Archive for the ‘Pests and Diseases’ Category

How I grew over half a tonne of Veg on my allotment in 2013.. (Super-Blog part 2)

Image

So to continue... Spring Onions... As I said in the part 1 we love our onions.  As well as the normal onions I also have a small bed of multiplying onions - like a spring onion but a bit smaller. I originally planted a few bunches of two or three onions and they soon turned into huge bunches of tall tasty onions which are ideal in stews and soups. They have a totally different taste to normal onions. I dig up a portion of a bunch when required by driving a spade through the bunch and replacing some soil to fill the void!! When the whole bunch has been used I replant a small bunch of 2-5 and in not time they will be ready for eating as well. This way one only needs a square meter or so in the garden for theses.  They over-winter without any problem and jump back into growing mode i

Continue reading »

More Rain and the Edible Garden Show!

Chitting our potatoes.

We were planning to spend some time down on the plot on Sunday but it didn’t happen because of the pouring rain! We like to think of ourselves as hardy gardeners but there really wasn’t anything we could have done gardening-wise! I really hope the weather improves soon; it has to, doesn’t it?! It’s been raining all morning here but it finally looks like it might it might stop and brighten up. It’s just a shame it’s a workday for me, otherwise, I’d be heading straight down to the allotment with the first promise of sunshine! Sunday wasn’t a complete write-off in the end though, as we just decided to spend the afternoon in our local village pub reading the Sunday papers by the fire with a couple of pints of cider ; ) At home, we’re busy chitting our potatoes in

Continue reading »

Using Weed-Suppressant fabric to grow crops through

Person Author: Gavin Conway Calender February 24, 2013 Posted No Tags Comment 5 Comments
IMG_0352L_rs

This year I have decided to grow a lot of veg through weed suppressant fabric. For a few reasons.... mainly due to running two home based businesses I don't have a lot of time to dig weeds at the plot and secondly it makes for a tidy plot - well I think so and I'm a meticulous geek that likes straight lines and measured spacings. How sad is that!! Last year I was given a part used roll of poly prop type weed fabric and as my first year on the plot I planted all my strawberries through it as well as my courgettes. I just cut slits in it and grew through it. They all did really well and I noticed I had almost no slug damage. I'm hoping it's because maybe they don't like slithering on the fabric... However I did get a few through the planting slits I made. I did throw a few hand-fulls of s

Continue reading »

Growing Celery and Celeriac.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender January 5, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , Comment 1 Comment
Image

  Celery and Celeriac [ Apium graveolens ] were bred from the same wild plant. Celeriac grown for it's swollen stem base or root, is much hardier than stem celery when mature. The availability of self blanching varieties of celery have made the growing of this vegetable much easier for the home gardener. You can still grow 'trench celery' from seed, but as it requires a lot more work and attention and takes up more room on the plot, I have concentrated on the 'self blanching' types. Soil Preparation. Celery and celeriac likes a moisture retentive but well drained soil in a sunny spot in the garden. The addition of well rotted manure or garden compost in the Autum/Winter will help retain the moisture and adding sharp sand will aid drainage of heavy soil. Some of the compac

Continue reading »

Growing Kale.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender January 4, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment No Comments
Image

Kale or borcole [ Brassica oleracea ] is a versatile member of the cabbage family. It comes in a wide range of leaf shapes and colours, it is a very attractive and hardy vegetable that looks just as good in the flower border as on the vegetable plot. Although kale is usually thought of as a cold weather or winter vegetable, which it is, it can be grown almost all year round. Though in summer it is best grown in partial shade out of direct warm sun. Soil Preparation. Like all brassicas, kale grows best in free draining fertile soil. Well rotted manure or garden compost is best added to the bed in the autumn. Brassicas dont like very acidic soil so add lime before planting or do a soil check. A pH of 6.5 - 7.5 is ideal. They also like a firm soil. Sowing Outside. Seed can be

Continue reading »

Growing Melons

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender November 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments
Image

The melon [ Cucumis melo ] is a member of the Cucurbit family along with squashes and cucumbers. It is unsure where melon's first originated from, but it is thought most likely from Asia or Africa, rather than the USA. It is thought that Columbus introduced melon's to America on his second expedition, carrying them as rations to ward off scurvy. Whatever their origins, melons are tender plants and need warm sunny conditions to thrive. Because of this, they are mostly grown undercover in the UK, though more cold tolerant varieties are being developed. The use of fleece or cloches can help to keep the plants warm in poor weather. Sowing. In April or May, sow the melon seeds on their sides 1/2 inch [ 1 cm ] deep in pots of moist seed or multi purpose compost. Place in a propagator o

Continue reading »

Companion Planting – Deterring Pests.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender August 17, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments
Image

Many of us are looking for greener ways of deterring or controling pests on our crops. We want healthy pest free crops without resorting to chemicals. One way is to try companion planting. As seen in other articles there are all types of companion planting, I like a mix of all of them. Alliums - Carrot fly, Aphids One method you can use is confusion or camouflage, by alternating rows of different vegetables, one plants smell disguises the other. Try sowing rows of carrots inbetween rows of onions or garlic, the smell of these alliums masks the smell of the carrots and is said to deter carrot fly. It should certainly confuse them. I have a row of garlic chives and common chives at the end of one raised bed. This not only helps to disguise the smell of vunerable crops, but brings i

Continue reading »

Sick tomato plants

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender July 20, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , Comment No Comments
Image

In this wet and humid weather most of us didn't have a chance to grow tomatoes outdoors successfully. I thought I had managed to escape the early blight what was reported in several part of the country but if blight don't strike something else will in this weather. This year is the best for all sorts of fungal diseases as they love humid conditions and cooler temperatures. Sometimes it is not easy to identify the diseases but you don't always have to. One rule applies to all of them: destroy the affected plants as oon as you are sure that it is a fungi, burning is your best option. All the fungal diseases can survive in the soil for years so crop rotation is essential if you had some sort of tomato diseases, don't grow the plants at the same spot next year. Fuzarium wilt What my

Continue reading »

Blossom End Rot

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender July 10, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments
Image

Yes I was waiting for the day when I can pick my first sweet pepper and within a few days look what happened to my precious fruit. The plant is big and healthy but I was very silly and kept the greenhouse door shut for days because of the cold weather and the humidity was about 100% in there; my big mistake. Blossom end rot is a fruit disorder of tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.  This non parasitic damage can be very serious at times and but if you take action after the first occurence you will have some harvest a bit later in the season, as the blossom end rot normally appears on the first fruits. Symptoms The most common symptom is a small watery rotting spot on the blossom end of the fruit just when the fruits begin to mature. It can appear at earlier stages too while the fr

Continue reading »

Do your potatoes have scab on the skin?

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender July 5, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 1 Comment
Image

Potato scab is a common disease and it is caused by a bacteria Streptomyces scabies. It lives in the soil free and attacks the potatoes in ideal conditions. Normally scab does not affect the yield but the skin becomes ugly and you might have to peel your potatoes thickly. The same bacteria attacks radish, beetroot, turnip and swede too. The bacteria invades the surface of the forming tubers and the plant develops the scabs in response, which are defend the tubers from further infection. So the scabs are basically the defence system of the plants. Resistant varieties If the infection is severe and you don't have the space to grow potatoes elsewhere or your whole plot is badly infected with the bacteria, it is worth to grow resistance varieties. King Edward, Pentland Javelin and

Continue reading »
SagePay Thawte Visa Paypal Master Card