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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

If you are fortunate enough to have access to great quantities of that precious commodity, manure, a great many of your problems are solved on any soil.

If you have well rotted manure and straw mixed with animal droppings, ideally with a liberal mixture of poultry droppings for nitrogen, you can obtain heavy crops with little else added. Dried blood and bonemeal are also organic manures but are used in small quantities. Sewage sludge, although it sounds evil, is usually quite pleasant to handle. It is not available everywhere but where it is, it is often free or very inexpensive.

There is a problem, however, as was proved on a local village cricket pitch. Lovingly maintained and fertilised, the green grass is the pride of the cricket club. One year it grew an excellent crop of tomatoes! Well, that is an exaggeration because the plants were not allowed to reach fruiting size. The sad truth is that treatment at the sewage plant does not destroy tomato seeds and under suitable conditions very hardy tomato plants will appear.

We had a similar experience some years ago when our septic tank, hidden down at the end of a field, overflowed. A couple of months later the area of spillage was knee-deep in fruiting tomatoes. We leave you to guess whether we ate them or not!

Deep litter poultry manure must be well rotted before use as it contains wood shavings. This usually pollutes the atmosphere so is not worth doing unless you have an area well away from neighbours and your own house.

If you are intending to rely on garden compost to supply valuable organic material, become a waste miser and put absolutely everything you can on to it. Even a small amount of animal droppings, say from a pet rabbit, adds life to the compost heap. Certainly add household peelings and waste. Good leafmould takes a year to become suitable for application. The leaves should be layered with soil. There are often local speciality manures such as spent hops in brewing areas and wool shoddy near wool factories. The traditional methods of application of these substances are always the most efficient.