The rogues with the biggest price on their heads this week:
Slugs and snails – in this case the price in question is about £2.50 for some eggs (or rather the resultant shells) and about 40p for some copper tape..but I suspect this price is going to go up, as the little blighters keep breaking through the barricades. The helpless victims are the Victorian Purple Podded peas (of course – they are the ones I had the fewest seeds of!) – even though they’re being grown in a huge container, set out on what other people might call a lawn, if they did lawn-type things to it. Still, they’re moved further out still, and sitting on a large log, with more egg shells added as fast as we can eat the contents. Half a dozen or so of the plants have made it a foot or so tall so there is hope, but it’s very frustrating.
Vine weevils – this season’s most wanted. As I think I said in the post above I’m annoyed we didn’t act sooner on finding a single adult last year. They are very distinctive, and we should have been less optimistic. Our two interesting rhubarbs, Grooveless Crimson (marvellous name) and Fultons Strawberry Surprise, seem to both have suffered, with at least one of the six plants very close to meeting its maker. We noticed they were looking sad, and my beloved emptied one out to have a look and found the grubs all over it with the remainder of the fat roots coming off in lumps.
Fortunately the nematode treatment has turned up, and the rhubarb, an emergency case because of the difficulty in replacing it, has been treated today, along with the ground born sweet cicely and asparagus (again, some difficult/time consuming plants to replace – and edited to add, prompted by my better half, that we also hope this might provide a nursery situation for the nematodes to spread through our soil a bit). When the heavy rain has passed in a day or two the remainder will come out of the fridge and be shared between our potted plants (a few trees, blueberries, fruit cuttings), which are, I believe, the most vulnerable.
Rather unhappy about them but at least we are doing something. I may have to obtain another barrier treatment of some sort against the slugs – we are reluctant to use nematodes for them as most of our vegetables are grown above our wildlife ponds.