Last Thursday, gentle reader if you recall, I wrote that I had forgotten to put down slug pellets around my newly planted Climbing French Beans. And so I returned on the Friday to do so, only intending to stay for the amount of time it would take to shake said pellets onto the ground, allowing me to skip away while merrily flicking the Vs at the soon to be annihilated slimers.
So imagine my surprise, nay horror, to discover that my lovingly nurtured Red Cabbage and Brussel Sprout seedlings had been CHEWED BY PIGEONS OVERNIGHT111!!!111!!!1 Now, normally, these lumbering, comical birds don't bother me, in fact I rather enjoy watching them peck each other on the head while waiting in line to eat the nuts from my wall-hung peanut feeder but this just takes the biscuit (or brassica).
The only option, of course, is to create a net cage and, of course, I didn't have any net with me and so, of course, I had to scoot back home and return with the only net I had which I'd just got for my newly planted Strawberries and which, of course, wasn't big enough to go over the brassicas and so, of course, I had to stitch the edges together with hairy garden string, like some really incomptent sutures [*takes breath*]. This is a real pain in the bum as I've not finished planting brassicas yet (I've still got Broccoli, late Sprouts, Savoy Cabbage and Curly Kale to go in yet) so I'm going to have to ask The Husband if he'll design (and build, pretty please...) something a bit more robust and easily manageable to go over all the plants when they eventually go in. Still, I'm pleased to report that my ham-fisted efforts do seem to have worked, a week later the cage is still in one place/piece and no pigeons have gained entry.
So let me guide you gently by the hand into this week's efforts. Well, I've extended the bean poles, I now have 16 poles (8 on each side) with two plants for each pole (i.e., 32 plants). Good job, then, that we like French Beans in our house. I've also finally got my 23 Sweetcorn plants in the ground as well although I can't help feeling that I may be being a little premature here, but others on site have planted theirs so I suppose if we get hit by a late frost, we'll all lose them together!
I have monumental colonies of Blackfly nestling very happily thank-you in the tips of my Broad Beans so I started spraying today until I read the bottle halfway round and it said something like, "Extremely dangerous to bees - do not use on open flowers" and what was I doing? Naturally I was spraying onto the open flowers of the Broad Beans, so stopped immediately. I've kind of decided to use this as a controlled experiment though, to see which of the plants do best, those that were sprayed and those that weren't.
I noticed that Henry opposite had planted Marigolds underneath his Blackfly-free Broad Beans (try saying that really quickly three times) so went and bought half a dozen to plant amongst mine before researching why. Apparently, the Blackfly don't like the smell of Marigolds so will avoid them and find somewhere else. I'm going to buy some more tomorrow (they also look good).
Anyway, enjoy a picture of the current state of the allotment and I'll see you next time.