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  • Carrot Root Fly

      The carrot root fly (Psila rosae), pictured below looking like butter wouldn't melt in it's mouth, is responsible for much grief amongst home gardeners and commercial growers alike. It is partial to dining on a number of vegetables in the Apiaceae, or carrot, family of plants. It can affect parsnip, parsley, celery and celeriac but is most notorious for reducing your carrot crop to an inedible mess. Carrot fly is a small black-bodied fly which lays its eggs beside victim crops. The larvae then hatch out and feed on the roots as they burrow into them. Sometimes
  • Thinking Ahead - Fermenting Cucumbers

    If you grow cucumbers then you'll know that it's coming to the time of the year where they can come in a glut...and there's only so many cucumbers that you can eat in one sitting, so it's a great idea to preserve them and have them on hand for future occasions. They are a great addition to sandwiches, salads and they even taste great just by themselves as a quick snack. Fermented v Pickling The fermentation of vegetables is among the oldest and healthiest methods of preserving food. There can be a bit of confusion when it comes to the difference between fermentation
  • Liquid Fertilzers

    Liquid fertilizers are fertilizers that come in a liquid form, most commonly as a concentrate. In other words, the grower must dilute the liquid fertilizer in water before feeding it to the garden. Either the soil or the plant can be watered. Foliar feeding is a technique of feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer directly to their leaves. The absorption takes place through their stomata and also through their epidermis. Liquid fertilizers are faster-acting than granular fertilizers. With a liquid fertilizer the gardener has control over dosage and how often
  • Gooseberry Sawfly

    Sawfly larvae Gooseberry sawflies lay eggs on your gooseberry plants. When the caterpillars hatch out they can devastate the plant leaves so that you end up with a bush that looks like this - Gooseberry sawfly damage They also attack red and white currant bushes. The fly arrives anytime from April onward. The female sawflies lay eggs on the underside of leaves, low down in the center of the bush, so the young larvae go unnoticed until they have eaten their way upwards and outwards, devouring the leaves as they go -  often defoliating a bush completely. They can
  • Managing Weeds Organically

    Weeds are particularly difficult for organic farmers to deal with as chemical herbicides are, of course, strictly prohibited. Broadly speaking, there are four approaches for weed control in an organic situation: Mechanical and manual weeding Flame weeding Mulching Green manures Mechanical & Manual Weeding Dock and Ragwort Digger. Excellent for getting out the long tap-root. This covers any method which physically interrupts any unwanted plant growth. Perhaps the most obvious (and most off-putting) method is the hand pulling of weeds. Physically uprooting
  • Vegan NPK Fertilizer

    Vegan organic gardening/farming  methods use no animal products or by-products - eg bloodmeal, fish products, bone meal, animal manure, feathers or other animal-origin matter -  because the production of these materials is viewed (by Vegans) as either harming animals directly, or being associated with the exploitation and consequent suffering of animals. With this in mind we have decided to stock  a Vegan NPK 5:3:8 fertilizer. This is approved for use on organic holdings and will keep your garden growing healthy and strong without compromising your principles. 
  • How to be a better Gardener

    Plant native trees and shrubs - they support more wildlife. Have a variety of heights - much more bird friendly. Chose 'open' flowers that are easily accessible to bees . Think before you use a petrol machine - does the grass really need cutting? Do I need a chain saw for that branch? Consider alternatives: push mower, scythe, saw, loppers. Do not rush to tidy up in autumn. Dead flower heads often provide homes for overwintering friends. Use green manures. They improve the soil as well as providing colour and interest eg. Phacelia, Clovers, Buckwheat. Bees love
  • Crop Rotation

      January is a good time to think about your crop rotation and what quantities you will be growing.  What was a success last year, what did you have a glut off – and what did no one like?  (Bridget - what is wrong with courgettes?) Taking photos throughout the year is a good idea too as it is so easy to forget what everything looked like on a dark January day! What is Crop Rotation? Crop Rotation is the practice of growing specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the vegetable plot each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of crop-specific pest
  • What does Organic mean?

    Organic food is food produced by methods that comply with the Standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming in general features practices that strive to cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organic Growers do not use any chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides on the crops they grow.  Neither do they use Genetically Modified seed. The emphasis is on working with nature to produce a healthy soil environment through the addition of natural inputs (for example seaweed) and green manures.
  • Propagation

    If you want to get you seeds off to an early start you will need to create a nice warm and protected environment.  There are 4 ways of doing this - soil warming cable, heated propagator, heating mat, hot press. Soil warming cable   Soil warming cable. Early propagation requires a consistent soil temperature of 12ºC to 16ºC. Germination and root development are very slow below these temperature levels. If you have a large area to heat up then a soil warming cable is ideal.  The cables are ready to use and can be plugged into a thermostat for complete temperature

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