Letting nature sort it out

slow worm on black plastic

You may be wondering why this post starts with a photo of a slow worm. It is a good question. Well to cut to the chase, this slow worm signifies a milestone for me. He, or she, represents time saving and the pursuit of greener living. We’ll call him he, for now. And a finer fellow as ever I’ve seen. He is living proof that the changes I’ve made in the kitchen garden may just work.

Each year, I spend time weeding and digging the kitchen garden. I love doing it, but it takes time. This year, I’ve played it different. This year, I put half a foot of horse manure over the whole area. Then laid a big plastic sheet over the whole lot. As I’ve needed to plant, a cross is cut in the spot and the plant gently eased in. That is it. No digging. No weeding.

down the potato rows

An added bonus to the whole set up is, that the watering is cut too. The manure and the plastic have conserved the rain water, meaning I’ve only just started watering the kitchen garden.

I know I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch, but the veg plants have pushed on through and seem to be doing fine.

And just where does our legless lizard fit into all this? Well, he loves slugs and I don’t. I’ve noticed that the slugs like the new manure/plastic set up too. Thoughts of using a pea shooter to spray slug pellets under the plastic, may have crossed my mind. But this morning, I spotted this chap basking in the sun. Call me fanciful, but I reckon he is looking full. Full of lovely slugs. Don’t you think slugs are so much more lovely when they are safely stored in a reptile’s tummy?

I’m going to let nature sort this one out.

(The pea shooter would have been fun though)


Adding this to my “Becoming a greener me” project

I’m linking up with Mammasaurus’s amazingly pretty gardening linky. Waves soil-free hands at anyone visiting via the #HDYGG linky.

28 thoughts on “Letting nature sort it out

  • Thursday 19 June, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    there is some good planning going on here. good luck!

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Talked about doing it before, but got my act together this year.

  • Thursday 19 June, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Cheryl, as always your photos inspire me. I wish we had put down the black cloth in our gardens. We are inundated with weeds this summer, not to mention clouds of gnats that swarm your head when you’re trying to weed. After such a harsh winter I shouldn’t complain, though. Hope all is well with you and yours.

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Jodi! Lovely to hear from you. Weeding with gnats does not sound fun. Hope they leave you alone.

  • Thursday 19 June, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    just love this and i am shamlessly gona nick your idea and try it for myself, how wonderful to have slow worms and yes i agree he looks like he has a lovely fat tummy hope you able to count loads more soon

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Lucky to spot him. Hoping there are a few more hiding around. 🙂

  • Thursday 19 June, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I need a slow worm or three! My garden is being ravaged by slugs. I’ve brought my courgettes inside because I’ve lost do many other things to them. I think you should still try the pea shooter option 🙂

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Slightly miffed that the pea shooter method is no longer required, but I’d prefer to leave it to nature, really.

  • Thursday 19 June, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Honestly, I would find it very difficult to go back into nature or even my garden if I saw one of these guys sunning themselves. I like to pretend these things do not exist in England. Lovely Flower:-)

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Real cuties. Honest. Quite harmless, unless a slug is involved. They really are more afraid of you, than you are of them. And they eat slugs!

  • Thursday 19 June, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I’m with Helen and am going to nick your idea to use here next year – what a good plan – anything that cuts out the need to weed is a fine thing.
    I rather like slow worms 😎 so he’s more than welcome here anytime – especially if he likes munching slugs!

    Thanks ever so much for joining in x

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Just think of the hours you will save. Slow worms also cut cost as no need to buy slug pellets. Win-win.

  • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Wow, you have really thought this through… I love it. We have a wonderful thing to control the slugs here… it is a slug eater. Really a snake that loves and adores slugs and snails, they do a fabulous job and are most welcome in our garden. But I think your garden would be a little cold and the slugs would have a riot while our poor snake would go into a state of permanent hibernation!!!

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Everything just slotted into place this year. Took a weekend of wheelbarrowing the manure, but it’s going to be worth it. Your slug eater sounds brilliant. Do you think I could knit it a jumper and invite it to visit?

  • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 7:52 am

    oh a Slow Worm! Lovely 🙂 We used to see these in my childhood – not spotted one on our farm yet, but am keeping my eye out! We do have frogs that help us keep the slug population down though, which I am grateful for 🙂 I like the idea of the horse manure. I recently half filled my new raised beds with calf manure, (easily on hand living on a dairy farm). I am hoping it has the same effect!! I do like the idea of less watering though – good plan!

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:36 am

      We have lots of toads too. Not so many frogs. Really shouldn’t have a slug problem, but they still make their presence felt. Hope your veg prospers on the calf manure works. Sure they will.

  • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 10:40 am

    sounds like a really good idea – it might be something to try on our allotment …

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:37 am

      First year we’ve used this method, so I’m hoping we will see a difference.

  • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 10:52 am

    That is a great idea, and I hope that it continues to work for you. And that slow worm definitely looks full of slugs 🙂

    • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 11:38 am

      He is full, isn’t he!

  • Friday 20 June, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Such a great idea. I wish I’d thought of it, I’m struggling with my allotment this year! And how great to have a resident slow worm! it’s been ages since I’ve seen one…

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      I wish I had done it for my greenhouse borders too. Next year!

    • Sunday 22 June, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      It is saving so much time. Means I can work more of the garden too. More produce. Fingers crossed.

  • Monday 23 June, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    delightful post! glad you have a little slug eater in residence!

    • Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hopefully more than one!

  • Monday 23 June, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    This is how I garden and with a dodgy back it really reduces down the strain. We have slow worms here too and I just love them. Popping by from #HDYGG

    • Tuesday 24 June, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      I’m going to use this in the greenhouse next year. Also on our raised bed. It should help them not to dry out so fast. Miss padding around on the soil, though, and pulling the weeds. (Can’t believe I’m saying that!)

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