Saturday, 18 June 2016

Garden Tweaks

I posted the other week about a few difficulties we've had with foxes in our garden, and more especially in our new raised beds.  On returning from our holiday in Yorkshire, the problem  had reared it's head again, as they had spent the previous week using our garden as a playground, digging huge tunnels and running around in the raised beds.

Luckily the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it did necessitate a few tweaks being made to the raised beds and the filling in of a few holes.  To tackle this problem, I bought a new roll of chicken wire last week.  It was a lot longer than the small £1 rolls I'd bought from Poundland, so can be easily stretched right across the beds and properly secured with nails to prevent the foxes getting into the bed again.

I will probably try to fix it in place this week at some point. You can see from the before photograph above, that in the corners of the bed at the bottom of this photograph, the foxes have been digging around and destroyed the seedlings sown here. Luckily, there are plenty more to transplant into the gaps.

Talking of transplanting, last week I transplanted some of the above seedlings into the old shoe basket I took out of the hall, after filling it with a bale of compost.

Unfortunately, they were completely annihilated by foxes the very next night, so I have now purchased a plastic cloche from Poundland to keep these unwanted visitors out and transplanted some more seedlings into it.  I'm hoping this should do the trick and finally keep them at bay.

Here's a picture of the basket with it's new cloche cover. It's not the sturdiest example of a cloche, but hopefully will protect the lettuces underneath.

I'm certainly learning that it's not as simple I thought it would be, growing food in the back garden at home. When the wildlife has the choice of over 30 plots to visit at the allotment, you tend to get much less individual attention from them. In the garden, I seem to get their attentions a lot more.

In other garden news, the tomato plants are now growing really well. One was eaten by snails when small and I still haven't replaced it in the grow bag, I may put a small cucumber plant in here this year. The other five are now getting quite large and I will soon need to stake them or string them to the roof of the mini green house.

Some of the seeds I sowed haven't been a roaring success, as many just didn't germinate at all. I did notice that all of the pots on one side of the greenhouse had germinated and on the other side none had.

As a last ditch effort, I decided to swap the trays over and see if this had any effect on germination.  It did. Within a few days a couple of the cucumber seedlings and a couple of the courgette seedlings had started to germinate, which was slightly more positive news.

More successful were fennel, sunflowers, mini cucumbers, peppers and sweet peas and I am eagerly watching their progress.

I decided to buy some bean plants from the garden centre the other week and proceeded to plant a dwarf variety out, alongside some more sweetcorn that I had left over, to fill up the vegetable bed.   They are all now coming along nicely underneath and through the holes in the trellis.

I still have some climbing french beans to plant out, when I decide where they're going to go. I'm thinking possibly in a big tub, supported by a cane wigwam.  I just need to do a bit of moving around of plants to accommodate this. I'll post again when I've made more progress.


  1. The foxes really are testing your veg survival skills x

    1. Yes, indeed. I now know why they are always described as cunning.

  2. No foxes here thank heavens. We do have lots of mosquitoes though which seem to be almost as big as small birds making weeding a bit of a problem. I hate spraying repellent all over myself countless time in a day.

    God bless.

    1. Oh no, I wouldn't like that, I'd be bitten to death if we had them like that here. They seem to like my blood anywhere I go.