Molluscs and critters

Went slug/snail hunting acouple of hours ago. Slaughtered by stabbing/stepping on & crushing/slicing with hand fork about 50 slugs & snails . Might go out again shortly for a quick hunt now – perhaps they’ve called in reinforcements. I wasn’t out for long as I came across another critter and brought it indoors for to take photographs. It looks different from the two earlier – bigger.
crittermontage

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Weather changed

The sunny but cold weather of last week changed yesterday to overcast and showers. I should have gone out last night on a slug hunt.
seedlingslugtrail
I checked under the cloche cover of the garden veg box and found a slug. Threw it away and stamped on it. But that was not all… I found this:
naughtybeast
There were two of these, both now squished, but it was too late:
cutwormdamage
There are still some seedlings unaffect.

Back in the house, the seedlings are doing well. Some will need potting on but I lack window space again. A second lot of basils have all germinated – red bordeaux, lemon and sweet genovese.
3basils

I shifted the marigold tray to the windowsill but lost grip on the tray. Only the one lot of marigolds were affected:
gardengatemarigold
Compost went everywhere but a dustpan and brush managed to sort the mess.

Where is it all going to go?

Yesterday evening, we went down the allotment. I had some more shallot sets that wanted to be planted – Red Sun and now that makes 4 beds full (one onion, one onion and roots, one with Japanese radish things (going to seed which i want to collect) and garlic, and one with spuds and salads). One bed has some overwintered broad beans, now in flower.

Last night, I sowed in an L shaped bed, some Red Epicure and Masterpiece Longpod broad beans plus a short row of Meteor peas.

Now wondering where the rest of the potatoes (first, second and main), the brassicas that are starting to germinate in rootrainers, the two gutters of legumes, the flowers, the leeks, the onion seedlings, the this that and the other – where are they going to go? I suppose with changing to the bed system, things can be grown more intensively and also if we get our act together on successional crops and interplanting, the season could be very productive.

Weekend update

On Saturday, I did get down the allotment. I had some garlic, shallots and onion sets I wanted to plant out. Garlic – Sultop and Arno. Shallots – Golden Gourmet. Onions – well, handful of Red Baron and Turbo. marchplot

Here is the plot with me at work in a colourful jumper. I may have been sowing some carrots – Paris Market, or Parsnips – Turga here. Also sown was a short row of Kohl Rabi – Azur Star.

A couple of seeds have germinated on the plot – Petit Provencal peas, Belize lettuce. The Broad Beans – Witkiem and The Sutton are also pushing through. Duke of York potatoes need to be earthed up soon.

I have started things down the plot earlier this year, but seed sowing indoors has started later (didn’t want to leave things for a week while was away on holiday.

lonesnip

In the garden, I sowed in the one veg box, spring onions Toga, Carrots Paris Market & Amsterdam Forcing, Lettuce Paris Island Cos and some Parsnips Turga. I hope I get more parsnips this year than I did from last season – just one! Looks a nice parsnip, but think I want slightly more quantity than quality this season!

Need to make more use of the gardens – we have a herb patch, mainly with the colourful sages and the different thymes, as well as mint. Must get round to freezing some herbs as well.
prim

Primroses seem to be popping up everywhere. This one is in the back garden (morning shade). There is also one in flower in the front lawn.

front1

The front garden isn’t very big. The “lawn” takes up a fair amount of “garden” space. There is a rowan tree in the middle. We want to put more flowers in, seeds and bulbs. There are herbs in the border too.Gave the lawn last weekend a quick feed with SM3 seaweed meal. Hopefully, next picture of the front lawn will look nicer! I like daisies, simple but pretty flowers. Not so sure about the dandelions but who hasn’t blown the seeds from a dandelion clock? Nature is comes up with pretty things.

We bought some bulbs for the front garden. Gladioli, as well as lilies.

thymetothin
OH wants lots of thyme and alpine strawberries down the allotment. Think it is time to thin out the thyme but that is his job! Little monster likes strawberries. As well as creeping thyme, he sowed orange-scented thyme, though hadn’t labelled them.
alpines

flowertray1

He was also in charge of sowing flowers, again, didn’t label. So, folks, what are these in the picture above? Perhaps lobelia and …. ?
seedlings1
Some seedlings on the window sill.
seedlings2Last night, I potted up some of the tomatoes – I hve 8 Auntie Madge’s, 4 Sugar Italian Plum and 7 Salt Spring Sunrise (the latter I didn’t think had germinated – didn’t read label, so I have sown replacements!). Also potted up chervil into 4 pots. Started more seeds off as well – 5 Gerbera Californian Giants mix; Rosemary; 3 Eight-Ball courgettes; Sunflowers Red Sun & Earthwalker; Statice Sea Lavender mixed Penstemon Victorian mixed; Busy Lizzie. For OH’s work, I sowed 4-5 seeds each of Aubergine – Heritage & Red Egg, Pepper Golden Bell & Lemon Drop Hot Citrus Chilli.

Other things germinated – Oro & Trifetti peppers, Heritage & Szechuan aubergines, Bandit & Startrack leeks, Sweet Genovese & Red Bordeaux basils. In the greenhouse, Waltham and Seven Hills are awakening for the brassicas calabrese and brussel sprouts respectively. Also, the broad beans Witkiem and Cavalier peas sown in guttering are also appearing.  

Normal service!

Phew, 2 TMAs submitted, one albeit on an extension submitted just a day and a bit after the original deadline. My computer doesn’t  like me doing TMAs and has colluded with Word to corrupt and freeze my TMAs. I threatened it so now I use Open Office but checking that things look ok in Word. My modem also conspires against me, dropping occasionally DNS or whatever so I lose Internet slowly – takes 5-10 minutes to restart and regain Internet. Anyway, enough of those problems.

The one course is a science course. Bit woolly because it also looks at the media, but it looks at a couple of important topics relevant to gardening. One is Medicinal Plants; the other is Climate Change. Yesterday, the final course mailing arrived but didn’t have time to open it then as was battling with netbeans for the other course.

There is blue sky out there, the sun is shining. Looks like the perfect Spring day. British Summer Time starts tomorrow.  Will be venturing into the garden today, perhaps even the allotment. Got some onions and garlic that need to be planted. Just ventured into front garden to inspect my OH’s work after mowing the daisy-infested lawn, and weeding. I don’t mind the daisies – their smiling flowers are quite cheerful. There’s also dandelions in as well. The lawn isn’t a golf putting green. Saw the first two seven-spot ladybirds of the year. Hoorah for Ladybirds and their larvae.

If you are an A4A member, don’t forget to vote in the February Competition. So far, only 28 votes cast. Here’s the link.

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