Author Topic: Still learning lessons  (Read 611 times)

Borderers1951

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Still learning lessons
« on: March 15, 2018, 07:13:19 »
This year, my second full year on this plot, I decided to spread my usual 4-inch layer of manure on the vegetable area.  This measures about 96 square yards and I have divided it into three roughly equal areas.  The first area was covered in the autumn with manure, then with a black plastic sheet.  The rest was given the manure and left open.  In previous years I have always dug the manure in over the entire area in late winter or early spring, depending on the weather.   Yesterday I looked under the plastic sheet to find that most of the manure has been taken into the soil by worms, so a light forking over will probably be all that is needed.  In the rest of the garden there is still a lot left to be dug in.  After a long spell of bad weather, this looks like being a rush-job over the next couple of weeks.  I can see me using plastic sheeting over the whole of the vegetable plot next year to save some heavy labour.

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Still learning lessons
« on: March 15, 2018, 07:13:19 »

saddad

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2018, 07:31:48 »
It's always a learning curve... but the black plastic sheet has myriad uses!

markfield rover

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2018, 08:33:19 »
Have you seen any of the Charles Dowding no-dig videos?

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2018, 16:56:13 »
.  In the rest of the garden there is still a lot left to be dug in.  After a long spell of bad weather, this looks like being a rush-job over the next couple of weeks.
If your ground was 'more or less' weed free when you applied the manure, I suggest you draw off 2" with a rake, plant as required and then redistribute your rakings to mulch as required. There is no need to dig! Use your saved time to grow better plants,make more compost, do more planning, empty a glass!
I also  recommend the Dowding videos on Youtube though,& see:
 http://charlesdowding.co.uk/
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

early weeder

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2018, 12:52:30 »
I would love to let the worms do the work. Unfortunately we have New Zealand flatworms and very few earthworms so we have to do the digging!

Digeroo

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2018, 13:29:36 »
The people who had the plot next to mine were big on plastic.  More or less the entire plot was covered.   It rather impressed me that they carefully rolled it up, planting as they rolled

Borderers1951

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2018, 09:00:00 »
Other people on the plot have talked about using a 'no dig' system but my little effort this year is the closest anyone has come to it so far as I am aware.  I have watched the videos on Youtube and have a question:  Some crops have been planted through the polythene cover so what happens to the cover after the harvest?   Can it be used again or will it need to be replaced every year?  On the whole I think I would rather remove the sheet intact for future use than have to replace it every year if it is full of holes.  At any rate, a 'no dig' option looks very attractive and my back and knees all agree with  me.

Plot 18

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2018, 09:27:04 »
I always use the woven weed control plastic for my brassicas, saves me keep removing the netting just for weeding. Kind of plant and forget til harvest :D
I lift the sheet in the spring, after final harvests and move it to this year's brassica bed. It goes over a newly spread layer of compost or rotted manure.
I have the same system for my squash/sweetcorn bed - moving the sheets as the crops move, that way the holes are in the right place for planting into.
Eventually they say, there will be few weeds as the compost layers build up, suppressing weed growth. On our weedy allotment site this hasn't happened yet, so I'll carry on using the plastic for now.

johhnyco15

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2018, 10:07:19 »
i cover nearly all my plots plot 84 is my fruit plot 10 rods all covered and fruit and trees planted trough then covered with bark which rots down and feed the ground this has been in place for 8 years now and is as good as the day it  was put down no weeding plot 83 is my veg plot 10 rod i cover it all each autumn it gets 4" layer of manure on  75 % the  other get 4" of leaf mould then its covered this is my brassica beds  again planted through the plastic the other 75%is sweetcorn, tomato, squash i uncover a 5 mtr section for salad beetroot  parsnip and the like plot 82 10 rod is a mixture this year 50/50 open ground and covered this year the whole plot has had 6" of manure place upon it then leaf mould to blind the manure half of this will be left fallow this year for brassicas parsnips next season the other half for runner beans peas  french beans courgettes marrows cape gooseberries and other stuff ive forgot  i only dig around 10 mts a year and then with a border spade the worms do all the rest for me hope this helps
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Still learning lessons
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2018, 20:16:50 »
I would love to let the worms do the work. Unfortunately we have New Zealand flatworms and very few earthworms so we have to do the digging!
You may find this of interest:
https://www.opalexplorenature.org/nzflatworm
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

 

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