Double Digging!

Early in the year I double dug one of the plots where I planned to grow runner beans.  The other one just had compost worked into the surface.  I wondered which would grow the best crop.

So far the results have been dramatic.  One batch of beans is looking lush and healthy.

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Lots of beans are forming already.

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The other is looking distinctly less healthy, and the poles are only sparsely covered.

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Of course, it is the one that I double dug which has performed so poorly.  Apparantly the compost is better added to the top few inches than burried deep in the soil!  This experiment is not conclusive;  I would need to carry it out several times in different conditions before I could be sure.  However, I wil think twice before I go to all of this bother in the future!  In the meantime I am looking forward to harvesting runner beans before too much longer.

Not so bad!

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I had been feeling a little disheartened with the garden.  I do not enjoy gardening so much when the weather is hot.  Besides, the weeds grow so fast at this time of year.  I felt cross that I had let the garden get out of hand and lost the momentum of earlier in the year.  Then Chris pointed out that actually we are eating a lot of food from the garden.  In fact, in the picture above all of the food except for the veggie sausages was grown by us!  There are tomatoes, potatoes, broadbeans, caulifower, garlic, mangetout peas and kale.  Most days we are eating lettuce as well which has done very well this year.

The last couple of evenings have been a bit cooler so I have been able to get out and do some weeding, and everything is looking a lot better.  I also realised that some crops that were looking tatty were ready for harvest and although looking past their best, were actually doing well.more july harvest 021

Here is some of the garlic just before I harvested it.  I had planted this variety in three different conditions.  When I dug up the first two batches there did not seem to be any difference.  The third batch however, did seem to be a bit bigger.

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The individual heads of garlic on the left seemed to be a little bigger than those on the right.  I bet you are wondering which addtion to the soil had this effect aren’t you?  Was it the growchar?  or the seaweed meal?  or maybe the plot which had a mixture of both?  No! It was the control plot which had no additives at all.  Maybe next year I will save my money and only add organic matter to the soil rather than any other additives!

This variety is Solent Wight, and although the bulbs are fairly small they are quite useable.  The Red Duke of York was a lot less successful however, and most of the bulbs rotted away.  Perhaps they would have done better in a less rainy year or if I had planted them where they were not overshadowed by other crops.  There are so many variables at play, it really is hard to tell which factors are the most significant.