Well, following the hose pipe ban, here in the UK we have now had the wettest April on record so it appears the weather can’t make up it’s mind. In all honesty, it doesn’t really bother me, I love how lush and green everything is looking at the moment and it does make trying to keep the vegetable patch watered much easier. On the down side, I haven’t been out much, the grass is now ridiculously long, and the slugs are having a party, munching all my seedlings.
I have just watered my second load of slug nematodes into the garden.
In case you haven’t heard of them, nematodes are tiny organisms (so small they are invisible to the eye) which are harmless to humans or wildlife, other than the insects that they are intended to kill. You can get a number of ‘varieties’ eg for slugs, ants, and leatherjacks, etc; they arrive in a sealed container, are stored in the fridge and when needed diluted with water and watered into the garden.
This is my second of a series of 3 packs (timed for delivery at regular intervals), but I was disappointed to see pretty much all my early seedlings have been eaten – carrots, radish, beetroot, turnip and pak choi, all gone. They had all germinated and were on their way last time I looked (although very small) but I think the earlier slug nematodes didn’t do too well, they need constant moisture and temperatures above 5 degrees C to survive, the early persistent dry weather and hose pipe ban made keeping the garden damp very difficult.
The insane number of rabbits are also causing a few problems, cute though they are, they’ve yet again managed to get through our attempts to rabbit-proof the garden and are prone to eating my flower seedlings as well as the grass. Luckily they can’t get through the fencing we placed around the vegetable patch, I’d be heartbroken if they did.
As well as the munched seedlings, none of my courgettes have germinated, the mice have repeatedly stolen the planted peas and of 12 different types of squash started, only 2 are actually growing. Ants have invaded every single one of my large containers as well as many of the raised beds. I hate ants. I very nearly ordered a starter pack of mixed vegetable seedlings (at a reasonable cost) but no, I refuse to admit defeat, today I put my wet weather gear on, got out there and re-sowed many of the planned plants. I WILL have homegrown vegetables this year!
I bought soil from my local garden shop, ready for potting up the tomatoes and for (finally) getting the seed potatoes in.
These have been planted, one tuber each, in my small growing sacks (14 litre), with about 2 inches of soil (John Innes No 3) under each potato, they have then been covered in more soil, with just the chitted tips showing and popped directly outside to get going. I’ll keep adding soil as they grow, leaving just the top leaved uncovered until the bag is full and if we’re due any cold nights I’ll cover the bags in a cloche or bring them into the greenhouse.
I love my local garden shop, it’s a small family run business, just around the corner, and I was excited to see they had some courgette plants for sale – hurrah! – they are just labeled ‘courgettes’ so I’ve no idea what variety or colour, but they are now snug in one of the large containers, protected by a cloche and it’s one less plant to worry about starting again from seed.