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Organic Gardening Week 3 Brassicas, Weeds and Natural Regeneration.

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Presentation on theme: "Organic Gardening Week 3 Brassicas, Weeds and Natural Regeneration."— Presentation transcript:

1 Organic Gardening Week 3 Brassicas, Weeds and Natural Regeneration

2 pH (power of hydrogen)  Measures acidity and basicity in aqueous solution  Pure water is neutral 7.0  Less than 7 is acidic, more than 7 is basic  Ideally slightly acidic (6.5), phosphate can become locked up below 5.0  Affects availability of nutrients  Affects micro-organisms and bacteria  Affects root cells  Affects solubility of toxins


4 Stacking  Obtaining many yields from one element  E.g. A Tree can provide shelter, mulch, bark, wildlife,, Wind-break, fertility, prevent erosion, raise water table, provide food, sap, etc

5  1. Rosemary  2. Oregano  3. Sage  4. Tarragon  5. Thyme  6. Coriander  7. Parsley  8. Chives  9. Violets  10. Chamomile  11. Parsley  12. Marigold  13. Mint  14. Watercress spiral/

6 Polyculture  Intensive production  Output exceeds input  Highly bio-diverse  Natural – beyond “organic”  Based on natural systems

7 Polyculture  Structurally diverse  Deep, middle and flat rooting patterns  Growing area develops over years  Annual, perennials and trees all have places

8 Benefits of Polyculture High Yields High density Security Use of space Low maintenance Resilient


10 A Nine-Plant polyculture From Patrick Whitefield’s EarthCare Manual, p.202 In early spring, broadcast a mixture of radish, pot marigolds, dill, parsnip and a selection of lettuce varieties. The radishes will grow fast, and help the germination of the other plants by shading the soil and keeping it moist. Harvest them as soon as they are ready and plant a selection of cabbages in the gaps Start picking lettuce when the plants are small (after six weeks). With a good selection you could have lettuce all summer. As the soil warms up plant French beans in the gaps left by the lettuce All other crops can be harvested as they come ready, with parsnips and late cabbages extending into winter As gaps appear in autumn you can fill them with overwintering broad beans or garlic, or let them be filled by self-seeders.

11  1. Broadcast radish, lettuce mix, parsnips, marigolds and dill  2. Harvest radishes and replace with cabbage mix  3. Harvest lettuce and replace with French Beans  4. Harvest anything that can be harvested and replace with overwintering broadbeans and garlic

12 Forest Garden Polyculture

13  Patrick Whitefield – How To Make A Forest Garden  Martin Crawford – Creating a Forest Garden  Edible Forest Gardens – David Jacke & Eric Toensmeier


15  Sepp 5 – 15  Bill 11 – 15  Farm 36 - 43

16 Poached-egg plant Limnanthes douglasii  Annual  Up to 1’, frost hardy  Flowers May to August  Seeds July – August  Noted for attracting wildlife, particularly bees and hoverflies  Grows in any soil, needs sun  Edible

17 Nasturtium (flower) Tropaeolum majus Tropaeolum minus  Flowers from july to September  Edibles leaves, flowers and seeds  flowers contain about 130mg vitamin C per 100g  mature seed can be ground into a powder and used as a pepper substitute  whole plant is antibiotic, antiseptic, aperient, diuretic and expectorant  useful in breaking up congestion in the respiratory passages and chest during colds  attracts aphids away from other plants  insecticide

18 Tagetes patula Tagetes tenuifolia  Up to 0.5m, frost hardy  Flowers July – Oct  flowers are used in refreshing drinks, leaves are used as a food flavouring,  used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation, coughs  Secretions from the roots of growing plants have an insecticidal effect on the soil, effective against nematodes and to some extent against keeled slugs  has an effect on asparagus beetle and bean weevils  Dyes, perfumes

19 Chives Allium schoenoprasum  mild onion flavour  good source of sulphur and iron  beneficial effect on the digestive system and the blood circulation  similar properties to garlic  juice of the plant is used as an insect repellent, it also has fungicidal properties and is effective against scab, mildew  growing plant is said to repel insects and moles[

