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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
...Seaweed
...Cultivating
...Ditches
...Irrigation
...Your enemies & friends
...After germination
...Overworking
...Presenting the product
...Specialist veg
...Sprouts to Endive
...Eggplant to Salsify
...Sea Kale etc

You should be happy if you have a well balanced mixture of clay and sand in your soil.

Your soil is no doubt dark and friable, you can work happily on it for most of the year except directly after rain and your vegetable enterprise should flourish. Bearing in mind, of course, that all your neighbours have the same excellent soil, you will probably have to grow for a market some distance away and be involved in the packaging that involves.

With light, sandy soil you are able to plant very early in the spring. Every drop of water and fertiliser you add, however, is draining away at speed. It is therefore wise to delay the application of organic manure until after the main winter rains and also to apply any chemical fertilisers little and often. Even with generous mulching, you will probably need to irrigate in the summer. You can grow long, tapering carrots and parsnips and early cloche crops. Runner beans are happier in heavier soils so grow French beans instead.

Farming vegetables in light soil seems more elegant than in heavy: the root vegetables are elegantly tapered and even the beans are French! And the soil does not walk around with you as our Kentish clay does. At the end of a wet day we walk around laden down with mud collars around our Wellingtons. Our latest attempts to make our progress lighter has been to rub our boots with goose grease but unfortunately, this just makes the dogs wind in and out of legs trying to lick it off. The next attempt will have to be with something they do not like perhaps diesel oil?

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