It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Gardening to 'grow your own food' from square foot to half an acre !!
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Mo
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It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by Mo »

I've already given up on everything except spuds and runner beans - my garden is so 'wildlife friendly' that things that used to do well when I first moved now get eaten. Or maybe it's my limited energy to do them properly.
last year my runner beans suffered from flooding and the slugs got to my spuds before they were big (so I harvested early and got a tiny crop).

I've been reading RHS & other online advice on slugs, they say they like organic material in the soil. And a good seed bed firmed down, deters them. I've always put a lot of green manure or compost into my trenches to minimise scab as some of my garden is sandy. So maybe I'm doing the wrong thing.
And they say plant early variety and dig them early. Dig the ground several times first to let the birds eat the slug eggs.
My veg patch is very wet - where I haven't levelled it after digging last years spuds is underwater - the whole of the garden is soggy - so I'm not going to get much preparation done yet.
I did wonder about raiding the level and planting on mounds, but I was thinking of using compost and the bottoms of piles of rotted wood, which would put more organic in.

I have usually had my spuds chitting for weeks by now - not sure what earlies will be left in the hardware shop. Shall I just give up?
Dance caller. http://mo-dance-caller.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-i-do.html
Sunny Clucker enjoyed Folk music and song in mid-Cheshire
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Spreckly
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by Spreckly »

I shall not be doing veggie gardening this year Mo, it was my husband's passion. But I am expecting a packet of tomato seeds to arrive this week, which will be grown in the greenhouse.

My lawn is like a dreadful bog, made worse today by my son and I in an attempt to clean the outside of the greenhouse.

Local friends have already planted spuds, etc in their allotment.

Hope you make the right decision.
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lancashire lass
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by lancashire lass »

I found potatoes that are waxy (like first earlies) are less likely to be slugged, whereas Maris Piper potatoes were slug food. Second earlies like Charlottes did okay, and surprisingly, Rooster potatoes too (though not so good another year ... maybe it was pot luck the first time)

Mo wrote:My veg patch is very wet - where I haven't levelled it after digging last years spuds is underwater - the whole of the garden is soggy - so I'm not going to get much preparation done yet.


why not try No Dig Gardening

Digging for potatoes, however, is less popular, especially among those of us with bad backs. In fact, I gave up growing them altogether at one point, purely because I wanted to stand upright for the rest of the year.


though slugs might still be a problem.
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Mo
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

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Maybe, LL. I was thinking that they may be less liable to slug damage if I started them at ground level, or higher, then earthed / composted upwards, to keep them drier. But RHS says slugs like humus.
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Freeranger
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by Freeranger »

I don't know how well this would work for slugs - I'm sure LL and others will know - but Monty Don tried some under weedproof fabric a couple of years back, planted about 12-18" apart in staggered rows. They did fine and didn't need earthing up. My recollection is that the yield was about the same for a lot less effort.
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lancashire lass
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by lancashire lass »

Freeranger wrote:Monty Don tried some under weedproof fabric a couple of years back, planted about 12-18" apart in staggered rows. They did fine and didn't need earthing up.


after the first year at the allotment (it was weed central in the potato bed especially the bindweed and thistles), I tried the weed suppressant membrane method but found (i) slug numbers were worst (ii) they still needed earthing up (don't forget you need to make a hole to plant the potato through the membrane and for the shoots to come up so this is where it needs some earthing up, also sunlight still gets through the membrane so potatoes do green up - I got round this by spreading a layer of compost on top which allowed rain + nutrients to percolate down into and through the membrane while still blocking out sunlight) (iii) in a dry summer, ants had their nests underneath. Having saying that, I was impressed the first year because the membrane warmed up the soil in spring and plants were really healthy, there were no weeds (!!!) and the crop was clean and most potatoes were directly under the membrane so easier to harvest but thereafter I seemed to have problems with one thing or another so I finally gave up and went back to trenches and earthing up.
Last edited by lancashire lass on 02 Mar 2020, 15:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Mo
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by Mo »

lancashire lass wrote: (iii) in a dry summer, ants had their nests underneath. …... the crop was clean and most potatoes were directly under the membrane so easier to harvest


I tried a few earlies in a v. large plant pot last year because I was so behind. Never thought of ants as a pest before - live and let live - but they nested in the pot and ate through the shoots.
I've found that planting spuds into a trench of green manure (grass clippings when Jim used to mow regularly) meant they lifted clean and were easy to find. But apparently this would encourage slugs.
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Mo
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by Mo »

I am regretting now, that I didn't buy seed potatoes and runner beans, when we were allowed into the shops.
At least there are plenty of 'greens' in my garden. Not sure if I'd like stewed nettles.
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Gwenoakes
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Re: It's so wet, shall I bother with veg this year?

Post by Gwenoakes »

We have eaten today the last of our leeks, cabbages now gone, so no more super fresh veg for us and the local co-op is only letting people buy 3 of any veg. Clare our daughter went out and came back with a very small packet of broccoli for a huge increase in price.
I did cook and mash up carrots and parsnips and put them in containers earlier this year from the local supermarket and still have one or two of them left.
Clare said there was no shortage on chocolate and cakes though...……..

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