ups and downs

There have been ups....

........ the mad rhubarb plant
......... healthy strawberry plants and hopefully lots of fruit ( with a bit of luck and sunshine)

...... blackcurrant bush heavy with fruit
....... potatoes coming along nicely
but also rather too many downs ...
the french beans just about survived the hail, but were then finished off by slugs.
I planted more which  rotted before they germinated.
My third attempt are looking very small ( this time last year they were romping halfway up the canes)
and about a third of them germinated but produced no leaves.

I've no idea why.
Does anybody know?
Answers on a postcard please!
The salad crops: spinach, beetroot, spring onions and radish ( radish, I know, surely anyone can grow radish!) seem intent on not growing. Germination is very patchy.
I am putting it down to having had the coldest spring in 50 years and also very little rain.
But just as I was starting to become very glum, I chanced upon can you dig it and their hilarious songs.
If you are fighting the slugs, listen to Rap battle: gardener v slug (link on the left hand side of their website, 3rd song down) to cheer yourself up!
Happy growing!



  1. How about starting your beans off in pots or root-trainers and planting them out when they're 5-6 inches tall - less tempting to slugs than fresh little seedling leaves. Liberal applicatiions of organic slug pellets also helps! (the ones suitable for edible crops).

  2. I have admitted defeat on the French bean front for this year. I can't tell you how many times I've started over only to have the slugs mow them down. My strawberries are looking pretty good but not as good as yours! Yum!

  3. Well, hopefully your 'ups' will outweigh the disappointments. We've given up on even attempting to grow edibles here where it's all about the snails and Boo's big feet!

  4. Sorry about your allotment losses but it's been a pretty crummy spring! I'm no expert but beans tend to grow super-fast so fingers crossed your new ones will romp away.

    And I'm envious of your blackcurrants. Rhubarb's always fun to grow and fairly dependable. I harvested and stewed some this afternoon but tried to ignore the howling gales and the thoughts of what they might do to my plants.

    Hope you enjoy the strawberries (we cheated and bought some yesterday). So nice when they're local and in season :)

  5. Strawberries looking very fine! The slugs demolished our French beans and our squash plants, but our sweetcorn is looking okay, if it survives these howling gales.

  6. Slug pellets were mentioned on our plot this week - oh, the temptation. I have only 6 sweetcorn out of 30 seeds and have also lost climbing French beans. I think the advice to plant out larger seedlings is probably good - but we don't have a greenhouse, and as soon as we tried to harden off, the snails crept out. I tried wool pellets last year and they were pretty marvellous, though not cheap.


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