Monday, 19 April 2010

Achtung! Fallschirmjager...


It’s raining today and I’m still stuck inside trying to get this poster finished for the end of the month. Yesterday I was sieving soil for the overflow raised bed and made a startling archaeological discovery that instantly whisked me back in time some 35 years. Caught in the sieve was a little plastic toy soldier whom I recognised instantly as the plucky paratrooper I had recruited all those years ago. Still attached were some (suspiciously singed) cotton threads, a testament to his last action when he led the daring assault from my bedroom window into the hostile territory of the back garden, his canopy ablaze. I had just seen the film ‘The Longest Day’ for the first time and was obsessed with parachutes. To this day my favourite film quote is from Wolfgang Preiss, playing General Pemsel, when he incredulously receives the telephone report about rubber dolls being dropped behind their lines as a diversion; ‘Puppen? Gummipuppen?’ Still makes me laff.

Things are growing quickly – when the sun finally manages to poke its head out for a few short minutes everything rockets up. I was caught out yesterday by the speed of the squashes, cucumbers and melons who had only germinated a couple of days ago but already had massive long roots hanging out of the bottom of their modules and needed re-potting. The Shocka-mats arrived this morning, which are clever copper-impregnated mats that zap any slug that dares approach my strawberry bags, like a little slug minefield. I’m still waiting for the arrival of the actual strawberries though.

6 comments:

  1. I think "Gummipuppen" is now embedded in my brain, the word that is, it's excellent. I've got some copper impregnated matting which I hope will save my dahlias from being munched. In the past I've had good results by mulching strawbs with comfrey leaves; as they dried out they became very rough and also acted as a feed, giving me a bumper crop the next year. Doesn't work so well in wet summers.

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  2. I'd be careful about using the word in polite conversation and wouldn't advise Googling it as the contemporary usage now seems to refer to another sort of doll entirely :)

    If my strawbs ever arrive they'll be going into some of those Gardman popup strawberry planters, which will in turn sit on top of the shocka mats. I'm going to put some borage in the top so doubt they will need any mulching - but as stated in the disclaimer I know nothing, so we'll see.

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  3. I look forward to hearing if the shocka mats work for you. My strawberries were mostly untouched last year, but my brassicas were munched entirely by slugs.

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  4. The shocka mats are pretty much my last resort, I have copper tape around my raised bed wich has all sorts of things growing inside it which are supposed to deter pests, but something has still starting munching chunks out of my garlic. I have just put a beer trap in there as well so that should help.

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  5. It is really wonderful to see a garden come to life and it's better still when you find an old friend. This is my first visit to your blog. I had planned only to say hello but was lured by your prior posts and stayed much longer than I planned. I'll be back often. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  6. Good to have you aboard Mary. My day would be better if the sun would get out and start growing things a bit more. It will be nice when I can get back into the kitchen as well.

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