I had to reset all the beer traps today because I had trapped so many slugs. I emptied the old ones into the comfrey bin. They can continue to rot down in the bins. The old plastic cups were a little dirty and not suitable to reuse so I have put them in the recycling box and replaced them with new old cups. I fill about quarter of the cup with beer. It does not need more than that and possibly could have less in - but not that much less.
There is some talk that beer traps attract slugs and snails that otherwise would not come on the allotment. My view is that they would still come on the allotment beer or not. My aim is not to remove all the slugs and snails from the allotment anyway. I just want to reduce the numbers until my plants are not overtly damaged by them. They can have a few of the lower leaves but no more.
I put a little more of the Ferric phosphate pellets under the tarpaulin but they do not seem to be as effective as the beer traps.
I thought that I would finish the soil sieving today but no. There is still about five foot square to do. After that I have finished with sieving for a very long time.
Some turf has been left in the bins by the gate and I was considering using it under the sweet peas. Rather than just stacking it in a corner, I will put it at the bottom of the sweet pea trenches. I have some fairly well rotted horse manure to mix in as well. This is probably all that they will need. Apart from the flowers that they produce during the summer, I see the sweet peas as a green manure. They will be dug in after they have finished flowering and this will add fixed nitrogen to the soil as they break down and decompose.
This year I have also put other green manures on the old sweet pea bed. This will add to the organic matter in this soil. As some of them are clovers and tares they will also add more nitrogen.
I am going to grow summer cauliflowers and cabbages in this area this season so the added nitrogen means that they will need very little added fertiliser. I will probably water them in with liquid comfrey, nettle and sweet cicely fertiliser and not add anything else.
I did not buy any chicken manure last season and I am hoping that I don't have to this season.
I will buy some more lime because I am going to lime the brassica bed quite heavily to prevent club root. I am also going to lime the onion bed not only to try to prevent white rot but also because the onions like a bit of lime in their soil. In my six year rotation the onions follow the potatoes. I make the ground a little acidic for the potatoes by adding manure. This means that the onions will need some lime on to raise the pH.