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Bugs and Compost

June 5, 2018

When sowing seeds in pots and trays on the garden table germination this Spring has been poor. The bags of multi-purpose compost bought for topping up pots, whilst excellent value, is too coarse for seedlings.  Seeds do so much better in John Innes No 1 seed compost and show signs of germination within days.

 

A neighbour recommended Slug Gone as a great deterrent against slugs and snails. It contains phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium and acts as a mulch, soil improver and slow-release fertiliser.

She lost her first planting of purple sprouting brocolli with all demolished overnight but this second attempt surrounded by the wool shoddy seems to be thriving.

It’s certainly good value for small areas and on the allotment it can be used for rows that are susceptible to slug attacks – brassicas, peas and mange tout plus my sunflowers ‘Velvet Queen’.  Sown from seed and planted on the allotment when 5 cm tall they were eaten within days. I started again and have waited till they reached 15 cm tall before getting them in the ground and they are thriving.

At last I am coming home from the allotment with produce.  The first crop of broad beans planted early Winter was relatively successful with assorted sizes. The row needed to be cleared so I cropped baby as well as mature pods. There are two more rows, planted seven weeks ago, and these are coming along nicely.

And strawberries which have benefitted from regular watering and were fed with a fruit fertiliser in early Spring have given us two bowls with more to follow. Pet shop straw was laid under flowering shoots to keep the fruit off the soil and the bed was covered with netting to protect from birds.

 

Winter Density Lettuce has been fantastic for filling the salad gap with two a week cropped for the last six weeks.

Globe artichokes are doing well and it’s good to see lots of ladybirds on the leaves …

Leek seeds sown eight weeks ago were planted as seedlings just before a heat wave so only a dozen survived. There is still time to sow seeds direct but impatient to make the allotment look good I bought more seedlings (I know, I know).  I planted 40 and it’s a great boost to the spirits to have a full bed of potential Winter produce with the minimum of effort (hoeing needed though).

And here’s the first picking of Ranunculus Persian buttercups …

…and then more three days later to mix with the last of the anemones.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2018 10:09 am

    Good to learn of the success from the wool pellets against slugs and snails (it was mentioned on GW last week). I’m just pulling out broad beans and peas as they don’t do well once it gets hot. I didn’t have such a good crop as last year because the cold weather held them back, but good enough.

  2. June 5, 2018 10:27 am

    Yes legumes are very weather dependent. Last year my purple peas were astonishing because of rain but not sure what to expect this year with the fabulous heat.

  3. sue deakin permalink
    June 5, 2018 8:16 pm

    You seem to be having a lot of success Sue! The produce looks wonderful. x x

  4. June 7, 2018 8:45 pm

    I’ve used wool pellets with great success in the past, although I’ve heard that they don’t work for everyone. I’ve also used Strulch instead of pet straw (both written about on the blog) but this year I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve started using organic slug pellets after losing an entire crop of peas to slugs. I had the same with my sunflowers and, like you, I’m holding back the second round until they’re good and strong!

    • June 8, 2018 8:43 am

      Yes it is so depressing to discover slug damage and it seems they take the lot not just a couple at the end of a row.

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