Sunday, 5 April 2009

We have been raided!

Oh, but we have! Over the last couple of weeks, I have done thrice daily trips down to the little cold frame out by the colditz poles / soft fruit plot. On hands and knees I have been observing life, or rather, lack of, in the yogpots I have planted out with various seeds, until yes! We have life!

Well, we did yesterday. On a 'put the babies to bed' trip last evening I peered, and I peered and I peered. Down on my knees I went to have a closer peer. SURELY there had been more little green sprouts sprouting up than were showing now.

"Lester" I called out, "Where have the seedlings gone!"
"Dunno" he said, a little tetchily as if I was accusing him of making away with them. Then in an 'I told you so' tone of voice he went on "I said it wasn't a good idea to put them in there. I said they wouldn't like it".
Oh so, they had cleared off now they were born? Decided that this hotel wasn't good enough, and taken a toddle off along the lane to a more preferable residence? "It must be slugs" I yelled back.
"There aren't any slugs in there, I would have seen the trail. They must have just died. I told you that they wouldn't do very well in there."
"They were alright at lunchtime..."
"Did you water them?"
"They were alright, I'm telling you." With that, I went into a huff, scooped up all the little yog pots and with a "It's probably that blasted donkey manure you made me use for compost. It's probably overwhelmed them and they've given up" flung over my should at him, I marched back to the kitchen caravan with my pots, leaving a scattering of slug pellets in the now defunct cold frame just for good measure.

And I was right! Because not only were there SLUG TRAILS in the yogpots which were there for all to see when we looked at the pots this morning, plus stumps where once there was a seedling which has now been sent heavenwards, or rather down the throats (if they have one) of the slug which has eaten it, BUT in the redundant cold frame there were loads of titchy slugs, all now lifeless. I stifled my immediate thoughts of 'oh, I've killed the babies', when I saw a huge 'mother' slug nearby who was also mort.

With great glee, I took Lester to show him the evidence. Since he knew he was treading on a fine edge, he aggreed that I was right about the slugs, and that I was 'doing a fine job' with raising the seedlings, and 'what are we having for dinner today, you are such a good cook' he said endeavouring to placate me knowing full well that often on Sunday I go on strike!

In the pots were aubergines, courgettes, broccoli, and others. But we have been raided by slugs using the contents of our yogpots as their table food, so we will have to start over again. The trials and errors of smallholding does keep one on ones toes, and it really is a battle to stop everything else from eating our food before we get the chance to do so.