Plants 

 

GENERAL

2021

The last 12 months have been rather complicated...! 

I am currently half way through moving house; 'Minafon' has been sold, I'm in a rental house, still looking for the new home.

As a consequence, I am no longer selling plants, although in due course I hope to produce organic bulbs for sale each autumn. The supermarkets and large online nurseries have made small, specialised plant nurseries mostly obsolete...

I still source plants for the landscape design planting schemes, through a few excellent wholesale nurseries who grow in realistic conditions, and I can therefore obtain specific plants to order.

As so many of us are growing our own vegetables this year;

here's some ideas for companion planting, so that you can avoid nasty chemicals...

Companion Plants

Alliums - grow with carrots, chards, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries

                  avoid  beans, brassicas, sage

Beetroot - grow with alliums, brassicas and lettuce

                   avoid runner beans

Brassicas - grow with all herbs except rue, celery, rhubarb, calendula and tagetes

                     avoid allium, radish, strawberry, potato, rue, tomato

Carrots - grow with legumes, alliums, lettuce, parsley, sage, tomatoes

                 avoid dill

Cucumber - grow with dill, nasturtium, radish, tomato

                       avoid rue and sage

Parsnip = grow with alliums, radish

Peas and Beans - grow with anything other than alliums!

Potatoes - grow with beans, strawberries, coriander, calendula, tagetes

                    avoid other herbs, tomatoes

Tomatoes - mint, oregano, parsley, nasturtium, tagetes, peppers

                     avoid sweetcorn, brassicas, potatoes, dill

Plants for pest control

Ants - alliums, mint, tansy, artemesia (wormwood)

Aphids - alliums, calendula, tagetes, coriander, chervil, fennel, mint, nasturtium, rue, poppy, thyme

Cabbage moth - hyssop, mint, rosemary, sage

(Cabbage root fly - brassica collars, covering ground around base of plant which prevents eggs being laid)

Carrot fly - alliums, leeks, rosemary, sage

Caterpillars - oregano, thyme

Eelworm - tagetes

Flea beetle - alliums, artemesia, mint, rhubarb, rue, sage, tansy

Mice! - mint, tansy, artemesia

Nematodes - calendula, tagetes patula

Slugs and snails - allium, artemesia, fennel, rosemary, rue, sage

Spider mite - coriander, elder

Thrips - basil

Weevils and moths - bay

Whitefly - artemesia, peppermint, basil, calendula, nasturtium, oregano, tagetes, thyme

Wireworm - tagetes

As you can see, all the herbs, alliums, calendula and tagetes are particularly useful!

But also note that in some cases the control plant is sacrificial - in other words it collects all the pests. Remove this plant and you're controlling the pests!

 

ORGANIC PEAT-FREE COMPOST

To encourage the use of peat-free composts, and reduce plastic waste, I tried supplying 'Sylvamix Natural' (the commercial name for  Sylvagrow Organic Growing Medium produced by Melcourt) . I ordered 2 huge bulk bags, filling one side of the large garage to the ceiling, and then laboriously bagged and weighed the compost in recycled feed bags. 

Whilst some were delighted and very happy with their compost, it seems most people prefer to buy non-organic compost from the supermarket, despite the extremely favourable price!

As I make large amounts of compost on site for my own use, I do not need to buy in compost - nor give myself yet more hard work!

If there is ever a demand however, I will happily repeat this offer...

BULBS

In the past, it was important to check that the bulbs came from cultivated stock, rather than hillsides in Turkey being dug up... or were grown in this country to reduce transport.

 

Nowadays, we are more aware of the damage we're doing to the environment; bees are suffering and if we lose them, we lose our pollinators - and that means no fruit. No fruits at all.

It seems that non-organic bulbs release any chemicals they have been treated with, into the pollen and nectar, which in turn affects the bees taking their first food in the Spring.

 

I have grown organically all my life - but bought in non-organic bulbs, to get the choice I wanted at the price others would pay.

Nothing is so uplifting as a sea of Spring bulbs, but without the accompaniment of buzzing bees, the joy and the benefits are gone....

The time has come to value the bees as much as we appreciate the flowers.

My plan is therefore to produce home-grown organic bulbs as soon as I find my next garden!

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