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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35181
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 19 2:40 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

wet or dry the feel, colour and smear can be quite educational.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1889
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 19 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I don't remember much from my college days-50 years ago now-but spuds will grow down to ph4, so do not lime the ground for spuds! Brassicas like more alkaline soils so you lime for them The ideal ph for most crops is about ph6 slightly acidic so that nutrients tend to be released into the soil solution-calcium-lime, for example is a need for brassica crops, the cabbages, broccoli, caulis and kale, etc.-and you would lime for these, ph6 being the guide.
Soil type will also dictate what you can grow to some degree, if it is sandy soil use farm yard manure in copious quantities for your first crop of the rotation, which should be potatoes and beans. Main thing is to read as much as you can. I always used the same trench for beans and dug it to about 18 inches with lots of FYM in the bottom and mixed with soil as it got higher up the trench. Beans like water and FYM acts as a water reservoir. Spuds need water too and protecting from frost if you want to steal a march on your neighbours with the earliest crop for miles around!

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35181
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 19 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wise words.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6411
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 19 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you Gregotyn and DPack.

I got an allotment book for Christmas which I've been reading through. Hopefully some of the knowledge will eventually stick. I wish I was young again, I can remember all sorts of rubbish from my younger days.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10617

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 19 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You will learn as you go along. Just use the book for reference; for instance, what crop to follow which so that you plant things in suitable places, as it is far easier to move each crop up a space rather than dot them around, when and at what spacing to plant or sow things. Once you have done it once it will be easier to remember.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6411
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 19 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that MR.

DPack, my soil testing kit is on it's way but I was down digging at the weekend and my soil is very dark and compact but when I broke it down it was nice and crumbly. No clay but I was double digging and deeper down was like a sandy kind of colour.

I hope that helps.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4227
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 19 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That sounds live sandy gravel under peat loam.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35181
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 19 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

it does rather, if it is all like that you got fairly lucky in many ways, it will benefit from digging and extra organic materials to aid water retention etc but you probably don’t need major remedial works

if you like beans :
double dig single spit trenches
add manure
return soil
plant beans

you get :
beans
organic matter
worms doing your digging for the next crop

ps raw manure is usually free but ask what the bedding etc was, some bedding is herbicide laced frass from oil seed etc

pps does the allotment have a collective dung policy?
if not why not ?

for about 15 active allotments we got the produce of several donkeys , a couple of horses and a pig pen delivered raw and did our own maturing
a bonus of that sort of thing is that damaged stuff like wet straw is useless to them but wonderful under pumpkins or as a bush mulch etc .

scrounging, tatting and doing deals ( a bag of nice veg now and again buys windows for cold frames and glass houses etc etc etc etc )
most stuff you need can be had for ask or trade

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10617

PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 19 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The only downside might be that it is a bit acidic, so you may need to lime a bit for brassicas. Sounds good otherwise though.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6411
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 19 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you DPack and MR.

We do get delivery of manure that is free to all, on a first come first served basis of course. It's this that I've got going in my composters, along with home peelings and the such.

There was another delivery last week, so I'll pop up and see if there is any left. I've got some broad beans to plant, so I'll do it that way you've said DPack.

Once I've got veg ready for picking I'll see what deals I can do.

Once I've soil tested I'll report back.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1889
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 19 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have always cheated with beans and have used the same trench for years-when I was gardening, keeps the back for other fitness needing tasks! Don't forget to get the ph's suitable for the crops you are growing, there is usually some leeway, but sometimes not a lot.
I have always cut beans sticks from my hedge, but you may find you have no allowable hedge to raid. I found that with canes you need to tie the beans to help them "stick" to the cane-not too tightly under a leaf/stem joint.

A pity you don't live closer to me, sgt.colon, I have a wood work shop at home!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10617

PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 19 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You may be able to buy hazel bean sticks anyway Sgt. Colon. Find a coppice worker near you, either someone you know, or via the coppice products web site. I would suggest the National Coppice Federation website, but I know that it is ill at the moment unfortunately. The beans seem to like hazel sticks, and hazel pea sticks are good too. The bean sticks will last several years if you pull them out at the end of the season and store them dry. Both them and pea sticks will make good kindling when no longer fit for purpose.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6411
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 19 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you both Gregotyn and MR.

I'll have a search and see if I can find a coppice workers around here, though I have to say I've never seen any coppicing around here. I'll probably have to order some from online.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35181
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 19 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

when i was a kid grannie and my dad used any available twiggy stuff for peas

broad beans two post and a rope + string are plenty even for the tall sorts

i am quite a fan of bent hazel or ash for tentage frames and supports for tall stuff

a bender with or without a plastic skin is perfect for growing things up dangling strings, cucumbers spring to mind but melons and tall tomatoes etc are just as much fun .

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10617

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 19 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure if online is a good idea Sgt. Colon. They are one of those awkward things that couriers aren't happy about because they won't go through automatic handling. The usual stipulation is 1.2m long, and you will want bean sticks far longer than that, so transport is going to be more expensive than the sticks. Try the coppiceproducts website anyway; you may be surprised to find someone near you does either coppice or lay hedges.

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