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die, gastropods, die!

June 7, 2010

I am ashamed to say that there already was a vegetable patch when we moved to this house, and in our first year here I did try growing things in it. The whole process hit a bit of a low when I planted out courgette seedlings and the bastard slugs just slimed and gnawed them off the surface of the earth. So what with that and my general slump, the area was abandoned to the brambles (and redcurrants, I’m happy to say) until our recent reclamation. This time I’ve opted for raised beds, prettier to look at, but also easier to manage.  I’m feeling very proprietorial about my plantings, and I have already taken my spade to several slugs (I have to be feeling particularly brave for this as I don’t like the thought of how squishy they will be) and I have surrounded the squash and marrows with scrunched up eggshell, which slugs and snails are supposed not to like crossing. We’re all eating plenty of eggs at the moment to up the shell supply.

I don’t like the idea of using chemicals as we have frogs and hedgehogs around and I would like to encourage more of these natural predators, rather than jeopardise their positions further up the food chain, but we are experimenting with nematodes as well. I watered them onto the beds on Saturday, and if they’re going to work then they should be having an impact after a week, so I shall keep hoping and patrolling.

3 Good Things: everything I planted is so far looking perky and unscathed; pineapple and blueberry buns; Jane Austen.

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