Found a jelly substance in my herb garden - HELP ME PLEASE!!!

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Hello All,
For two days I have found small pieces of clear jelly substance (imagine small roughly diced pieces of agar-agar, although one piece I found yesterday was as big as a fist) lightly burried around the the edges of my seedling pots (basil in particular). I actually saw a neighbour putting them there. I suspect it to be a weed killer of some sort, but I cannot find anything on the 'net along these lines. Any advice on how to research this? Any suggestion on what this substance could be? (I have saved some in the frigde)
Thank you all in advance for your time. Lindie
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lindie snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Lindie) wrote:

Good lord I'm glad my neighbors like me.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Multi-part question. Please answer them separately with lots of white space in between.
1) Where do you live?
2) Why didn't you call the police INSTANTLY when you saw your neighbor placing the substance, and have them accompany you to the neighbor's house?
3) What sort of interactions have you had with your neighbor that might cause them to place something harmful in your garden?
Remember: Edit carefully and answer separately, with lots of white space.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

I wonder if Lindie lives next to Doug? Doug sounds just eccentric enough to do something like that. :)
--
The Hawke

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Have the right number of experiences with crank neighbors over the years, and you become wary. That's appropriate.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

I did, and the neighbour denied it.
So my question still stands to anyone is willing to help. Are there any clear gelatinous herbicides in existence? I cannot find any on the net.
PS Snooze: The jelly is enclosed in a plastic bag and then in a plastic airtitght container.
PPS Sed5555: Thank you.
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Call the cops and ask them to follow up on it. Good cops are often skilled at spotting liars and evil people. And, politely ask the neighbor not to fiddle with your plants unless given permission.
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from lindie snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Lindie) contains these words:

The product people have been discussing in this thread is often sold as dry flakes to add to potting compost; it swells into jelly when it gets wet. So, yes, it's theoretically possible to soak the dry stuff in weedkiller solution and make it swell up. But that wouldn't really make sense in this scenario, because it would be much easier (and less evident) if someone intended to harm your plants, just to pour in liquid.
Is it possible that your neighbour is either mentally ill or has dementia? I've got both kinds; sometimes they behave very oddly (and deny it) but none of it is malicious, just sad.
Janet
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Janet Baraclough.. wrote:

Oh, so you do live next to Doug! :)
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Not yet, but did he did drop that little hint about relocating.
Janet.
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(Lindie) contains these words:

You've apparently not met my former mother-in-law.
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I'm thinking it is the plastic stuff that keeps moisture in the soil.... liken to the crystals in baby diapers.
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You put something that you suspect to be a herbicide into the fridge? Odd. Truly odd.
Why not just ask your neighbor what it was.
Snooze
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plants, but I can't imagine why your neighbor would be adding them to yours. sed5555
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There is a contagious lack of civility in neighborhoods these days. People should know that they shouldn't set foot in your garden without your blessing.
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Kindness, or helpfulness because he too enjoys her potted plants?

How dismal, Doug.
On the other side of the coin, I've occasionally come home to find people wandering or sitting in my gardens, just enjoying them. Neighbours sometimes bring their visitors for a look-see.In summer, I don't fill the birds' peanut feeders; but every so often, they are mysteriously filled up with fresh nuts.. and new plants are anonymously left on the porch. I don't know who does those kind things and rather like it that way.
Janet. (Isle of Arran, Scotland).
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I think you based your remark on the previous theory that someone may have deposited a watering aid. In fact, we haven't seen proof of that yet. But, even if the stuff turns out be an attempt at helpfulness, I still don't think it's appropriate for anyone to fiddle with your plants unless you've had a chance to size up the person first. After all, how often do people return from holiday only to find their houseplants looking pathetic (or worse), and wonder about the friend who agreed to keep them watered?

Perhaps your garden has pathways. My situation consists of a big front lawn with a deep border against the house, and people are welcome to come close and enjoy it. But not step in the beds or deposit anything, unless someone crazy feels like hanging money from the branches. :-)
Then, there's my new vegetable garden, which I will set up like my previous one: There will be 18" square stepping stones, just wide enough for me to kneel on. It would make me very uncomfortable to find an unknown individual in that garden.

