Carrots and stones

Hi all,

I first dug my veg patch 2 years ago and dug it a second time last season with a moderately successful crop. This time round I'm very keen to try the no-dig approach. Two little questions: as I intend to start sowing in about 3 weeks' time and did not get to manure the bed last Autumn, I'd be better off spreading a fine compost over the surface rather than farm yard manure, right? Also, for my carrots and parsnips using no-dig, how do I get around the problem of stones below the surface? Thanks in advance.

 You are right Green giant, use finer compost now. Only for large plants such as potato, courgette, squashes and winter brassicas is it good to use lumpy manure and compost in spring. 

I guess you used to dig the stones out? Otherwise your roots will just deviate. I used to grow on stony Cotswold Brash and had good carrots and parsnips, but often a little crooked, still saleable. Good luck.

By charles

Thanks for the reply Charles, much appreciated.

By greengiant

Just another quick question if I may Charles! Is there any particular shop-bought compost you'd recommend? Thanks.

By greengiant

 I guess you mean compost for seed trays and module sowing/pricking out?

I have a few things to say on that and shall post them in April 2012 in a couple of days. Meanwhile, let's just say a basic seed compost for sowing most seeds, such as John Innes no.1, and for larger seeds or pricking out, most multipurpose do well. If you can access it, Gardening Which did a useful trial recently and found a few shockers, but for example B&Q's grew well and is cheap.

By charles

Fantastic, thanks! I'll head out to the local garden centre & B&Q now & see what they have - anxious to take advantage of the great weather we're having in Ireland right now (before it changes again!).

By greengiant

I bought B&Q last year & was very disappointed with the quality, it was very lumpy & poor quality, several people were unhappy with it last year on another forum. I found thick string, plastic & other nasties in it. I think the only way to get things done about the quality of compost is to complain when the quality is so poor. I had to use 2 sizes of sieves with it & in the end did a 25mile round trip to buy some Clover that we have always found to be consistent in quality, no sieving required. Always a bonus as I have health problems.

By grannyjanny