Two nights ago, we had the first hard rain in about six weeks. During that time, hundreds of mauraders raided my garden, causing dozens of casualties. The Endive, being the first rank in my phalanx of greens, took the hardest hit, but being tough, all survived -- barely. The Coleus would not be so lucky, and the tomatoes.... well, we can only hope. The enemy:
Slugs. Hundreds of slugs, some half a foot long. And snails. Snails the size of golfballs. Last night, I launched a counter attack, and with crankable flashlight in hand, descended upon my quarry like a wolf amongst lambs (slimy, very slow lambs.) I captured over a hundred of the beasts in three forays throughout the night. (blog reader: "Chris, I thought you were really busy. Did you really have time for that?" Me: "Shhh!") I contained them in jars and relocated them to places with barriers from which they cannot return, such as the other side of the row houses. I also encountered unexpected help from some allies.
I found three common frogs were patrolling the garden: one keeping watch over the strawberry patch, and two more executing what appeared to be a pincher attack between the compost bin and the brick wall.
I'll keep patrolling when it rains, and move the little slimy beasts to slug-reservations, and although the threat will always be present, hopefully my greens will be able to prosper through the calmer nights.