Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A short 'How to...'

Or rather, how we do it.

Thank you for all your comments on our produce, we are overall pretty pleased with what we're growing this year, it's definitely been one of our best years for produce, despite the cold, slow and wet start when we were beginning to think nothing we'd sown would ever get going!

I'd just like to answer a couple of the comments, to give an insight into how we do things.

Sue asked about blueberries, saying she thought they were difficult to grow.  Well actually they're not really difficult at all, provided you give them the right soil.  They like acid soil.  Now, rather than messing about with digging stuff into the garden soil to try and alter it to suit the bushes (and that would be after having to test the soil in the first place to see what type your soil actually is!), we just put them in pots with ericaceous compost.  They do grow quite quickly, so a large pot is needed.  And that's about it, really.  You do need to water them regularly, especially when the fruits start forming, and of course the birds love them, so we just wrap some fleece around the bush, securing it with pegs.  Oh, and it's better to use rainwater from the butt rather than tap water, as tap water contains some chemical (I forget what!) that can make the soil less acidic.  Once a year we dig out the top inch or so of the soil and replace it with fresh ericaceous compost.  We prune them lightly in the winter, just tidying them up really and taking out any dead wood.  So give it a go, Sue, they're really not difficult to take care of, and they produce so much fruit.

Yorkshire Pudding (welcome, by the way, Sir, if I haven't welcomed you before!) says he's never been able to grow carrots in his clay soil.  Our soil is heavy and claggy, although OH has improved it a lot in the nearly 3 years we've been here, by digging lots of homemade compost and manure into it.  However, we grow carrots in a purpose-built raised bed....OH made it himself (as he has all our raised beds) from pallet wood, he was lucky enough to be given loads of pallets when we first moved here.  The bed is around 5 feet long, 3 feet wide and a foot or more deep, he fills it with a mixture of sand and compost, which he sieves.  He takes some out each early Spring and refills it with more.  The carrots seem to like it a lot.  Almost too much, in fact......we are absolutely inundated with carrots (which is probably mostly to do with the fact that OH sowed a whole packet of seeds in there in one go......sigh.  He assures me he'll do the successional sowing thing next year).

I hope this helps.

10 comments:

  1. Good idea with the blueberries. Will have a go with that. Not sure if this will help you find my new blog but hope so.

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    1. Have a go with the blueberries Aly, they really are easy.

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  2. My blueberries have done well this year and I am tempted to get another bush, but like you it stays in the pot.

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    1. This year has been such a good one for soft fruit.

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  3. I hear that watering with diluted urine helps to keep the soil acidic for the blueberries! I have mine in pots too - much easier!

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    1. Hmm, not sure I'll try that! tee hee

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  4. Thank you so much, Sooze, for the helpful detailed blueberry growing advice, I can't wait to have a go at growing one myself! I've found a large container and will get some ericaceous compost and a bush at the weekend. I'll let you know how I get on!
    Sue X

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    1. You're welcome! I look forward to hearing how you do. I had read somewhere that it's best to have more than 1 bush, for pollination purposes. We had just the one initially and it fruited, however, since we've had 2 both have fruited far better.

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  5. I am just catching up after my holiday! I did smile at the sowing of a whole packet of carrot seed, they are minute!

    I wish I could grow 'wimberries' in pots, I miss the flavour of the little fruits that we children used to collect on the mountainsides in Wales.

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    1. I've never heard of a wimberry, will have to go look it up!

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Thank you for your comments, I love reading them!