monday, August 27, 2007

Growing Strawberries

Growing strawberries in your back garden is great.

Not only do you get a nice green-leaved ground cover plant with occasional white flowers throughout the summer, it also keeps all the snails in your garden in one handy place, protected from birds by netting.

The little "house-on-my" back bast-rds have eaten every single strawberry to grow this year. For something that is by definition "slow" they seem to be bloody quick at spotting when strawberries are about 2-3 hours before the point of being just ripe enough that you might think about picking them.

Given the absolute dearth of snails in the rest of our - admittedly not that big - garden, these snails must also communicate well across vast distances to . Perhaps they have mobile phones - well, if my eight year old niece seems to need one, maybe snails now have them too?

Watching "Life on Earth" I seemed to remember David Attenborough telling me that snails communicated by passing pheremone based information to each other in their saliva - a sort of phlegm-based GPS system. Imagine if humans could also transfer information the same way. Take a long car journey and you'd end up soaked -

"turn left at next junction, HHHaaaakkkkk!"

"merge right onto B3316 in 100 yards, GGGGuurrghaH!"

You would be able to buy GPS systems with the phlegm of your favourite football star - imagine Frank Lampard hacking up a greenie in your face every time "you have now reached your destination..". People would rely a lot more on maps ....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Put a plank down near the target area with enough space under it so snails can shelter under it then simply remove snails on a regular basis.

Next step is to stuff them with butter, garlic and parsley and bake in the oven for 20 minutes before eating them. Nothing like natural predators to keep pest populations down.