Saturday, June 28, 2014
Speaking of losses, I'm also sad about the amount of slug damage this year. I've lost almost all the seeds I sowed directly into the garden, and many of the seedlings I transplanted out. I even bought large-ish plants from the garden center to replace ones I grew myself, only to lose them. I would estimate losses due to slugs at around 75%. I've tried beer traps (caught slugs, but didn't stop the damage), eggshells, coffee grounds, bran, and going out at night with a light and a pair of scissors (so gross!!).
The eggshells seem to be the most effective, but are a limited resource. I even bring them home from work (a restaurant), but just don't have enough to spread everywhere, particularly as I have to reapply after rain. Slugs seem to like eating the bran, which means I can locate them easily at night if I sprinkle a perimeter of the stuff around my beds. Not sure if this has an effect on the plant damage, though. Coffee didn't seem to make any difference at all.
I put in a lot of work this year, and to lose so much is tough. Still growing: peas and lettuce (nearing end); a couple chard, two tomatoes, two cucumbers, and two squash, each in containers on the patio; last year's cabbages (a few); and potatoes. It's a good year for potatoes, at least--I planted some seed potatoes, and also have at least as many volunteers, despite the fact I didn't plant any last year. Still growing, but for just for seeds now: sprouting broccoli, onions, leeks, fennel.
We harvested about half a kilo of pie cherries for the freezer, and maybe 2 weeks' worth of strawberries for eating out of hand; there are a couple raspberries on the newly planted canes (one or two a day), and a similar amount of blackcurrants (tart!). The apple trees have plenty of fruit, particularly the red Sparta, but both are very close to the new fence, so I'm keeping a careful eye on them. They won't ripen for another two months at least.