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Thread: Improving Veg Patch for Next Year

  1. #9
    burnie is online now Veggie gardener
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    The problem of leaching into rivers has increased dramatically since artificial fertilisers heavy in nitrates occurred, the Basin at Montrose used to be bare sand when the tide went out, it is now green with algae. This didn't happen when manure only was used, now run off from slurry is a different matter as it remove oxygen from the water if it runs in and kills everything.
    In a garden or allotment, unless adjacent to a water course, then I would suggest nutrients won't go too far from where our crops can find them, nature does after all deposit plenty of nutrients on the surface and worms and other beasties carry it under ground. Also it is a good idea to add manure well before adding a feed like B.F.&B, which I add as a top dressing a couple of weeks before sowing/planting.

  2. #10
    cuffbertt is offline Seedling
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    Thank you for the replies everyone! Sorry I've taken a while to come back, it's been a busy few days!

    So if I put a layer of cardboard down, then put a mixture of manure and compost on top. Leave it until the spring and then give it a bit of a dig shortly before I put any seeds or plants in?

    What should I do if I'm planning on growing root crops like carrots etc? Do I need to leave a bare patch where they're going to be and then add some other kind of fertiliser next spring?

    Also, just to complicate things a little bit more, I am planning on putting some garlic into one of the beds in the next few weeks, so I am assuming I should avoid manure in that area too? What's the best thing to do in that section so the garlic has all the nutrients it needs?

    I always think I've learned a lot about growing veg over the last year, but then I get stumped on simple things like this haha.

    Thanks again for the replies

  3. #11
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    bario1 is online now Work in progress...
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    You don't need to dig over the beds in Spring, the compost/manure mix should be fine to plant into. A quick raking over to get a finer surface tilth might help though.

    For roots, just add your home made compost rather than manure. Sometimes I rake in a bit of blood fish and bone a few weeks before sowing.

    For the garlic you could do the same now - just rake in a sprinkling of blood fish and bone or something similar to give the soil a quick nutrient boost, then let it settle before planting.
    rary likes this.
    He-Pep!

  4. #12
    ESBkevin is offline Tuber
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    Try to avoid putting still green uncomposted material in the soil, it can help to harbour slugs over winter. Cardboard that is wet and covered in compostwill break down quickly in the wet winter and the worms love it. Remove any dry cardboard from the edges after a few weeks to further discourage those slugs.
    Otherwise you are on the money.

  5. #13
    cuffbertt is offline Seedling
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    Great, thanks all I guess it makes sense if I plan to put my carrots, onions and garlic all next to each other in the bed, so that I can just leave one area manure free.

    I've not used blood, fish and bone before, but I've heard it mentioned a lot. I'll pop down to Wilkos or something at the weekend and stock up. Think I need to get some more top soil when I'm out as well, as it's amazing how much the soil level has dropped on my raised beds over the year, although they were mostly filled with really dusty compost to start with so maybe that's why!

    Cheers!

  6. #14
    ESBkevin is offline Tuber
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    Just a note on the manure free for root crops. Studies (by the likes of Charles Dowding and others), suggest that digging in and mixing the manure is the cause of root crop problems like splitting and forking. If you just place it on top of the surface and plant into/through it there are no problems, on the contrary the carrots etc. are wonderful/straight/tasty and the gound is kept in good heart. I have moderate experience of this from one season and will be extending the proceedure next year.
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  7. #15
    cwmmawr is offline Germinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ESBkevin View Post
    Just a note on the manure free for root crops. Studies (by the likes of Charles Dowding and others), suggest that digging in and mixing the manure is the cause of root crop problems like splitting and forking. If you just place it on top of the surface and plant into/through it there are no problems, on the contrary the carrots etc. are wonderful/straight/tasty and the gound is kept in good heart. I have moderate experience of this from one season and will be extending the proceedure next year.
    This is my experience huge parsnips this year in a bed with manure on top not dug in

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