Pete Budd

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  • in reply to: New Boy on Allotment #32768

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Seasons Greetings Nigel; that is one massive question you are posing there. Bear in mind that most of us on here are “no dig” so ploughing and/or rotavating is anathema to us and I would not recommend it. Regarding paths; I wouldn`t grow anything because it creates too much work. Woven fabric ground cover is a good idea, as long as its permeable and pegged down securely. Keep weeds in check by shimming or hand weeding regularly. I find a double sided, push/pull type hoe is the easiest to use and most effective.

    Cheers

    Pete

    in reply to: winter lettuce #32665

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    I`ll look out for that one, thanks Charles

    in reply to: winter lettuce #32655

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    I have had mixed results with winter lettuce in the past due to weather conditions. My first attempt at protection with fleece failed miserably, it just encouraged slugs and fungal activity. If I leave them outdoors and the weather turns very cold; growth stops and the plants suffer. My current method is; sow in pots in September with minimal protection mainly to keep heavy rain off, the pots are stood off the ground (slugs!), plant in soil under glass when greenhouse becomes available (November), water sparingly. This winter I am trying some in 9cm sq pots also under glass. I dont have a major problem with slugs and snails for now and I still have some “Marvel of 4 Seasons” in a well ventilated cold frame but it seems to me that wet conditions cause most problems. I have been growing “Winter Crop” for a couple of years now, a nice lettuce and its done very well.

    Cheers

    Pete

    in reply to: Incorporating Lucerne green manure #32284

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Rhys

    The simple answer is I don t know. There are too many variables; rainfall, temperature, pest cycles, soil type, etc. What can seem like the way to success one year, often results in failure subsequently. I see green manure as one part of the jigsaw, where a healthy, productive, living, growing medium is the objective. As a one off sowing, green manure is unlikely to make a big difference to a following veg crop but by continually rotating it over the seasons and regularly applying the resulting compost to the surface your soil will improve. Finally; try not to let winter rains deplete the topsoil, avoid bare ground, sow an appropriate green manure to stop minerals and nutrients leaching away. Re, phacelia; it covers quickly, provides organic bulk for composting and bees love the flowers. Field beans will add some nitrogen if left to mature and I have recently started using it as a vegetable crop in its own right, drying the beans for use in the kitchen.

    Compostpope

    A big area of broadcast lucerne sounds daunting! It will easily grow through a 4 in mulch. Rotavating will do a job but pulling out the regrowth along with weed seeds brought to the surface will take some time. Worryingly a lot of people would spray with glyphosphate or its frankenstein child resolva, (at our local garden awards evening, last week, the guest speaker from a nearby garden centre was extolling the virtues of that!). So covering with plastic is probably the only option. I think I would use the permeable woven fabric.

    Pete

    in reply to: Incorporating Lucerne green manure #32259

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Hello everyone; I still utilise lots of green manure, I have just about finished covering all my bare ground with sowings of lucerne, grazing rye, phacelia and field beans. I currently have 2 allotment plots.
    Just to recap on lucerne; I try to sow it by the end of August because germination gets tricky later on and small seedlings can get hit by frost/cold /damp conditions. I sow in rows to make it easier to manage and dig it out by chopping into the base of the row from both sides to remove all the top plus about 15cm of root, regrowth is then minimal. It is hard graft and definitely not everybodys cup of tea. I sow 20 to 40 sq mtrs per year and it grows all the next summer to be removed the following spring for a veg crop. The soil on our new allotment site was very poor and some veg types did not produce very well at all. For this reason I have been leaving my lucerne in for an extra year for it to bulk up and make more root. In my opinion the main benefit of lucerne is what the roots get upto below ground level and I will leave you to speculate on that. I hope this information is useful

    Pete

    in reply to: Root Fly? #31927

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Cockchafer grubs do this and you can often find the culprit by scratting in the soil where the damage is. It may just be one individual but they can demolish quite a few small plants. I had this problem when I planted some calabrese and winter cabbage in June, fortunately I only lost a few plants and the rest grew away well.

