Setbacks

So far I’ve been feeling rather pleased with how much progress we’ve made with the plot. From a mass of weeds, we’ve cleared and organised the plot amazingly. However, just to make sure I don’t start feeling too smug, there have been a few setbacks. Swings and roundabouts as they say.

I posted in mid-March about my Seed Anxiety, a worry that hasn’t really gone away and I imagine never really will. The sweet pea, nasturtium and sunflower seedlings I planted out have all succumbed to recent late frosts and hail storms. They had struggled on for a while but the torrential rain/hail in the last week may  have been the final blow. It was nearly the final blow for me as I got caught in it on Friday, which resulted in a rather soggy drive home.

The rain has also given the weeds and snails a lovely kickstart, which I think will need to be tackled today. I do have to admit though, when I made a quick visit yesterday to pick some more rhubarb, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Still, plenty to do nonetheless.

I also planted up my window box with lots of lovely herbs, but a naughty starling has discovered them recently. The little fecker has nearly annihilated my mint, one thyme and a sizeable chunk of my chives.  I caught the blighter early one morning as I was drinking some motivation (aka tea). I banged the window thinking that would be the end of it, but he’s been sighted more recently by my flatmate. Dawn raids seem to be the main tactic. I find it particularly irritating as we had a bird feeder out there for two years with no takers. Now that it’s gone, why suddenly start on my herbs!?

Thyme, Chives & Mint. @%$&%$!?!!

Mint. @^%#@^&^$!!

I’ve also noticed that my chilli and tomato seedlings, which started out really well, but seem to have “stalled” over the last couple of weeks. I’m assuming their growth naturally slows down as they get bigger, but any advice, input or reassurance from anyone would be very welcome.

Lovingly watched over by Sparkly!Jesus.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things these things aren’t all that bad, I’m fully aware there will be more to come. I pride myself in being a good problem solver, so I will directly plant out some more sweet pea, nasturtium and sunflower seeds. Hunt snails, weed and rake beds until my back hurts. Most of all, I’ll get up extra early and sit by the kitchen window boxes, armed with a sturdy broom.

6 responses to “Setbacks

  1. I know your seed anguish – last year so many things died. This year I planted some czar beans and only two came up. Why? No idea. My allotment neighbours say that each year something ‘doesn’t happen’ and there is no ready explanation. The birds are very cheeky – at my allotment the crows try to pull out all the sticks to get at the plants or the worms underneath. But we feed them even so!! I like the interaction with the birds (pigeons, crows and robins so far) because they’re so clever and chatty. Still, when they raised my rocket to the ground, I swore revenge (and then calmed down and netted it all)… Love the ‘cup of motivation’ – I know that too! Is it possible to rehome your snails? I can’t bring myself to kill slugs or snails so I carry them to far(ish) off park grounds!! I do realise that I’m possibly allotmental for this! Really enjoy reading your blog. 🙂

    • I’m not squeamish when it comes to dealing with snails, but I tend to relocate whenever possible, usually to the green waste bin at the far end of the site. If desperate I’ll use few snail pellets near the most vulnerable plants.

      As I spend so much of my time in gardens, I really do love watching all the birds, robins are by far my favourite. Back in Canada it was the humming birds I loved the most. At the allotment site it’s the magpies and the wood pigeons that do the most damage, but I haven’t suffered much from their antics so far. Nonetheless, we’ve been investing heavily in some good, sturdy bird netting!

  2. Sorry your plants met a wet and beaky death. As you say, start again and I’m sure it will all come right in the end. My tomato plants seem to be doing the same thing, Anna. Usually they romp away once the first true leaves appear, with all this dreary weather I’m assuming it’s light levels and possibly the dip in temperature? Who knows, they look healthy enough (as yours do) and secretly I’m glad mine aren’t too big at the moment. I’m potting mine on now.

    • I think you’re right about the lack of sunlight. I had taken to setting my seedlings out on the coffee table each morning so they could have a nice afternoon sunbath while I was at work. (That’s dedication for you). In the last week, there really hasn’t been much point in doing this.
      I potted them on last night, all seems well, just….slow. As you say, that’s probably for the best!

  3. Glad you have discovered my blogs and decided to follow. Strangely, today I have just clicked the follow button on your blog.

    • I look forward to reading about your allotment adventures! Thanks for following my blog too, Clearly a case of “great minds” and all that.

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