I have been going sort of plant crazy for the past several months. Not that that is anything new, but with joining the Orange County Cactus and Succulent Society I’ve had more opportunities to buy plants.

Often when I buy plants I put them in the atrium to await their permanent homes. I do this mostly because I’m lazy. The atrium has drip irrigation spray sprinklers so everything in there gets watered regularly. If I put them out on the patio, I sometimes forget to water and lose the plants.

Well, it turns out that there were hitchhikers in at least one of the plants I bought recently and right now I have an infestation of snails and slugs. For years the atrium had no snails and slugs. It’s closed off from the rest of the outdoors and I spent a lot of time and a lot of beer getting rid of them. That is so not the case any more. I can’t believe how many snails I have after a couple of months. All of the ground cover in the atrium is gone and I thought it had died due to heat, but I think it just got eaten. They’ve been eating my Malabar spinach; there is not a leaf untouched. I’m thinking of cutting it back again to start fresh. Especially since the stuff grows so quickly.

So it’s time to get out as many beer traps as I can manage. I’ve thought several times that I’d gotten most of them, but they keep showing up. I tried using my husband’s beer for the traps, since we have rather a lot of it, but he brews mostly IPA’s that have such a high hop content that the mollusks find it unpalatable. I have to say, I’m with the snails on that one.

In good news on the atrium front, my mushroom log has finally sprouted a shroom. I was beginning to think it would never happen. Maybe the rain we had recently had a good effect. In any case, I’m going to cut it off this evening, before the snails get it.

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