April is a battle with fluctuating weather and slugs

April is here already, month 4.  We have been saying wishfully, or should that be wistfully,  for weeks  “Spring is almost here/just around the corner” – all of a sudden it has arrived.

We are not out of the woods yet when it comes to any sudden cold snaps.  I heard this morning that ground frost is forecasted for sheltered areas tonight.  It’s a funny month, April, weatherwise.  I have recollections of driving to Wales, one Easter, through a heavy snow storm on the M54.   I have swept snow off pitches during Easter Hockey Festivals and seen a cricket match stopped due to snow.    I took a quick look at the Met Office statistics for 2001.  On the 2nd April 2001 the temperature in London reached 21.5°C by the 18th we had hail, sleet and snow.  Not a lot changes really does it?

All this means, as gardeners, we have to keep on our toes, listen avidly to the weather forecast and have plenty of fleece at hand.  Either that, or be incredibly patient with windowsills crammed and greenhouses packed to the gunnels with seedling and plants waiting to go out in May.

I have hedged my bets with my vegetable seeds.  Some I sowed in the raised bed and some are still indoors.  I mentioned in my EOMV March that the beans indoors are cracking on but nothing outside.  That was until today!  Now isn’t this the most exciting of sights?

French Beans Cobra poking their head through

 

As I came into the kitchen, I also noticed that my peas are beginning to show signs of life too.

Little pea shoots

Every day the hardy geraniums, Aquilegia and Astrantia  put on more and more lush growth, the hostas are coming through and the rock rose is in bud.

Rock Rose

This morning I found a lupin coming through.  I only hope that the slugs and snails don’t get to it before it has a chance to grow a few more leaves.   The damp warm weather has been ideal for these slimy beasties and they are fattening themselves up on the new growth in the garden.

This little lupin has made its way through the Winter

The pesky little blighters are an ongoing source of discussion and debate with pros and cons of varying barriers methods and deterrents.  Gardening magazines are a wash with pages of advice.  However, there is still an ongoing battle between the gardener and the slime.

I have placed copper tape around my raised bed which, I hope, will act as a deterrent.   Over the years, I have tried coffee grounds, egg shells, grit, grapefruit skins, beer traps and manure.   Whilst they have worked after a fashion, all have not been completely successful.   The sight of bits of blue scattered across a flower bed don’t look nice but I am afraid to say that I do resort to slug pellets.  I use Slug Bait made by Bayer which claims to be certified for use by organic gardeners.

I would like to use nothing but that is impossible if I want some plants for the summer months.  I was glad to see that Carol Klein has a slug problem, and I wonder if they dare go near Monty Don‘s garden.  I would be interested to know what others use as a deterrent or barrier.

PS Having just run a spell check on the above, the suggestion I got for “beasties” was “beauties” – I think not!!

11 thoughts on “April is a battle with fluctuating weather and slugs

  1. Yes, that’s my favourite moment too, when the seeds burst into life. My garden is up in a building, so I haven’t seen any slugs up so high, but my garden ants do love to farm mealybugs and aphids……

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  2. Slugs and snails are the bane of my life. I am impressed with what you have coming up outside. I have found that the best defence against slugs is to grow things inside in the greenhouse and to put them out when they have got a bit bigger. This is after far too many times of getting excited about seed success one day and coming out the next to a munched up row of nothing. OH uses organic slug pellets on the stuff he grows. I try not to. It’s an ongoing debate!

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    1. Hi there! Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my post. Slugs and snails will always be the gardeners foe. They are so small but do so much damage in such a quick time.

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  3. It is a crazy time of year, isn’t it! I love the way every day brings new delights in the form of seedlings germinating or plants reappearing after their winter snooze. But you are so right, the weather can swing from summer to winter and back again, sometimes within a day!

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  4. March-April can be rough until you get past the frost. I lost a few blooms to some nasty late frost. But you know what they say, “April showers brings May flowers.” I am so looking forward to May 😉

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    1. I love Spring too it. Brings great excitement as well as its challenges. Thank you for visiting my post and your comment. I hope you drop by again .

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  5. Oh yes the joy of slugs and snails – nothing else in the garden makes my stomach contract with repulsion.
    And yes sadly we have also resorted to the wee blue pellets. Having said that little beer traps will lure the greedy little blighters to a drowning that any alcoholic would revel in!! But rinsing the traps out is not my ideal job so thank goodness for the husband!!!!

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  6. I agree on the weather. Unpredictable. And the slugs… I tried everything for them that you mentioned and have resorted to going on slug patrol each evening. Very yucky, but it keeps the populations manageable.

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