When to give up on plants – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

Like so many other growers in the UK, I’ve been struggling with a lot of slugs and pests this year. My poor beans. Honestly, they’ve taken a bit of a hammering. Even with slug defences in place, there were a whole load of slime trails and nibbled leaves. I think the birds have been at them too, although I haven’t caught any pecking in action, and there are some suspicious looking mouse-holes in a bank not too far from the bean poles.

I almost pulled a few of them up with the intention of replacing them, but I saw that actually there was still new growth coming in at the growing tip, as well as a couple of side shoots that look promising.

I decided to leave them, and after the heavy rain we’re having today, I’ll see if they bounce back a little with the extra moisture in the soil and start to flourish (unless of course the slugs polish them off tonight!)

I often think that we don’t give plants enough of a chance to make a comeback after they’ve been damaged by pests. For the most part, if the growing tip is intact or if there are some sideshoots coming through, the plant will find a way to grow. Even some of my kale plants, having been stripped back to bare stalks by pigeons, have bounced back surprisingly well. My advice, for those who are relatively new to growing their own vegetables, is to wait three or four days if you think the plants aren’t worth saving, and then check for signs of growth before pulling them up and re-planting. You might be pleasantly surprised.