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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Growing vegetables
...Timing your veg
>..In heavy Soil
...In light Soil
...With Organic Manure
...Your enemies & friends
...After germination
...Presenting the product
...Specialist veg
...Sprouts to Endive
...Eggplant to Salsify
...Sea Kale etc

The initial requirement for producing vegetables is to have somewhere to grow them. Unless you are 'going hydroponic', that is aiming to grow plants in a solution of nutrients in water, you will need some land.

When you walk on your land and dig around in it you can classify it. If the land is heavy, slow draining and impossible sible to dig in wet weather, you have to accept that your plants have a comparatively short growing season. You have to delay planting until Spring has warmed and dried the land. However, in high summer you do have an advantage in that your land holds the available water and is not so susceptible to drying out. If you can dig in large quantities of organic manure, some ash, sand, and carbonate of lime (except on alkaline soil), you will obtain heavy crops. Given this assistance, vegetables thrive on this soil. Choose suitable varieties for the heavy soil for example, round-rooted carrots grow beautifully where long-rooted ones do not.

Chalk soils are produced where limestone is found below the top-soil. Often the top-soil layer is quite thin and the soil has a greyish look. Although very sticky in the rain, this soil dries quickly and you can work on it earlier than on heavy soil. Its advantage is that it very rarely requires liming where other soils do. Its disadvantage is that the soil can dry out very quickly and plants that suffer in drought never fully recover. It is often worth mulching on clay soils to retain moisture. Applying large quantities of organic manure increases yields. If you grow broccoli and cabbages through the winter on this soil, they will need a dressing of a nitrogenous fertiliser or they will look miserable.