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Sneaky Snails Slaughtered My Seedlings!

The sad remains.

I even caught the little bastards in the act. Yes, they were fed to the chickens.

Let me start by saying that, despite a few past attempts, I’ve never successfully grown my own transplants so I went into this whole thing with pretty low expectations of success. Now that said, damn this loss stings! Particularly because it was going so well up until now.

I started cucumbers and three kinds of tomatoes — Texas Wild Cherry, Punta Banda, and Cherokee Purple. In an effort to mimic a cold frame setup, I kept the flat in a plastic bin with a clear front window that I moved out into the sun during the day and back into the house at night as I went too and from the chicken coop. I was even remembering to water them, sometimes twice a day!

I just read How to Grow More Vegetables, so once the seedlings were big enough, I followed John Jeavons ‘pricking out’ method. I really was trying so hard to take good care of them!

Cucumber close-up.

Seedlings about to be ‘pricked out’.

For two weeks, I kept them up on the deck. Then, after watching them for a few days, it seemed like they weren’t growing very well. I thought maybe a little more light and heat might help so I put them on the ground in the greenhouse. Bad call. The next day the little plants I was so proud of were just sad, chewed off stems. And now even the stems are gone. To say this makes me a sad panda is putting it lightly.

In order to harvest before the heat becomes an issue, these plants would have gone in the ground around March 15th (two weeks from now) so it’s too late in the season to start again with these vegetables.

My only consolation at this point is that I made some progress this year. I can get seeds started now and I couldn’t before, so I’ll just have to be satisfied with that and this painful snail lesson for now.