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Hi JD and Christine,
So the problems are shade and water being taken out of the ground by the trees?
I would consider:
working with the trees using ‘forest gardening’ or
chopping a few limbs down and burrying them as in ‘hugelkultur’ to try and retain more moisture in the beds.
there are wikis on both of these subjects…
correct me if Im wrong, but when I lift Asparagus, the roots can be re-oriented at 90 degrees to the row, so they can be encouraged away from each other, thus more plants can go closer together.
I’ve been warned against moving Asparagus, as it can let in disease through cut roots.
My answer would be … it depends how much of a rootball you get up with them. I wouldn’t put them more than 18″ apart.
Hi Glynn, Do keep one side of your heap either removable or not fixed.
Imagine emptying it out if you do not!
polythene can rip, especially as it gets older, so weighting it down at points can be problematic … if not now, then some time in the future as it deteriorates and becomes brittle.
A trick in a very windy part of Scotland was to use old tile battens and weights as follows:
1. set the tile batten on the edge of the sheet .
2. Roll the tile batten up two complete turns in the sheet.
3. At intervals place weights (or pegs) to hold down the batten inside the sheet.
This stops any high winds tearing the sheet off the ground as the force holding it down is stread over a length a not a point.
if you do not have high winds, dont bother. Its all in your local context!
The sheet in the picture would not last a few days North (& West) of the border….
Apologies, I copied the links but did not check them.
the second link is accessed from reference No. 4 on this page in wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nematicide
I’ve tested this route and it works in Firefox.
here is another example of garlic as a nematicide which may explain why some people do companion planting.. http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Issue/pn84/PN84_18-20.pdf
I will be really interested to see your pictures. It will convince any doubters about how quickly it breaks up. You can understand any sceptics though, since it looks pretty indestructible while sitting on the beach!
Rinsing the salt off was never an issue in the West of Scotland. I will let you work out why! But is should be rinsed one way or another before it goes on the garden.
Living in London I am reduced to using processed seaweed products, but as you will see from the links, papers on how it works as a nematicide looks really interesting in improving crops through improving soil.
For interesting reading on seaweed have a look at:
http://sea-nymph-ireland.com/benefits.html sellers of seaweed produce for growing and
https://www.quickcrop.ie/blog/2014/02/growing-potatoes-in-seaweed/ who is an Irish blogger..
I concur. Our family experience was in the Outer hebridies where potatoes were planted inside piles of seaweed. Very no-dig. I recently had a conversation with my mother about this practice and apparently it dates back to before the days of The Potato Famine. Source is oral history I’m afraid.
I guess you cannot call the Gaelic lazy beds no-dig, but the turfs were important in our part of the world to hold everything down and not get blown away! (context is everything!)..
Richard, you will be astonished at how quickly seaweed rots down, but be warned, dont let it rot before you use it as it can lose its goodness quickly.
I think, once again, dealing with runner beans may be down to context. I plant my runner beans on the same patch each year and have lived in that bed quite happily for the last 10 years.
I always cut the plants off at ground level and then mulch.
Though I always raise enough plants each year for a complete planting out, my seedlings stay in root trainers until the plants from the previous year have sprouted as I prefer to use these rather than new seedlings. I sometimes have to grub around to find the plants which have overwintered successfully.
This year my overwintered plants (sown in 2017) produced a far superior crop to the (2018) seed raised plants, the latter being dreadfully poor. My conclusion is that the plants from last year had an extensive root network which was much more developed and robust than the new plants. I will also stick my neck out and guess that the roots lay dormant and did not rot, so had a deeper root run, so were not so susceptible to drought as per 2018.
Alys Fowler suggests thet may be kept for 2 years if there is a mild Winter and believes that they give a reduced crop in the second year. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/28/alys-fowler-runner-beans
Now, the proposed method for keeping the tubers over winter seems to be to lift and store as one would with dahlia tubers as they can either freeze or rot off or mulch and keep them cozy in the ground. So the experiment should be as follows:
Mark where the plants are so they can be investigated in May when they should be popping up.
Cover in fleece to protect any early shoots from late frost (and some straw may help under the fleece too), and
Do no-dig gardening to build up the humus so the ground drains well and does not rot the tubers….30th October 2018 at 6:54 pm in reply to: self-study cultivating vegetables in a sustainable way #49697
Hey Pillar, welcome. Where are you and what resources do you have? Do you have water / rain / supply of compost or manure?
I would agree with Christine, but would try and buy some plants as its getting a bit late for raising seedlings.. If I was in your situation I would also try and get some broadbeans going in between the leaf crops. This would give them some protection from the wind last Winter which killed off my crop almost entirely.
I raised my Asparagus seedlings in summer 2016 and overwintered them in an unheated greenhouse in pots. During this time they stayed green so I kept feeding and repotting. They built up over the Winter very well and at no stage went dormant. This speeded up their development and, having taken a small harvest this year, the plants have come on in leaps and bounds and I expect a cracking harvest next year.