Archive for the ‘General Stuff’ Category

Slugs ‘n Snails

There is nothing any can love about a slug or snail, they are the bane of the gardener, and the war against slugs has been waging since man started to culture plants.

Coming back off holiday we found that our runner bean shoots had fallen victim to these pests, we had omitted to put pellets where they would emerge.

So what exactly are you up against ?

Slugs are a gastropod and love moisture, during dry spells they have to find moist damp places to hide, they are mainly water, and secrete a mucus which can make them difficult for birds to pick up, the mucus can also be distasteful for birds.

Slugs are hermaphrodites, and as such can mate as a male of female, when mating is finished the one slug chews off the others penis to separate, in so doing that slug is then only able to mate as a female. The female can lay 30 eggs a few days after mating.

Believe it or not most slug species survive by eating leaves, fungus and rotting vegetable material, unfortunately in the UK, the majority of species prefer tender young greens !.

So how do we stop these pests ?

The easiest answer is to make the area around your plants as dry as possible, the ground will act like a dessicant and dry out the slug, common remedies are pellets, egg shells, sand, grit, and lately used coffee grindings from coffee shops, as well as the old fashioned approach of beer traps, ( if you’re male this can be the perfect excuse to get a few bottles in), salt, and going on a nighttime hunt, where you find them and send them to a soapy water end !.

Copper tape is also supposed to be good, especially for container grown plants, the best solution however is diatamaceous earth, which can be found on Amazon from around £6 for  100g

For a long term but somewhat expensive solution to the  problem, you could put gravel paths around all your vegetable beds, over time this will reduce the amount of eggs being laid in the plots, so reducing the slug population.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=diatomaceous+earth&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=6177293096&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3336473661519242828&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_lmljbd0me_b

The most friendly way is remove lower leaves to reduce the amount of moisture in the soil around the plant.

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Hello world!

Hi there!

We are Carol & Graham, and at the end of April 2012 we were finally given an allotment after a two year wait.

Follow us as we share our experiences, both good and bad, in the ever popular grow your own veg.

We hope to share with you some hints and tips that we have found useful, and real ways to get things done properly and quickly, whether like us you are just starting out, or you are a seasoned allotmenteer, we are sure you will find something of use in our pages.

Happy digging

Carol & Graham

We’ve got an allotment

Andover town council first got in touch with me at the end of April, I was next on the list to be offered an allotment at The Drove site in Andover, barely a quarter of a mile from home, positionally it was the best site in Andover for us.

Later that day Carol and I took a drive down there, in an effort to find our patch, it took a little time, but we soon found plot 62A. We had inherited a rickety shed, some beds overgrown but enclosed by decking timber, and a compost bin or two.

A bare canvas they call it

It was obvious that the plot had been abandoned for some months if not close on a year, covered in 18″ high grass, dandelions and numerous other weeds, getting that lot under control would be a hard task for even an accomplished gardener.

We had both made our minds up, but still went through the pretence of talking it over, we both knew we would take it on though.

I have always lived by the philosophy that if you don’t ask you don’t get, so the following day I spoke to the person in charge at the council and asked if they could help clear the ground, I did ask that not only could the grass and weeds be strimmed, but also for the top to be stripped, leaving us a bare canvas.

A few days later we received confirmation that the council would clear the weeds and take the rubbish away, they could not however strip off the top couple of inches.

The patch was ours!.