Things I have accidentally killed, part 1

18 Oct

As an ex-veggie the title of this post gives me no pleasure. Even though I am earning a reputation as a beast terminator amongst my nearest and dearest this title doe not sit well.

The weather is turning against the gardener. There is a sense of the last chance saloon on the plot. Both times I’ve managed to go this week there were more people around than I would usually see on a summer’s day. Everyone seems to be frantically digging knowing soon it will all be frozen solid, unmovable and fingers will be too chilled to work efficiently.

I’d bought a couple more fruit bushes this week and decided I would plant them and then focus on my next raised bed and get my garlic and onions started before the big freeze. I planted my redcurrant bush and raspberry cane after soaking the roots for the recommended hour. I mixed in bonemeal, I watered them in and then fenced them off with pound shop white fencing.

accidentally killed edible border

My edible border with grass path

Next it was time to pick the next pumpkin – a rather stunted greenish thing but the plant, like previous ones, was now undeniably dead so picking it and digging over it’s plot was the next task.

accidentally killed this wks pumpkin

A dinky pumpkin

All of this was being done in my holey wellies, on which an update is required. I went to the welly shop, the only place in my small town I could think might sell wellies, I had walked past the shelves filled with all manner of boots on so many occasions but when I rocked up clutching a tenner at the weekend the lady said they had run out. So I am still gardening wearing plastic bags on my feet under fast degrading plastic until I can think of somewhere else to buy some cheap wellies.

The next task was sort out the slug traps. I had not looked at them for weeks. I had sort of ignored them in a passive aggressive slug killing kind of way. They were overflowing and stank. It was almost gip inducing sloshing out the watery beer and fishing out the dead bodies. The whole thing has actually killed my love of real ale, every time I smell beer I now think: dead slugs rather than: good times ahead.

accidentally killed dead frog

Poor dead frog

I gasped as I pulled out the tiny little dead frog that had died amongst the molluscs.  This blog title then formed in my head as I recalled the other victims of my gardening – the mouse and her nest, the slow worm I accidentally stabbed whilst digging. She turned up a week later, stiff and undeniably not alive. I could no longer pretend that maybe slow worms’ tails grow back. Take it from me – they don’t.

accidentally killed slow worm deceased

Poor dead slow worm

This is how we get our food though, by digging, or getting someone else to dig on our behalf. By defending crops against pests. I read in The Observer that there is a new scary slug on the block – the Spanish slug that may soon be on the rampage. It breeds faster and can munch happily on excrement. A scary prospect is if it mates with native slugs and can then survive frosts, then there would be some hybrid robo-slug munching through my brassicas. I guess a bit of wildlife collateral damage and having to drink wine from now on is a small price to pay if it helps the fight against the Spanish slug. At least that is what I plan to tell myself as the guilt kicks in.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/12/invasion-killer-slugs-you-can-help

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4 Responses to “Things I have accidentally killed, part 1”

  1. Sophie Cussen October 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Great piece, and don’t feel too bad. These ‘accidents’ happen. They were not intentional and that’s all that really matters in the great scheme of things (although I appreciate this very often doesn’t make you feel better, well not me either when I’ve done similar). As for the Spanish slug – blimey! I shall not be looking forward to that! I have enough of a job keeping out the very British ones, at least they have the decency to pack in their rampage come winter!

  2. Gill Ridgewell. October 21, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    Oh the poor frog! But I suppose it should have stuck to insects rather than beer. I too read about the monster Spanish slug – scarey! But slug top trumps sounds a good variation on other top trumps I have played over the years. I got my cheap-ish wellies (replacing my 60s white wellies after 40 years – you can tell I’m no gardener!) from Wyevale btw. I still like to think the mouse escaped and made a new nest. XX

    • wifi allotment October 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Yes I think the mouse was probably disrupted rather than killed. I forgot to mention the poor stunned lizard I found but anyway gardening certainly toughens you up! X

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