Friday, 8 June 2007

A Quick Update

I've got no pretty pictures today but I just thought I'd tell you how things are going.

I'm losing the battle against asparagus beetles I'm afraid; I pick them off whenever I visit but they seem to do so much damage so quickly. It's not as if they're destroying this year's crop, but they defoliate the ferns so they'll weaken the plants for the future. Petunias are supposed to keep the beetles away and I had planned on a border of them, but for some reason none of my seeds grew. If I can scrape enough pennies together I'll buy a load of plants from the market... On the plus side, the asparagus seems to be putting up lots of new shoots, which is good.

Slug and snail damage has been greatly reduced but still not enough; there must be millions of the things living in the overgrown next allotment (and of course the overgrown part of mine) and they've completely destroyed the sunflowers I planted at the border. Thanks to a suggestion from a friend, I'm now considering a wall of bristly doormats to keep them out!

The weeds keep on coming, and it's not just my lack of enthusiasm which is stopping me from digging the next part of the plot; there's always too much to do to look after the planted patches all the time!

The strawberries have started fruiting! How exciting! The fruits are still white at the moment so I need to protect them from birds soon before they ripen, and put some straw underneath to keep them off the soil, which can spread grey mould. Where does one buy straw, that's what I want to know!

Someone has kindly knocked most of the pile of rocks by the pond into the water, killing a huge frog that must have been visiting. It can't have been the wind; I spent ages building that pile and making sure it was secure. Next time I visit I'll have to fish all the rocks back out and build it again...

The potatoes are doing well, as are the onions, and I think among the forest of weeds yesterday I spotted some parsnips and red onions finally coming up too! The seedlings in my garden are starting to really suffer from being in tiny pots, and the cats keep digging up my leeks, so I really need to get things planted out or it'll be too late to bother (though I keep telling myself not to worry if not everything happens this year; next year we'll be able to get a much earlier start and we won't have such a battle on our hands!).

This weekend we're planning to spend a whole day there, do a decent amount of weeding and dig that next strip at last. Wish us luck!

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