Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Digging it up

I did a fair amount of work on Saturday on the allotment. Which was good timing, as it poured rain most of Sunday and Monday. Not really weather condusive to being outdoors, at least not when it will also involve a lot of mud.

The first crop I had sprout from the earth was rocket/arugula. I was very excited about it, but I was less excited to find slugs or birds had eaten nearly all of it. Plus with the new weeds growing up right beside it, it was tough to see what I had left. In the end I decided to call it quits and start again. So now with newspaper down for mulch, fresh weed-free compost and slug pellets strewn about, I might have some rocket again in a few weeks. The only thing that I planted that was surviving still was radishes. I'll have to head down later today and see if the newspaper stayed in place or if my fresh compost all got washed away. I can accept the fact that gardening isn't as simple as sticking in a few seeds and sitting back to reap the rewards a few months later, but too many set-backs will be discouraging. At least I can enjoy the company of the other allotmenteers. Everyone I've met has been really friendly, with a couple offers of letting me use their equipment if I need it. V's wheelbarrow has definitely come in handy several times.

I shall of course post here when I finally get something out of it that is edible.

P.S. I'd also like to thank my sister-in-law and hubbie for sending me some gardening books for Christmas. They have proved invaluable, so thanks again R and T for them!


Anonymous said...

am sorry to hear about your slug problem. If you don't like to you pellets, I have a little book, "50 ways to kill a slug." It includes many non chemical methods of control, and I have used several with sucess. Here is a selection:

Let plants fight back, slugs hate mint, chives, garlic, geraniums, foxglove and fennel. Plant them as a barrier around the edge of your garden.

Baits, good for us not so good for them. Oat bran is a favourite with slugs, scatter it around for them to eat and it expands in them and they die. Put out a shallow bowl of beer and place where they hang out, they love to slurp the beer and then drown. You can then put it in your compost heap.

Other barriers; textures that bother slugs enough to turn them. Crushed eggshells (good additive for your soil, too), hair (even pet hair), sawdust, copper and salt.

The book also is quite humorous. It includes another weapon...

Catapult. See how far your captives will go when catapulted off the edge of a cliff Meanspirited individuals may want to aim them at next-door's hosta.


ZeeBride said...

Thanks for the tips Susan. You are right that I don't like using slug pellets. The ones I have are organically approved, but I agree, it's not the best solution.

I think hunting them after dark would probably be my best option. Trouble is, it's light until around 10pm nowadays and I don't really feel like heading down there at that time of night!

Anonymous said...

glad the books are helping! At least you have been getting rain... our new garden didn't get any for about 8 months after we planted it. Only water the plants were getting was that which we were diverting from the bathtub since we have heavy water restrictions...but for the last 3 weeks or so we have been getting some rain!