Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Small Disasters & Little Victorys

The title of this post is in reference to the pest problems we're having this year, we seem to have had a major boom in the slug and snail population around and mice have now discovered my greenhouse and are using it as a free takeaway bar!

The end of last week was when I discovery some industrious little rodent had finally discovered my precious Squash seeds, and had spent a happy night digging them out of the pots and scoffing all but one (they are definitely in cahoots with the damn slugs to drive me round the bend!) as with the tomato massacre of the week before one sad and lonely survivor was left to tell the tale, this little one has since been brought into the house and is now sitting on the front room window sill where he should be safe from veracious rodents (hopefully.... this is the problem when your cottage is buried into a hill side, mice seem to think is a free-for-all!)

Saturday morning reveled that having eaten all the squashes they had moved onto the sweetcorn seeds I had planted a few days before, I had hoped that the presence of Stella would put them off, as she sleeps in the greenhouse most of the day and the smell of cat would deter them...apparently not.

I potted up my remaining 15 Sweetcorn seeds and to protect them I devised my mouse protection grid!!!

also know as the fly screen we use over cakes when we eat in the garden, brought from a boot sale for 50p 2 years ago.

So far this seems to have worked as long as there's a brick on top to weight it down (having kept quite a few mice as a child I know the little buggers a pretty strong and can get through the smallest gaps!) I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that they survive long enough to germinate.

I had some Sweetcorn already on the go, they had started sprouting and where doing well until the slugs and snails found them too, so they have been moved outside and planted in the ground.

I was having a look about on the net when I found out that a good slug deterrent is wood ash, something we have loads of! It also said on quite a few sites that Tomatoes in particular actually like wood ash and suggested adding it when planting them. So I'm test running wood ash sprinkled around my tom pots, so far it seems to be working, although is not particularly attractive to look at (better however than looking at the chewed off stump where your hard grown tomatoes was yesterday!)

The other great slug solver is of course chickens or ducks, Rich has found a lovely lady who breeds bantams locally who would be happy to sell us some, however the site next to the shed where the coop would go is currently where the rest of our quarry tile floor is piled up, so unless that gets finished soon, chooks may have to wait till next summer.

Damn you snails, I'll beat you yet!!

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

Well done, your veg looks great. We have been battling a snail hiding in our greenhouse and severing our tomato stems, but fortunately I discovered it after tomato number 2 was felled. It looks as if your sweetcorn is planted in a long row - it should be planted in a block as it is wind pollinated.