Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ant Eviction

I have ants in my plants. Normally, I respect ants as an enemy. They are conniving, crafty, abundant, and have a nasty bite. Mounds of them pop up overnight in areas where I didn't even think they would show up. 90% of my yard is St. Charles black clay. The only thing I actually attempt to grow in it is grass. All of the beds that I garden in are raised. They are also filled with good quality loamy garden soil. Perfect for growing just about everything...including ant mounds. I just cannot respect these ants. Why? Because they are lazy. Lazy ants who do not have to work to tunnel. Lazy ants who are only steps from a food source. I do not respect laziness. Normally the yard ants and I have an understanding. I'll let them be if they are in the far reaches of my yard, where we usually don't go. The ones in the play areas are goners. Victims of the nastiest ant killer money can buy. This is not the case in my vegetable gardens. My garden isn't considered classically organic because I have a weakness for Miracle Grow (which I am trying to wean off of), but it is pesticide-free and I intend to keep it that way.

When the ants popped up right where I wanted to plant my tomatoes, I decided that the time to wage war was upon us. I googled for answers. I read and read. I finally decided that the best and handiest weapons for the battle were right in my pantry and compost box. Coffee grounds and sugar. I was pretty skeptical that it would even work, but with needing to get plants in the ground and a tight schedule, I decided to try it, and it was no loss if I just gave the ants a good feeding of sugar. I went out to the garden fully armed and treated each mound that I came across with both. The next morning, I went out and checked. I was disappointed to find the ants still there. I chalked up the loss and went on my business trip. A few days later, I went back out to the garden to plant the tomatoes, ants or not. Much to my suprise, the ants were gone. Same with all the other areas that I treated. Success.

Guess now I get to use the same method on my trash can potatoes, because the same lazy ants have taken up residence in there.

One day, my enemy, I will be victorious!

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