I had a few neighbors like that, Janet, and I enjoyed it. But, they all sought some kind of affirmation that it was OK to get intimate with my garden, before they set foot RIGHT in it. Actually, the children were rather charming in this regard, but that's because they're so much smarter than adults. I ended up transferring ownership of two rows to them because they wanted beets, and more carrots than I was already growing.
But, you have to understand something about the Untidy States of America. A rather significant portion of our population is exquisitely ignorant and holds the belief that god has a special place in his heart for chemical companies. Therefore, there is no way those companies would EVER sell something harmful. If you believe otherwise, you're an atheist, a communist, gay, a hippy, and all sorts of other awful things. I lived next door to such a person, and literally stepped in front of her lawn care guy, who was seconds away from hosing down my vegetable garden with a spray that was not intended for use on food crops. I won't go into the discussion that ensued, except to say that the bewildered cops stood there with handcuffs ready until they figured out that the chemical guy was in violation of the law.
So anyway....if *I* saw someone placing strange gelatin-like blocks of something in my garden, there would be trouble. Subtract evil motives and what's left is simple: There's a 50/50 chance that the person doing it is just plain dumb.
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Well spotted, Sherlock.

Neither have we seen any evidence that it was something harmful. Nor have we seen proof that the neighbour put the gel there. He might have chased off the gel-depositing mad axeman, then rushed over to find out what the gdma put in the pot.
But,

I'm ashamed to say IRTA "pants". Anyway, she has. It's her neighbour.
After all, how often do people

Search me, I've never had that happen.

I understand. Obviously, you'd need notice to de-activate the landmines. It would be too bad to have your ripe pumpkins exploded by an Avon lady.

You missed out my favourite American insult, "liberal".
Look, I know you're a godfearing lot, kneeling to pray on the veg garden paving stones that the neighbours won't creep up and shoot you. I'm just a simple atheist.. but isn't god supposed to take care of all that in His Own Country?
Janet.
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When I'm home I don't mind when kids knock on the door to ask to play with the rats or look at the salamanders but it's alarming to come in from gardening to find the neighbor kids already in the house. Or neighbors bring visiting family members to circle my house exploring the gardens whether or not I'm here. It has kind of creeped me out to come home from an errand & find a neighbor launging in the yard, or getting the crap scared out of me coming around a corner only to encounter someone from down the block is standing there. Once I heard strange noises & went outside to find a half-dozen visitors who claimed they knocked first & thought I wasn't home, so invited themselves out back -- when I first saw them I thought the house must be burning down or something or why would so many people be gathering around the place.
I don't complain but it's not a comfortable thing to have happen. It's rare enough to not make a big thing of it, & I'm already always struggling against a misanthropic nature & have to stick to this effort to not discourage the neighbors from liking me. I guess as I've aged I've come to be seen as the neighborhood's harmless old aunty; I miss being able to scare people with a glance, but a gardening outfit with sun-hat doesn't have the same impact as my old leather jacket with chains.
I find it bewildering that people think they can open a gate, circle through gardens to a very quiet fully enclosed obviously private area, & just sit there for a while like it was a public park. Worse, at least one unknown visitor stole blooms. Well, my most common visitor is a bit addled & has mistaken me for her best friend, but that group-visit was astoundingly bizarre to me. It would not be within the realm of possibility for me to trespass uninvited into someone's back yard, let alone pick a bouquet for myself as I was wandering through. People are just nuts, even friendly well-meaning people.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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Once when we lived in New Mexico in the mountains a whole family came up to our house and were looking in the window. Faces pressed against the glass while we were having dinner. My dad went out to see what they wanted and they actually wanted to come inside and look around. They were tourists whose brains must have gone to Alaska for vacation while they went to New Mexico.
The only thing worse was when we came home from work to find about 7 guys on our roof. They claimed we called to get a roofing estimate. Only problem was we hadn't and their company didn't exist when we checked. Very disconcerting.
Shell
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