Wanted: Dead or Alive (but dead is, like, better)

cauliflower seedlingsEvil bastard molluscs. As always happens at least once in Spring (because it’s 12 months since the last time, and I forget to take precautions), a slug/snail got into my mini greenhouse and made merry with my cauliflower seedlings. I’m left with 8 out of the original 24 plants.

Shit, shit, shit, shit.

I’ve done my tooth gnashing and cursing. Now I’m frosty, making cold plans for mollusc genocide. This is going to be the Big One, the Final Solution (if that’s not too distasteful a reference).

Molluscs, wherever you are: I’m coming after you. You can run, but you can’t hide.


Posted on 19th May 2012
Under: Brassicas, Pests | 12 Comments »

Of ants and sweetcorn

sweetcorn seedlingsThey’re going out on the plot today. It’s a famous moment, because Sweetcorn Planting means the start of summer.

Not that it feels all that special this year. We’ve had summer for about a month already. It’s been warm, dry – endlessly dry – and distinctly un-British.

One of the many unwelcome side effects of the early drought and warmth has been an explosion of ants. I have light, dry soil (their favourite), and I’ve never seen so many. They’ve taken over my whole vegetable plot. Swarms of the little fuckers have burrowed under my cauliflower seedlings and are currently destroying the crop.

This is, naturally, somewhat frustrating. Anti-ant products (Ant-ant?) are obviously widely available, but I really hate puffing permethrin near my veg – or near anything, for that matter. So it looks as if the shallow-rooted veg are in for a torrid time this season.

Posted on 21st May 2011
Under: Sweetcorn | 10 Comments »

Early carrot seedlings

Carrot seedlingsI’ve never seen carrot seedlings so early. The early sowing under plastic actually worked!

With a fair wind, these could be ready as early as mid May – as baby carrots, at least. Unheard of.

As so often in gardening, I find myself asking yet again: Where did I go right?

Posted on 6th April 2009
Under: Roots | 1 Comment »

Celeriac 2009: Will I get to eat it this year?

Celeriac seedlings

Well, here we go again. Celeriac’s always first up because it takes so bloody long to grow.

These were sown weeks ago, but they’re still minuscule. Haven’t even got their first true leaves yet.

They’ll get there in the end, but the waiting is pretty painful. This time, perhaps, I’ll manage to harvest them before the phantom celeriac thief on our site. Sonofabitch stole a dozen of my plants last October, and I’m still very bitter about it.

Posted on 14th February 2009
Under: Roots | 8 Comments »