There really is no end to slugs this year. The big ones have vanished, but kale, pak choi and brussels are over-run with little ones. And their droppings. Why won’t they just DIE?? I like my winter veg without a helping of slimeys. Quite a lot of last night’s pak choi went into the compost bin and the kale etc now gets a slosh about in a bucket before it comes home. They haven’t had a go at my parsnips though (first ever! woo-hoo!!). They taste fantastic, even if many of them are wonky and appear to be growing sideways, not down.
To work up an appetite for said roots & partially nibbled veg I’ve made a start on the new fruit cage area. Waiting for space to put their feet in the ground are 7 blackcurrant bushes, 3 redcurrants, 4 red gooseberries and 4 green gooseberries. Plus, from my endlessly patient & supportive mother, a Harry Baker crab apple and Farleigh damson – to be espaliered and fan trained respectively. And no, the space available is really not big enough. Some of them will have to find new homes. So far an 8ft x 4ft space has been cleared of the old squash/bean bed and about 75L of well rotted manure’s been dug in. It wallopped down last night though and it’s all a bit too wet to keep going at the moment. Maybe in a week if it stays dry.
I dug up my incredibly late=planted oca today. It turns out the answer to July’s late planting ‘can I get away with it?’ is an emphatic ‘NO’. I’ve a handful or two of tiddlers, though as usual the red and white has outperformed the peach. Given this I’m ditching the latter for 2017.
As a small aside, the January edition of GYO magazine blithely assures its readers that oca has no pests (p28). Which is complete and utter tosh. Slugs, vine weevils and voles all think they make a cracking dinner.
At home, a new entry on the ever-growing list of ‘Things I can kill without really trying’ is lemongrass. Two very healthy plants came in from the greenhouse a month or so ago. One’s already dead and the other seems bent on joining it. Heigh-ho. I was warned that it likely wouldn’t survive.
In better news, the Heritage Seed Library 2017 seedlist is out – while the PDF was easier to scroll through, the new online edition has a snazzy live ordering system so you can see what is still available and does away with the slightly clunky second/third preferences you used to have to submit. My seeds are picked – this year I’ve gone for Devoy beetroot, Boothby’s Blond cucumber, Mr Fearn’s Purple Flowered climbing beans (to augment the ones I already have), Guernsey parsnips (to compare the half-longs with standard parsnips coming via the seed circle), Black Futsu squash as I’ve daftly run out of my own seed and Kelper Gigantic swede, which I WILL water properly next season. Plus I’ve kept back some Sucrette squash seeds from my Seed Guardian stash to grow again as they were delicious.
Categories: Diary 2016