07 Apr Bringing buried earth into the light
With all this planting out comes the horror of invasion. Hours and hours of hard labour and love can be devastated overnight. Slugs, snails, mice and the latest today…vine weevil have all had their fill. Our latest losses include pumpkins, squash and peas. I couldn’t bear to look at the devastation. Those seedlings were freshly germinated and looking incredible – just on the point of being ready to plant out. But we gardeners have to learn a certain resilience and we know that just because we are putting in the maximum effort it doesn’t guarantee any certainty. There are so many variables with outdoor growing. Last night for example we had a late frost. The day before was warm, so we thought it safe to plant out a good selection of our Russian Giant sunflowers. This morning they were struggling, drooping thanks to frozen cells. Yet by this afternoon they needed watering again, thanks to high temperatures which saw us shedding not only coats, but jumpers and cardigans too.
We are responding to pests by trialling a wide variety of different preventative measures. On this one row of beans we are experimenting with sheep’s wool as a slug and snail deterrent. Polly brought in this high tannin content wool and has made a protective nest around each plant.