Seedlings, the greenhouse and a book
Finally the rain stopped for a couple of days and I was able to get out into the garden to do some serious work. In early April I had planted out some vegetable seeds in the small allotment just outside our garden fence (ever the optimist). Not surprisingly weeks of heavy rain and increased numbers of snails and slugs had combined to destroy my work.
Only the Perpetual Spinach (Leaf Beet) had survived as a complete row. The Turnips and Komatsuna (Japanese Mustard Spinach) had disappeared. Only a small number of Beetroot seedlings could be seen. I resowed the rows, covered them with small branches to stop the cats digging there. and crossed my fingers. In the same plot the Rhubarb is doing wel lin a slightly shaded spot up by the compost heap. I transplanted it last year from the border by the fence because it was too dry and the poor plant was wilting in the sun.
The frame is for the climbing Snap Peas and behind it is last year’s sowing of Perpetual Spinach which will be removed once it bolts. The frames protect the salad crops from marauding cats and passing Badgers. The empty spaces will be filled with Outdoor Cucumbers, French Beans and Courgettes once the plants are big enough to go outside.
In the greenhouse the Tomatoes, Chilli Peppers and Cucumbers have been transplanted into their final pots and I’ll erect supporting canes once I have taken down the plastic bubble wrap.
I still have some flower and herb seedlings in the greenhouse and while checking some Cosmos seedlings I noticed about five had suffered damage, stems still there but no leaves. They were on a shelf five feet off the ground….the culprit must be agile and not afraid of heights.
Or perhaps not so agile but slow, steady and persistent! On a pot to the left of the seed tray I found the culprit. I carefully removed it and put it into a clump of Achillea in the garden where it could do less damage.
I quite like snails but for such slow moving creatures they can do a lot of damage. Nevertheless I admire their resilience and ability to turn up in unexpected places despite having no legs and only one foot.
Those of you with a Kindle and a relaxed attitude to snails might like to read a lovely book called “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” by Elizabeth Tova Bailey. The author suffered a long period of debilitating illness and a friend brought her a pot of violets which was home to a small snail. This snail became the focus of her attention while she was bedridden. I highly recommend the book. It is available as a download from Amazon. You might also like to visit the author’s website too which has some lovely photos and videos.
Of course her snail is a delicate little thing while mine is more like the King Kong of snails….. but I say but live and let live…..just do not come back into the greenhouse.