The organic vegetables growers thread.

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Inspired by a handsome Welsh organic grower, I decided to try growing vegetables in a larger scale this year.
I had tried on an off with no great results: my main problems are clay soil, slugs and the Scottish climate.
Basically, the only success till this year had been strawberries, I wanted something more ambitious to put on my plate!
Man, this organic growing is certainly smelly: organic fertilizer made of nettles, rotten weeds plant tea, even organic slug killer, made of the decomposed bodies of slugs.
Just used this one today: if it works, it will be worth the xx( factor!
Money spent, £ 200 in a soil/compost delivery, plus another £30 for various containers, seeds, mini greenhouses.
Some results so far, courgettes, broad beans, mega turnips, potatoes, lettuce, kolrabi.
Sadly my garlic and onions came to nothing, the spinach bolted before I could make full use of it.
IMG_20190714_082744137.jpg
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The tomatoes, which when I tried before fruited to late to ripe, are coming along nicely.
To make my garden eco friendly, I have also interplanted various native flowers.
Moment of panic today, the discovery of many rampant mating red bugs!
IMG_20190714_204353307.jpg

Never seen them before in my garden!
A quick google identifies them as the common red soldier beetle, whose larvaes feed on slugs.
Yeah, a small victory :becool:
Are you proud of me @mudsticks?
I made a wee mistake with the brassicas, did not realize I had to transplant the broccoli after they are a certain height, or they'll collapse.
I will start a new batch, meantime I'm holding them up with sticks :laugh:
 
Seriously,i've grown some spuds in the three palm trees I have outside. Well I think they're spuds as the plants look like the ones which produced a handful of small potatoes the other week. These spuds are growing without me even knowing i'd planted them.I'm thinking they've grown from the going soft sprouting potatoes I mixed in with my other waste veggie stuff in a bag of compost which I then used for re-potting my palm trees.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Inspired by a handsome Welsh organic grower, I decided to try growing vegetables in a larger scale this year.
I had tried on an off with no great results: my main problems are clay soil, slugs and the Scottish climate.
Basically, the only success till this year had been strawberries, I wanted something more ambitious to put on my plate!
Man, this organic growing is certainly smelly: organic fertilizer made of nettles, rotten weeds plant tea, even organic slug killer, made of the decomposed bodies of slugs.
Just used this one today: if it works, it will be worth the xx( factor!
Money spent, £ 200 in a soil/compost delivery, plus another £30 for various containers, seeds, mini greenhouses.
Some results so far, courgettes, broad beans, mega turnips, potatoes, lettuce, kolrabi.
Sadly my garlic and onions came to nothing, the spinach bolted before I could make full use of it. View attachment 475509 View attachment 475510
The tomatoes, which when I tried before fruited to late to ripe, are coming along nicely.
To make my garden eco friendly, I have also interplanted various native flowers.
Moment of panic today, the discovery of many rampant mating red bugs!
View attachment 475514
Never seen them before in my garden!
A quick google identifies them as the common red soldier beetle, whose larvaes feed on slugs.
Yeah, a small victory :becool:
Are you proud of me @mudsticks?
I made a wee mistake with the brassicas, did not realize I had to transplant the broccoli after they are a certain height, or they'll collapse.
I will start a new batch, meantime I'm holding them up with sticks :laugh:

Well done you @Pat "5mph"

It's never going to be plain sailing.
But it gets easier, once you've got more experience.

Try spinach beet instead of true spinach..
It goes through the whole season, without bolting. .

Mulching is good but if the material is still breaking down, and the weather is damp it will encourage slugs.

On a smaller scale there nothing like a nighttime foray with a headtorch and a pair of scissors against slugs in the spring..

I still do this in the propogation greenhouse.

But yes all those predatory beetles are to be encouraged.

Brassicas do like it deep and firm.. I plant mine into furrows (made by a potato ridger) then earth them up as the season progresses..

It's different every year. That's what keeps it interesting.. And a bit frustrating in equal measure.

But always take with a pinch if salt what you see on the telly / you tube.. These people are mainly showing you their successes.. And it's telly land, not reality.

Plus I'm massively cheating too.
I've got a gentle south facing slope of sandy loam, to grow on, in one of the warmest valleys in the UK, have a tractor, and other people to help, and have been farming and growing for over thirty years.

And yet I still manage to mess up sometimes.

Growing lots of different types and varieties of things, means that something always comes good.

First tomatoes (from the polytunnels) came ready (reddy) last week.

Having hundreds of square yards of protected cropping is another good cheat.. Aubergines afore long too.



Transplanting thousands of leeks and winter kales, from their seedbed to final growing positions are the next big jobs coming up.. Tonnes of compost to spread first... Keeps me in good shape for the arm wrestling team

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(that's a long handled squared off shovel, for the tool afficianados)

Keep up the growing though.. I know the climate isn't so balmy where you are, but it's amazing what you can grow when you know how.

Go and find an old-timer on one of your local allotments.. They'll most likely be delighted to give you some tips (just ignore the bit about slug pellets being essential)

P. S. And i'll have you know Pat, I'm much, better looking than that Welsh lad .. :rolleyes:
 

biggs682

Smile a mile bike provider
Location
Northamptonshire
Well done @Pat "5mph"

The below picture was taken yesterday after picking out second lot of blueberries and umpteenth lot of rhubarb and purple sprouting so far this year .

