Friday, 25 May 2018

Bonkers or brilliant?

As if the weather isn't enough for our gardens and veg plots to cope with - we get a significant number of animal and pest attacks too. I have tried several times to grow brassicas (cabbage-family plants), mostly with poor results due either to a summer storm breaking the plants off at ground level, or root-fly maggots chomping through the roots. And now for good measure, it looks like we have a rabbit or two (or a dozen) moving in... Hmmm...

I chatted the issue through with a keen horticulturalist, who suggested I try plastic bottles. Each brassica seedling is planted with a plastic bottle (with bottom cut off....!!) pushed down over the top. The bottle becomes a mini-greenhouse, and prevents flies or creatures that chew from getting to the young tender plant. The bottle is removed when the plant inside is big and strong enough to (hopefully) resist attacks. Wind will then still be a problem, however.

Indeed, locally, I have been told that if I don't secure the bottles to the ground, I will spend a lot of time gathering them from around the hedgerows...

Anyway - I'm giving it a try. The empty space in the bed is for broccoli. The day before planting-out, a slug took a fancy to my broccoli seedlings and munched its way through every one of them, so I have re-planted seeds, and will hope they come up quickly. We might get good enough weather for them to catch up with everyone else!

Note the bluebells and gorse in my 'wild' garden -
both flowering at their best just now

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