Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thanks for the Grub(s)

Miss Kitty cook'n up some grub for supper.
Rhiannon, Grandma and I spent an inordinate amount of time sweating & sifting through my new'ish raised bed.  I started this bed in the spring of 2012 as a "Lasagna" type garden and then just threw organic stuff in it as I remembered.  It sat unused for over a year.  Then this summer it was finally ready for planting so I shoved some horseradish roots in there hoping they would take off in the oh-so-wonderful rock-free and nutrient-rich soil.

So exactly what were we sifting?  Maybe harvesting those horseradish roots?

Nope.  We were harvesting grubs.  Big, plump, thicker-than-my-pinky-finger grubs.  I was wondering why my horseradish plants were so pathetic looking so I dug them up to see what was going on under the surface.  And I pulled out like six grubs just pulling the two tiny plants.

I put the pathetic horseradish into a planter with some good soil, watered it and put it aside.  Then went to digging through the rest of the bed.  I found grubs with every single scoop of the shovel.  My plan was to put garlic in that bed this Fall and since I didn't really want to encourage any more Japanese Beetles from reaching maturity, I figured I really needed to purge the entire bed of the root-munching pests.

This is why you saw the kitty picture first, because I didn't want to gross anybody out with a grub picture as the first thing you saw when you went onto Blogger:
Feel free to click on this to enlarge it.
But if you gag, don't blame me.
A writhing, wriggling mass of grubs.  Enough to fill an entire quart jar and all from a 2 1/2 x 5' bed.  I thought Mom was going to hurl when she saw the pile of grubs.  Both Rhiannon & Mom refused to pluck them from the soil with their bare hands, so Rhiannon was carefully scooping them up with a little garden trowel and dumping them in the grub-tub.  Which I'm glad they did because at one point one of the buggers actually grabbed my finger with his jaws, and while it didn't hurt at all, it was freaky feeling and I ended up flinging him halfway across the yard without thinking.  I hope he fried to a crisp in the 95 degree heat.

Although my chickens refuse to even peck at a hornworm, they absolutely love grubs.  Go to town gals!

I did notice a strange thing while digging through the bed; I only saw one earthworm.  All that wonderful dirt and only one stinking worm.  I wonder if the grubs "chased" the worms away.

I'm going to dig through the bed once more before I plant the garlic because I'm sure that I missed some grubs.  And I know the chickens will appreciate my efforts.


  1. That kitten picture is cute - and creepy, all at the same time. So, now you're telling us that the grubs in Arkansas are as big as your finger and bite? Whoa. I'm glad the chickens are happy with their feast - it would be interesting to know if the grub factor was the cause of no earthworms.

  2. Your chickens are smiling and thanking you for the tasty treat!!

  3. Okay, that would have ended my gardening career right then and there. Eeeeuuuuw! The grubs I find are NOWHERE near that big and they freak me out. Ya have to wonder what the heck got into that bed to create such a huge population.

    I'm with Rhiannon and your mom. I would not pick up one of those nasty (not-so )little critters with my bare hand for anything! Eeeeuuuuw! (One more time: Eeeeuuuuw!)

  4. There is a line in one of our favorite old westerns where the Indians come riding up and tell the farm wife, "You give us grub." EVERY TIME I find grubs in the garden I think of that line and then say it to the chickens as I'm giving them their grub(s)! ;)
    I have never had one latch onto my finger, thank gawd, that would be too much! Eeeeuuuuw!

  5. The Japanese beetles weren't nearly so bad here this year. Hallelujah!

    I am with Rhiannon and Grams on using my bare hands....they make really good, cheap gardening gloves........I use them daily.