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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

You have now decided where and what to grow and the sort of manure you are going to use.

If you are cultivating a new area, you may well have to remove grass. Before you dig it in or remove it and stack it somewhere to rot, it is worth considering whether you can sell it for turf. The best turf comes from new leys neatly cropped by sheep; your turf may be like this or it may be a portion of garden you are digging up with equally suitable lawn grass. In any case have a good look at it. There is nothing more heartening in a new venture than to get an instant cash return.

Whenever you are cultivating, remove and burn perennial weeds. Each weed you remove will save you dozens next year. Never be tempted to put such horrors on the compost heap or they will merrily return along with the manure. In fact, many permanent weeds grow from chopped up bits of themselves so you could greatly increase your problem if you hope to simply dig them in. Aim to have the area dug and manured by Christmas; you can then celebrate with an easy mind while frost and rain complete your work.

When you can get on to your land again depends on your soil type. Heavy soils mean late access; light soils mean you can get going early. In any case, you should now find that the top few inches of soil break down to a fine crumbly tilth when raked. You may find that the soil beneath is compacted. One cause of bad drainage is continually rotivating at a set depth: this causes the soil beneath to become compacted and water finds it difficult to drain away. If this is your problem, you will have to dig right down and loosen the bottom layer. This is remarkably heavy work and certainly worth avoiding by varying the heights at which you rotivate.