Sunday, 30 January 2011

January Vegetable talk by Mr Geoff Peach

post by Mr R Lindsay
"Growing Vegetables" a talk by Geoff Peach 26-1-11

An audience of  40 members from West Horsley Horticultural Society (WHHS) and the Grace and Flavour (G+F) Community Garden attended last week's talk by Geoff Peach.
Mr Peach is one of the best speakers on the gardening talk circuit and a well known area judge at Horticultural shows. 
As a masterly gardener himself, he ranged through the subject from equipment to greenhouses to compost and practically every vegetable in the catalogue, accompanied by excellent slides of gardens he has worked on.
 (Mr Geoff Peach and Pete Davis of Grace and Flavour Debating Vegetables Varieties)

While he likes the practice of double digging he encourages the use of a rotavator to speed the exposure of the soil to the winter. 
Great advice for the would- be greenhouse owner – get the biggest you have room for and can afford. If you can run to heating it and use electric heating :easy to control and not too costly to run. Insulate with bubble wrap but remember it cuts out light.
Think about quantities you can use; sow little and often e.g. 12 lettuce at a time every fortnight. Be adventurous-but concentrate on the things that you specially enjoy and that are best straight from the garden like first early potatoes –buy them now and start them chitting –cool room plenty of light. Plant in drills when chits about half a cm. Earth them up; a touch of frost won’t do long term harm. Potatoes like manure and compost and Growmore 

Birds Eye do a good job on peas but garden grown beans of all kinds are best picked and cooked. 

Don’t worry too much about thinning –with carrots wait till they’re edible size and thin and eat. 

Beetroot for the table don’t need thinning. 
Sow parsnips in  groups of 3or 4 seeds in wettened soil and keep soil damp in the pre-germination spell. 

Buy Tomato Gro-bags –relatively cheap compost- but put compost in a large deep pot for the tomato plant-allows the roots go deeper. In either case support the plants and the branches –the fruit is heavy. Stop at 6 trusses indoors 4 out. Pinch out the side shoots but not too soon in case you lose the main shoot. Sow tomatoes now in a warm place. Cucumbers and tomatoes will grow side by side. Peppers are easy to grow from seed and Green peppers are not-yet-ripe Red ones.

Farmyard manure is excellent horse manure is a waste of time. 3 compost heaps at a time-one to use, one rotting, one building. Composts almost everything except things that might carry or harbour disease such as potato holms and old tomato plants. And Oh! so much more- 

this talk was worth the 6 pounds annual membership on its own! 

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