Thursday, February 21

Far from rosy

Although we managed to gather a good harvest at the weekend, not everything on the plot is looking rosy.

Remember these?
We took the netting off our over wintering brassicas as in previous years the netting has collapsed under the weight of snow and flattened the plants growing underneath. I posted about the problem here

In previous years once the brassicas have achieved a reasonable size the pigeons have left them alone - not this year. Everyone on our site is lamenting the loss of their brassicas as the pigeons have over indulged and devastated the plants.
Although they have shredded the sprout tops they have left the sprouts and have also spared the 'autumn' cabbages.
One of the disadvantages of an allotment rather than a back garden vegetable patch is that we can't be on hand to quickly respond to problems or changes in conditions. Our crops have to be able to survive without our constant attention so next year we will have to weigh up the chances of our brassicas  surviving snowfall or pigeon fest. I'm not sure why the pigeons have been so destructive this year  or whether this is now a new pigeon trend but at the moment snow damage seems the less of a problem.



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

24 comments:

  1. Hmmm, which is the lesser of two evils? I think I'd take my chance with the snow.

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    1. I think maybe we will have to risk snow next year, Jo

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  2. OMG, that is bad! Maybe you'll have to construct "cages" of wire that might withstand the weight of snow? No, that would probably be prohibitively expensive. Maybe breeders should concentrate on breeding brassicas that are unattractive to pigeons!

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    1. We do have some chicken wire which ma be an option next year, Mark

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  3. I think the main problem is the pigeon population has increased so their are more of the little critters about,that certainly seems to be the problem in our area.

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  4. Oh Sue that is awful. I have been tempted to take the netting off my brassica bed. As you say a back garden plot is easier to keep an eye on. The amount of pigeons in the field put me off so it stayed put.

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    1. It certainly isn't a pretty sight, Jo but I still can't bring myself to dislike wood pigeons! Next year plan C

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  5. I've noticed that there are lots of wood pigeons at our site too. They've ignored a load of un-netted sprouts- I'm sure they've gone for all other un-netted brassicas though. I'm not going to attempt brassicas in our first year I don't think- I'm grateful to be able to peruse everyone else's posts to get an idea of how to do it (including pigeon protection) first!

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    1. Why not just try a few cabbages Jill? They really aren't difficult to grow and it will give you some idea.

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  6. Maybe all the snow had hidden their usual food so they were particulaly hungry for tasty home grown brassicas? I've not seen many pigeons round here, other than monster wood pigeons. I wonder if I will attract them from miles around once I put my cabbages out?!

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    1. We haven't really had that much snow Janet. That which has fallen hasn't hung around too long - certainly not more than normal. It's the wood pigeons that are our problem.

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  7. The pigeons are terrible at out allotment too, last summer they even started to eat our peas and lettuces!

    I use nets and have to go down and shake the snow off every time we have a fresh fall. My plants seem to be surviving well by doing this

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    1. Our plot isn't really near enough to walk there, njgf to deal with snow and when the snow is bad enough to need dealing with we don't want to get the car our.

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  8. Oh those pigeons are such a pest - your plants looked so healthy as well - mine haven't been touched yet but I suppose it's only a matter of time.

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    1. Fingers crossed for you. Elaine

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  9. Perhaps your cool summer meant their normal fodder didn't grow as well as usual. Regardless though they did make a mess of things - you have my sympathies.

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    1. Whatever the reason Liz it is so disappointing

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  10. So sorry to hear you've been blighted also Sue. Why do you think they avoid the autumn cabbages and sprouts? More difficult to eat maybe? I've discovered that one or two of my broccoli and kale plants have started to regenerate after the pigeon onslaught so they're now under individual cloches to protect them. I'm definitely knocking up some more substantial protection frames for next winter.

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    1. It could be that being fairly solid they are difficult to get started on, Jules but I guess we should just be grateful that they leave us something. We have signs of broccoli buds so we may get something - we can hope.

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  11. I'm hearing more and more about pigeons feasting on crops. I'm glad they spared you some crops. It's not good to 'share' everything!!

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    1. It wouldn't be too bad if the pigeons left us a fair share Anna.

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  12. My greens which once looked lush and healthy don't look so great now Sue. I wonder if with the bad weather last year there just wasn't so much food around for them so they have resorted to this. I have never had my established plants massacred before either.

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    1. Maybe Tanya - or they had a great year and produced lots and lots of babies!

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