Sunday, 17 July 2011

Didn't Make The Cut

I've always had great success growing my cut and come again lettuces in containers. I find they grow well and are clean when leaves are taken, and up until now have been free from any slug damage. I wonder what's different this year. Have those pesky slugs just realised that they're able to climb in to my containers and devour my delicious lettuce at will, or are other factors involved? It's not only this lettuce which has been decimated but the whole lot. I suppose I'd better resow.

The first sowing of peas are still producing well, and I've even managed to get a batch stocked up in the freezer for use later. The second sowing is coming along well too. I'm impressed with the taste of this years variety, Hurst Green Shaft, and I shall definitely grow them again.

My blueberry harvest is going to be very poor this year. I think I can see about twenty berries on the two bushes and they're just about ripe now. At the end of the season I shall repot them and replenish the ericaceous compost in the containers. This, and a mulch of coffee grounds, will hopefully give the plants a much needed boost and enable them to put on a better show next year. I was looking forward to some blueberry muffins.


  1. Yum blueberry muffins are my favourite too

  2. vegies all look like that!

  3. Oh dear what a sad sight - I haven't done too bad with lettuces this year, except for them going to seed before I had a chance to get round to them. It's all in the lap of the gods I'm afraid.

  4. That lettuce is certainly "past it"! Seeing that reminds me how lucky I am that I don't have a major problem with slugs and snails (which seems to be very unusual).
    My Blueberries are cropping quite well this year, but the Blackbirds have found them, so I am losing a few. I have had to pick them under-ripe and ripen them indoors.

  5. I think the blackbirds are raiding our blueberries in retribution as they couldn't have cherries or redcurrants. We have to do the same as Mark but the blueberries being on the allotment rather than in the garden we can't always get to them first.

    The slugs do seem to have suddenly become ravenous maybe the warm dry weather meant that they couldn't come out and play earlier.

    Try sticky some copper tape around the tubs (although by now the slugs could be in your compost) or smearing Vaseline around the tub a little way down from the top or up from the bottom

  6. Slugs are a real nuisance. Our containers are on copper legs (supposed to be a deterrent) - made from plumbers copper pipe. Touch wood they've not been invaded by slugs yet. As soon as we have lettuce in the plot itself it's eaten by the slugs. It's not very appetising to find any creature in your lettuce is it? Glad your peas are producing well.
    Love from Mum

  7. I'm hoping top be able to make at least one batch of blueberry muffins this be honest it's the only reason I grow the

    I am envious of your peas success...I will be sowing some more and trying again this week.

    It's strange about your lettuce...i hope you have better luck with your next sowing.

  8. Oh no, your poor lettuce! How many were there?

  9. AnonymousJuly 18, 2011

    Oh dear, I'm told that they leave the red leafed varieties alone.
    I'm surprised that the blueberries have done poorly as generally it's been a good year for soft fruit. Flighty xx

  10. We lost one of our blueberry bushes last winter but the other three are recovering with all this rain. I'm told that they don't like being repotted so perhaps just top up the soil and add coffee grounds. Mine are also due for pruning... (Lovely peas, by the way! My late sowing is just peaking through.)

  11. It's a bit disappointing that I won't be able to make blueberry muffins this year, Captain Shagrat. I suppose there's always next year.

    Sorry to hear that, Mrs Bok. Those slugs have a lot to answer for.

    Thank you for visiting, Elaine. It's a shame your lettuces have gone to seed before they got eaten, I hope it's because you were eating lots of other lovely home grown food.

    I've never had a big problem with slugs in the garden before this episode, Mark. The allotment is a different matter all together. Blackbirds love blueberries, I've had to try to outwit them in previous years.

    Oh, indeed, Martin. Such a sorry sight.

    You could always try netting the blueberries, Sue. Before we're done we'll have our whole plots under netting avoiding one pest or another. I've heard about copper tape and vaseline but haven't had the need to try it before. I'll get rid of the compost and start afresh, no point sowing more if the slugs are already in the compost.

    It sounds like you've got a good plan with your containers, Mum. I don't even attempt to grow lettuce at the allotment as I know the slugs would have them there. My containers have worked well until now.

    I love blueberries, Tanya, but only ever make muffins with them or else eat them fresh. Hope you have some success with your peas.

    There was only the one container, Ali, which had a few lettuces in. We're not huge salad eaters so the cut and come again varieties serve us well.

    I'm not surprised, Flighty. I much prefer the green varieties to the red ones myself. I was without blueberries last year after the flowers got frosted so I was hoping I'd have a good crop this year to compensate. Fingers crossed again for next year.

    The blueberry plants need to be in a bigger pot really, Caro, otherwise I'd just do as you suggest. Glad to hear you've got some peas poking through, hope those foxes don't disturb them.

  12. Those pesky slugs! I can relate as they get into my containers too.

  13. Oh dear! What a sad looking lettuce :( I've kept mine to the Polytunnel this year and they're much cleaner. We always let some bolt for the chickens who love a huge lettuce stalk to peck at :)

  14. That lettuce looks so sad. The slugs and snails seem to leave my lettuce alone but just can't resist the pak choi. The only ones that have survived the molluscs have already bolted. Some you just can't win!

  15. That is a very sad looking lettuce, I'd show you mine, but the bunnies got them, all the way down to the ground. Wonder if its been a bad year for blueberries, ours at work have not fruited well this year either, may copy your repotting........

  16. Oh my goodness Jo, that looks scary! Its amazing how much damage those pesky slugs can do.

    We have had loads of peas and strawberries this year too. Like you I cannot resist popping peas into my mouth as I go around the garden. If they do get as far as the kitchen I like them really small and pop them raw into salads.


  17. I have just looked at my latest row of lettuces and I'm sad to say they are going the same way as yours.
    Still, the picture of all those peas in your last post must surely help the disapointment Jo! Wonderful amount and so healthy looking!
    Thanks for your comment, glad to know that all your tomatoes ripened last year and that ours are at about the same stage now, so I take hope from that!
    My Mums tomatoes are similar too, most flowers taking forever to set and baby tomatoes still tiny and green.
    Gill xx

  18. Oh no Jo - they could have done the decent thing and have just contented themselves with the odd nibble. Are you using different compost?

    Have not grown Hurst Green Shaft - maybe one for the future.

  19. Slugs are such pests, Kelli. I've never has as much trouble with them in the garden as I've had this year.

    I bet the polytunnel veg are lovely and clean, Mo. Lucky chickens being fed on home grown veg, I'm sure they reward you with their lovely eggs.

    It's like fighting a losing battle, Surburban veg gardener. If one thing doesn't get them, another will.

    Rabbits are one pest I don't have, Orkney Flowers, except the two I have in hutches, though I don't let them anywhere near my veg. I shouldn't speak too soon though, I didn't suffer from slugs in the garden until this year.

    It's amazing how much damage slugs can cause, Jeanne. That was done in a night. I never think to add peas to a salad, I must try it.

    There's something every year which doesn't do so well, Gill. I suppose it's the turn of the lettuce this year. Sorry to hear that your's are going the same way. I'm hoping my tomatoes stay green for a while longer otherwise they'll be ripening whilst we're on holiday.

    I'm using exactly the same compost, Anna. I'd rather them eat the lettuces than anything else though, so I'm looking on the bright side, no slug damage on any other crops, yet. I'm really pleased with Hurst Green Shaft, they have a lovely taste, and there's plenty of peas in each pod too, I'll be growing them again next year.


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