Well I hope so anyway... I recently read a letter in a gardening magazine from a woman who swore that putting tin-foil round her plants kept the slugs off them. So I have made brassica collars out of foil for my newly-transplanted winter cabbages, brussels and broccolis, as well as the swedes I sowed direct here back in April. We'll see what happens...
In this bed I have also sowed kale seeds, and left some room for spring cabbage which will be sown later on in the summer.
There's so much to transplant now, I don't know when I'm going to get it all done. I held off planting out the tomatoes last weekend when I heard we were due a few cold nights, but I think I'll take the plunge on Friday when I have a day off. I'm really fearing for their health now; some have developed tiny black spots on the leaves, which is surely a sign that I'm doomed to fail yet again. Perhaps next year I'll skip the toilet rolls and go for good old-fashioned flower pots, where there's less risk of fungus developing.
Then there's the cucumbers and squashes. We're going to grow the cukes, butternut and spaghetti squashes up obelisks, so we've been busy building them and seiving bucketloads of compost to mulch the bed.
And I got home this evening to find my 60 young leeks and 16 free sweetcorn plants had arrived from Mr Fothergills! I've bunged them all in a trough in the garden temporarily, but I'll have to plant them out on Friday too.
And then there's the beans! I've had mixed germination success - I think I let one half of the tray dry out at a critical moment during the hot weather - so some will have to be resown, and I don't have any more space at home but I know the slugs will get them if I sow them direct, and anyway the bean patch is covered in self-seeded borage and last year's leftover potatoes sprouting, which I'll have to sort out before I do anything else there! Aaargh!
I thought it was high time I took the final step with mushrooms (a month after leaving the grains to spawn), and when I checked under the damp newspaper I found the manure was covered in these mould-like strands, as it should be.
It's covered now with a good layer of sterile soil, well firmed down, and with a few criss-crossing sticks over the top to try to keep the cats off! Can't wait to start picking my very own mushrooms...
And on a windy day over the weekend I noticed how much the asparagus is beginning to suffer (we're only picking a little this year - its second year - so some has grown into quite tall ferns already, and the wind damaged it quite badly last year) so I set up canes at the ends of each row with string running between the two to try to give it some support.
As you can see we're still fighting the weeds in the asparagus patch, but it's doing pretty well otherwise, with still no sign of any asparagus beetles yet (sssshh)!