Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Spot of Bother

This is our asparagus bed. You can only sort-of see from this little picture, but out of ten plants, only five are doing well. Three more are just about showing their first shoots, and the other two are showing no signs of life yet whatsoever. I wonder what the problem is. I have noticed a lot of ants in the area and there must be a nest about - I wonder if they're doing damage somehow...

This isn't the only problem that has been worrying my little head this week. There has been a random act of destruction on our patio; all ungerminated seeds were dug up and soil scattered everywhere. It can't have been birds, as the broad beans were untouched, and the cat would not have been so discriminate. I can only think that it must be mice, but... in broad daylight? And they didn't try this when the peas and broad beans were germinating. Weird.

There's a similar story on the allotment: something has been repeatedly digging holes in the lettuce bed. I have raked the soil back into place three times now (Cover it up?? But that would be sensible!) and sadly lost a lot of tiny lettuce seedlings, but finally have given up and sown a trayful of lettuce seeds at home to transplant later - the few I can raise here are better than none! I don't know what's doing this - it's a big hole, not like a cat would dig, surely too big for a mouse or a rat, and if we had rabbits about I would have seen the droppings. We have had it before; the last two years something burrowed holes under our pumpkins! I can only think that it might be a dog, which is annoying because one would hope people wouldn't let their dogs run amuck on an allotment site! There's actually a 'no dogs allowed' rule, but I know a few people ignore it...

Finally, eight days on, there's still no sign of life from my second sowings of Waltham Butternut Squash and King of the North Peppers, which have been kept indoors and had their moisture levels monitored carefully. I got in touch with Real Seeds last week to ask whether I was doing something wrong or whether anyone else had been having problems, and was assured that I had simply sown too early and seeds kept at a higher temperature would germinate fine. So I wait with bated breath...

3 comments:

Green Lane Allotments said...

We have a fox (maybe more than one) that we think digs holes in the plot. We fill them and each time they are redug! We have put cloches of chicken wire over any seed beds to protect them as even if the fox doesn't dig it leaves paw holes everywhere.

Fox do dig for worms and invertevrates so could you too have foxes?

Nome said...

Aha, that's possible... I'll have to ask around and see if anyone knows if we have foxes about.

Jo said...

I was going to suggest foxes too. Your seeds may take longer than eight days to germinate if they're not in a propagator. Try popping a clear plastic bag over the pots secured with an elastic band to keep the humidity up, that might get them going.

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