In the veg plot

TheGardenShareCollective300pix1Wow, the last month has zoomed by. It’s time for the monthly round-up of veg plots around the world, hosted by Liz at Strayed from the Table in Australia. I’ve enjoyed checking out some of the other blogs, which I’ve found encouraging and interesting – each with their own take on growing good, sustainable food. (And many congratulations to Liz on the recent arrival of her new daughter, Isla.)

So what’s up in the veg plot? Well, things have been a bit of a struggle recently. Last month my update had pictures of some healthy veg seedlings and a nice polyculture of salad burnet, strawberries and calendula. Since then, it feels like we’ve been invaded by pigeons, starlings and rabbits. The pak choi was stripped of its leaves (despite being protected under wire mesh). The sweetcorn, lettuce and mangetout have been pretty much grazed to the ground. All that’s left of the fennel and dahlias planted out to pretty up the veg plot are a few tragic- looking stalks. And that polyculture salad burnet? All but eaten. So – it’s been a good reminder that veg growing is a constant round of ups and downs. I don’t like to think of it as a battle against nature – the birds are just doing their thing, and I don’t want to spend my time in the garden feeling embattled. But I have to admit, the last few weeks have been a bit disheartening!

The tall salad burnet at the back of the calendula has been eaten by pigeons - grrrr!

The tall salad burnet at the back of the calendula has been eaten by pigeons – grrrr!

Despite everything, there are still things to harvest – herbs are pretty resilient (although it looks like a pigeon has sat right in the middle of my best thyme plant…) The odd bit of lettuce has escaped. And if you’re looking for something bright, cheerful and apparently indestructible, it looks like calendula might be a bit of a winner. Rhubarb also seems to be a good bet, so far nothing has touched it apart from the humans…

So, it’s pretty clear what I need to get done this month – re-sow some of the things that have been destroyed, and put up some pigeon netting. (Oh, and maybe make some rabbit and pigeon pie!)  How about you all? I hope everyone’s gardens are faring well…


19 responses to “In the veg plot

  1. Rabbit pie is a good answer. Try mounding compost up around the base of your thyme. It is said to help new root growth on straggly thyme stems. I do this with my older thymes. But, thank goodness, I never had a pigeon sit on one. Those wood pigeons are big! Shame about the salad burnet – such a lovely herb.

  2. Another blogger had that same sense of dismay recently!! This year, in my garden I don’t seem to have had too much destruction but the allotment is a different matter: the slugs have been attacking the rhubarb, something I have never seen before….. And the pigeons definitely love the mangetout 😦

    • Glad to know it’s not just me!! I think actually I’ve just been lucky before with the pigeons. I bought myself lots of netting this weekend, and the kids have been helping me drape it over everything that’s left! Slugs on rhubarb – never seen that – I wonder if it’s the very wet weather? But then, since rhubarb leaves are poisonous, maybe that will sort out at least a few slugs…?!

  3. Sorry you lost so much of your crops. Right now I’ve got flea beetles, Mexican bean beetles and at least one gopher attacking my garden but I’ve planted such a variety of things I should end up with something to show for it.

    • Thank you – at least I don’t have to worry about gophers! And a great reminder that variety works well – some things always do well, it seems!

  4. How disheartening to find your crops trashed by the wildlife. Pigeons decimated some of my mangetout last year and I am determined to prevent a repeat performance this year. I look forward to reading next months update which will hopefully be full of happier tidings 🙂

  5. What a shame… it’s always so disheartening to lose plants when you’ve raised them so carefully. If only the pigeons and rabbits would learn to share!

    • Corn does seem to be the Great Tempter for critters, doesn’t it? Can’t blame them, it does taste good…Hope all’s well with your plot!

  6. Bugger! Nothing worse than loosing your hard work to birds, insects and other wildlife. Hope this month is better for you. Thanks again for the well wishes, Isla is my best watering companion.

    • Thank you! I think I was being a bit lax with netting things, to be honest…Seeds pop up so quickly at this time of year, hopefully some things will catch up if I re-plant them.

      Ah, nothing nicer than pottering in the veg garden with a small helper – hope you have a lovely month with your new companion.

  7. It’ s the slugs and snails which are the main problem in my veg plot. There are so many this year, Have you any tips for dealing with them?

    • I think I’m really lucky with slugs and snails – I do sometimes find toads in the veg plot, so maybe that is the answer! I have no great slug wisdom, I’m afraid. I have in the past used beer traps (one way is to get a plastic bottle, cut an opening in it a couple of inches off the ground and fill with beer – I like this more than an empty yoghurt pot buried in the ground, as the gunge is contained in the bottle and can just be poured on the compost heap). Also, a night-time visit to pluck them off the plants with chopsticks is grim but effective. I’ve never tried nematodes – have you had any luck with those, I believe they’re expensive but quite effective?

  8. I’ve had similar problems with animals getting my plants/seeds. Whether it’s been mice, pigeons, or slugs, they’ve wreaked havoc on some crops. At least there is time to resow in most cases.

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