Tuesday, August 7

Clubbing

Thinking back to my recent post about brassicas. I pulled up a couple more of the poorly sprout plants which confirmed my suspicions (not that I had any doubt) that clubroot was the cause of the sickly looking symptoms.
It's not very pretty is it? Sprouts are hungry feeders and also need plenty of water so it is hardly surprising that when the roots are so badly affected the plants just give up. We do give them a foliar feed but that won't compensate.

Anyway the freebie seeds have confirmed that from now on any sprouts, or cauliflowers for that matter, that we buy will be clubroot resistant varieties.

Moving on to our winter brassicas - we are trying another experiment based on the potential success of this year's carrot experiment.

Last year our carrots were smothered by weeds and we had a crop failure - our fault - we should have weeded more but when crops are being protected under environmesh or netting the temptation is to leave the protection in place. This year you may remember that we covered the carrot bed with weed control fabric. Well if the roots of the carrots are as good as the tops are, we have a success story.
So now we have decided to try covering our winter brassica bed with weed control fabric too. Martyn posted about this on his blog last week.
If nothing else, this will spare our plot neighbours the sight on me scrambling under netting trying to keep the weeds down. It did take longer to plant out the brassicas as we had to cut slits in the fabric to plant through. As the fabric is fairly expensive we are hoping we can reuse it but I am a bit concerned by how much it frayed when cutting. I came up with an idea for a new type of weed control fabric with holes ready cut at the appropriate distance apart with sealed edges. Martyn wasn't too impressed as he reckoned if they developed such a product it would be very expensive! If you ever see such a product on the market - remember you first heard about it here!

10 comments:

  1. I'll be one of your first customers Sue, but please remember to market the product with a choice of spacings in relation to the holes! Re price: customers would pay a lot for something that WORKED. There is a lot of rubbish out there for you to waste your money on.

    Clubroot. Fortunately that is not something I have had to contend with - and I hope it stays that way. This raising of vegetables lark is a non-stop succession of obstacles, barriers, pests and diseases isn't it?

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    1. Yes I had thought of different spacing Mark. If you always raise your own brassicas from seed and haven't got it in the garden you should be OK

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  2. I'm really sorry that you have to deal with clubroot...I've not had it myself (knock on wood) but I can guess how trying it must be. Did you have clubroot on your plot before?

    I like your idea of using weed resistant material to keep weeds down but think it would be a bit too expensive for me. I'm experimenting using mulches this year and think it might be a good solution for you too if you wanted to try? Right now I'm using grass clippings, seaweed and manure but have seen others use newspaper as well. For some reason weeds can't push their way through damp newspaper - go figure.

    In any case, your carrots and winter brassicas are looking fab and it seems you might have a great harvest aside from those afflicted cabbages!

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    1. We'll have to bear the mulching in mind Tanya but we don't use any manure now after the problems that it caused us and is still causing some people.

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  3. Nice idea...I think you will be able to re-use the fabric. Although it splits when cut those splits don't tend to spread. I would like some winter brassicas. What exactly have you grown?? Would I be too late to start some seeds off now?

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    1. We've grown purple and white sprouting broccoli, cabbage, savoy and caulifower. We have some spring cabbage coming on - not ready to sprout yet.
      You may be OK to try sowing some spring cabbage but it is really too late for the others.

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  4. Sue, what about a soldering iron? that would cut holes in the plastic fabric and seal the edges. You can buy gas powered ones (I have one) which you could take down the plot with you. I have used a mulch of chipped tree cuttings which was dropped off for all to use. It's working ok but doesn't stop the brambles.

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    Replies
    1. I did wonder about that, Liz and then thought maybe it would melt too much! As for wood chippings we have some dropped off but I just wonder how it affects the PH of the soil. I use it on top of weed control fabric under some fruit trees and bushes but as you say it is no match for brambles.

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  5. Clubroot. *shudder*. Such a shame. I will watch your experiments with the membrane with great interest.

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    1. Not too much of a problem Janet as we have plenty of club root resistant sprout plants seemingly doing well. The weed control has worked well with the strawberries and the carrots.

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