Thursday, 9 September 2010

Caught In The Act

It's four weeks today since Archie arrived in our household and ever since he's been a little rascal. This is him, caught in the act of eating leaves off my alpine strawberry plant, which to be honest has seen better days. He can't pass this plant without having a nibble. The other day he was running around with a worm dangling from his mouth, but he does help with the garden pests too. The other night when it was quite dark my daughter thought he had picked up a twig so promptly stuck her fingers in his mouth and pulled it out, it turned out that it wasn't a twig at all but a big juicy slug, urgh. Last night he came running in to his bed with a huge snail which I had to retrieve and dispose of. I can see that we've got our hands full with him.

Last year when I installed my small wildlife pond I had high hopes that there would be some frog spawn in there this year. Unfortunately this didn't happen but I'm now keeping my fingers crossed for next year. There have been three resident frogs in there all summer so I'm hoping that they'll stay and raise some young.

I have dug up some more of my maincrop potatoes, Lady Balfour. They're a really nice potato, delicious baked, but sadly quite a few have slug damage. None of my first or second early potatoes had any damage, even though they were left in the ground quite a long time, I've only just finished digging up the International Kidney, and I know that other people have had less damage this year due to it being a dry summer, so that's disappointing. I've decided that next year I will grow my first and second earlies only in containers and that will free up more space at the allotment for maincrop potatoes so that I have plenty to store over winter. I was very happy with my first earlies, Sharpes Express, so I will grow these again next year, but I wasn't keen on International Kidney and I'm not happy with the slug damage in the Lady Balfour so I'm on the lookout for a second early and a maincrop to try next year.


  1. I've had great success with Maris Peer and Charlotte's this year both of which were second earlies and had no pest damage at fact I'm still digging the Charlottes so if you haven't tried them you could see how they go for you!!

    Sorry that Archie is such a naughty boy...hopefully he will have calmed down for the next growing season!!

  2. Hi Jo,
    I don't want to worry you but try and keep Archie away from slugs as they carry lungworm which is dangerous to dogs - You can get something from the vet to protect against this so if Archie is partial to slugs maybe it would be a good idea to talk to your vet. He's adorable and I'm sure you want to keep him safe. Love his caught in the act expression.

  3. Archie looks so cute; I would buy him his own strawberry plant.
    Have you tried growing potatoes in a straw? I was reading a lot about it and I'm thinking of trying it.

  4. Forgot to mention we grow Charlotte too - have done for a few years and our other 2nd early is Nadine

  5. Archie certainly has a hangdog expression in that photo Jo but looks adorable. Hope that the frogs stay. I was delighted to see one hopping about at the allotment yesterday.

  6. Bless him!! I can't grumble at Baz when he gets up to mischief, he just gives me thouse puppy dog eyes!
    WE got a crate off Ebay the other night and he loves it. Plus he is in love with the lady who comes to play with him when I have to go into spoilt yellow lab I reckon!
    We want a wildlife pond...should we have done it in the spring, or do you think we could do it now? WE are also making a 'habitat' for bugs, out of roofing tiles and bricks, we are hoping to run a hibination hotel for all out buggy pals. xxx

  7. He has a very mischievous smile in that photo. Is good to have a extra helper for the garden

    ps: thanks for the comments on my blog

  8. What a mischief, Ted (our puppy) and him would get on so well :-) Sorry to hear about your potatoes, how annoying !

  9. What a priceless picture and story about Alfie! I would love it if you could send a picture for inclusion in my dogblog? email a picture by 29th September! PS. my dog Buddy eats green foliage from my patch too!

  10. He is just so cute and hat a lovely little innocent face! Our dog likes to eat everything in the garden so now its all been moved inside the fenced area! He has a nasty habit of eating stones too, I'm forever putting my fingers in his mouth to retrieve things. Have a great weekend. Amanda x

  11. I wonder what happened to my earlier comment here! Never mind I'll try again.
    That's a lovely photo of Archie, and I love his 'Who me?' look.
    I also grow Charlottes. A really good second early is Kestrel, and how about Desiree as a maincrop which is generally slug resistant.
    Flighty xx

  12. Dear Jo,

    Archie is just too cute! Good luck with the frog spawn! I am hoping for some too, if my fish don't eat it!

