Slugs and spawn

Hear ye, hear ye… I have an announcement to make. But I will say it in hushed tones: “I think spring may finally be here.”

I don’t make this claim lightly – I’ve been gathering evidence. Out in the garden there are a number of things that suggest that we may finally have shrugged off the winter coats, and will soon be skipping around in our next season.

1.    I’ve found the first slugs
Whipping the cloche off the broad beans, I noticed tiny holes in some of the leaves. A good old rummage around at the base of the plants revealed slugs. No bigger than a fingernail, but they are there nonetheless. I’m hoping if I catch them early enough, they won’t mature into stonking great specimens, so I’m trying a couple of cunning plans this year. As well as setting beer traps for them, I’m sprinkling roughly crushed eggshells around the stems of any small plants. I’ve read that slugs find it hard to glide over the rough surface. We’ll see.

2.    We have frogspawn
The pond is alive with froggy love at the moment. Wherever I look, they are … ahem… ‘at it’. Coupled with that, there’s a massive clump of frogspawn in one corner. Now, going back to Point 1 above:  I thought that having frogs in your garden cut down your slug population. I’d heard that the frogs go out at night in search of tasty sluggy snacks. Our frogs evidently had other things on their mind this week. I will say no more…

A live sex show, courtesy of Mr and Mr Frog...

Froggy loving in the pond

3.    The greenhouse is going bonkers
Seeds that I planted months ago are finally popping up. I’ve got five kinds of tomatoes (one of them a mystery as the packet got wet and unreadable), courgettes, celery, cucumbers, runner beans, borlotti beans, chillies and aubergines. All very tiny at the moment, but they are there; they are healthy, and hopefully I can keep them all alive for the season.  Exciting times indeed.

tomato seedlings

Five varietes of tomatoes – including a mystery one

With all that extra growth going on in I’ve also been making sure that things don’t get overcrowded. I’ve split up my celery, onion and leek plants and replanted them in trays to give them a bit more elbow room. Some of the onion plants were a fair old size, so out they went into the garden. And they are not alone! The first of the raised beds is now full and complete, so into that have gone a row of purple sprouting broccoli, and two rows of cabbages. I’ve left room for some broccoli and cauliflowers that are in the greenhouse but are not quite big enough to go out yet.

Brassica raised bed

Brassica raised bed

The other two raised beds are now filled with a layer of rotted horse manure and yet more compost, and are now ready for some potato planting. I’ve been holding off doing this as the ground was simply too cold, but this week I’m going to bite the bullet. The spuds are going in.

Raised beds

Raised beds

This article appeared in The Hinckley Times on 18 April 2013

The Hinckley Times 18 April 2013

The Hinckley Times 18 April 2013


7 thoughts on “Slugs and spawn

  1. I’ve been potting-on like crazy, too! I ran out of trays to put all the pots in, so when we did the Asda shop this morning, I scrounged a stack of plastic trays – the sort 6 x1 litre yoghurt pots sit in. Perfect! Lin x

  2. You are starting into spring whilst we in the Southern Hemisphere are moving into Autumn. I have, however, been kind of busy in my own little way. I cleared an area, watered, covered it in organic soil improver – watered it in again and planted the following:

    Gallipoli Rosemary (from ANZAC Cove in Turkey) 2 of these

    Dianella revoluta – Large 2 of these

    Eremophila Hygrophana – 2 of these (lilac flowers)

    Eremophila Glabra – 4 of these (different colours)

    Correa Glabra – 2 of these

    Goodenia ovata – 2 of these

    Frankenia serpyllifolia – 1 of these

    I also bought two raised beds which I have yet to assembly – which I will —– in the fullness of time :o)

    • All sounds great over there… what kind of temperatures will Autumn bring for you?

      Our fish have found the frogspawn, so that’s all gone. Luckily, next door have a fishless pond so some of hers should survive 🙂

      We are almost warm enough here to start to take things out of the cover of the greenhouse. The hard work should begin very soon…

      • Autumn will be around 19 – 20C, gradually dropping down to the winter temperature of 12c – 2c. It’s cold and we do have a light frost at times but no snow, but it is cold. You may not think it, but in this little corner of the Empire, 12c is cold…

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