Sunday, 3 June 2007

Slugs and strawberries

The rains stopped, the grass didn't! May need to rethink the cutting back weeds plan. The battery powered strimmer is as effective as swearing at slugs! May just buy a second battery pack so I can strim for longer, or for shorter if you see what I mean!
The wonderful pumpkin that I bought from the plant sale, planted out through black plastic into a rich,compost filled trench, has been pole axed by the slimy terrorists! Big plant but only one main stem so it was victim to a swift hack through by a midnight muncher. The heat caused by the sun's somewhat weak rays on the black surface meant that by the time I found the decapitated plant top it had literally fried. It was completely separated from the root system but nonetheless I was surprised to see how fast the sun had cooked the top.
I have started picking the first of my strawberries and ,yes, they are delicious! They are very elongated fruits too so all the better. I can't give you a name for the variety because, as is the tradition in allotment and domestic gardening, I was given the plants as offsets from a family member's own old plants.
The lattice I had saved for so long to use as a support for the black butte blackberry promptly snapped and fell over!
The bramble survived intact so i just need to move another old 3' bed frame base to replace it. I will then have a matching pair on the plot, the one for the tayberry is still standing firm. The Tayberry cane is itself taking a while to get motivated though.
I pulled the remaining onions from the early autumn plantings, A few, though a small percentage, have managed to reach full maturity without running to seed/bolting. The rest will need to be used fairly quickly as they won't store for long.
I now have a large wheelbarrow filled with good sized onion bulbs sat in my tiny shed!
The American land cress has germinated like weeds, or even more than weeds. The brassicas have followed suit and I have resorted to an organic/friendly spray to fight the flea beetle. The slugs are being kept at bay with the blue pellets, though as soon as i need more I will seek out the organic ones I know are now available.
Took my trays of french bean seedlings and squash family/cucurbit family plantlets to the plot. They will go straight out soon.
My green gooseberry is heavy with fruit but the black one never took root and has been grubbed out.
The peas are stretching up to the sun and the potatoes will be harvested as needed from now on.
The runners are taking hold and flying up the canes, some flowering well already.
The toms are doing OK but haven't put on a spurt yet, still getting the roots out and comfortable.
That's a point I do labour. If you grow on clay soil, is it better to start your seeds, cuttings etc. in a soil based compost?
If a plant has grown in a peat/coir based compost, is the adaption to a soil, heavy in clay, going to be slower than in a soil based starter?

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