while trying to swat a fungus gnat this morning i accidently ripped a piece off of a nasturtium leaf. that just made me angrier and i vowed to wage a fungus gnat genocide in the near future. i took the time to examine the wound: water was dripping out from the veins. plants grown indoors are naturally more tender than outdoor plants because they're not hardened by the elements.

lunch: kielbasa sausages and french toast. when you discover something you like to eat, is it a crime to have it everyday? combined with a smoothie, it's such a filling meal that by dinner time i'm usually still not hungry.

my father came over in the early afternoon to take me to the brighton mahoney's then to chinatown to pick up some chinese groceries. he brought along a device he bought a while back but never used called the "nosquito" - the indoor flying insect trap. when it's turned off it looks like a coffee maker; turned on it resembles a lamp. a 4 watt UV fluorescent lamp attracts the bugs and a fan below sucks them into a cage, where the constant air circulation dehydrates them death. the trap can then be removed and emptied. naturally i ran the kill-a-watt meter on the nosquito - about 22 watts of power (mostly because of the fan). another thing: i have to run it at nights, otherwise my regular fluorescents are too bright and will overshadow the UV lamp. i'm not sure how well the nosquito will work: amazon.com sells the same thing and user comments have either been "this is a piece of junk" to suspiciously overglowing reviews. i guess i'll find out for myself. if nothing else, it's a good source of much-needed air circulation (i don't know how long i can run my little battery powered usb fan, and my other fan won't fit inside the tight confines of my grow shelves).

the brighton mahoney's had lots of plants (especially fragrant primroses) and pots, but very little in terms of other supplies. it's probably still too early for anyone to really start growing indoors yet for transplanting. the store was so empty at first we thought it was closed. mahoney's is a nice place to visit but not a great place to buy because normally you pay retail or higher. but it's the biggest gardening store franchise in the area, and if home depot doesn't have it, mahoney's probably will. i was looking for some BT organic pesticide, but they didn't have the one that i wanted (to control gnats). i wanted to get some peat moss but they didn't have any of that either. finally i ended up getting some sticky traps ($5); when the cashier rang me up he charged me an extra dollar for some reason (i was already in the car by then, i just let it go). we then went to chinatown via storrow drive. the super market was bustling, with a lot of people doing their chinese new year shopping. i watched as a mob of chinese attacked a new shipment of boxed oranges. i just ended up getting some snacks for myself.

i set up the sticky traps when i got back home. it's pretty much a glorified piece of yellow sticky tape about the size of a matchbook mounted on a plastic pick. apparently the color yellow is irresistible to bugs (note to self: don't wear yellow in the forest). as soon as i planted the first trap, a fungus gnat landed right on it. awesome, it works! i eagerly set up my 4 remaining traps (i gave 3 to my father), one at each end of the 2 shelves and a fifth in the center. later in the evening i rechecked the traps before going to bed. for some reason they all seemed to congregate on one particular trap, the one on the far left top shelf. that trap alone caught 8 fungus gnats, while another one caught 2 and a third caught just one. the 2 remaining didn't catch any.

around 6:30pm i left the house and walked down to union square. somebody had advertised a free box fan on craig's list and i answered the ad. the woman left the fan in her foyer and all i had to do was just go pick it up. although i knew the model and even saw photos online, it was smaller than i expected. i wanted a larger box fan so i could build a DIY food dehydrator i saw on television. i grabbed it anyway, figuring if nothing else maybe i could use it for my plants.

i wasn't going to water my plants so the gnats wouldn't have any moist soil to lay their eggs, but some of my nasturtiums looked particularly dry (to the point where the roots weren't grabbing onto the soil anymore) so i ended up watering a bunch. before i was just spraying with the bottle but that's like a sip of water at best. tonight i went with the root submersion method to really give each plant a good drink of water.

once the automatic timer shut off my two banks of fluorescent lights at midnight, i went into the closet and turned on the nosquito for the night. i'm worried that the UV light might be too bright, but at 4 watts, i imagine it to be like moonlight, so hopefully it won't confuse the hell out of my plants. will i even catch anything, especially now that i have the sticky traps? and are fungus gnats even active at nights? i guess i'll find out tomorrow.