It’s been miserable. No… i has been bloody miserable! This summer really never kicked off – a few warm weeks in the spring and then nothing but cool, damp ick. My strawberries have been hit by fungus, my squash are sitting there looking miserable and most of my annuals are sitting in miserable little lumps refusing to spread out.
Then there’s the slugs… Oh the slugs. Big ones, wee ones, brown ones, spotty ones and all of them munching away happily on my veg, my flowers: anything they can get their greedy wee mouths near.
I’ve made some beer traps, using the method at the bottom of this page, and seem to be having more success than the usual pit-fall style ones. I’ve also made a start on installing a pond – hopefully, to encourage the kind of beasties into the garden who will munch on the slugs. At least, for now, they’ve stopped munching on my lettuces! I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve surrounded them with some strong smelling marigolds (tagetes) or simply because the strawberries are currently more tempting but, either way, I’m finally getting my first proper salads from the garden. In July. Sigh.
The one upside, I suppose, is that there are a few plants which have been growing a little bigger than usual…
I’m standing level with the base of the foxglove there – I’m 5′ 8″ and even with a huge bend in it, it was still much taller than me! Last year they were big, too, but nothing exceeding 5ft. I guess, being fairly shade-loving plants, they don’t mind the dull weather and are lapping up all the water greedily.
Also in the fairly sizeable category:
I’m very impressed by the pea variety – Champion of England. It’s vigorous, grows large and tastes good with very little care. It’s probably been another beneficiary of the rain, in terms of lovely plump peas but I feel in a warmer summer it’d probably be a bit of a monster and I’d have seen more pods.
This is the first year I’ve gotten a crop of broad beans -in the last two years I’ve grown them but never actually gotten to eat any – either they were killed off by a long winter, were eaten by slugs or just didn’t grow well. I’m happy that I’ve finally gotten a bit better at them. They are suffering a bit from the rain, though – some fungal problems which likely would be a non-issue in a warmer year.