Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Late summer sowing and planting

Bare soil is the last thing a gardener wants to see! Let's make that ground as productive as possible!

In what was our 'onion bed'...

Onions, shallots and garlic have been harvested.
Our garlic did especially well and overwintering white onions were also good.
Overwintering red onions produced a meagre crop ( they were planted in a bed that was shaded through much of their growing period - doh!).
Shallots 'reverted to type' and produced another disappointing harvest.
Summer onions were affected by the long dry spell and slow start to the growing season but at least don't seem to be affected b
y rots (yet).

So now to use the ground before it becomes the potato bed next year and then has a good mulch of manure and compost.

We have sown beds as follows:
phacelia - 'green manure' that is a wonderful nectar source for bees
Autumn King carrots have been sown in three of the beds
Musselbrough leek seedlings have been planted in two beds and spring onions have been sown to complete one of these beds
Annual grazing rye seed has been broadcast onto the soil in the final bed as a green manure.

We have left in chives, calendula (pot marigolds) and anthirhinnums around the edge of the beds because they are so attractive to beneficial insects.

Primroses and cowslips have also been established around the edge of the beds: these are not only very pretty in the spring but provide a useful nectar source for early flying insects. They will be swamped by potatoes if left in their position next year. I hope to find time as soon as possible to lift this years potato crop, re-establish the beds and then transplant the cowslips and primroses across to their new position.

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