This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Veg Troubles

This week has brought warm days, gray skies and heavy rain. My first developing courgette has been a bit of a flop (pictured left). I assume this is blossom rot. I've also noticed many of the flowers are shriveling up and falling off the plant (pictured below). This is very disappointing - can this be blamed on the weather? 

I did a search on the internet and it says blossom rot can be from a lack of calcium. I would have thought the compost I used would have all the nutrients the plant initially needs.
Courgette 'All Green Bush' not producing healthy courgettes so far.
Below: the plant looks healthy otherwise to me. 

Above: Potatoes in grow bags, starting to show flowers.
I have six bags of potatoes growing as well as potatoes in the ground. I've positioned the potato bags in pairs in three different locations in the garden. I've noticed one of the bags in each pair is fairly healthy whereas the 2nd bag is getting devoured by slugs.
I'm wondering do they eat one bag, before they move to the other!
Above: Slug munching through potato plant leaves.
Below: His smaller friend joins the party.
I have every size, shape and colour of slug and snail in the garden!
Above: The grow bags provide the perfect habitat and home for slugs. On the other hand, they're easy to find if I can remember to check! I must have removed about 50 today alone!
Below: This is the result of the slug party.
These parties have got to stop!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. Wow - those slugs are really having a feast! I can't believe how many you have! They really do seem to like those bags. And I'm sorry to hear about your other veg trouble, too. It's always so frustrating to me when vegetables don't do well. I don't know enough to help them out! Good luck with yours!

  2. Hi Kelli, I am feeling your pain. The weather here has been very damp as well and the slugs have been causing havoc, eating my strawberries and herb gardens. Your poor potatoes. I have been sprinkling coffee grounds around my lettuces. I plan to save all my egg shells and coffee grounds next year for sprinkling about my veggie gardens. There has to be a way to stop the buggers! lol Cheers, Jenni

  3. Your weather sounds even worse than ours! (Sounds like blight weather too!) Fortunately I do not suffer a lot from slugs and snails, but I do use the little blue slug-pellets, which are pretty effective. A few of those save a lot of heartache (and veg).
    Most of the flowers on your courgettes look like male ones, so it is normal for them to wither and die without producing fruit. I find that early in the year I often get young fruits rotting-off like yours, but they usually pick up later in the season. I don't think that is Blossom End Rot, which is normally associated with tomatoes and peppers and is said to be caused by calcium deficiency as a result of erratic watering. You can't stop a courgette producing fruit, so they'll come good eventually!

  4. I think your courgettes are just suffering from the weather conditions.

    AS for the potatoes - I've never noticed them being attacked by slugs before. Is the affected bag near to somewhere where the slugs can hide during the day. Having said that slugs will return to where they have found a tasty snack previously.

    1. I've noticed slugs nibbling on potatoes the last few years in the garden but only last year was it a major problem. They devoured all my potatoes foliage last year, however, I still got a decent potato harvest and they hadn't damaged many potatoes. Perhaps my slug population is getting out of control as the multiply year after year! My garden is full of perfect habitats for slugs - rocks walls, untidy flower beds etc. I've been out a couple times each week slug collecting so hopefully I'll get the problem under control. (Otherwise, I'll have to move from veg growing to slug farming lol!)

  5. That is exactly what happened to mine - disgusting creatures. Yesterday I left some weeds on the path to dry off before binning them this morning they were covered in slugs - maybe a dozen - this is what they are meant to do - get rid of debris - not eat perfectly healthy plants.

  6. Ooh that's a lot of slugs. I don't have many slugs, just snails. Not a wide variety, but there are bucketloads of them. The weather doesn't help either.

  7. My friend buys a slug bate to keep the little boogers off of her hostas. I'll ask her what it is. Not slugs here--too bloody hot. But I do have itsy bitsy black bugs on the cabbage. Nor do I know what causes the squash blossoms to rot. I'd guess too much moisture. Only a guess, Kellie.

  8. This weather is perfect for slugs, I've never had as much slug damage as I've had this year. I haven't seen potatoes attacked like that before though.

  9. Really disgusting things....slugs. Even their very name is disgusting.I have no suggestions as that is one of the very few pests we don't seem to have here in Florida. However we do have plenty of other unwanted creatures, large and small! Good luck with your potatoes and squash, Kelli

  10. Kelli, it is me again! I just read that crushed egg shells around the perimeter of the plant stops slugs, as they get cut crawling over them, so they won't! Also copper wire around the plant stops them as it has an electric charge to them. They make copper mesh, too. I looked this up on the internet..
    Googled in How to stop slugs in the garden.

  11. Oh my goodness...I cannot believe how bad that damage to your plant is. Here in Texas I have yet to have that problem. {{keeping fingers crossed while saying that}} But I have to tell you that the first slug is really interesting looking. ;p Love your potatoes in bags, will definitely be trying that. Be well

  12. Has anyone tried the epsom salt spray? I use it on my pepper plants and bugs leave them alone plus afterwards I alot of blooms and now peppers.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.