Birds, bugs and slugs

23 May

At the allotment things keep changing, growing, rotting, thriving or going bad. It’s impossible – for me at least – to predict what might still be there each time I visit.

I thought when you planted something it either grew or it didn’t and if it grew that was it you would have some food at some distant later stage. But nature isn’t as simple or as nurturing as we might like to think. Weeds are not my only foes, there is the wind. Man it gets biting up there. It has blown away every single flower from our apple tree, which means no apples this year. I was warned, my more knowledgeable plot neighbours said cover it in net curtains but on an ever expanding list of things to do and buy it got overlooked and now we’ll have no apples till next year.

I have also been told that apparently birds like to eat brassicas and that slugs will strip a potato plant overnight, so I decided I needed to take action. My previously healthy looking seedlings were starting to look very tired and pot bound. I expected to plant them ages ago but with frosts still ever present I have postponed. Then today I realised they are dying anyway, all that work, that nurturing and then they go and die on you. So I planted them thinking better to take a chance than watch them shrivel and die. As I planted them out at last in raised bed 2 my face was hit by hail stones, the second hail deluge of the morning so it doesn’t bode well for them.

slug proofed pots

Slug proofed potatoes

Once I planted my home grown Brussels and lettuce plants I decided to barricade them and any other plants against slugs using some sprinkly stuff I bought from the pound shop. The box did not last long so I had plenty of time to reinforce my scarecrows by adding another bamboo stick with an upside down bottle on it. No idea why but every one of my neighbours seem to use such contraptions so I thought I would give it a go too.

raised bed with brussels

Raised bed planted and possibly slug & bird proof

Now if my plants are stripped to the root by slugs or pecked into oblivion by birds I can say I tried, half heartedly at least, to protect them.

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2 Responses to “Birds, bugs and slugs”

  1. Gill Ridgewell May 24, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    Oh dear – a rather sad post! I remember thinking as a child that gardening seemed to be a constant battle against something or another. When I was helping my Mum go through her books when she moved into her flat I was amused to find I had bought a book for my Dad called ‘Garden pests and diseases’ – with ‘love from Gill’ written inside. It went to Oxfam – a pity, I could have passed it to you. Gail had a similar tale of woe when I went to see her this week. Slugs had eaten every single one of her tomato plants in her garden! Good luck with the slug repellent! XX

    • wifi allotment May 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Well so far the only casualty is the apple tree blossom! The previously sickly looking seedlings are doing ok in the raised beds – so far! And the slug proofing seems to work (again – so far!)

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