Friday, 20 June 2014

Sunshine, Slugproofing, Slow-growth and Sweetcorn

Whoa, it's been hard work this year!  Last year was our first on the plot and mostly consisted of clearance (very rewarding); introduction of new infrastructure (ditto); and experimentation (interesting). This year we can't get away with lots of gaps and small plantings, and it's been tough to sow enough, grow on, plant up, harden off, plant in the ground and then put in place effective slug and snail defences.
Gateway to summer
 It should get easier as time goes on and I get timings right, and if we can largely wipe out theft of seedlings from the allotment plot I'll feel more confident about leaving young plants in the plot greenhouses- this year I didn't dare to, and keeping everything going on a couple of windowsills has been like one of those puzzles where you move blocks around to create a shape.... kind of fun.

The top of our shed at home has been the hardening-off site for young plants, providing some slug and snail protection not present at ground level. I lost approx. a third of tomato plants to slug/ snails this year- unprecedented!  By sticking the bitten off tops into a pot with a plastic bag on top I saved several as they rooted nicely.  The sparrows have been enjoying this impromptu "green roof" and bathing and drinking in a little tub of water I left out
for them.
The roof of the shed at home- spot the birdie!

Despite the sun and good growing conditions a lot of growth has been slow for me this year- I reckon its the compost!  We need to get enough good home made compost to mix with the bought peat-free,  I don't think the mix of nutrients (if any) is right in the peat-free alone.

We may be luckier with sweetcorn this year than last- in the picture you can see all the slug defences in action: jagged edged plastic bottle cuffs, copper tape, and crunchy dry slug barrier around it.  Hopefully the sweetcorn will have a better chance than England did in the World Cup.

Talking of which: when the disappointing games get too much the allotment is a good place to creep off to- and it is certainly looking bright this time of year.

 The plot is a good place to think happy thoughts.

 A rose for Christine ......


                                                                                             .....and a rose for Julie

1 comment:

  1. I don't really think this year has been particularly good for the plants, Jill. I our parts the ground has been too wet and the soil took quite a while to warm up. It's also a bad year for pests including slugs and snails by the bucketload, Last winter was too kind to the baddies.