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Juliet and Marna are growing tasty thing
25th-May-2009 11:49 pm
Allotment today. I earthed up the spuds, weeded a lot, and despaired at the broad beans. AND MET A LEOPARD SLUG! They are famous on the internets, and very pretty.
25th-May-2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing leopard slugs aren't a good thing?

We need to weed, badly :-(
25th-May-2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
I think they are a good thing. I like slugs.
26th-May-2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
So do I. i seem to be in a minority, though. And they like us too much - THE LITTLE SODS HAVE EATEN ALL OUR AUBERGINE SHOOTS!
26th-May-2009 07:01 am (UTC)
I thought they ate other slugs, actually, so by and large I'm cool with them being on the allotment.

Especially if I get to watch.
26th-May-2009 09:30 am (UTC)
They eat plants too. We love ALL beasts, though. Except the mosquito who has bit my eye OW OW OW.
26th-May-2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
We do not love the asparagus beetles!
27th-May-2009 12:20 am (UTC)
We do love them! We share the asparagus.
27th-May-2009 09:03 am (UTC)
I think you and I are of a similar mindset about beasties (I spent yesterday evening squealing "Bee! Bee! BEE!" with great enthusiasm, because a bee was again seen snuffling on my bean flowers).

Other people seem to think I'm mad, though.
27th-May-2009 12:12 pm (UTC)
I love all beasties but the common wasp and *right now* mosquitos. Some bad mosquito snacked on my face and back and legs on Sunday and I am swelled and itchy all over.

Our comfrey was bumblebee HEAVEN on Sunday. Also, there was a lot of ladybird-sex going on.
27th-May-2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
Wasps are fairly quite evil, what with their laying their eggs in other creatures' bodies and all. They're fairly grim.

We STILL haven't received our comfrey plants! The fuckers. I need to call and chase them up.
26th-May-2009 06:27 am (UTC)
My broad beans are DREADFUL, they are covered in blackfly. What do you do about blackfly? I've been told that there's an insecticide made of chrysanthemums available, called Pyrethrum or somesuch, but hmmm.

Also: two ENORMOUS ant nests, underneath the covered-up bit we're going to use for squishes. IF THE FUCKERS EVER GERMINATE THAT IS (the squishes not the ants).

And now it's pissing down, and the slugs will come out and eat all my newly-planted beans. Not happy. I should go and whinge about this on my own allotmentblog rly, shouldn't I :(
26th-May-2009 08:42 am (UTC)
Last year I watered my blackfly-ridden broad beans with soapy water and pinched out tge tops once they'd flowered, and still got a decent crop.
26th-May-2009 09:15 am (UTC)
Ooh! So you just cover the plant itself with soapy water - would Ecover washing up liquid do, do you think? If nothing else I will end up with the cleanest broad beans in Barnet ;) I still need to pinch out the tops. Must do that next time I'm up there!

Ant nest in bag of chips = AARGH ARRGH RUN FOR THE HILLS! I srsly don't think I would have been able to cope with that!
26th-May-2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
Ecover was exactly what I used!
27th-May-2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
BTW, my plant book said I should pinch out the bean tops when the first beans start to appear - is that right?

Mm, am looking forward to eating wilted bean tops in 'butter', with some black pepper.
26th-May-2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Annoyingly, I've discovered through an organic gardening books on pests that making *any* chemical insecticide, even soapy water, is technically illegal! Not sure how enforceable it is though.
27th-May-2009 12:23 am (UTC)
Technically illegal, yep, but very widely done and not at all policed, I believe. Bob Flowerdew recommends it without saying outright 'do a crime'. I believe that a dribble of oil added to the water helps, also.
27th-May-2009 08:58 am (UTC)
Yep, I suspect police have much more important things to do than arrest gardeners, and I do see the sense in having the law, even if it's rather too wide. But I did think I'd mention it nonetheless.
27th-May-2009 08:36 am (UTC)
26th-May-2009 08:44 am (UTC)
Oh and we discovered yesterday that our bag of bark chips was no longer a bag of bark chips but one HUGE anthill.
26th-May-2009 09:36 am (UTC)
ARGH! I read yesterday, that if you leave out jam for the ants they do not bother with the aphids and eat the jam instead, and then they get hungry for aphid, because jam is not a balanced diet, and eat them up too. I am not convinced about this - surely feeding the little beasts is encouraging them! - but I might try it anyway.
26th-May-2009 09:34 am (UTC)
Blackfly? We despair. Our broad beans have a great crop of them. I think we might just give up on the broad beans this year.

Usually the broad bean strategy is to get them in to overwinter, and get a crop before the aphids move in, but we've failed on that this year. MY FAULT!
26th-May-2009 10:07 am (UTC)
Pls tell me more of this 'overwintering' malarkey. Does it just mean that you pop a load in in the autumn and leave them over the winter (like it says on the tin?) Bcs I have a LOT of broad beans left and could do this quite easily!
26th-May-2009 10:13 am (UTC)
That exactly! Plant them out in November, and they get growing as soon as it's warm and light enough, and you get an earlier crop. It worked last year, but I was slow this year and didn't get them in until spring.
26th-May-2009 10:33 am (UTC)
OK, I will make a note to plant some in pots in errr September or so, then! IN YOUR FACE, BLACKFLY!
26th-May-2009 10:43 am (UTC)
Not in pots - you don't want them to germinate until Feb or so. Straight into the ground is fine and they'll get sprouting as soon as they notice the soil warming up.
31st-May-2009 05:31 am (UTC)
as M says: straight into the ground in Nov. They'll still get a bit infested, but if you pinch the tops out as soon as they start showing any flowers, you'll get a worthwhile bean crop. We did this last yr and it worked.

it helps if you don't mind washing the odd (handful of) aphids off the beans before depodding them.
26th-May-2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, we've only just seen some more squish shoots TODAY. They take aaaaages.
24th-Nov-2009 10:01 am (UTC)
Hello, I've just joined your community because I'm an allotment holder in the UK. Would posts about my Lottie be welcome here?
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