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All grown in two raised beds and no additives just good compost and water collected by water butts .

Our Runner beans are getting there slowly along with the tomato's , home grown fruit & veg taste so much nicer .
 
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Tail End Charlie

Well, write it down boy ......
I'd second the comment about seeing a local allotmenteer, what they grow will grow at yours.
However, only grow what you like to eat, it's pointless growing something if you don't particularly like it.
Broad beans are my favourite crop, very versatile. The tops can be pinched off (helps to control blackfly) and can be wilted down like spinach. The small pods can be eaten whole and when the beans are a bit past it and mealy, they make great soup.
Comfrey tea is a step up from nettle tea, made the same way (I stuff a load into an onion bag and leave in a water butt for a month). It's like rocket fuel! Stinks as badly though. I have a patch of comfrey which I harvest three times a year for this.
A variety of flowers (like single marigolds) look fab and attract the insects you want.
Nothing like the taste of things you've grown.
 

kapelmuur

Über Member
Location
Timperley
I was going to give the benefit of my 30 years plus as an allotmenteer, but then I read @mudsticks post and realised that I'm rank amateur.

@Tail End Charlie my plot was at Heyes Grove, Timperley and I gave it up this spring as it was getting to be too much work and interfering with my cycling.

I am now trying to grow some veg and fruit in a small bed in my garden, it's not going too badly but the soil needs beefing up. One problem I've not seen before is some creature is biting off the flowers on my courgettes, I suspect pigeons and am going to have to net the plants. We had lots of pigeons, rabbits, mice etc at the allotment and I never saw this happen there.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
I was going to give the benefit of my 30 years plus as an allotmenteer, but then I read @mudsticks post and realised that I'm rank amateur.

@Tail End Charlie my plot was at Heyes Grove, Timperley and I gave it up this spring as it was getting to be too much work and interfering with my cycling.

I am now trying to grow some veg and fruit in a small bed in my garden, it's not going too badly but the soil needs beefing up. One problem I've not seen before is some creature is biting off the flowers on my courgettes, I suspect pigeons and am going to have to net the plants. We had lots of pigeons, rabbits, mice etc at the allotment and I never saw this happen there.

Very wise to downsize @kapelmuur, growing veg definitely interferes with my cycling life.

My fantasy retirement garden is a cobbled courtyard with a couple of pots of herbs, a steamer chair, and a wisteriaed pergola (that someone else maintains)

But I think I'm in it for a few years yet.

Could well be pigeons, on the courgette flowers, individual ones will invent new and innovative shenanigans..
 
OP
OP
Pat "5mph"

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Try spinach beet instead of true spinach..
I was thinking that, will do in the future.

On a smaller scale there nothing like a nighttime foray with a headtorch and a pair of scissors against slugs in the spring..
Oh yes, I have been doing that, with my bike light.
Had to tell the neighbourghs not to call the police if they see strange comings and goings in my garden :laugh:

Go and find an old-timer on one of your local allotments..
I would like to get more involved in the local growing scene, sadly, because of my antisocial work pattern, at the moment I have no time.
I work most weekends.

Comfrey tea is a step up from nettle tea,
Yes, the handsome Welsh gardener made a video about that: I got some comfrey seeds, got three wee plants on the go now.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
It seems to me - retired after 44 years in commercial horticulture - things are being a little over complicated.

I have an allotment with raised beds in Lancashire. I grow asparagus, Pak choi, cavalo Nero, purple sprouting, curly kale, snap peas, runner beans, onions, garlic, courgettes, strawberries, tomatoes, leeks, red currants, black currants, gooseberries, rhubarb, spinach beet, chard, peppers, sweet peas, plums, apples, all on an organic basis with one exception - I use Tomorite to feed my tomatoes and peppers.

The answer to the majority of issues is in soil management. Bi annually I bring in a ton of mixed FYM and mushroom compost. This I dig in over winter to a depth of around six inches. Not heavy digging more a gentle turning over as I work on a "no dig" philosophy whenever possible. This is delivered, bagged and already composted, often full of worms from Shrewsbury for £150.

Every week I visit a local microbrewery and collect spent hops from them - FREE! The hops are used to mulch every bed, the tomato troughs, pots the peppers grow in etc. The result is almost zero weed germination, warmer soil and great moisture retention. Once the beds are mulched all the hops I collect go on the compost heap.

I compost everything our household wastes which was once organic - paper, cardboard, vegetable peelings, egg boxes, all garden and allotment waste.

By using all of the above we grow a wide range of veg throughout the year. Each autumn the freezer is rammed with frozen produce. By learning to maintain a strong healthy soil, well mulched one can significantly improve productivity, eliminate all feed or fertilizer inputs and reduce allotment in season labour dramatically. Once planting is complete other than daily watering of tomatoes and peppers my allotment needs around 2-3 hours work per week.

Soil management is everything, get this right and everything else follows without the need for magic nettle potions!!
 
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