I already notice quite some difference even though the plants have barely been able to establish themselves and have been fighting lots of slugs despite my efforts at keeping them checked.   Plot one (compost from organic waste) is way ahead of plot two (leaf mould & organic seaweed fertilizer).  The young plants in plot one already look much healthier than those in plot two, but of course there are variables, like plot two is getting the evening sun while plot one is getting sun most of the day.  Both are overshadowed by now with tree canopy’s.  Weather has been very warm with no rain in the last fortnight.  Terrible trouble with slugs despite going out every night and picking them off, even now resorted to using organic slug pellets.  Cats have also done damage by uprooting young plants and messing soil, hence the covering of my two control plots.  I’ve lost some bean plants but have sowed more of them.

Top left is a bean plant of plot two, underneath a bean plant of plot one – big difference so far.  On right are the spinach seedlings and beneath on left the radish seedlings all of which are part of the experiment and are ready to plant out.

And besides the ongoing experiment I have quite a few other young plants ready to be planted out, such as leaf beet, kale, marrow, marigolds, borage to name but a few.

The broad beans which I planted out a month ago are now in flower, I did have trouble with some black mould or fly on them, someone called it Chocolate Spot. I sprayed it with a combination of tea tree oil and a natural soap, I also nipped out the affected parts and it seems to have solved the problem.  Today I can see young beans appearing on the plants already.

Some of my variety of herbs growing good, two different types of thyme, two different types of oregano, lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, and more to be added.

Garden is absolutely full of insects especially bumblebees and bees.  The cat is the culprit that does damage, but she is rather beautiful!  The two comfrey plants are flowering and have grown enormously, the variety of bumblebees visiting these plants is fantastic!

And finally some good reading.  I started ‘The Butterfly Isles’ a while ago, it is a slow read but delightful and so informative – learning such a lot about butterflies habitats in Britain.  The other one I’m reading is great too, ‘Earth Matters’ is all about the soil and the importance of it and how soil underlies civilization, it contains so much good information and is told  in an interesting way – enjoying this, it’s written by Richard Bardgett and published by Oxford University Press.

Some weeks ago after I finished my course about the soil (with FutureLearn).  Then just recently  I started another online course this time with Coursera.  Its run by the University of Tel Aviv and it is all about plant physiology, quite deep and intense but also very interesting.  I’m sure happy to be able to avail of these on-line courses, they are a great discipline and education.  I am extremely busy and hardly find the time to write a blog post, but I hope all my friends and followers have enjoyed my update.

An interesting facebook site of GROWOBSERVATORY


  1. I am looking forward to your next update and harvest. I agree that there are so many different factors, such as sunlight etc. I have two beds next to each other of the same flowers and only one has double in size. I really do think it is the amount of sunlight. One gets a little less light.

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    1. Yes indeed, if the plants are not in direct sunlight they only get far-red light which impairs their growth. I believe that this normally happens at the time of sunset or in shaded conditions.

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      1. Yes the same here, a delightful teacher,, gardening is not only teaching us great discipline, but many other useful things besides about plants, the soil, and nature.

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  2. Yes, enjoyed your update very much, Agnes. It’s interesting to see how you GROW experiment is going. The beans are looking good – I hope you get a tasty crop later in the year.

    A shame about the slugs, though. You’d have thought with the dry weather they would have abated!

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    1. Thank you Helen. Yes the slugs are part of the reality of growing foods isn’t it. Also this morning early I discovered that our neighbour’s cat has uprooted one of my newly planted out leeks. I guess covering the plots with chickenwire again will keep her out more!


      1. I’d never thought about cats as a garden pest but maybe that is one of the animals I need to be more aware of. I hope you manage to protect your plants from them, Agnes.

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