Veg garden update and preparing for next year

by Mars
Veg update

Just like that, the summer is coming to an end. It’s been a mixed bag in the veg garden, but generally speaking we’ve had a decent haul despite the weather.

In terms of pests, we successfully managed to keep the slugs at bay thanks to Nemaslug. It’s a terrific product and none of our produce was damaged by slugs in the veg garden.

We can’t say the same thing about caterpillars though. It’s been an ongoing battle all summer with our brassicas (the kale and Brussels sprouts in particular) taking a real hammering. We’ve been picking the caterpillars off by hand, but next we’ll look into nematodes.

The other issue we had was with moles and rabbits. We had to ramp up our fence defenses and we’re finally able to keep the rabbits out. Moles are a different story altogether though. While they don’t eat the veg, they come up the surface and push seedlings out, often damaging them.

To combat this, we’ve started removing the soil from the raised beds, and laying a very fine chicken wire that will hopefully keep them out. It’s a huge job, but hopefully this will do the trick.

Most of our vegetables were grown from seeds this year, and we used coir and wood fiber pots that we planted straight into the ground to be more environmentally friendly. As we’ve started to clear the beds, the wood fiber pots have completely broken down. The coir pots, however, have not. Our tomatoes, for example, couldn’t get their roots out the sides and this resulted in the tomatoes sending their roots upwards to escape, which isn’t optimal. Next year, I think we’ll use our plastic pots and trays to get all seedlings started.

The vegetable haul is still going well, with loads of tomatoes ripening and the cucumbers have been prolific. It’s also the first time we’ve grown purple cauliflowers and they look awesome. This week we’ve going to try them in a cauliflower cheese for lunch.

We’ve also cleared some partial spaces in the beds, mainly lettuce and rocket, and we’ve sown mustard seed caliente, which will act as a green manure in the spring.

And last, but certainly not least, we planted over 70 garlic bulbs in the first of our beds, and we’ll probably plant out a further 40 in late October when we’ve freed up some more space in our beds.

Vegetable gardening certainly is a lot of work.

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