This short article here made me chuckle, obviously this person doesn't grow many plants!
The beginning of the year was good, not a slug in sight.
The latter half of the summer did bring out my sluggy foe and damage was done to many of my young seedlings. A combination of events has made this a very busy year and I am culpable of neglecting my plot. So maybe I deserve this!
However last week I took my spuds out of the ground and was very pleased indeed to find that I had to throw away only one potato because of the dreaded slug munch!
On reflection I am wondering if my decision not to cover my plot over the winter actually worked to my advantage in my war on slug terror. Having the ground exposed to the frosts and hungry birds may have made the difference, at least for the first half if the season. It is a strategy I will try again over this coming winter. Weeds be damned!
Last year turned out to be a success in the war against the slug menace. My arsenal comprised of organic slug pellets, wool pellets, and various other barrier methods. It was also the first year I did not use nematodes. It was my intention to use this biological army to wage battle on the slimy despicableness but as the year wore on and the enemy was thin on the ground I took the chance not to use this more expensive option. The other methods seemed to work well. Or maybe I was just lucky!
I have no doubt luck did play a factor, as this article by the Horticultural Week shows that slugs and snails were still enemy number 1 in 2013.
So what will this year ahead bring? Only time will tell, but the winter has been wet rather than cold and my fear is that the slugs are biding their time before they launch an attack just as I plant out my first seedlings.
As if our battle was not hard enough, it seems the UK slugs have requested international reinforcements in the guise of the Spanish Stealth Slug. More on this enemy can be found at Slug Watch.
This is war!
We have had some strange weather so far this year. A little while ago we had a brief warm period. Like many others I was fooled into believing that this was the end of winter and natures final push into spring. In my naivety I planted out some seeds, radish and rainbow chard. I was hopeful, but those hopes were dashed by a further cold snap accompanied with lots of snow.
So with a heavy heart I was back on the plot today sowing some more radish and chard. To my surprise and delight the seeds I had planted some five or six weeks ago had germinated. They had obviously hunkered down and waited out the cold spell and fought back.
Now I have some young seedlings to protect. All prime targets for a slug attack. So out with the organic slug pellets as my first level of defense. Next was the ring of coffee. Ever since the summer season ended last year I have kept all the remains of the coffee granules that have been used for those hot cups of coffees on cold winter mornings, and we did drink a lot of coffee. A nice wall of coffee now adds that all important extra layer of security.
And I won't stop there. The nematodes will be out in full force very soon....
It will be a bad day to be a slug.....
Well ok, its well beyond the New Year now, but this is my first blog entry this year.
Was up at the allotment this weekend to take stock of the chores needed for the coming months. With all the snow and cold weather I had been hoping that the insidious slug population would be well and truly decimated. So you will understand my disappointment upon finding many big fat slugs lurking under the pieces of wood that I use to secure my netting. Needless to stay despite their pleas for mercy, and screams of anguish, they all met a sticky death.
Looks as if my slug control measures will have to start early this year.....
This article here is not strictly slug related but will be of interest to any small holders who grow their own potatoes. Essentially the non professional gardener is being blamed for the spread of blight on commercial crops.
So this weekend I harvested my main crop of potatoes. The variety I had planted were King Edward.
I have to say they were not really fit for a king. Slugs you ask? Well, no actually. In fact I did not lose a single potato to slug damage. The slug control must be working. The real issue was with the yield. It was small. In all senses of the word. Small potatoes and a small quantity. Very small.
If it's not one thing its the other!
Why can't I have the best of all worlds!
With summer ending we head into Autumn, then morph into winter. Another cold winter would be useful as far as keeping the slug population low.
The summer season has be unusually low on slug activity. Maybe my slug control is working well. I have had help though. Just today I found a great big fat frog and also a fat toad on my plot. Fat from eating slugs maybe....
Still, depsite the lack of slugs I have noticed an alarming amount of snails. Am I about to swap one enemy for another? What if they join forces!!!
This old article, albeit dramatic, does highlight the need to make sure you are aware of the type of slug pellets you are using and their effect on pets, children and the environment.
I have an allotment and love growing my own food, admittedly with varying degrees of success. One of the biggest problems I face is the slug. This somewhat light hearted blog will chronicle my war against this insidious pest.