Gardening ups and downs

broadbean flowers.jpg

Let’s start with the good stuff – the broad beans are doing well – as are the mangetout

mangetout flowers

This year the peas and beans are in the middle of the giant fruit cage – it seems to be working.

I also have irrigation in my gutter garden. The strawberries are starting to flower. So I have a question – should I pick off the flowers this year in the hope that next year I will get a bumper crop, or should I not bother? any advice would be very gratefully received.

As I don’t have enough strawberries to fill all the gutters I have planted dill, rocket, lettuce, broad beans, dwarf peas and radishes in some of the gutters – it is a bit of an experiment.

lettuce in gutters.jpgdill in gutters.jpg

However, all is not rosy in the garden. I have had a number of epic fails in the brassica department. First of all all the seeds I sowed for cabbage, cauliflower, brussels and broccoli started to grow well.


Then just at the point they should or would get their second leaves they all wilted and died. I water them regularly, I transplanted some of them, I have sufficient air going through the greenhouse – my new duck protectors are in place


But still they shrivel. So I bought some young brassica plants. I planted these out on the hugelkultur, they have irrigation, alpaca poo for nourishment and are covered with enviromesh to protect them from the cabbage white caterpillars. But wretched slugs have come and eaten them all twice. Any advice as to what I can do? I might put out some beer traps, but other than that I have no ideas.

The squash adn courgettes also seemed to be doing well as seedlings, but got slightly neglected and too leggy and now are struggling. Right now it all seems like an up-hill struggle.

squash and courgettes

But to end on a bit of a positive note we have lots of dill, that I grew from last year’s seed in the greenhouse

dill in greenhouse.jpg

and the cold frame is full of herbs and lettuce


We have been mainly eating leeks as they had started to flower so it was time to pick them.



Oh, and rhubarb, I am eating a lot of rhubarb at the morning – whizzed up in smoothies for breakfast


11 responses to “Gardening ups and downs

  1. The only success I had against slugs was to go out at night before bed with a flashlight, turn over everything they might be under, and examine each plant. Every one I found I picked up and squashed, and I put the remains back in the soil. I don’t think that last part discouraged their relatives, but it fed my garden.

    • I might have to do that – but usually by that time, I am just very tired. Sometimes after rain I collect them and feed them to the ducks and hens!

  2. I grew a lot of broccoli one year. It was a small bed and we put copper piping all around it. No slugs, but it was only when I picked the first ones, boiled them and put them on the dinner plate that I notice a lot of boiled caterpillars!!!

  3. Hi Claire
    Broccoli either works or not, we have some in at the moment and will wait and see, a friend of ours has broccoli trees which she leaves in year round and it seems to work in 30degree temps. For seeds I have good luck with either self sown or seeds that I get from dead seed heads, sort of like weeds! I lost all my chooks to a neighbors dog. The Guinea Fowl flew away so at the moment I just have 2 birds too look after. Fortunately we do not have slugs because the pretty yellow breasted robins eat them, a bit like pythons keep the rat and mouse population under control.
    Regards Uncle Dave

    • Bad news about the chooks – that happens to us sometimes too with village or campers dogs. Lucky you to not have slugs – but I am glad we don’t have pythons – that would freak me out. xxx

  4. Looking amazing! I’m looking forward to reading your blog. I started my own garden this year and am always looking to learn from others. Happy growing!

  5. Pingback: Hugelkultur Update | smallholding dreams·

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