Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Picky Pigeons!

What a lovely sunshiny day at the Hill today! Novice neighbour Jody was planting our peas – taking instruction from Reg-next-plot, & I started with some weeding whilst keeping half an eye out for Eva (from my evening class), & her friend Sue. They both have plots at the White Farm Lane site, about a mile away.

I saw them arrive & showed them round the plot & we chatted about crops & pests & techniques, & we met Julie (2nd best plot) & teacher Barry, besides Jody, & then walked down to see John Badger at the bottom, then I bid them farewell with a lettuce a-piece having had a lovely time, & I am very much looking forward to my return visit in a couple of weeks or so.

Back to the weeding, & trying to knock the first couple of beds into shape (this year’s roots where the overwintering onions & garlic have stopped me completing the raised beds). It’s all a bit of a mess at that end, but it looks better now – especially under the strawberry cage, where there are not only masses of flowers, but also some small green fruit – brilliant!

After a break at the clubhouse, I planted out two CUCUMBER (burpless tasty green f1) besides a stiff mesh fence for them to climb up. Not having grown cucumbers before, I’m not sure about how big the plants grow, but have taken Julie’s advice on the mesh – the theory is that they scramble up it & the cucumbers are both easy to spot & safe from slugs.

I also planted out the SQUASH (olive & red kuri), making sure that I’ve given them plenty of room each – although I’ve no doubt that they’ll still have spread everywhere come August.

The last job was to tie a few of the peas in to the strings where they need a bit of a hand. With the bed weeded, it is now easier to see the extent of the pigeon damage – which is pretty catastrophic with regard to the brassicas right across the board.

But there is something most peculiar about the pea damage. Out of those sown, there are a couple of varieties which have been absolutely devastated, (on the left in the photo - planted out the same time as the ones on the right) yet other varieties have not been touched at all – don’t they taste very good? I had no idea that pigeons were so discerning!


  1. How heartbreaking to have the peas attacked like that.

    I'd lend you one of our sparrowhawks but I haven't seen them recently (report from neighbour that one - probably the male - killed himself flying into a conservatory recently). Damn shame, just before breeding time too.

  2. I'll be sure to make a note of the ones that the pigeons have left alone, for next year, Bilbo!

    Yes, a sparrowhawk would do the job, but would scare the other birds too, I think, and I would not be without the little robin who was with me again today 'helping' to plant out the tomatoes!


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