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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

September in the vegetable garden, this month -

September is a good month to start tidying up the plot and time spent working on the plot now will not be wasted, as it will save time and problems later.

It is a good idea to keep a plant of what you planted and where you planted it this year. I draw this 'growing in 2011 plan' up in my journal and mark the locations on the plot with canes. This  stops me planting the same crops in areas in future years - crop rotation is important as it helps to keep the food that you grow at less risk from diseases carried over from one year to the next.

Once I have put cane markers into the soil I will weed the area, as I do s I will be tidying away any useless remnants of the plants that I have grown and I will be putting them into the compost heap.

I do not add any plants to the compost heap that have signs of diseases, best to burn them or destroy them in some other way.

I will be sowing green manure in some of the cleared areas.

I will be trying to keep ahead of the weeds that emerge, until the weather is too cold for them to germinate or grow.  A hoe takes the top off the annual weeds but the perennial and persistent weeds need a bit more effort and have to be pulled out roots an all or dug up.

Two weeds that we have still  but that are in less areas than when we started caring for our vegetable plot are - mares tail and bind weed.

The local advice on the mares tail weed is too just keep it in check as best you can and that the more you cultivate the land the  less hold it seems to have over an area, the bindweed needs the roots tracing back and as much as possible removing.
Bindweed can regenerate from the smallest off its white spindly roots, so this task is never easy.

We are looking to add compost and horse muck to as much of the plot as possible to increase the fertility of the soil and its humus levels too. Our soil is like fine sand originally and is only producing worthwhile crops now that we have built up the levels of fertility in the soil by nurturing it and not exploiting it by pushing it to produce crops with artificial fertilisers and chemicals.

We cannot say we are totally organic as included in  our compost ingredients such hay that we buy for the guinea pig, but apart from that we grow by organic principles.  This way of growing has not disappointed us so far, the plot produces a good supply of fresh fruit and vegetables from spring, through the summer to early autumn. We are not totally self sufficient but grow enough to reduce the cost of our food bills considerably.

a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote