Tag: organic

#wegrowtogether: a guide to companion planting

There’s a lot of wisdom out there amongst professional and amateur gardeners. Much folklore and science knowledge handed down from generation to generation. 

In the post second world war  ‘nuke everything with a chemical’ era, a lot of native knowledge about what grew well with what, was lost and indeed strongly poo-poohed as ‘magic’ and superstition.

Thankfully since then, largely due to the Organic Gardening lobby, a more rational approach and some good scientific studies have been instrumental in making the practice of ‘companion planting’ an accepted practice amongst mainstream gardeners.

In our veg. and herb garden (the Batty Langley), we tend to mix some pre-18th century practices with some modern wisdom. We don’t use chemicals and plant calendula, nasturtiums, borage, comfrey etc plants amongst the vegetables to encourage beneficial insects.

On the Schools plot we have also experimented with ‘Three Sisters’ planting. This is a techniques used primarily by native north american peoples and combines three main agricultural crops winter squash, maize (corn), and climbing beans.

“The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to        climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other  plants use, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent the establishment of weeds. The squash leaves also act as a “living mulch”, creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Corn, beans, and squash contain complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids and all eight essential amino acids, allowing most Native American tribes to thrive on a plant-based diet.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(agriculture)

There is quite a lot of information out there on the web but we thought we would share a guide made by one of our helpful commercial partners, FirstTunnels.

Click here to be taken to their very comprehensive site

https://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/page/Companion-Planting-Guide

 

 

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Harvest!

Green is the colour of plenty.

Our vast veg plot – the Batty Langley garden – has been really well tended this year and all the hard work is paying off.

This year’s newly planted Globe Artichokes are fattening up, the Courgettes and Squashes are plump green and growing gold (could be another good Pumpkin year), the first early Potatoes are lifted and the maincrop are coming soon.

The Runner Beans and the yummy Dwarf French Beans are being harvested and will be on sale in the shop over the next couple of weeks.

The Leeks and Cabbages are coming on, but the Cardoons and Jerusalem artichokes have a way to go yet.

globe artichokesThis year we have started planting the site with some older, period varieties and – to save our volunteers from overdoing it – concentrating on veg. that produces good ground cover… hey, we have 10 acres of weeding and trimming to do – some shortcuts are worth it!

Unfortunately the heady fragrance of the sweet peas are now finished, but I just love the multitude of tasty greenness in this area.

Make sure these lovely crops don’t go to waste; they are all affordable and super fresh from our shop – (free entry to the shop).

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