My happy little Shamrock is starting to look like its old self. It finally put out its first couple of sets of flowers this past weekend. It should be covered with blooms in no time.
G-nats:0, Greg and the Shamrock:1
I’ve won the first battle with the evil fungus gnats. Letting the soil dry out and placing the mini bug zapper right next to the shamrock definitely did the trick. He still looks a little pitiful at the moment, not surprising considering what he’s been through.
Sadly, I won’t get to enjoy shamrock blossoms on my birthday, but I’m hoping that a nice dose of fertilizer next week will go a long way towards restoring his vigor.
The water-withholding has put a serious dent in the fungus gnat population and the mini bug zapper arrived yesterday. I set it up next to the shamrock when I got home from work today and it promptly zapped a g-nat with a satisfying “crack!”
Hopefully I can eliminate them pretty quickly, because I’m not sure how much patience I have for the ungodly racket it makes when one of the ever-present (in my kitchen) ladybugs hits the 2200 volt grid o’ death.
Sometime after I posted the pic of my happy little shamrock, I started noticing these tiny little gnats (or G-nats, as I like to say) flitting around on and near the soil. They seemed to be more numerous when the soil was dry, so I decided that more frequent watering was the answer.
The more frequent watering didn’t seem to help, so I turned to Google. Turns out, they’re fungus gnats and they thrive on too-wet soil, where they lay their eggs which then hatch into fungus (and root) eating larvae before emerging as adult G-nats to lay more eggs.
An ill-advised spraying with Safer Insecticidal Soap (they should add shamrocks to the list of plants it shouldn’t be used on) burned the leaves, so I won’t be posting more pics any time real soon.
So now I’m trying to let the soil dry enough between waterings to kill the larvae without killing the plant. The good folks at Woot.com, apparently caught wind of my plight, as the item for sale the other day was a mini indoor bug-zapper. Mine is on the way, but given the mule-train like slowness of their “SmartPost” shipping method, I may have won the G-nat war (or killed the shamrock) before it arrives.
So, the groundhog saw his shadow, which supposedly means six more weeks of winter. Bah!
At least the New York groundhog (Chuck) fulfilled a long-time wish of mine and bit someone (not just anyone, New York’s Mayor Bloomburg!)
Remember when I said that I didn’t much care about the snow and ice that was forecast for us? Well, I lied. We got it, it’s still around, and I hate it. But I am still taking some solace in my cheerful little Shamrock’s reemergence.
I have a potted shamrock that I received as a birthday/Saint Patrick’s Day gift a few years ago. It thrived in my kitchen window, producing blooms almost continuously. Back in September, though, it seemed to be becoming less vigorous and I decided that maybe it needed a rest. Being essentially a bulb (actually a rhizome, I believe), it made sense to me that it might need a dormant period, so early in November I snipped off all of its leaves and flowers, stuck it in a paper bag and tucked it away in the back of the refrigerator.
After I did this, I did a bit of Googling and discovered that apparently I should have withheld water until it died back on its own, then put it away for a nap. I really worried that I might have killed it with my impulsiveness, but I stuck to original plan and hoped for the best. I took it out just after Christmas and started watering it. A few weeks went by and nothing was happening, reinforcing my fear that I’d killed it. Then, last Friday, I thought I detected new growth, but feared it was just wishful thinking. Suddenly, Sunday, three leaves shot up! Hooray! I’m hopeful that this means it will begin producing blooms in time for my birthday, as per my plan.
There may be a winter storm warning in effect through Wednesday and we may get another six inches of snow, but I don’t care (much). It’s Spring in my kitchen!