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Getting Biblical!


Oh woe unto the house of muddy knees ! A plague hath descended upon him!

Not only do I have the travesty of carrot root fly, but now to heap insult onto injury I have discovered the evils of gooseberry sawfly on my beloved goosegogs! Luckily for me I have caught it early and at least it’s on the young plant that doesn’t have a crop this year, and even more fortuitously it hasn’t yet affected the 2 plants that are laden down with gooseberries, at least not that I could see. So last night I sat down by the bush and squashed as many caterpillars as I could find, braving the prickles of outrageous misfortune and spines of ignominious disaster to crush as many of the little green leaf munching devils as I could find. I have to admit that it’s very satisfying, if a bit messy.

The problem (for them) is that you can’t take revenge upon carrot root fly (apart from pulling them up and tossing them on the compost heap, but with nice little caterpillars, you can ‘wreak upon them such biblical agony and crush their spirits unto oblivion’. Or as my godson would say ‘squish the mini-bugs’.

My strawberries are still being munched on. I seem to have got rid of most of the slugs and snails on the strawberry patch, so much so that at the last changing of the beer I had about 7 slugs in all four traps. I am putting this down to one of 3 things. Either the slugs that are left are tea-total, or the slugs that are left prefer lager rather than bitter, or it’s something else (possibly beetles) eating the strawberries. I’ll change the beer in the traps over the weekend and try and find out if the slugs are lager-louts and enjoy a few pints (or slug equivalents) and a fruit kebab. The beer traps have reduced the slugs by 180 or so in a 3 weeks, so they have done well.

My salad leaves are looking a bit sparse, and the coriander is definitely on the verge of going over so I think that on my next trip to the plot I shall have them up, and ponder what to put in it’s place.

And the brassicas still look decimated from the ravages of pigeons.

It’s quite a sad moment when you realise that you have to pull things up because they are at the end of their usefulness, but I must get what I can from the allotment.

Despite the attentions of the slugs or beetles I am getting about 500g (or an imperial pound) of strawberries a day from the allotment, just before Wimbledon too, perfect timing. The raspberries are starting to do their thing and the blackcurrants are ready to be picked. The gooseberries are still a bit hard but they aren’t far off either. It really is like being a child before Christmas.

I have ordered some new carrot seed, and I am going to try 2 new varieties of carrot – ‘Resistafly’ and ‘Fylaway’ – as well as the Autumn King that I grow anyway. The principal reason is cost, Autumn King is 95p for 2000 seeds, and the other 2 varieties are £1.89 for 500 or 750 seeds depending on the variety, so I shall see what the yield is and the taste, and if they are good then I shall grow the fly resistant varieties early in the season and the others later in the season. We’ll see what happens.

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Tea-total slugs hehehe love the idea muddy, absolutely brilliant blog keep em coming lol

20 Jun, 2009


I've only heard of carrot fly, is that the same as carrot root fly? If so, try having marigolds flowering right next to your carrot plants, or alternatively grow carrots in a raised bed. Even a minimum amount of raising counts, as for some reason these flies only fly v close to the ground, and do less damage to raised bed plantings. True! but don't ask me where I read it.

20 Jun, 2009


Great blog, Muddy. Those strawberries look delicious! You may well find that it's woodlice eating them, rather than beetles. I frequently find holes in mine with a woodlouse settled inside.

21 Jun, 2009

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