The interminable battle with slugs and weeds

I’ve been struggling with the slugs at the allotment this year. Most of the seedlings I’ve planted have completely vanished, presumably eaten by slugs. Last month I applied nematodes to the soil and put out a heap of beer traps. There seem to be fewer slugs now and although I’d like to take the credit for this it may simply be because we haven’t had rain in 6 weeks. I have never seen it so dry here. Consequently I’m probably not going to get much produce from my plot but here’s what I do have so far.

In the foreground of this next photo are some alpine strawberries.

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I have a couple of quite advanced brassicas. I’m not sure what these are but I planted them over the winter. Or maybe it was last autumn? I forget now.

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I have some brassicas that I planted this year coming along nicely now too, but most of them have disappeared. Here’s what’s left:

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I’ve collected a heap of kale seed pods from last year’s kale.

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The tomatoes in my greenhouse at the allotment look sickly. The leaves are curling. It has been very hot and temperatures inside the greenhouse would have soared so I’m hoping it’s just high temperatures causing problems. I’ve read that a virus can also cause tomato leaves to curl. I’ll have to wait and see but these are starting to fruit so I don’t want to pull them all out.

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I’ve also got some courgettes which are struggling a bit with the lack of water but surviving nonetheless.

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Finally my beans are starting to grow but they too could do with water. In this next photo the beans are at the bottom of each stake and there are potatoes on the right and what will hopefully be healthy beetroots on the left.

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I’m lucky if I can get to the allotments every week. Often it is once a fortnight and when I do visit after an absence it looks so different. Things are growing quickly now – although mostly the things I don’t want! But it’s exciting to see food growing through my own efforts and to get my hands dirty. I’m learning a lot and have a great deal of admiration for farmers, especially organic farmers. How do they do it? It’s not an easy job.