20 Borage Borago officianalis  Up to 2’ high  Edible leaves and flowers,  leaves are rich in potassium and calcium  dried stems are used for flavouring beverages[  domestic herbal remedy, for its beneficial affect on the mind, being used to dispel melancholy and induce euphoria  soothes damaged or irritated tissues  treatment of a range of ailments including fevers, chest problems and kidney problems  rich source of gamma-linolenic acid, this oil helps to regulate the hormonal systems and lowers blood pressure[  growing plant is said to repel insects

21 Calendula officinalis  Up to 2’  Flowers March to November  Edible leaves and flowers  very rich in vitamins and minerals and are similar to Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) in nutritional value  High in vitamins A and C  one of the best known and versatile herbs in Western herbal medicine  above all, a remedy for skin problems and is applied externally to bites and stings, sprains, wounds, sore eyes, varicose veins  cleansing and detoxifying herb and is taken internally in treating fevers and chronic infections  insect deterrent, reduces the soil eelworm population  Attracts slugs

22 Comfrey Symphytum officinale  Perennial up to 1.2m  commonly used herbal medicine, external treatment of cuts, bruises, sprains, sores, eczema, varicose veins, broken bones  contains a substance called 'allantoin', a cell proliferant that speeds up the healing process  can be used to provide 'instant compost‘  liquid feed can be obtained by soaking the leaves in a small amount of water for a week, excellent for potassium demanding crops such as tomatoes

23 Brassicas  Chinese Broccoli/Chinese Kale  Broccoli  Perennial Broccoli  Broccoli raab/Asparagus broccoli  Sprouting Broccoli  Brussel Sprouts  Cabbage  Calabrese  Cauliflower  Kale  Kohl-rabi

24 Kale  Very valuable brassica, particularly winter-hardy, supplying veg for teh hungry gap  Normally easy to grow if protected from birds  Very few pests  Side shoots and leaves can be steamed or eaten raw  Can be eaten small as cut-and-come-again salad

25 Kales Brassica oleracea var Acephala Curly Kale  Grow up to 3’ high  Space plants 30-75cm apart Red Russian Kale e.g. Ragged Jack  Up to 70cm tall, very productive CCA salad  Space 60cm apart  Can be sown in late winter, and successionally for year-round crop  Black Tuscan Kale  Over 2m high in 2 nd or 3 rd season, usually grown as annual  Space plants 40 cm apart  Less prone to bolting than other kales

26 Cabbages – Capitata group  Spring cabbage (plant mid autumn)  E.g. Spring Hero, Durham Early, Pyramid  Summer cabbage (sow early spring)  E.g. Duchy, Derby Day, Castello  Autumn Cabbage (sow mid-late spring)  E.g. Freshma, Colt  Winter cabbage (sow late spring)  E.g. January King Hardy Late Stock 3, Marabel, Tundra  White cabbage (winter storage)  E.g. Lion, Impala  Red cabbage (summer.autumn)  E.g. Primero, Red Rookie

27 Cultivating cabbages  Can be sown under cover for earlier crops  Needs open, unshaded, rich, moisture-retentive soil. Liming reduces the risk of clubroot  Needs high nitrogen  Needs firm soil, not freshly manured or freshly dug  Keep weed-free, remove rotted leaves  In dry weather, water well, heavily water before cropping

28 Brussel Sprouts  Sow under cover late winter, early spring or direct mid-spring  Very hardy (up to -10)  Up to 75cm high depending on variety  May need to be staked or earthed up

29 Sprouting Broccoli  Biennial, up to 90cm  Perfect hungry gap veg  Sow mid-early summer  Space 2’ apart each way  Harvest from late winter to late spring  Pick regularly to encourage more cropping  ‘nine star perennial’ – many varieties of early purple sprouting to stagger harvesting – “Red Spear”, “Claret”, “Cardinal”

30 Major problems  Cabbage root fly – (Anthriscuc sylvestris)  Cabbage white/caterpillar – Yellowy eggs underside leaf needs to be squashed  Cabbage whitefly  Birds  Slugs  Clubroot

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