Friday, 14 March 2014
Germination, Slugs and Coffee
It's March. Sowing time for a lot of things; I'm told it's a time of hope, but for me it's a time of worry. You see, last year I didn't have much luck with my direct sowings. Seedlings didn't have much of a good start. The ant infestation (I'm talking a lot of ants here) often left them disturbed and nibbled off in their infancy and then... slugs happened.
We've spent a year disturbing ant nests (seriously, we must have found at least 20. Lots and lots and lots of ants) and putting powder down. I guess we'll see later in the season if that worked but right now we're pretty ant free. As for slugs? Well my strategy is to dispose of them when I find them but mostly I expect to lose some of my crops and sow extra accordingly.
There are precisely one billion and seven magical home remedies for curing your garden of slugs. I've never found one 100% effective or all that useful on a large scale. A tactical strike at the perfect time can help though. I'm using coffee grounds - free from a local shop - to top dress the soil where I'm sowing prime slug snacks. That's a purple mizuna above. The coffee grounds should act as a deterrent until the seedlings get properly established and are able to withstand an attack.
But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.