Allotment Adventures: Control of magpies

Yes, we’re still working on how best to stop the magpies from destroying plants. This week we’re using the potato pots! Let’s see if we can just give the plants enough time that the birds stop seeing them as a chance to get their five a day! I think we’ve made the decision to leave it at one bed this year. We’ll fill up the other long bed and use it for leeks, next year, we’ll go for two squash beds and beans climbing up the arches, for this year, if I can just get these seeds to grow and produce anything, I’m going to be happy (and slightly amazed!)

Most of the other work on the plot was weeding because the rain last week has given them a boost, the area by the apple tree is overrun. Ma did the top of the plot and I did the bottom but there is aways work to do and I’ve found that we’re never truly on top of the weeding. You just have to do your best.

Apart from giving the tomatoes their first tidy up (it’s that time of year, my tomato babies need my attention), I think all the work was magpie protection and weeding. We will need to think about how we protect the blueberries from the birds as this year we are looking at a bumper crop. Which is good because I need to trim the plum tree which is really going to suck as we’ll lose lots of this year’s baby plums in the process.

We did do a bit of harvesting too. I thinned some beetroot so Ma took some babies home and we got beetroot greens. There was rhubarb (another 1.5kgs) but the star was the garlic. This is the third time I’ve tried to grow garlic and honestly we’ve not had much luck. These bulbs came as part of an allium offer last autumn and they’ve done really well. I’m chuffed. I figure this will last us about a month (Ma is a garlic fiend!). I could have left it in the ground a bit longer but I want to get the garlic, onions and shallots up before I put in the leeks and get the garlic up before the rust got any worse.


Gardening is forever teaching us lessons, one of this year’s lessons is, if we don’t autumn sow the broad beans, we don’t have them. We’ve gone back and forth about whether to pull them up, they are covered in blackfly, though the recent rain and huge amount of ladybird larvae have helped a bit. Usually they would be really bad at this time of year and it wouldn’t matter because I’d would be at the end of the harvest and pulling up the plants. I don’t think we’re that far away from a harvest but I’m not sure how good it’s going to be. Lesson learned, we overwinter to save our broad beans from pests and so they give us the space for other things in June.

The raspberries are about to burst into flower too

About nicdempsey

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