It’s been a funny old year so far. Slow growth and wet soggy ground has been my story to tell.
How glorious then that we should have a couple of days of wonderful sunshine and I do hope this is the corner we’ve all been waiting to turn…. right foot forward into Summer, quick march!
In previous years we would, by now be enjoying plentiful lettuce, potatoes, courgettes, mint, herbs, strawberries, broad beans, carrots and sweet peas. No so this year it’s been a bit like eating tapas, small portions of deliciousness… one or two at a time.
With the amount of rain we’ve had the onions were at risk and about half have already rotted in the ground. We’ve lost lots of flowers from pumpkins and courgettes as well as early apples. Strawberries have also succumbed to grey mould.
I find it interesting that if you look closely enough, you can tell what kind of a life a plant has had. Look at this courgette planted at the beginning of June. It went from being a really healthy plant, to experiencing some turmoil shown here from the pretty ragged lower leaves to now shooting out some healthy green growth again. I planted it at the beginning of June and then shortly after we experienced 3 weeks of rain! This plant will now always be hindered by the early damage but I’ve optimistically picked 2 courgettes from it already and hopefully they’ll be more.
The butter beans were also re-sown three times and are now slowly winding their way up the supports. Having surrounded the plants with various slug defences I couldn’t understand why the plant damage still persisted. Then I realised the potato foliage was touching the beans and the crafty slugs were creeping their way up and across to bean nirvana! A few canes and twine later and with potatoes held back, the beans are now putting on some growth… I’ve even got some flowers and teeny tiny beans!
Total losses to date have been; cabbages, beans (french and butter), gherkins, cucumbers, cosmos, sunflowers, strawberries, camomile, calabrese, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, broad beans…
…Lupins, aliums, anemone, comfre, raspberries, lilly of the valley, clamatis – all eaten by slugs or rotting due to the wet weather. It makes me want to turn to the chemicals!
But it’s not all bad..
We’ve had losses and our harvests will be less than expected but we will have something and surely the fun is in the taking part not the result!
So what’s the plan?
Keep on top of weeds and remove all dead plant debri, remove all bricks, wood, overgrown grass… literally anything that can provide a comfy slug home.
I’ve topped up our stock or organic slug pellets, applied more generous handfuls of wool, applied egg shells, increased the amount of beer traps, increased the amount of inspections I do and applied a good dose of FINGERS CROSSED!
Let’s hope for the best and I may even have some more peas!