Posts Tagged ‘Pests & Predators’
Posted by editor on Thursday, 7 November 2013
Our central focus at The Garden House is the enjoyment and understanding of plants and all things horticultural, and we love nothing more than passing that enthusiasm on to home gardeners or allotment enthusiasts!
Deborah Kalinke is a garden designer and Bridgette Saunders, a horticultural lecturer, have taken great care in developing some really invaluable courses and workshops over the coming months. They are both passionate about plants and hugely knowledgeable about what it takes to build skills, select the right plants, nurture and propagate those plants.
All Garden House workshops involve studio talks, often practical outdoors experience, discussions and Q&A – plus lots of fun, many laughs and inevitably something tasty to eat and drink!
“Just needed to say what a fantastic day we both had at the Saturday workshop. We came home beaming! The day felt like a mini-holiday away from the normal day-to-day stuff – a real treat.” Sue & Karen
As always places are limited so do contact us as soon as possible.
NEXT STEPS IN GARDENING (just a few places left, starts next week!):
Leading on from the Beginners Gardening course this six week Monday evening course (6.30 pm finishes at 9.15pm) is for those of you who have some knowledge but would like to build on your gardening skills.
We will look at seasonal tasks and consider how to create all year round interest and talk about organic gardening; also which trees, shrubs and perennials to choose; planting, propagation and pruning; and growing herbs and vegetables.
Cost: £200 each person (£190 if you have been on the Beginners course, or two booking together), to include supper with a glass of wine each week.
Dates: Mondays 11, 18 and 25 November and 2, 9 and 16 December
THE INTIMATE SECRETS OF PLANTS:
Learn about how plants reproduce and how gardeners can exploit this for their own gardens. This workshop will be taught by expert Irene Fletcher and is suitable for gardeners and anyone studying for the RHS or similar exams. It will include fascinating tales around the mysteries of flowers and a practical botany session.
Cost: £25 – to include cakes and refreshments!
Date: Saturday 16 November (10.30am finishes at 12.30pm)
GARDENING FOR BEGINNERS:
Designed to improve your knowledge and gardening skills, and to tackle and enjoy your own garden with confidence.
Find out about plant life cycles, the naming of plants, the basics of soil management, composting, seed sowing and taking cuttings, plus an introduction to pruning, pest/disease and weed control, plus one session on vegetable growing.
Each week there will be a practical demonstration of a seasonal task, plus a plant identification to build up your plant knowledge. You will also be able to ask advice about your own garden.
Cost: £200, which includes a supper with a glass of wine each week!
Six week Monday evening course (6.30 pm finishes at 9.15pm).
Dates: 27 January, 3, 10, 17, 24 February, 3 March
DESIGN YOUR OWN GARDEN:
The aim of this 6-session course is to give you some basic skills, knowledge and confidence to design or revamp your own garden, to suit your lifestyle and budget. By the end of the course you will have drawn up a scale plan, with at least one planting plan for a bed, have a clear idea of the materials you want to use for the hard landscaping, and an idea of the cost to turn your plan into reality, plus a schedule of work.
Between each session there will be two weeks, and to fully benefit from the course you can prepare some work at home to make a more complete plan.
There will be the chance for the sharing of ideas within a collaborative and supportive environment.
Cost: £200 (or £190 each if two of you book together) – to include a light vegetarian supper with a glass of wine each week!
Wednesday evenings starting at 6.30pm finishes at 9.15pm
Dates: 29 January, 12, 26 February, 12, 26 March and 9 April
Posted by editor on Thursday, 19 January 2012
Plan out your vegetable plot on paper before working out what seed you want to order from the catalogues, so you don’t over order or end up with two much of the same things.
DIARY NOTE: Seedy Sunday takes place on takes place on Sunday 5th February at Hove Town Hall, Norton Road BN3 4AH, 10am – 4.30pm. Entry is just £2, children free. It’s a great opportunity to buy heritage and other seeds, onion sets, and potatoes for chitting.
This is also a good time to think about crop rotation.
Crop Rotation - The principle of crop rotation is to grow specific groups of vegetables on a different part of the allotment each year. This helps to reduce a build-up of pest and disease problems and it organises groups of crops according to their cultivation needs. Pests and diseases tend to be crop specific – for example carrots don’t suffer from potato blight and club root only affects brassicas!
Crop rotation is used in allotment plots and gardens usually for annual vegetable crops. Perennial vegetables, those that come up every year (such as rhubarb, asparagus and artichokes, both globe and Jerusalem) can remain in the same bed.
