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...........

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Losing The Battle But Not The War

Yes, I know that all gardeners grumble about the weather and we always qualify each success or failure with 'well, it really has been a bit of a funny year, hasn't it?' - well this year I do think that we might have a point.  It's been a warm and dry March followed but a cold and very, very wet second quarter, and there is a distinct lack of 'Summer' going on, even though it is July.

I was very gloomy after arriving at the Hill today as I went round counting up the casualties - looking at the beans losing the battle against the damn slugs, and seeing that the carrots have still not done anything at all, and - worst of all, and despite the slug pellets - seeing the SNAIL GRAVEYARD where my planted out uchiki kuri (red onion) squash plant was.

Past tense.


The broad beans have got blackfly, the calabrese seedlings under their netting are looking skeletal (no idea what's causing that particular one).

However, the courgettes have made it through, as have two out of three of the cucumbers; the peas are looking terrific; and I did bring home rhubarb, the first of the new potatoes and dug up a row of garlic - smaller than I would have hoped, but ok nonetheless.

I weeded like fury and left a sea of blue slug pellets in my wake.  I know, I don't like it either - but I do want to eat beans.  And squash.  And cucumbers.  And calabrese. And carrots - although I am not entirely sure that the slugs are the culprits in this instance.

On the plus side too, underneath the incredible mass of growth on the red and black currant bushes there are jewel like strings of currants very nearly ready to pick.

I was just about to come away when the muck delivery arrived, so I pitched in to help unload, and then did my community bit by emptying about a third of the bags in to the manure skip.  I took half a dozen bags to put on the squash bed - it's far too fresh and hot, really, but I'll clear a space to plant out a new squash and it should have calmed down a bit by the time the squash grows over it.

Then home to sow a couple of replacement squash, a second batch of leek seeds, and some kale for some winter fresh veg.

And then a much needed bath.


  1. Hi Hazel
    Sorry to hear your sad tale but you are powering on!
    I have heard that used coffee grains can deter snails and slugs. Most coffee shops would be happy to give you their used grains. Just sprinkle it around the plants. Good luck. Jean

    1. Must look into that, Jean, thank you for the tip.

  2. pick off the flowers on your broad beans and not only will it remove the black fly but also give you a second crop as per Monty Don

    1. Must look into that too - not heard of picking the flowers off, just the tips - but it's a bit later for that!

  3. sorry to hear that things are not going well! I hope the successes outweigh the failures!

    1. Each year's different, isn't it? But there are bound to be some good things happening too!

  4. Depressing, and it doesn't look like July is going to be any better than June. Fingers crossed for your replacement plants.

    1. Some you win, some you lose, Bilbo - never had such phenomenal peas before, even if the beans are going to be a bit of a washout. And at least this week the slug damage is no worse than last week. :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...