    in reply to: Beans for drying #31872

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Thats correct Bluebell also known as Fava Beans I believe. I got interested when I found out that a company in Norfolk was selling tins of baked beans using Fava Beans.

    in reply to: Beans for drying #31869

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Have not tried them yet Charles. I like the idea of drying because its easy to do and doesnt occupy valuable freezer space. Canadian Wonder have been brilliant over the last few years but must be prepared correctly, can be cooked as baked beans or added to chilli, stews or casseroles. Initially I will use field beans in the same fashion and see how it goes. Cultivation was easy and a 6 meter double row produced 1.6kg of dried beans.

    in reply to: Beans for drying #31866

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    My Canadian Wonder (red kidney beans) and Cannelini do not look as if they are going to dry but like Charles I`ll wait a few more weeks and then hang them up in the greenhouse. If the foliage gets dry & crisp I will then shell them and spread on trays in the conservatory. However my latest expeiment, (dried field beans), is looking good as the beans have matured and dried a treat in trays in the greenhouse.

    in reply to: Nitrogen deficiency #31303

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Hi Hawfinch,

    With the wide range of plants affected I`d be looking at the compost/manure you have applied, as a source of the problems you are experiencing.

    Pete

    in reply to: Green Manure crops #30282

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Hi Stringfellow, my plot is on Market Weighton bypass. Can we message on here, if not facebook?

    Pete

    in reply to: Green Manure crops #30261

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    John

    My location is East Yorkshire and if anyone is ever in the area they are very welcome to visit to chew the fat or swap ideas.

    Pete

    in reply to: Rats in Compost Bin #30248

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Hi Don
    I don`t think there is much to worry about but Im no expert, There has been a bit in the news lately about rats on farms and the health risks to farm workers but rats are always there anyway. I suppose the sheer numbers increase the chance of contracting something nasty. As bluebell says they are very tricky to deal with, we catch a few in Fenn traps but I get the feeling its just the tip of the iceberg.

    Cheers Pete

    in reply to: Green Manure crops #30244

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Green Manure has been covered on here in depth before. Charles renamed an extensive thread Green Manure because of the amount of interest but I don`t know how to find it. I started an experiment to grow veg sustainably i.e. no imported fertilisers inc manure to avoid importing pests and/diseases, it worked very well on an allotment I had for 25 years. 5 years ago I took an allotment on a new site which needed a boost to get it going, (I used pig manure). My green manure consists mainly of comfrey, lucerne and grazing rye. Comfrey is a permanent bed, grazing rye is winter cover and I am leaving my beds of lucerne for 2 years at the moment because the subsoil is very compacted and lucerne is very deep rooted. I dont dig my green manure crops in, neither do I dig them out. Comfrey can be used fresh as a nitrogen boost, as an activator or made into a liquid feed. Grazing rye is cut to ground level when fully grown and composted, the roots soon disappear. Lucerne is cropped 2 or 3 times a year and added to compost, when it has to come out I chop it below ground level, (call it digging if you like but its minimal disturbance). Lucerne is very interesting because the roots decompose in the ground and brassicas seem to do well when following it. I could go on but I think thats enough for now.

    Cheers

    Pete Budd

    in reply to: Rats in Compost Bin #30216

    Pete Budd
    Participant

    Rats are numerous at the moment, I have never experienced anything like it and I have been trying to rat proof my bins as follows; I put bricks around the bottom and stand the bin sides (pallets)on top of these, ensuring that there are no gaps. When the bin is filled I put carpets on the top of the contents and anchor the edges with timber and/or bricks. Its important to keep access all around so that any signs of digging or gnawing can be attended to. Having said that the rats are very adept at making entry holes out of sight, so vigilance is required. Good housekeeping will help and use the compost as soon as possible.

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