No dig Organic Gardening

Save time, grow more with Charles Dowding

Category: Seasonal Updates (page 2 of 27)

November update 2016, yields with no dig, sow beans, new books, courses, chillies

In this darkening time of year, a path to good cheer is out in your plot, absorbing as much light as you can, harvesting, weeding, and mulching ground for next year. See the last section for details of mulching.

Compost you spread now can feed soil, and therefore plants, all year long. The two rows of carrots below are this year’s second crop from a bed that already grew spinach in the spring, and I added no compost (or anything else) since the 2in compost last December, which was half mushroom, half old cow manure.

The two rows of carrots weighed 10.66kg or 23.45lb in two rows spaced 25cm (10in) apart, and 4ft (1.2m) long. This is 5.3lb per square foot. Prior to the carrots was spinach which gave 1.8lb per square foot. 

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November 2016, harvests before frost, veg for autumn and winter

Winter is nearly here, time for some last and beautiful autumn harvests. The radish below were sown between lettuce which were still cropping.

You can still sow garlic, and November is excellent for sowing broad beans, straightaway in northern Britain, and until month’s end in the south.

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October ’16 update: mulches, brassicas, carrots dig/no dig, sedum

16.10.16, the middle of autumn and there is still no frost here, though I hear that some valleys and northern areas of Britain have frozen a little. 

Because of autumn’s increasing mildness, over the last three decades* at least, I sowed my brassica salads for winter a whole ten days later than normal, at the equinox. We are planting them now, mostly next week. Its the last big planting of 2016, garlic too which is mostly outside, then broad beans in November – its too early now to sow broad beans, except in cooler parts of the north.

*Mean temp October 1983-90 11.2C, 2008-15 11.7C

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October ’16 weather check, harvests, mulching, ripen tomatoes

In recent years, October has been milder than average, sometimes with nicer weather than the preceding summer: last year it was 18C at Hallowe’en, the year before it was 21C! Its looking to be warm this year too and my aubergines think summer is going on.

Do check the forecasts, because temperatures affect harvest dates – for example bring all squashes and pumpkins indoors before frost. Store them preferably in the house where their skins stay hard in the dry, warm air.

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Sept. update sow winter salad, harvest seed, rotation, two failures

At Homeacres, the first ten days of September were a gardener’s dream. Summer warmth continuing, of (average) 14C 57F by night and 21C 70F by day, also with 47mm (1.9in) rain falling onto dry soil. I have noticed very few weed seeds germinating after the rain, except where soil was disturbed pulling up potatoes. 

Every square inch of my ground has plants in at this time, the last plantings almost all of salads because I am selling leaves until Christmas. If you have gaps appearing, its a good moment to sow white mustard (Synapsis alba) for green manure, which is killed by moderate frost, so no worries about clearing or heaven forbid, the commonly-advised ‘digging it in’. Rest your spade in winter, except to plant trees or clear brambles.

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