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Over eager gardener with new veg garden needs advice


 
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Rocket
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 19
Location: The Midlands

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:03 am    Post subject: Over eager gardener with new veg garden needs advice Reply with quote

Hi, I am getting quite confused.

I know I need to rotate crops. So I worked out a little plan. Actually the plan means that I need to dig over some more new land!

I have dug the land I had used this year for peas and broad beans.

Then I heard about planting things to over winter and planted cabbage and leeks where the pans and beans previously were. I believe that that is okay.

The land I am using to grow veg has not been used since at least 2003 and I was told it would not need manuring this year.

Meanwhile, I had farmyard manure delivered earlier this year and the plan was to use it this autumn.

Where I previously grew the peas and broad beans I had planned to grow cabbage, cauliflower, turnips and broccoli next year. But now I've planted cabbage and leeks so won't be able to use the manure on that patch this autumn.

Plus, I learn that the broccoli I planted might not be ready for use until next year (actually I'd be surprised if it was usable at all as the plants are big but there is no sign of a head on them and they have been dinner for slugs and caterpillars)

How do you work out when to dig in manure? Is it terrible if I don't?

How do you work out crop rotation when you have over-wintering veg?

I would be happy with any advice, suggestions etc.

Rocket
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michael brenock
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 12 Aug 2008
Posts: 1275
Location: cork

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the gardening year does not follow a calendar year exactly. Some crops will be in the ground over the winter into Spring. as long as you follow the basic rule of not following cabbage after cabbage or peas ans beans after peas and beans then it is ok . the longer the interval with a different crop the better. dung is always beneficial in a garden especially for potatoes and members of cabbage family. do not use dung before sowing carrots and parsnips.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Rocket
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 19
Location: The Midlands

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Michael

Thank you very much for your reply. I had started to feel that I was getting in over my head but but what you have said makes it feasible again.

I had supposed that I would need to put dung all over the garden and dig it in - and I found that idea somewhat dauntiang. But doing it a piece at a time, depending on what I plan to plant there, makes so much sense.

Also, thanks for the advice re manure and parsnips. I didn't know that and appreciate it, particularly as it is one of the few vegetables that my teenager will eat.

I have parsnips in the gorund at the moment. So next year I will plant them elsewhere, on ground that I have not added dung to, as you suggest. I would be interested to know how many years between adding dung and then growing parnsips would you advise?

Thanks again.
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cuemaster
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 63
Location: Nenagh, Co. Tip

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rocket
Get a good book such as Vegetables for the Irish Garden, or Michael will remind us the name of his book, have a good read and enjoy. a little at a time
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Rocket
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 19
Location: The Midlands

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cuemaster

Funnily enough, while it was raining today I went through a couple of bookcases and hunted out some gardening books. I had a tendency to read a little and rush out to 'hae a go' or read a lot and get muddled.

I'm now visually impaired so a itttle at a time will be just right to keep me busy during the winter months.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Rocket! The first rule of gardening is 'Never Despair' because every 'rule' will be broken somewhen, somewhere.

To do Michael's marketing for him, his book is 'The Irish Gardener's Handbook' and worth every cent. I've also found Readers Digest's 'Food From Your Garden' useful (now out of print but look out for a copy on Amazon or in a charity shop) which has a lot of info on preserving etc.

As an example of 'rule breaking', last autumn a local farmer brought me a huge trailer full of steaming 'green' farmyard cow manure which was in addition to 5 tractor buckets of fairly rotted stuff I'd got from elsewhere. With so much at my disposal all I felt I could do was transfer forkfuls all over the plot so that I finished up with 3-4 inches of the stuff everywhere.

Worms are something of a rarity here so, once the hard winter had thawed enough for planting, most of it was still on the surface and I was pleased to see how it had stifled the weeds. With the back of my shovel I smoothed one bed over and pushed my onion sets directly into it. They took an eternity to move but I eventually had a great crop.

I then got depressed when most of the seed packets said plant in a bed that was manured the previous year - of which, of course, there was none - so I dug the whole patch over, stuck everything in and hoped. Everyrthing bar carrots has gone absolutely mad and the neighbours avoid us in case they get landed with another load of spare veg.

So, there you are. In my case the old adage of 'only well rotted manure' has been blown out of the water. My PARSNIPS are huge AND not forked. My peas, that the packet says grow to 24-30 inches, grew to over 6ft. See what your plot will react to but don't be afraid to experiment.

_________________
A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
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