Real Men Sow

The Strawberries are Saved!


After an initial panic over the slugs and woodlice eating all my ripe strawberries, I’ve harvested a decent 2.4kg of juicy red fruit. I’ve gone from strawberry despair to strawberry joy in little over a week and all is well in my veg growing world again.

Having researched some more, and taken a closer look at my strawberry bed, I’m now convinced that the slugs and snails did the majority of damage, and the opportunistic woodlice simply finish off what the slugs and snails can’t stomach.

And why not. Good luck to them! :)

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Getting Rid of the Blackfly on My Veg Patch

Posted on by in pests with 2 Comments


So, this week, the blackfly showed up on my vegetable patch.

This was earlier than I’d been expecting, and interestingly they’d made a beeline for my overwintered broad beans. I don’t normally overwinter broad beans, but late last year I had a few seeds, and missing the buzz of germinating seeds I sowed them under a cloche.

I’ve often heard that overwintered broad beans are less susceptible to blackfly, so I was interested to find out if this really was the case. I hear this advice every year, and I often wonder if it has any truth or is one of those old tales of allotments past.

Fortunately, I caught the blackfly early, loitering on a single bean pod, and quickly tossed the whole thing in my Council garden waste bin.

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What’s Eating My Strawberries: Woodlice or Slugs?

Posted on by in pests, summer with 4 Comments


Since I began growing my own veg, I’m come to terms with a few things, especially where pests are concerned.

Slugs eat lettuces for example. It’s just something that happens, and gradually I’ve realised that the only way to get close to combatting their prolific munching nature is to sow so many seeds that there is enough harvest for the both of you.

But what about the stuff I didn’t expect them to eat? This has taken me by surprise. You assume you’ll lose some salad leaves to the slimies, but I certainly didn’t think I’d be racing the woodlice population to my newly ripening strawberries.
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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope.

However, three years on, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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Allotment Cakes for the Weekend

  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #13 – Jamie Oliver’s Squash Muffins
  • An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #12 – Lemon Curd & Blueberry Loaf Cake
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #11 – Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks
  • An Allotment Cake For the Weekend #10 – Fresh Ginger and Apple Cake
  • Good Food Magazine Marrow and Pecan Cake
  • A Rhubarbey Roundup, and Whatever Happened to Allotment Cakes for the Weekend?
  • (Not) An Allotment Cake for the Weekend #7 Rhubarb Crumble Ice Cream
  • Allotment Cakes for the Weekend #7 Waitrose Rhubarb, Macadamia and White Chocolate Cake

Saving £500 a year!

During 2011, I kept a diary of how much money I save from growing my own fruit and vegetables. After totalling all my outgoings, I saved approximately £500 over the year. I made a spreadsheet to calculate these savings - it’s nothing too complicated, as I’m no Excel guru, but hopefully someone else will find it as useful (and strangely fun) as me. For more info, visit my Money Saving Experiment page by clicking here.


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