Monday, 17 October 2011

Sowing more green manure

I dug over the pea and bean bed.  It had become very overgrown with weeds and the second sowing of peas was not a success.  I had harvested the Bortolloti and the Cannellini beans but they are not drying out very well.

The climbing French beans that were left on the plants were taken off and dried for next years seed.  I don't know if they will be any good but if they aren't then I can always buy some more.

All the bean plants were dug into the soil with the weeds and peas.  I took down the chicken wire pea supports, rolled them up and put then into one of the empty compost bins.  The canes were tied into bundles and put in the empty compost bin as well.

I have not dug over the area occupied by the squashes because they are still producing.  They did get mildew over their leaves and these have died but they have produced new leaves and these look healthy.  There are several small squashes still on the plants.

I have put grazing rye green manure over this bed.  I have sown the seed in drills about 2ft apart.  I might need to put something in between but I will see just how much green manure will be used up on the other beds.  Grazing rye forms a really good canopy even when this far apart.  I like to keep the green manure free of weeds so I wanted room to hoe until they had grown big enough to suppress weed germination.

After the pea and bean plants decompose, they will release this newly fixed nitrogen into the soil.  The grazing rye should take up the nitrogen fixed by the bacteria on the pea and bean roots and locked into the roots and shoots.  The grazing rye will also prevent the nitrogen being washed away by winter rain because of its thick canopy and mass of fibrous roots.

I put a fleece over the bay tree to prevent it being damaged by the frosts.  The fleece can stay on the bay until next spring.

I planted four rows of leeks and put three of them under some enviromesh.  I am still worried about the Phytomyza gymnostoma because it has attacked the leeks I put in during the summer.  The summer leeks were fine until the middle of September around my birthday - September 16th. and then they started looking very fly eaten.  They are reported to be laying eggs around October to the end of November but this year they were much earlier than this.

I gave the leeks some pigeon manure - very sparingly and watered them in with comfrey.  I debated whether to use some of the charcoal and mychorrhiza but decided not to.  I put charcoal together with mychorrhiza into this bed for the garlic earlier in the year.

I have washed some of the 3 inch pots that the leeks were in but by no means all of them.  It cleaned my hands so I decided to go to the shop for some milk and flapjacks.  I had a relax sitting in my chair and having a cup of tea.

While I was waiting for the tea to boil, I took the garlic apart and divided them into individual cloves.  After tea, I put them into the new onion bed next to the radish. I didn't use any charcoal or comfrey liquid because this bed had a lot of organic matter added when I triple dug it.

 I doubt if the radish will come to anything but I put it in as a green manure.

The new broad beans, rocket and American land cress are doing very well probably due to the very warm weather we had at the end of September.  I put the tulips in between the broad beans and will have to be careful hoeing along these lines because they will not show until next spring.

I cut the whole row of sweet cicely and put it in the big green comfrey bin.  It will rot down and give me a good liquid fertilizer.  If it wasn't done now then I would have lost all of this foliage when the frost came.  I am going to cut down the nettles too and add them to the comfrey bins.  Although I cut the comfrey hard back last week, it has grown back really quickly.  I doubt whether I will cut it again before the frosts though.

The next big job is to take down all the sweet pea canes.  I have done the runner bean canes already but they had fallen down in the wind.  I am not taking the beans or peas out of the ground.  They will be dug into the soil where they grew.  I am bundling the canes into tens and then tying them up to store.  I will use the tares as a green manure on this bed.  I know that it is a legume following a legume but I don't think that will cause any problems.  Apart from that it is the only green manure I have at the moment and I am not going to waste it.  I will need a little more for where the pumpkin, tomatoes and celeriac are but after that I will be struggling to find anywhere else that needs it.  I am going to cover the new potato bed with horse manure when I eventually get round to getting some.

I have harvested all the sweet corn now and taken out the plants to put onto the compost heap.  I got a fair few but they are very small.

It is funny to think that a few years ago I was really delighted that I could grow sweet corn at all let alone have a good crop.  Now I am disappointed if  they don't do well.

I picked yet more tomatoes.  They have done particularly well this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment