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Learner from South Kildare....


 
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HoeDown
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 3
Location: South Kildare

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject: Learner from South Kildare.... Reply with quote

Greetings all you green-fingers folk! How's she cuttin' Smile

My wife and I purchased a green-field site 5 years ago and built a house thereon. In the last couple of years the main effort has been in the garden. Got lawns sown and dug a vegetable patch. After that I dug a few beds and borders. They look well but nothing like the ones you see in books Smile I think I need lessons in flower arranging Smile

The veg patch has served us well. We had a great crop of onions, spuds and beetroot this year. Gave loads and away and still have some left over! Unfortunately things weren't so good with the carrots and brassicas.

The carrots were small and many of the roots were split. The I learned a few hard lessons with the cabbage and broccoli. I started them indoors and then transplanted them out when the frost had passed but then our local rabbit population came in and devoured the lot! I was hopping mad (no pun intended). So I started again (this time with everything under nets). But because of the wet weather the brassicas got some kind of stem rot due to the extremely wet weather. And to make matter worse, the one that did survive got attacked by caterpillars and slugs. With all the wet weather, I didn't get around to spraying.

This coming season, I hope to learn more about propagation and growing from seed. I really could do with a green-house but for now the cold-frame I've just built will have to do.

There's so much work involved in garden but thankfully it's enjoyable work and a great way to de-stress.

Hopefully I can learn lots here and when I get more experience, answer questions myself.

God bless,
HD.
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:47 am    Post subject: Hoe-down Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum and regards to all lily whites. Grand letter if I may say and I look forward to many more. It's grand to be reading about real-life. If you want carrots to die for, save the cardboard rolls from kitchen paper over the winter. Stack em all in a strong cardboard box, vertically. Pour best soil (from a garden centre) mixed half an half with river sand down each of the tubes until they are almost full and tamp the whole box.

Put a carrot seed or two into each tube opening and cover with maybe half an inch of the soil remaining. Now dig a hole in a sunny part of the garden and bury the box up to its neck. Water the new item lightly every day til the carrots start to show. Thin out the weaker one from half the tubes and the stronger one from the other half and you'll get an early and a later crop.

If you make a raised bed out of planks an line it it with chicken wire that comes about two foot higher than the top plank you can grow cabbage that the rabbits can't get and which won't get stem rot. And if you build a little ramp and cultivate a hedgehog he'll keep all your slugs et! Hedgehogs work by night and rabbits early morning but rabbits are generally more stupid than hedgehogs

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HoeDown
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 3
Location: South Kildare

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome and the tips. Smile

About the carrots in tubes, will they grow out through the bottom or the box or is that being a bit too optimistic?

BTW, do pigeons eat small cabbage and broccoli plants? If so I need a net over the top as well as the chicken wire.

Regards,
HD.
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:07 pm    Post subject: Carrotops and boxy bottoms Reply with quote

Yes! The whole idea is that the box rots and the tubes rot and become part of next year's soil. But the carrots don't know that and grow down the tubes of sandy soil which is all nicely arranged for them and the box arranges the tubes so they don't fall over. A carrot's tap root can go down three feet or more into the ground! Split roots in carrots is often caused by heavy impenetrable clayey soil. I learned this box'n'tubes trick from old allotment holders over here in merrie england. One oul geezer left the box flaps above ground and used to shut them at night. These lads told me the space where the box went in is good for celery the following year. Don't quote me as I've not actually tried.

By the by, save jacks-rolls and do something similar with early lettuce. Get a flat box from the fruit'n'veg section of Tescos, heh heh Don't eat the box though even if it tastes better than some of their veg. (The old jokes are the best)

Pigeons will eat cabbages. The bleedin' berks will eat almost anything green. Ya wanna see them going through the young rape ... [rape is grown for its seeds but is actually a brassica] ... here in Essex in the winter.. Hundreds of them and not a gun in sight. Think of them as flying rabbits. If you put a plastic owl or hawk etc. perched on a pole near the raised bed it softens their cough no end. But it frightens away dickie birdies too. So maybe a net on top, although personally a shotgun 'cept the meat on a pigeon is not worth nearly as much as a cartridge nowadays. But who knows with the recession ....

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Organicgrowingpains
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 175
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a very good idea for the carrots, wallitall.Another reason carrots split, apart from stony ground is using fresh manure, they dont like it. You also have to put up a fleece barrier of some kind to deter the low flying carrot fly! We had to net everything from the pigeons.we had a great crop of carrots grown in barrels this year.
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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: carrot fly Reply with quote

I read somewhere that if you grow onions by carrots it deters carrot-fly? Maybe it was garlic? maybe someone else listening in will tell us.
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Organicgrowingpains
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree


Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 175
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right there wallitall, either onions or garlic helps to deter carrot fly by all accounts.Nothing says it will completely stop the pesky fly! So as many deterents as possible should be used.
Anyone thinking of growing beans or peas next year start now by digging a deep trench and fill with your kitchen compost ( veg peelings, grass clippings etc. nothing cooked), fill in the trench as you are going along and plant the beans/peas there in the spring. They are also veg that prefer non animal compost.Thats one bed ready for planting with seedlings next year. Smile Smile Smile

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walltoall
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 705
Location: Thurrock RM15 via Dungarvan and the Banner County

PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: a trench full of compostables Reply with quote

Hey OGP,
Thanks for the tip about the compost. D'you know I'd never have thought of a downside for 'animal' manure and I'm not sure that I fully buy into it. But I can see where you are coming from on this one. Did you get that tip from 'tradition' or the net? I listen to older people than myself. Always have, even when I was a kid. The older they were the more I listened. I grow some beans peas sweet pea more for the plants and the show and the knowledge that they fix nitrogen in the soil. But then so does clover?
Best regards,
SW

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Organicgrowingpains
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
Posts: 175
Location: Cork

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi wallitall, We had an afternoon with Susan Taylor who paid a visit to our allotments to give us advice etc. Susan has worked on the gardens in Ballymaloe and is currently working as part of the team restoring the walled vegetable gardens in Blarney castle. She called this method trench composting. You dont need a bin or if you think you don't have enough for a bin this method utilises what compost material you have.The book 'The allotment keeper's handbook' by Jane Perrone also mentions it as being good for beans or any hungry feeders.I would grow sweet peas for any reason, I have next years ones started in pots in the shed as we speak.
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
Rank attained: Rowan Tree
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Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 132
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Re: carrot fly Reply with quote

Firstly welcome HoeDown. You said your hellos and straight away a load of interesting horticultural facts start to fly between members. Love this site for that reason.

walltoall wrote:
I read somewhere that if you grow onions by carrots it deters carrot-fly? Maybe it was garlic? maybe someone else listening in will tell us.


Could be true alright walltoall. Because I have heard that if you do not inadvertantly crush the leaves of carrots when thinning carrots you will have no trouble from carrot fly. Its the very carroty scent of the crushed leaves which attract them see. So I suppose that the scent of onion and garlic would over power the carrot scent. Like the way that teenage boys seem to think that a can of lynx overpowers the scent of an unwashed body.
Laughing Laughing
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once saw Helen Dillon on a TV programme planting carrots in waist-high raised beds...she said that carrot flies fly so low they wouldn't detect high-rise carrots!
Does anyone know if this works?
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Organicgrowingpains
Rank attained: Silver Birch Tree
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Location: Cork

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi Sive, we have grown carrots in barrels and had a great crop this year from them. Put stones in the base for drainage and bore a few holes as well and fill 3/4 full with compost .We used John Innes compost which is peat free. We were picking carrots for weeks from them. We used the blue barrels you see around in yards etc. Nobody said anything about the carrot fly on any of our plots but the rabbits went to town on the ones in the ground.If one pest does not get you another will!
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