Some annual crops such as cucurbits (courgettes, pumpkins, squashes, marrows and cucumbers), French and runner beans, salads (endive, lettuce and chicory) and sweetcorn can be grown wherever there is space – this is because they don’t tend to suffer from as many serious pests and diseases as brassicas, roots, legumes and potatoes. Just try to avoid growing them on the same piece of ground year after year.
Different crops have different nutrient requirements - Changing the plot that you grow crops on each year reduces the chance of particular soil deficiencies developing as the balance of nutrients removed from the soil tends to even out over time. For example; legumes have the ability to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil using nitrogen-fixing nodules on their roots, brassicas on the other hand need nitrogen to produce green leafy growth, the part we eat – and so it makes sense to grow brassicas on the plot that was used to grow legumes last year.
Weed control - Some crops, like potatoes and squashes, with dense foliage or large leaves, suppress weeds, thereby reducing maintenance and weed problems in following crops. Onions, on the other hand, are not good at suppressing weeds due to their lack of foliage and so it is a good idea to follow onions on from potatoes.
Why not try the ‘three sisters’ system – a North American idea where you grow squashes on the ground to provide shade and suppress weeds, sweetcorn or sunflowers as a support for pole beans to grow up – this enables you to grow three crops on one plot, in a relatively small space.
Pest and disease control - Soil pests and diseases tend to attack specific plant families over and over again. This can be a real problem for the commercial grower, just because some of the serious diseases such as clubroot can remain in the soil for up to thirty years! If you rotate your crops this means that pests tend to become less of a problem as the spores or eggs of the pest won’t be able to build up when in the soil. White onion rot tends to be a real problem on allotments and crop rotation can help to avoid this.
If you are new to your allotment divide it into sections of equal size (depending on how much of each crop you want to grow), plus an extra section for perennial crops, such as rhubarb and asparagus.
The following groups should be used in the rotation scheme:
Brassicas: Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, kale, kohl-rabi, oriental greens, radish – swedes and turnips are brassicas too, just look at the flowers on them and you can see why many people think they are roots.
Legumes: Peas, broad beans (French and runner beans suffer from fewer soil problems and can be grown wherever there is space).
Onions: Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks.
Potato family: Potato, tomato, (pepper and aubergine suffer from fewer problems and can be grown anywhere in the rotation).
Roots: Beetroot, carrot, celeriac, celery, Florence fennel, parsley, parsnip and all other root crops.
Move each section of the plot a step forward every year so that, for example, brassicas follow legumes, onions and roots, legumes, onions and roots follow potatoes and potatoes follow brassicas.
Here is a traditional three-year rotation plan where potatoes and brassicas are important crops:
Plot 1: Potatoes
Plot 2: Legumes, onions and roots
Plot 3: Brassicas
Plot 1: Legumes, onions and roots
Plot 2: Brassicas
Plot 3: Potatoes
Plot 1: Brassicas
Plot 2: Potatoes
Plot 3: Legumes, onions and roots
If you have the space you can practise a four-year rotation, this is when potatoes and brassicas are not as important, but more legumes (which take up a lot of space) and onion-type crops are required:
Plot 1: Legumes
Plot 2: Brassicas
Plot 3: Potatoes
Plot 4: Onions and roots
Plot 1: Brassicas
Plot 2: Potatoes
Plot 3: Onions and roots
Plot 4: Legumes
Plot 1: Potatoes
Plot 2: Onions and roots
Plot 3: Legumes
Plot 4: Brassicas
Plot 1: Onions and roots
Plot 2: Legumes
Plot 3: Brassicas
Plot 4: Potatoes
Posted by editor on Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Allotments are not only functional places to grow vegetables, they are also peaceful havens in which you can relax, meet friends and exchange produce and tips.
Bridgette Saunders is an experienced horticulturalist, planstwoman and lecturer. She runs courses on allotment gardening from her home in Brighton and teaches at City College, Brighton and Hove, where she enjoys inspiring her students to grow a variety of plants, both edible and ornamental.
Bridgette’s book Allotment Gardening, published this month, deals with all aspects of the allotment ‘experience’. How to plan and design your allotment, whatever its size and aspect; considering the soil quality; what fruit, vegetables and flowers to plant; how to tackle pests, diseases and predators; and most importantly, what to do when – the seasonal calendar.
The history of allotments is also covered: the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign during the war years, the subsequent decline of allotment-keeping in the 1960s and 70s, and the extraordinary rise in popularity in recent years.
Allotment Gardening is beautifully illustrated with photographs taken by Rhoda Nottridge.
Published: 22 October 2009
Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd