Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Twelve Million Hermaphrodites!

By a stroke of luck my Nemaslug arrived in the post today. I ordered them online last weekend, but they are a live product so should be stored in a refrigerator and used as soon as possible. It has been raining for about a week now so the veggie garden is in perfect condition to apply the treatment. This comes in a dry powder which is diluted in water and sprinkled all over the soil. The microscopic nematode worms (all 12 million of them - all hermaphrodites) eat slugs - hooray! Mum asked me an intelligent question today, "How do they know that they are all hermaphrodites?" - hmmmm any answers please?
Another exciting trip today, down to the riding stables to load up with free manure. I have just discovered that Ikea make these strong plastic bags which are ideal for manure, and only 30p each.
I was on my feet all day today with a trip to Kew Gardens. Lots and lots of baby ducklings and goslings everywhere!
Fantastic trees at Kew, I could just stand and stare all day.
We climbed right up into the treeline on the new exhibition - an aerial walkway right up in the trees! I bit wobbly but you can see life from a different perspective up there.
Couldn't resist sharing this photo of a beautiful male golden pheasant. I also can't resist sharing an anecdote... a few years ago a close family member was walking with the then Archbishop of York in the grounds of his official residence. She was unaware that he kept pheasants in the grounds, so she was a little puzzled when he asked her, "Would you like to see my magnificent golden cock?"

10 Comments:

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Elmadas said...

Ikea bags are very useful for compost and mulch as well. We go to the recycle center every other week to collect our free compost!

Nice blog.
Elena, Italy

 
At 3:54 AM, Blogger Allison Ann Aller said...

My mother studied horticulture in college--in the 1940's, at Vassar College in NY, USA--from a former head gardener at Kew.
So Kew is large in our family lore...my mom was an expert gardener; he taught her well!
It's fun to see pictures of this place that meant so much to her...

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger Mrs Be said...

I've got to get some of those slug eating things. The slugs are seriously making me mad (had to delete what I'd originally written). Can I ask, how much time do you reckon you spend on your allotment a week? And is your greenhouse at home or on your plot? And which do you think would be better - potting shed or greenhouse?
Goodness, sorry about that. Couldn't stop the questions coming....

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous easygardener said...

I've read about the aerial walkway - I'll give it a go next time I visit but I'm not too good at heights especially if they wobble :-)
The pheasant is beautiful.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Mrs Be.. my veggie growing is done at the end of a very large garden but I call it an allotment even though (technically) it is not. As far as the shed/greenhouse question is concerned, if you want to grow plants there needs to be as much light as possible and I don't think a shed could ever provide enough.

 
At 10:19 PM, Anonymous allotmentblogger said...

I was wondering about the nematodes myself - whether it would be worth investing in some for our new allotment. Is this your first year of using them or are you an experienced nematoder? It does sound a bit ... complicated?

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Matron said...

allotmentblogger - I have used them once before, not really complicated as you just tip them into a watering can and water over the soil. I am willing to give them another try, particularly this time of year when the plants are really growing and establishing. Not sure if they work or not, but it is quite expensive if you have to repeat the treatment every 6 weeks. Awaits the results.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger tlc illustration said...

Loved the pheasant story. :-)

Yes, I'm looking forward to hearing how your nematodes work out as well. I've been using a kid/pet-safe product called "Sluggo" - it comes in small little pellets that apparently the slugs eat. It doesn't kill them, it 'puts them off their food' - so they quit eating, and basically starve to death. Seems a bit mean to wage such psychological warfare, but I am not terribly sympathetic to my vigorous slug population. It works pretty well, but it's a bit pricey and you do have to keep reapplying as well...

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I'm so jealous of that glorious pile of manure, free for the taking! Ha ha, only a gardener could say that...

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger clairesgarden said...

I was thinking of getting slug nematodes but still happy to potter about collecting them just now.
as for horse poo, ask at the stables for the plastic bags from the horse feed(chaff and beet usually), they probably throw them away and they are good and strong and last for ages.

 

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