Friday, July 29, 2011

panoramic pictures

I have been playing with my photo software and made a panoramic view of our garden. You will need to click on the picture to get the full benefit!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Feeding our crops

We are now harvesting (and eating!) 22 different vegetables and 8 different fruits (as they come into readiness).
  This makes me think of how we feed the plants and keep the cycle going with local organic plant feeding.

  1.  Good compost; We make compost from chicken bedding, vegetable waste (including peelings from neighbours and friends who don’t have a compost heap), grass cuttings (from 2 professional gardeners to save them other disposal costs), cardboard (egg trays and boxes are ideal), our own pee, non-seeding weeds, spent pots and grow bags (out of skips) and wood ash sprinkled on as an occasional layer..
  2. Well rotted horse manure, treat this with great caution and do a test sowing in it of beans or peas to check it is not contaminated with herbicide, (we collect and stack this for a year before use.)
  3. Liquid feed made from any deep rooted weeds, nettles and comfrey leaves left to rot in water in a dustbin.  Makes a good breeding place for hover flies which eat aphid in our garden.
  4. Our pee diluted 5 to 1 as a liquid feed
  5. Grass cuttings as a surface mulch to feed and keep the moisture in.
  6. Top dressing with wood ash to provide potash (round fruit trees for example)
  7. If I can scrounge fish heads and guts from the local fish monger these are buried where the runner beans or sweet corn are to be planted. Any feathers and remains from the chickens we eat are used the same way planted under fruit trees, bushes or vines.
  8. Occasional use of fish, blood and bone where the soil needs a boost i.e., planting greens straight after another crop. I also sometimes (but rarely) use rock dust, calcined sea weed, and SM3 seaweed liquid feed to provide specific elements I feel might be lacking.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Liquid feed, hoverflies and carrot protection

Liquid feed and home for hover fly larve
Liquid feed tub where we put all the nettles, comfrey, and serious weed roots to rot also makes a good home for hover fly larvae (rat tailed larvae). It’s very smelly so we cover it and leave a small gap for the hoverflies.
The peacock eggs (I know - peahen eggs!) came from our wood where an escaped peahen has set up home and is laying eggs out in the open (inexperienced i guess?)
I have used some secondary double glazing we were given to make carrot fly barriers - hope it will work, I will keep you posted.

Hat full of peacock (hen!) eggs

Anti carrot fly barrier