Snails, snails and more snails. Our winter and spring have been very wet and as a result snail numbers increased dramatically. In my garden I used to find them in every dark corner and under every leaf. Every time I planted out a seed or seedling the fresh, succulent green leaves would provide supper for a snail. Even quite well established plants were disappearing under the onslaught. I had to do something. Over time I tried every recommended remedy, each with only limited success but finally I came up with a combination of solutions that seems to be keeping the numbers under control and protecting vulnerable plants. These tactics also work for slugs. This is the story of my private war waged, often under cover of darkness, on snails. Read more
Article and photos by Penny Woodward
Usually when someone suggests coffee in the garden, they mean a cup of good strong brewed coffee in a lovely quiet spot in the garden. Bliss. But not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee, but when I talk about coffee and gardens I’m referring to its many other uses, from controlling snails to adding nutrients to the soil.
Beans are a very rewarding crop and relatively easy to grow. I love them because they don’t take up much space but within a few weeks you can harvest an abundance of crisp, flavoursome beans. Soak seeds overnight to increase the speed of germination. Just put the seeds you want to plant into a bowl and cover with water. The next morning, water the soil where you are going to put the beans and plant seeds two at a time pushing them about 4cm into the soil. I always plant two because often one will not grow. Cover with soil but don’t water as the soil and the seeds are already wet. If you don’t soak the seeds then you will need to water. Leave about 20cm between plants if they are dwarf forms, or 15cm if they are climbers.