Wednesday, August 18

Don't mention the lettuce.

I planted lettuces in the ground for the first time this year and was astonished by how much better they grew than in pots or grow bags. Flushed with my success and thinking of salads to come I re-sowed under the bean tripod when it went in, thinking to transplant the seedlings into a new home when they came up. Except they didn't come up.

Undaunted, I assumed that my slapdash sowing style (chuck 'em at the ground and sprinkle some seed compost over the top) was the cause of my woes. I drilled a dutiful little line next to my radishes and carefully sprinkled seed down it, taking care to cover the seed and to dampen the soil afterwards. I waited a week or so, watched the radishes come up, but no lettuce emerged. Tant pis, I decided, guessing that the seed I had been using (different from my original sowing) was out of date and past it in the germination department.

A week or so on, I decided to make my third attempt. This time I used the newer seed, and I decided to sow into seed trays. I even labelled them. Imagine my delight when I returned after a damp week away to find that the little gems were coming up and that the dazzle (it's a red little gem) was on it's way too. It was a little late for a continuous crop (the original lettuce is mostly gone or bolted), but I was going to have lettuces eventually.

This morning I checked my trays. There is no lettuce. My normal snail-foiling method is to keep vulnerable plants on the garden table (it's a bit hard to eat in the garden as a consequence) but some evil mollusc has obviously made it to my high rise nursery and has hoovered up my beautiful lines of seedlings like snail cocaine.

How the hell did the first lot survive? It's a mystery. They were sown direct into the ground, right on snail level. To say that I am sulking would be an understatement. I'm so pissed off I'm not even putting a picture.


Plummy Mummy said...

Whatever you do, don't get slug pellets. Yes they eventually kill the slugs, but they are there to attract them first. You will have all the neighbourhood slugs coming into your garden for a party.
According to cardiff uni, Britain is the slug capital of the world. You will need to protect your spuds as they like to eat those too.
Here's some info...I'm going to get me some of those nematodes the next time I go to the diy shop.

Emma said...

I'm an organic gardener, so I never use evil slug pellets. Even though its tempting when the little sods munch my plants!

Nematodes are apparently really good but I've never quite gotten around to getting them. When things get particularly bad I march around the garden with a bucket of salty water picking off the snails and dumping them in. It's disgusting but it works.