Two Ingenious HACKS to protect your Seedlings (and Green Leafy Vegetables)

There are 2 ways to grow Garden Vegetables and Flowers. You either start them from seeds or from baby plants, called seedlings. Whichever method you choose, it is such a rewarding and inspiring experience to watch your plants growing and thriving.

However, both seeds and seedlings are still delicate and are in a way, very vulnerable.
Growing from Seeds (Fava Bean)
 A Seedling (Fava Bean)
Today, I want to share you 2 Ingenious HACKS to protect your Seedlings.

1. Protect them from Fungus
One moment, your baby plants and sprouts emerging from the ground are there. Next moment... POOF!!! They disappear. You begin to wonder. You begin to doubt. What exactly ate or nibbled or tore off your seedlings? In most of the cases, it's not a bird, or insect, or nocturnal mammals. It's a fungus. The gardening community calls it "damping off." The easiest way to put it is that the high amount of moisture on the seedlings created an environment for mold to grow.

A common Homesteading trick to combat this is to generously sprinkle cinnamon powder on the seeds or seedlings. This trick has helped me and I hope it helps you too.

2. Protect them from Slugs and Grubs.
For 2 years in a row, whenever I try to grow Bok Choy, I can't get them to grow more than an inch. They almost, always disappear, bit by bit. I suspected birds pecking them off and tried to get bird netting. The result was the same.
This year, I tried something new. I call it "Slug Check. Grub Check." Slugs love moist environments. So if you water your plants and there are water leftovers, they tend to pop out of nowhere. Slugs usually feed during the night. Some gardeners suggest to visit your plants during the evenings and catch the slugs. Unchecked, slugs can easily wipe out your seedlings. Especially the green, leafy parts.
Seedling Leaves eaten by Slugs (Fava Beans)

This year, whenever I water my seedlings, I incorporated a new task: "Slug Check. Grub Check." I would lift the pots and see what's on the ground and what's under the pots. The following is an exercise for you to find what kind of creatures were below my containers and on the ground. EXERCISE 1: Slug Check.  Click on the image and find the slugs. All these are my actual photos since Spring. Hint: Some of them have 2 in one photo.
Slug 1

Slug 2
Slug 3
Slug 4
As I practicing my Slug Check, I soon started to notice other creatures on the bottom of the pots. They looked like caterpillars of some sort. Then I remembered when I first began gardening, I lost about 8 medium pots of Radishes by green caterpillars. They ate all the huge leafy green parts of my  medium sized Radishes. If I was not able to catch these, I would surely have lost all my Fava Bean seedlings and Bok Choy seedlings.
EXERCISE 2: Grub CHECK. Click on the images and see if you can find the grubs. Hint: Some of them have 2 in one photo.
Grub 1

Grub 2
Grub 3
What should I do with the Slugs and Grubs?
That's up to you. Most gardening books, I've read says to kill them. I couldn't get myself to kill them. What I do personally with the slugs, is that I pick them up from the side of a flat stick, or with my fingertips, then I throw them on my compost pile. To me, this serves 2 purposes. I gave them a 2nd chance, instead of killing them. On a more practical reason, I believe that they are like scavengers, so I just get them to help break down all the unbroken matters on the compost pile. I do the same with rollie pollies and the grubs.

If you have any other tricks you want to share, please comment below. Here is a photo of the Fava Bean that made it and didn't get eaten up. She doesn't look too healthy yet, but she made it.
Fava Bean Survivor

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