I did say I would do this a while ago, but as The Green Kiwi has been so busy, this has been my first opportunity!
So, hello. My name is Brent and I have four allotments over in Bushy Park. If you are not familiar with Bushy Park, it is one of the Royal parks in SW London. I am very lucky to have the space I have and although it can be extremely hard work at times, the rewards far outweigh this. I have been growing organic fruit and vegetables for 10 years and will use this blog to share my experience and to answer any questions you may have. I am going to try to cover growing fundamentals initially and then write about specific techniques and/or specific varieties.
Well – It’s been a great year for fruit and vegetable growing! I haven’t witnessed a better year since 2006. The high temperatures have really helped tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and melons (I have recently harvested 29 Musk Melons which are delicious). Additional to sunshine, crops need water. The more experience I gain the more I am convinced that the key to successful yields is simply watering regularly. Don’t be fooled by cool mornings, even with ground dew; it simply does not hold enough moisture to penetrate the earth. Additionally, I would also recommend that plants are watered at the base where possible, rather than over the foliage, as the leaves can sometimes be more susceptible to fungus related disease such as mildew if kept too moist, too often. The exception to this is the Brassica family (cabbages, sprouts, kale etc.) although you do need to be careful with broccoli and cauliflower flower heads as they are prone to develop fungal growth if kept damp for too long.
I also believe that watering should be undertaken at regular intervals. For example, Tomatoes will split with irregular watering patterns and generally speaking plants will become stressed when watered irregularly and when weak will pick up disease just as us humans do. So, if you can, water at regular times with similar amounts of water.
In my next blog, I will discuss the ‘no dig’ system of growing…..