Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Never Ending Battle With Slugs

If you read my posting from last year you'll know I had major problems with slugs.

I try to be organic, but sometimes I resort to slug pellets, although I'm not keen on them as they potentially kill birds that eat the poisoned slugs.

So this year I'm trying a new ploy, I've bought some slug traps.

Small cup with beer in the bottom
They are a small plastic cup with a top on them, that has a gap of about an 1/2 inch to let the slugs in. You fill it with beer and this attracts the beasts, they then fall in and drown.
Put the top on and see what happens. 

Be interesting to see how well they work, and how much beer they need.

It's time to get those brassicas in

In case you are wondering, brassicas are the cabbage family and they need to be planted around now. The brassica family include cabbages, cauliflowers, sprouts, kale and broccoli. 

I've grown the ones I want from seed in the greenhouse, and they're about the 4 leaf stage now and ready to go out. They're pretty hardy so no need to worry too much about the frost.

This year I'm growing:-

Cauliflower Romanesco 200 seeds
Romanesco Cauliflower
  1. Cabbage - Mini cole - A Small cabbage should be ready in the autumn
  2. Cabbage - Tundra - A good winter variety
  3. Cauliflower - All Year Round - As the name suggests should be available all year, but that depends on when they were started. I've never been very successful with cauli before, so bit of an experiment.....
  4. Cauliflower - romanesco - A spiky green cauliflower, saw them on the farmers market in Inverness last autumn, another total experiment.
When growing brassicas they must be covered over with netting for two reasons

  1. when they are young the pigeons love them and will strip them to the ground in a day if they find them..........I speak from bitter experience. 
  2. Later in the summer the cabbage white butterfly will lay their eggs on them and the emerging caterpillars will eat them. 
Nice neat rows with netting over them.
I plant a line of them across the allotment, they need to be planted about an inch deeper than the seedlings where grown and the earth must be firmed up around them to stop them flopping about in the wind and damaging the stem.

I put 5 sets of sticks in triangles over the plants. I then run a piece of garden twine along the line over the sticks and weight each end down with a rock, then I put netting over and hold down the edges with stones. Luckily their is no shortage of stones on the allotments.

I bought my netting on Ebay and paid the same price for 5 lengths and a single pack in B&Q, so shop around.