I was getting quite disheartened by the disappearance of seedlings last week - something was eating them - but I'm not giving up! The garden is now getting a regular dose of coffee (which apparently does very nasty things to snails), and I'm going to attempt to win through sheer force of numbers - I'm scattering lots of the out-of-date seeds in the hope that enough will germinate and survive to result in a harvest. I really don't want to resort to pesticides, but I'm also not willing to work for snail, grub & insect food alone.
We're currently bucketing the rinse water from the washing machine out to the garden, and supplementing with town water to coax the seedlings through the warmer days. It's the first time we've watered anything in the garden for several years!