Friday, November 30, 2018

Snails in the rooftop garden!

My facebook recently brought up one of their 'photo reminders' where they remind you of what you posted in the past. Here is a recent one that popped up, when I went snail hunting!

My little rooftop terrace garden is four floors up. I am pretty organic up here, all my vegetable scraps and coffee grounds go into a compost bin.

Considering I'm off the ground and only bring up soil in commercial bags, I'm amazed that I have a plethora of living creatures up here like worms, bugs, snails and slugs. 

Periodically, i.e. when they start eating too much of my produce, I gather them all up and relocate them to a more suitable place at ground level in our public park or in woodland on the way to our allotment. If I don't clear them regularly every year, I end up with a situation like this when I skipped a year:

I'm not sure where they're coming from but I've eliminated a few sources:

1. Ground level: I live in a concrete jungle. They're not climbing up the side of the building.

2. Neighbours: My neighbours don't have plants so they're not hitching a ride on a pot or in soil.

My current thinking is to blame the birds! As I have a roof terrace garden, I still have additional roof space which is above my living space. We regularly get birds up here: crows, sea gulls, magpies and occasionally sparrows.

The bring a mix of gifts to my rooftop. They like to perch on the TV ariel and over time the pots below this area started to grow a variety of plants that were not from me such as rapeseed and general weeds. I have since moved these pots.

In addition to their organic matter the crows LOVE a good takeaway and we have plenty fast food shops nearby that cater to drunk folks on a Saturday night who leave their empty boxes in inappropriate places. The clever crows will bring up the leftovers, in particular, the fried chicken remnants. Every time that we have a good storm I am guaranteed to find chicken bones or various dead bird bits on my rooftop.

I much prefer the friendly magpie. He seems to have stolen a ping pong ball from the local outdoor community tables (looked like an egg?).

Imagine the conversation I had with my neighbor who also has a terrace, we're separate by frosted glass but have 5 inches of clearance so things can blow underneath. 'Excuse me kind neighbour, are you missing a ping pong ball?'

In the meantime I found some slugs in the lettuce that I picked this week. They're back! Time to go hunting again...

If anyone has any other ideas of where they're coming from, feel free to comment.  :)

1 comment:

Sue Garrett said...

I wonder whether the slugs and snail eggs come in on birds feet. It's the worms that have me wondering.