For the last couple of weeks I've been enjoying fresh fruit from my June-bearing strawberry plants. Or at least trying to. Now, the strawberries I pick each morning may not be as large as those in the grocery stores, trucked in from who knows where, but they are much more flavorful and, if one can infer from the research regarding spinach, likely more nutritious as well. Maybe that's why looking over my carefully tended strawberry patch has made me especially despondent lately. I turn over one lipstick-red berry after another, only to discover large slugs tunneling their way through and eating most of what could have been my very best berries yet.
Since I'd always heard that beer works quite well as a slug trap, I gave that a go, but I didn't exactly follow the directions to a tee. I poured some cheap Michelob a little more than halfway into several plastic cups, placed them around the garden with the intent to bury them, but then got sidetracked and forgot all about them. (Incidentally, if you have a slug problem of your own, you should bury your cups of beer, but leave at least an inch above ground to keep other good garden creatures from falling in.) The next day when I checked on them, each of the cups were still upright and just where I'd left them. I wasn't surprised to see that I hadn't caught a single slug, but I was flummoxed -- most of the beer was gone. We hadn't had any rain overnight, so I'm chalking it up to thirsty raccoons. Or the neighborhood teenagers? Hard to say...
Story by Susan Brackney. This article originally appeared in Plenty in June 2008.
Copyright Environ Press 2008