It’s been a busy time on the plot over the last week. Everything is growing nicely and there always seems to be something in the coldframe begging to be planted out.
Our strawberries are finally starting to ripen and we’ve had a few monster specimens already. What could well have been the biggest strawberry in the world was unfortunately enjoyed by our dear friend the slug before we could submit it for official weighing and measuring.
The painted lady runner beans are racing and twisting their way up the bamboo frame and we’ve now planted out some dwarf black beans in the spare ground under the poles.
Thirty-six corn plants were planted out over the weekend and protected from all and sundry with a netting fence. We doubt it will stop the badgers that prowled the allotments last year and snacked on other peoples’ cobs, but there’s not much you can do to stop them.
Our cabbage and cauliflower zone has been surrounded by a netting fence since it was planted a few weeks ago.
An inspection of said zone last week revealed a fair amount of blackfly settling in for the summer. Disappointing, but inevitable.
We sprayed the plants with a homemade washing up liquid and water solution and one of the projects over the weekend was to build a removable roof for the enclosure.
We’re planning to rehome some ladybirds onto our cabbages and cauliflowers which should see the blackfly population decimated within days.
So, just where do you find a decent quantity of ladybirds nowadays? Online, of course. We found a surprising number of mail-order ladybird suppliers but with prices like £15 for 25 we’ve decided to source our own.
Meant to be Mint
Our ‘normal’ mint has run wild. That’s a fact. There’s plenty of it – enough to feed most of the county.
We’ve also got a healthy growth of chocolate mint that started off as a single stem last year. It’s lovely stuff which smells just like After Eights.
These two mints are slug-free and always have been. We’ve never seen a slug anywhere near them.
On the other hand we’ve just planted out a pot of grapefruit mint that was bought at a plant sale last weekend and this is now a tatty, shredded shadow of its former self. Yes, the slugs love this variety of mint.
Is it the grapefruit aroma? Slugs and grapefruit? We’ve never put them together before.
From time to time we make a plan to sort our shed out and then we just forget about it again for a couple of months and go about our normal business.
Some of the things over towards the back of the shed are totally inaccessible unless your arms are over two metres long. This is piled on top of yet more stuff that is now long forgotten and it’s anyone’s guess just what all that gubbins could be.
Because we can’t get to any of this stuff without emptying the entire contents of the shed it will remain a mystery for now. But what if there is something really interesting, important and useful in there?