Sunday, November 13, 2016

Disaster! Well, Maybe Not.

What happened was that when I went out to check my vegetable seedlings the day before yesterday I found something had shredded a couple of the newspaper tubes I use to raise some of my seedlings. These tubes are simple to make, environmentally friendly and cause less transplant disruption because I can plant them directly into the garden where the paper will help hold water around the roots and eventually disintegrate. As well they let me grow the seedlings on to a stage where the slaters (woodlice or pill bugs to non-Aussies) are less likely to eat through the stems. I say less likely because they have been known to eat through stems of plants they really like that are as much as 1-2 centimetres in diameter. They can reach plague proportions in well mulched gardens - and given our high summer temperatures and water restrictions mulching is essential here if you want to grow vegetables.

I wasn't all that worried by this small amount of damage. I figured a magpie or raven - both regularly visit the garden - had mistaken the curve of an emerging bean seed for a worm, found out their mistake and wouldn't bother me again. Boy, was I wrong.

This is what I found yesterday morning.

And that is just part of it. Newspaper, seedlings and potting mix, some of which had come from the yellow pots in the photo, were spread over most of the paving, the black seedling containers had been emptied and the blue pots - where I have planted some hard to get heritage tomato seeds - were covered in scraps of newspaper.

After several hours I had managed to retrieve and repot or plant out most of the seedlings but obviously this wouldn't to stop something similar happening again to those still in tubes. So they spent last night tucked up under a shade cloth cover and the only damage was to one pot that got partly uncovered during the night. Fingers - and everything else - crossed that I'll be able to keep them alive until I can plant them out. Since we are expecting another unseasonal 38 C in the next few days this may be harder than I'd hoped.



Jo said...

Its not all roses planting a garden is it Helen? I hope you can bring them to sufficient maturity to transplant.

Helen V. said...

No, it isn't, Jo. Still, despite the hassles, it gives me a lot of pleasure so I'll keep doing it as long as I can. There's nothing quite like going out to the garden to pick home grown vegies just before you cook them.