    Pam x

  13. That's interesting, Tanya. I grew Charlotte last year and they survived without any damage at all, so I might give them a go again next year. I'm sure Archie is just being a puppy and will calm down with age.

    Thanks for the advice, Green Lane Allotments, I really appreciate it. I didn't know that dogs can catch lungworm from slugs so I googled straight away and found lots of information, including that lungworm can also be caught from the slug slime. I checked the wormer which was given to us by the vet and it's an all round wormer which covers lungworm, but he's being wormed monthly at the moment and is due again this week so I will certainly mention his liking for slugs to her. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I might give Charlottes a go again next year, they had no damage last year and the taste was ok.

    I haven't tried growing potatoes in straw, Vrtlarica, though I've heard of people doing it with mixed success. I will be interested to see your progress if you decide to give it a go.

    Archie is adorable, Anna, I've fallen completely in love with him. Frogs on the allotment can only be good, just think of all those slugs he can devour. I wish there were more on our site, I haven't seen many but there must be some as there was spawn in the beck which runs along side it this year.

    Basil is adorable, Claire. I have a real soft spot for labradors, I had a black one when I was little and would have loved one now, but they're too big really for our house. Archie has a crate where he sleeps on a night and he goes in to it without any problem, I think he likes it. I installed my wildlife pond last spring, it's only very small but it has attracted all manner of wildlife. Your hibernation hotel sounds fab, I've been meaning to make one too for ages now but I never seem to get round to it.

    You're welcome, ~fer, I enjoy reading your blog. I'm hoping that in time, Archie will be a good companion to have with me in the garden.

    Puppies wouldn't be puppies without getting up to some mischief, Scented Sweetpeas. I could do without all his gross habits though. I'm glad it was my daughter picking the slug out of his mouth and not me.

    I've sent a photo of Archie, Matron, I hope you've got it. I saw your post about your beans being eaten, who'd have thought it would be Buddy doing the eating though.

    Archie tries to eat stones too, Amanda. I too have to put my fingers in his mouth umpteen times a day. It's no fun, his teeth are like sharp little razors.

    Some of my comments went missing last week, Flighty, I'm still chasing earlier posts where I thought I'd left a comment. I did like this photo of Archie, I think it will be one which I print out for an album, I can't get used to storing photos on discs and still like hard copies. Thanks for the potato recommendations, I think I may give Charlottes a go again next year, and Desiree sounds good if it's slug resistant.

    Thanks, Pam. Frog spawn can be a bit hit and miss if you've got fish in the pond. Some manage to survive though so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  14. Jo,
    Archie is the cutest! And it's good to see he's getting his quota of fruit!! Cheers!

  15. Love the picture of Archie caught in act - butter wouldnt melt!!! last year we had to put our Airedale on house arrest everytime we dug up potatoes because no sooner were they revealed than he would snatch them and run away! At least he's getting his vitamins!

  16. Wonderful guilty expression! Loved it!

  17. Thanks, Avis. Yes, he's definitely eating healthily.

    Archie has run off with a potato which was left lying around too, Freerangegirl. I thought he might be company for me on the allotment but now I'm not so sure.

    Thanks for visiting, MrsNesbitt. Yes, he knows he shouldn't be touching my plants but he just can't help himself.

  18. How ironic - I just got a dog, too. He's an 18-mo old border collie... his first week here I caught him eating my only surviving pumpkin. Oh well, he will learn his lesson when Christmas comes and there's no pumpkin pie!

  19. How lovely to have given a dog a second chance home, Monica. I'm sure a border collie will keep you fit too, they need lots of excercise.

  20. Like allotsments4you I had good results this year wth Maris Peer; I put them in quite late and grew them like maincrop. No slug damage; some had scabs. Your pooch does look quite cheeky but adorable too in the photo!

  21. Thanks, Why I Garden. Good to hear another potato recommendation, I'll bear it in mind when I choose my varieties next year.


!-- Start of StatCounter Code for Blogger / Blogspot -->