Slow allotment gardening in the life of a busy family
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Will it work? Or is it just another gadget promising the earth (forgive the pun) from a piece of plastic? Eventually, I got my French beans planted out at the weekend. The slight saving grace is that with the delay I missed the tearing winds that have stripped leaves from trees. Still, they haven't been happy beans lately, constrained even in their root-trainer modules. And they're my precious French French beans, brought back from last summer's holiday.
The idea is that molluscs' tiny brains and impressive gmynastic powers will be flummoxed by having to turn that sharp corner underneath the rim. I suspect that big snails might find it too much, but that slugs will just pop up happily in the middle of the ring and munch away, but I'll find out if we manage to get to the plot one evening this week.
And they're expensive pieces of plastic, so of course I have more beans than barriers. These defenceless beans will just have to take their chances. I'm trying to look on it as a controlled experiment, but I feel a pang at having abandoned this lot at the end of the row.
One lot of plants in, another lot earmarked for coming out. We have to face it that the raspberries have had it. Even though new canes came through in the spring and began to put out leaves, they're withering. Fruit that has already formed is just shrivelling up. The canes have been fed, watered, mulched and watered again, but we have to face reality. I don't know if they have a disease, or if they just don't like their location, but I don't have time and energy to embark on a research and treatment programme. I am puzzled, because I come from a family for whom raspberries are an annual surfeit, to be given away to passers-by. My father has a rota of friends whom he invites to pick his berries, and happily receives home baking and jam in return. I thought raspberries just grew, so it's quite a blow to discover that I haven't inherited the family raspberry gene.