Garden Club - Planting Out

It has been another great week out in our gardens and outside spaces. We all have been out doing things and I hear that the seeds and mini plug plants that you have ordered are starting to arrive. The homeschooling sunflower competition is taking off. I still have some seeds to swop if anyone is interested. I am offering to plant and germinate the seeds and will deliver them when we are allowed out and about again.

Again, this week I have been watching the wildlife that is coming in to the garden. The squirrels have given up trying to come in for the bird food, I have spotted a few in the morning, on the ground looking for some of those oak, walnuts and hazelnut nuts they buried in my garden last autumn. I have been weeding the seedlings out every week since the 1st January. I am still finding a huge number of baby trees in and around the garden. What has surprised me is the walnuts, I can tell they are walnuts by the seed casing the squirrels buried with them - I am not sure where they are coming from!

The magpies have won the war with the jackdaws. The jackdaws have stopped coming in to the garden altogether. The magpies come to the top of the fence and then fly to the opposite fence in a low shallow u shape. However, they are not landing in the garden. This means that the food I have put out in the bird feeding station is now reaching the Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, House Sparrows and Wren.

Although I haven't seen huge clouds fo insects I know they have been because the cherry trees, the plum tree, blackcurrants and gooseberries have all been pollinated.

However, I have seen the slugs and snails, they are very busy at this time of the year. Slugs are generally active when plants start to grow and soil temperature is over 5 degrees C. Young slugs tend to stay underground, feeding on decaying organic matter developing unseen and waiting for young seedlings to be planted. They breed all year round with two overlapping generations. Their peak egg laying times are between March and April and then again between September and October. I have been protecting the seedlings with nematodes. Nematodes are naturally occurring microscopic worms already present in the soil. They attack the slugs by entering natural body opening of the slug, once inside the stop the slug feeding. They love slug eggs, so I have been out with the nematodes and watering can and busy protecting the seedlings this week.

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