Sunday, 27 May 2018

Good news and bad from the Courtmoor plot

First the good news. The Radishes are being picked in quantity now.

The results of my mixed sowing are readily apparent. Here we see French Breakfast" (long, red with white tip), "Sparkler" (round, red with white tip) and "Cherry Belle" (round, plain red).

I took a big bunch of "French Breakfast" ones to my host, the plot owners, as an early demonstration of my intention to share the plot's produce with them. Before long I'll be harvesting currants and Raspberries for them - a job definitely not suited to the elderly person - though I have to say that on my last visit I did witness Rupert (92?) pruning a tall Pear tree...




Now the bad news. The pigeons have discovered my cabbages.

So far the damage is not catastrophic, but once the birds get a taste for these plants, I expect they will return frequently. My first priority on my next visit to the plot will be to provide some anti-pigeon protection.

I'm going to have to think very carefully about what "hardware" I want / can afford to buy for this plot. My own garden is pretty well provided-for in terms of crop protection, but if I were to apply the same level of protection to the Courtmoor plot it would cost a fair bit, and would be needed all at once. I think I had better have a rummage in the shed and garage and see if I can muster any "second-grade" or superseded stuff that is hanging about, and cobble together something that will do the job, even if it's less than ideal.

Other jobs I have done recently include thinning the Beetroot, as well as weeding it and the nearby Parsnips. Unfortunately the Parsnips (sown Apr 18th) didn't need thinning out, because the germination rate was very poor! In my own garden, my first sowing of Parsnips (Apr 6th) was almost a complete washout - only five came up, out of about 150. After more than a month had elapsed I re-sowed and the second batch (May 8th) are just showing through now. I suppose I was too impatient and sowed the first batch before the soil was warm enough. We've had such topsy-turvy weather this year that it's no wonder the plants are confused.


  1. Canes with balls on top and some scaffold debris net would make a reasonably cheap option.

  2. Pigeons!?! Don't the birds know they are supposed to eat the bad bugs then leave?

  3. On my allotment I use scaffold netting, it works against most pests, except carrot/whitefly, it also makes an effective wind break around my French beans,courgettes and tomatoes. It's fairly cheap to buy on ebay, or as I did, keep an eye out for building work going on nearby. When builders take scaffolding down the netting ends up in a skip, I asked if I could take some and they were more than happy to let me have as much as I wanted (I did take them a couple of tins of biscuits as a thank you)

  4. Old terylene or lace curtains from charity shops can also do the job if you can get them at the right price (if you're lucky)Looking great though.

  5. I did wonder whether you would avoid the pigeon and caterpillar damage when leaving your brassicas uncovered. Ours would be gone as soon as we left the plot after planting. We haven’t harvested any radishes yet, yours look lovely and clean. On the plus side our parsnips have germinated better and quicker than I can remember. This gardening lark is all swings and roundabouts!

  6. I've experimented with various hoops for netting but now finding that upside down plastic bottles (the Bio/Eco washing up,laundry type)on old bits of stick or cane are more adaptable as regards height and positioning.


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