Thursday, 16 April 2020

Lockdown Day 24 - The Cabbages are Defended!

Once again, it has been a lovely sunny and warm day here. Very dry though, not much rain at all in the past couple of weeks and walking up through a field the other day when we went to Catterton Rash (see https://www.cashandcarrots.com/2020/04/lockdown-day-22-walking-bluebell-woods.html) the soil was dusty and the lack of rain must be a problem for farmers trying to sow crops, in fact lower down this field the farmer had two sacks of barley ready to plant out and was rolling the field ready for this.

Over the past few weeks, the windowledge in a bedroom and subsequently the lean-to greenhouse have been filled with cabbage, broccoli, calabrese and pea seedlings and with the warmer weather, these have been going into the allotment.

Although some of the more open allotment plots have real trouble with pigeons, ours - with hedges around it - doesn't as I think the pigeons prefer having a good all round view for safety and the hedge blocks this.
However, the local house sparrow population are another matter! Now, I like house sparrows and indeed over the past twenty years or so they have declined a lot here in the UK. They are still the most numerous bird in the Big Garden Birdwatch list, but they have declined a lot since the 1970s both in urban and rural areas due to habitat loss. https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/gbw/about/background/projects/sparrows .Some suggest that pollution in towns is also a factor.


Unless we protect the peas, cabbages and indeed the lettuces in the back yard, the sparrows will come along, tell their friends and have a party, and the poor plants end up with beak shaped chunks cut out of them!

Once the plants are sufficiently big, we'll take the netting off them, and indeed it is not a good idea to allow the peas to grow through or attach themselves to the netting as it is a really difficult and delicate job to untangle!

There's more peas and brassicas in the house being germinated, along with courgettes and pumpkins and a couple of gherkins, as well as some new pepper plants that are doing well on the bathroom windowsill.


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