Do you remember Gladys? She started life as a spring bride in my garden - guarding the vegetable beds and policing the chickens. Well life moves on and Gladys moved home to the allotment in July.
I have been reading quite a lot about gardening and permaculture and decided to make a circular bed for my vegetables with Gladys in the middle. I am sure the old guys who garden beside me think I am totally mad. Anyway... I have managed to get a half circle dug over and have planted some Japanese onions and some garlic interspersed with some strawberry runners as well as the last few seeds of raddish for a final crop before winter.
Do you remember how the allotment was in July when we first took it on?
Yeah... all that couch grass and weeds! Well we made a start and have even had a little produce from it. I've had a pretty constant supply of radish - they will grow just about anywhere with little or no fuss at all. And I have some beetroot. There are two brussel sprout plants growing my Christmas day veg - so far so good. I have some leeks in for next year and my spring cabbage is getting quite large - they look pretty good too. But now, as food starts to get scarce elsewhere, the deer start looking to the allotments for tidbits to nibble!
Not much there for the deer to eat, but my spring cabbage is not very well protected (the deer have been known to simply bulldoze through fleece!) and their hooves make a mess of everything else so I really have to do something to try and deter them.
So I decided to change Gladys's clothes on a regular basis to give the impression that she is real. Not that I believe the deer will be fooled, but anything is worth a try. So... last week I gave Gladys a new hat (a seasonal hat of course) and as extra protection for my crops I hung a little bag of human hair (my son's hair... nothing smells stronger than a male in his prime!) from her dress.
Today I went to check on things and to my surprise, even though the deer have most definitely been to visit... and have left little calling cards, as well as having nibbled away at my neighbours cabbages, they have not touched anything on my plot. Truthfully there isn't a lot on my plot but they seem to have skirted around it totally. This could be coincidence and I am sure they will be back... but for the meantime well done Gladys!! Go Girl! (sorry that's a bit 80's!)