Register with us or sign in
On allotments, I would grow in the ground. However, raised beds can be useful if you have very heavy clay soil or if you have trouble with certain pests as you can more easily cover a raised bed with enviromesh or fleece. The latter works well against pests common on allotments such as carrot fly.
Netting is the only thing that works for me Bill. You could try a fake bird of prey (ie a decoy) - google 'pigeon scarer decoy' for a range.
It's a Greater Plantain and is a weed I'm afraid Cathy.
Just about the only things you can safely use on edible crops and which might work against beetles is diatomaceous earth or neem oil, Lynn.
I wonder if there are also flea beetles present and it is those which are causing the damage with the pollen beetles just being incidental, Dove?
It would be difficult to tell as the flea beetles would jump off at the slightest disturbance.
Here's a zoom of the original photo:
Compare to the black pollen beetle (Fabogethes nigrescens):
Why a pollen beetle is eating your lettuces is, however, a mystery!
I still recommend that you cut all of the leaves from the broken bit (so that it doesn't die by losing all of the moisture from inside the stem through transipration through the leaves) and then plant it in a 50/50 mixture of grit and compost. I've just gone outside to take a photo of what will happen:
That is about 18 months after I broke a piece of of my yucca.
I would tread down a rectangle the size of the raised bed frames. Don't put down weed membrane inside them as many veg require deeper soil than just 15cm. However, you could put membrane down to create paths around your beds to help keep them weed free - remember you will need access to the beds in order to tend them. You could tuck the membrane under the edges of the raised beds which would help keep it in place.
Growing veg in the UK is a bit of an experiment every year I reckon LMS!
I try and grow a range of things so that if the fabled long, hot summer happens I have things that will appreciate it but if it's a dull cold one then there are other crops to fall back on. The hard bit for me is 'sacrificing' young plants when it becomes clear that they aren't going to do well in a particular year. Being a bit of an optimist I always hope for an 'Indian summer' thinking that they might produce but it rarely happens! Putting all of that TLC into a plant which ends up on the compost heap seems such a shame though.
I've had them fruit but they were kept in the greenhouse all year. I think we need an exceptionally long, warm summer to grow them outside in the UK. Too many cold spells this year.