Fortresses

So, the last time I wrote I had lost almost all my plants to pesky slugs (or whatever) and was seriously considering giving the whole thing up as a bad job – I know I didn’t actually write that but I was defintely thinking it. Things have improved slightly since then and I no longer want to give my plot up but I am still annoyed at the slugs! They are still eating everything in sight but only on my plot it would seem – if I could insert an emoji here it would be the rolling eyes one.

The new cloche turned up. It was exactly the same as the other one so it was super easy to put together – I’ve put it over the peppers. As I mentioned before the idea of the cloche was to give the peppers a bit of heat to help them grow, but the cloche is now having to do the extra job of being a protective barrier against the flippin slugs.

Michelle gave me the idea of piling up some soil round the edges of the cloches to, basically seal them and thereby stop anything from crawling under any gaps. I like this idea so I’ve done it to both cloches – there is nothing getting in there I can promise you. There’s nothing getting out either though so if there were caterpillars already in there before I piled the soil up round them, they’ll be having a field day by now!

I don’t normally use slug pellets – I prefer not to kill hedgehogs, BUT I felt using them in the sealed cloches was pretty safe as any hedgehogs that come snuffling round for slugs wouldn’t be able to get into the cloches to eat the slug pellets. So I sprinkled slug pellets – fairly liberally it has to be said, in both of the cloches. I’m really hoping with all these measures I’ve put in place my peppers might actually survive.

The cucumbers are finally starting to do something. A few flowers have appeared in the last week and I spotted a tiny cucumber when I was there on Friday. Everything seems to be taking ages this year – not sure if it’s actually taking longer than usual or if it just feels like it due to lockdown, either way I’m starting to get a bit impatient as I just want to see it all growing!

I noticed lots of ripe blackberries when I was on the plot on Friday. Michelle had a very convenient kilner jar (you’d think she’s done this before) which she filled, I found an old mushroom tray in the shed (you all know, despite having done this before I’m still not organised enough to have proper containers!) which I filled with blackberries. I also spotted some apples which hadn’t yet been eaten by anything which I picked before anything could attack them. Michelle and I both made crumbles – Michelle an apple one, me an apple, blackberry and peach one.

Mum’s greenhouse is doing amazingly well. I checked it on Sunday and I can’t quite believe how big all the plants are. There are flowers on the cucmber plant and I didn’t notice when I was there but in the photo you can see a tiny cucumber. The aubergine plants have flowers and are so much taller than the ones on the plot. And the pepper plants now have 2 peppers growing with the potential for lots more. Overall, the greenhouse is winning!

Nothing from the strawberries this week – I feel they may have peaked. I’ve noticed a few flowers recently so I may be able to harvest a few more strawberries but it won’t be many and, of course the strawberry bed is open to the elements (and the slugs) so my hopes aren’t high we’ll have any more fruit from it.

The pumpkins seem to be hanging on in there with a couple of flowers but not much else happening. I’ve seen people on Instagram pollinating their pumpkins but I really don’t understand what they’re doing (I thought the bees did all that) so I’ve left mine to their own devices. The original one still looks a bit ropey but it has a couple of flowers on it so it might be ok.

It’s a slightly better story with the squashes – they’re look pretty healthy but they’re still not doing much. Only one flower and nowhere near the amount of growth I would have expected by now. I hope all these plants realise pretty soon, we’re well into July!

I don’t even want to mention the cauliflowers – I’m pretty sure I’m no longer allowed to call them cauliflowers anymore. All that netting and they were still eaten by something. I probably should clear that bed and put something else in there but I’m not sure I have the amount of optimism it would need to plant anything at the moment!

Rhubi hasn’t let me down. I think harvesting her a couple of weeks back has done her good because she looks better than ever.

As ever, a couple of shots of how I left the plot this week. We’ve had a bit of rain so it’s all looking fairly lush and green – I just wish something would grow!

3 thoughts on “Fortresses

  1. That is so much work for vegetable plants that should be simpler to grow. I can not imagine the frustration. I do not grow things that need so much work, which is why I do not bother with peppers. Yours look pretty darn good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s really hard for anyone to be very optimistic right now, so don’t beat yourself up. You are keeping the plot looking good, have a place outdoors to go unwind, and you’ve grown some good stuff in your short time there. There’s always next year, which could be entirely different. I’m impressed with all you’ve done!

    Liked by 1 person

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