More potting on, slugs & snails

Sunday was a good long session on the plot. There was enough sun to make it pleasant and enough cloud to avoid boiling, but the wind had a bit of a chill in it.

I took the squash and pumpkins down with me, they’re well ready to plant out but the wind chill and not being quite ready with where to plant them made me decide to just move them on to some larger pots and hold them another week.

As you do, I’d sowed far more than I needed. The pumpkins, Jack O’Lantern, had done particularly well, giving me 8 plants. I really don’t need 8 plants, that’s a field full nearly! I’d a few squashes over as well as 3 courgettes over.

So gave away what I could of the excess to Gianni & Janice next door leaving me with a couple or three of each. Even if you only need a single plant, it’s wise to keep a spare or two.

Snails and Slugs

The big problem we seem to be having at the moment is snails. I don’t know why but there seem to be hundreds of the beasts about. I’d have hoped the harsh winter would have thinned them out but it seems not. I’ve used slug pellets but as fast as you kill them off, more appear.

Incidentally, I use the animal friendly Growing Success pellets rather than the standard metaldehyde based ones. They’re safe for predators and last longer than conventional slug pellets in rain.

Apart from the risk to predators and wildlife posed by metaldehyde based slug pellets, a new problem has developed. The water companies have discovered the levels in drinking water of the molluscicide are above the EU approved level of 0.1 parts per billion and there is no known way to filter it out.  However, Water UK state they this poses no health threat (so why have a limit?)

Conventional slug pellets are very cost-effective and not just for the gardener. The farmers use them on an industrial scale, which is where the run-off problem comes from.

If you do use pellets, conventional or preferably the friendly type, do read the packet and follow the instructions. Often people use far more than they should which doesn’t protect any better than correct usage. Over-use just wastes money and damages the environment.

Organic Whitefly Control

The marigolds went into the greenhouses to keep the whitefly off – who says I have an irrational dislike of flowers? I might not win an organic award but I’m happy to use organic methods where they make sense.

Talking of organic, I cut the comfrey down on plot 29. When it has wilted, I’ll lay it between the potato rows.

Sowing Runner & Climbing Beans

I sowed my runners and climbing French beans in pots. I’m a couple of weeks later than usual but so’s the weather. I’ll still get plenty of beans before the season ends. I could sow direct but this way I’ll not have any gaps. I’m just going with scarlet emperor this year. It’s a good bean with attractive flower and pretty reliable. The climbing beans are Cobra, which did well for me last year.

Reading what I accomplished, I’ve got to wonder where the time went. I don’t seem to have got a huge amount done considering I was on the go for over 4 hours. By half past six, I was ready for home but first I took a wander around the site to see what everyone was up to and snap a few photos. See allotment photographs, May 2010.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
One comment on “More potting on, slugs & snails
  1. tabbycat says:

    The Slug Bell addresses the issues of pellet use to control slugs and snails. The pellets are contained in a mesh basket which does not come into contact with the ground, th ebell shaped top prevents the pellets from being washed away into the ground. It is also child, pet and wildlife safe, check it out for yourself and see.

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