The polytunnel at Goresbridge Community Garden is full to overflowing with plug plants for the village planting scheme. A couple of weeks ago we looked through the catalogues and chose a variety of plants for the flower scheme and they arrived last week, typically just after the morning class had finished, in two cardboard boxes.
A few of the gardeners went back to the garden later in the day and transplanted most of the plants from their plug trays into modules. Unfortunately not all of the trays were cleaned and when we arrived at the garden this week we noticed that some of the plants had been nibbled.
Liam started to check under each tray and lo and behold, the polytunnel was like a boarding home for molluscs. Every single pot and module had at least one if not three slugs or snails hiding under it and they were immediately dispatched. It did however, give the gardeners a dilemma. We’re gardening without chemicals which means NO regular slug pellets but the worry is that there’s a lot of money’s worth of plants that might potentially be breakfast for our hungry ‘little friends’.
Should we or shouldn’t we give in at the first major hurdle? The answer is no, we’ll do our best to manage the situation without the chemicals. We checked the tunnel and every pot in it from top to bottom and eradicated each and every slug and snail – there were just too many for the bird table and I think the ones that were placed on it managed to slither away before they were eaten. We then set about garden hygiene – tidying, moving and getting rid of anything unwanted that might lurk under it. Community gardeners will be popping in and out of the garden throughout the week and checking whether they’ve moved back and in the meantime I’ve been brushing up on this old post I wrote last year giving 14 methods of organic slug control. I’ll let you know how we get on!
Aside from a big garden tidy up, the fruit bed was weeded and raked over ready to take a sowing of some annual flower seeds that we’ll be adding to the bed the Bridge Boys prepared last year. Also Peter was lured back by the banter, tea and biscuits to build something that I’ll unveil in the next couple of weeks out of recycled bits and pieces that had been left in the compost shed.
Things are certainly looking up in this pretty little garden. How are your own growing preparations going?