THE POTTING SHED UK Jan/Feb Issue 2014 - Page 46

In The Trial Garden

In The Trial Garden

Review of 2013

Well what a challenging year it was at one point I was not sure if the winter was ever going to end the bad weather did not end until the beginning of May. Which was swiftly followed by extreme temperatures the plants did not know where they where

or what the season was meant to be.

One moment they where drowning

the next they where wilting it remained dry for the rest of the summer but the weather was not the only problem we had to cope with. Our Trial garden was just a field with sheep in at the beginning of the year being faced with a massive amount of digging ahead with the rain and frost at the beginning of the year did not help with this task. But we got through it in the end one of the biggest challenges was going to be how well will the soil perform having never grown anything other than grass and nettles in the past. But I needn’t have worried the soil is very stoney but it is also very fertile having spent the last hundred years or so being manured by sheep. Everything has grown well with the leeks doing particularly well the variety was 'Pendel' they did so well I decided to enter the local garden show with them. Well they only ended up with best in show so I will defiantly be growing them again next year. We tried a couple of different soil improver this year we took one bed and split it in two one half we used Biochar and the other we used Rock dust we planted up the bed with Garlic, Onion Sets and Leeks. Initial growth showed no difference between the sides but as the plants begin to grow there becomes a big difference. The Rock Dust side where much greener and healthier looking on the Biochar side they where the same size but just lacked the greenness of the Rock Dust plants. But by the end of the season there was not a lot of difference in growth or harvest with the exception of the garlic the bulbs where much bigger on the rock dust

side than on the Biochar side. All I can put this down too is the fact the Rock Dusts nutrient content are more suited to the garlic than the Biochar. But I would recommend both of these products for your garden at home as we used them on Leeks, Dahlias, Cabbage etc. and all did well.

We tried a couple of carrot variety's all did well the first was Krakow RZ F1 from Tuckers Seeds the carrots where of a good size and colour. They are a main season variety and grow about 25cm long and considering our stony soil they grew remarkably straight. Great flavor when cooked the second variety we grew was Eskimo F1 from Thompson and Morgan again its a main season variety and as its name suggests its a tough variety hardy down to -10. Although due to the mild winter we have not been able to test this fact but it is still in the ground and in good condition. Great colour and a real carrot flavor make this a great carrot good one to grow to extend the season with out the need for storage.