slugs & snails

And now for a bit of good news: strawberries. Nom nom nom

Well, my tomatoes might be a washout but the strawberries out the front are going really well. I have already eaten my first few; they taste fab even when they’re not quite ripe.

The big pot in the back of the pic is one of three runner bean containers that I potted up today. I didn’t plant any runner bean seeds – it was one of my neighbours (who lives round the corner from us). He had more seedlings than he knew what to do with, and gave me some of his surplus. There are two big bean pots out the front, and one in the back. It’s on the top step by the back door, because that’s the only spot in our back garden where they stand an earthly against the monstrous horde of snails.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EmpressFelicity - May 28, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Categories: crops, slugs & snails   Tags: ,

A strawberry a day

Well OK, more like three or four strawberries at the moment, from three strawberry plants in the back garden (pictured) and three big containers in the front, each containing 3 – 4 plants. They are delicious. I wish I’d remembered (if I ever knew in the first place) what variety they are. Most of them came from a charity shop and I don’t think they were labelled in any way. The strawberries would be even more delicious if I waited till they were fully ripe before I picked them, but (a) I’m impatient and (b) the snails would get to them. I don’t use slug pellets but I have developed quite a good overarm throw, which usually ensures that the offending molluscs land in the alleyway between our back fence and the courtyard of the block of flats that backs onto us. If only there weren’t so many of the bloody things. The snails are why I have to put our runner beans in the front garden – there are so many snails in the back that the beans would have no chance of survival there. Even more robust plants, like spring onions and chives, end up covered with trails of slime.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EmpressFelicity - June 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Categories: crops, slugs & snails   Tags: , ,

First post

I’ve started this blog because of the glazed expression I notice in people’s eyes whenever I talk about my latest obsession: growing vegetables in containers.  So I thought, why not create a blog, which will be read by random people on the Internet who are actually interested in the subject?

This is my second year of container vegetable growing, and I’ve learned massive amounts (and made plenty of mistakes as well).  It all started back in late 2007, when I joined a local community allotment project.  For various reasons which I won’t go into, I’m not volunteering at the project any more, and I decided not to get a private allotment either.  (Logistically speaking, allotments are a pretty tricky thing when you don’t drive or have a bike, and don’t want to buy a whole new set of tools for said allotment, or a lockable shed to keep them in…)

So that left one option: grow stuff in my back garden.  It’s a tiny, triangular patch with a couple of raised beds and paving everywhere else.  This means that allotment-style rows of onions, potatoes etc. are out of the question.  But it’s big enough – with the addition of things like shelving and hanging baskets, plus a “table” made from an old door – to house quite a few containers.   And there’s a little paved patch in our front garden, which gets a lot of sun and is hence ideal for container growing.  Plus it also gets fewer snails than the back garden, which is why I’ve put runner beans there rather than in the back.  (If you don’t want to use slug pellets, then the easiest way to prevent snail damage is to grow your stuff where the snails aren’t so prevalent.  None of the so called “eco friendly” ways to banish snails have ever worked for me.   Beer in a saucer?  Nah.  The snails in my back garden just go “cheers, mate!”, drink the beer and *then* chomp on my pak choi.  Smear of Vaseline around the outside of your pots?  Doesn’t work – I think our snails must use parachutes.)   At one stage, I even erected a small “tent” (made from a very fine gauge net curtain and some bamboo canes) around a particularly sensitive container crop.  This did actually work, but it was a huge faff dismantling and re-erecting the tent every time you wanted to pick a couple of leaves.  Sometimes it just isn’t worth it.

Who said shelving had to be for indoors only?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by EmpressFelicity - June 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Categories: slugs & snails   Tags: ,

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