I’m starting to wonder if these veggies are ever going to get on the table when so many other creatures want to eat them right there in the patch.
A few days ago I went out into the garden to do my daily check on everything and somehow managed to crash a caterpillar party in full swing right in the middle of the broccoli. It looked like they’d been having a great time getting fat on the leaves, there were whole chunks missing from them and one plant had been completely obliterated! I’d been so keen on keeping the slugs, snails and munching rabbit away that I hadn’t even thought about caterpillars who of course love things like broccoli and cabbage.
A very experienced organic veg grower told me that to keep pests away from your veg one of the best methods is biological controls. That sounded to me like some kind of terrifying military tactic. Apparently you can buy parasites (native to the UK) which will kill the pests (you can target which kinds of pests you want to get rid of) but won’t do any damage to pets or other wildlife or plants. My initial thoughts were that I would try other ways to keep the pests away first, I hate the idea of killing anything intentionally but considering the various other options this does seem like the safest way to make sure I have any veggies left in the patch at all.
By fortunate coincidence I spotted a post on Adam Vaughan’s The Green Guy blog mentioning the Green Gardener who sells a variety of biological pest controls and other products for organic gardening. The Green Gardener also provides some very valuable advice in the ‘Your Questions Answered‘ section of his website. I think I’ll keep an eye on the caterpillar situation and if it becomes absolutely necessary then I guess I’ll have to go tactic on them.
I’m sure I’m not the only person trying to grow veg whose plans have been affected by the rain. The broccoli and cabbage seem fine and the onions have grown much more but it seems to have seriously affected the already flagging spinach.
The plants in the greenhouse all seemed to have slowed down due to lack of warmth and sunshine. I guess lots of us can relate to that.
Has any one else’s fruit or veg plans been affected by this exceptionally rainy weather? If so, please make a comment or get in touch.
On the positive side
Some good news though is that the sweetcorn I planted a week or so ago has come on amazingly and they have now been transferred to their own pots, you can see them getting taller every day.
As an experiment I put some potatoes that had started to sprout in two large tubs of compost. They seem to love the rain and grown quite tall, leafy stalks in a matter of days. I’ve heard that potatoes are easy to grow and if I do manage to get any veg from these old potatoes that would have ordinarily been thrown into the compost bin they will be quite literally as cheap as chips!