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Author Topic: Converting pasture to a veg plot  (Read 2489 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2019, 10:48:16 pm »


Broad beans suspended above the vermin in my polytunnel.


(sorry the expanded pic is too big for the page. I don't know how to sort that)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 10:55:19 pm by Fleecewife »
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DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2019, 09:49:54 am »
Wow, a greenhouse inside the tunnel. Not seem that before.

A real good idea suspending those pots for the broadbeans. This autumn for the first time ever mice have taken all the broadbean seedlings from the staging. Up until now I have got away with modules sitting on the soil so the roots can grow through and get them off to a really good start. Strange that they seem to change crop of choice each year. Last year carrots disappeared down holes, but have not been touched this year.

Anyway, thanks for mentioning that, I had not yet devised a new plan before sowing more beans. We should move this thread to the veg section!
We suspend all our early seeds - broad beans, early carrots rocket mizuna etc in glittering hanging from the crop bars. When they are well sprouted, make a channel in the soil, water the crop in the glittering really well then slide it onto the channel. Works a treat

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #32 on: February 10, 2019, 10:41:05 am »
No, not at all. please do.

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #33 on: February 10, 2019, 10:47:27 am »
Briggsy, looks like you have the same tunnel as me. Mine is 60 x 16. Well, it's in the garage at the moment, so it's a lot smaller than that. It has corkscrew anchors which are supposed to just simply screw into the ground..... Nope. Too many stones. I spent an hour yesterday digging and using postcrete to install the first one. 25 more to go!

Then I have to prep the beds. I'm on subsoil, heavy sticky clay, as we had to dif out the base to get it level. I think raised beds are the way to go. used them before on clay. I reckon I'm still a month away from planting. And that's if we get some settled weather. I'll keep updating.

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2019, 11:09:48 am »
Hi Martcol

It's surprising how sparce the kit looks for such a big space.

Not sure where in West Wales you are, however there is a saw mill at St Clears who sell ceder from their own woodlands. It's significatly cheaper than a builders merchant.

I was lucky enough to inherit pretty good soil as there was an ancient tunnel on the same footprint when we moved in, my problem was that horsetail had taken over. I used large amounts of rotted horse manure on the neglected ground for the first couple of years and that really has brought the clay soil back to life. Now I just top up with my own compost. (Thank goodness as the horse manure does come with horsefly larvae which turned the tunnel into a danger zone for a couple of weeks each summer!)

Good luck getting those  ground anchors in. We had the same problem when we tried to dig holes for a pole barn. We hired a machine which just continually hit brick and stone, job had to be done by hand in the end.

Briggsy



« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 02:15:00 pm by Briggsy from Gower »

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2019, 11:14:08 am »
Thanks veg growers.

I think I am going to try the guttering idea suspended from the crop bars. My set up probably won't allow the second phase of sliding the contents straight into the channels, but for robust plants like broadbeans they can tolerate a bit of manhandling when it comes to planting.

I'll get the better of those critters yet!





martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2019, 09:19:54 am »
We're finally getting there. Polytunnel is complete, apart from the cover which is going on tomorrow, wind allowing. I thought A before and after picture might be worthwhile, but it hardly shows the huge amount of effort we've put in in two months of almost daily work. But anyway. Firstly, the plot in early January, just as the man with the digger was starting levelling off the ground for the polytunnel.....

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2019, 09:24:24 am »
And this shot was taken yesterday. Polytunnel structure all complete. New shed built. To the right of the polytunnel is the fruit and veg beds, with raspberries, strawberries, red, white and black currants, rhubarb and gooseberries already in. To the far right is the start of our orchard, with 11 apples trees, eaters, cookers and cider apples, with a few old heritage Welsh apple varieties thrown in. It's been a hard slog, but immensely enjoyable. The only job I didn't enjoy was the three days I spent with pick, shovel and crowbar, digging the holes and concreting in the ground anchors for the polytunnel!

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2019, 01:11:40 pm »
Trust me, the huge amount of effort is plain to see!

Well done guys, that's a lot to do in two months.

You wait till that cover goes on tomorrow, it will feel like a cathedral in there.

Keep the photos coming.

Briggsy

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2019, 06:58:56 pm »
Big grins today. Almost at the end of 'phase one' which is the setup of the growing area and ready to start on the soil and planting. Still have to do final tensioning of the polytunnel cover (You raise the hoops a few inches to tighten it with this model), and doors to be hung tomorrow. then I start the process of turning the sticky muddy subsoil into a growing medium. Found a nearby source of wonderful dark brown crumbly well rotted horse manure, and they fill my trailer with a digger, too!


DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2019, 10:09:02 am »
Fantastic. You must be very pleased. You will be surprised how quickly the soil dries out

Briggsy from Gower

  • Joined Nov 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2019, 10:31:49 am »
Yes, in this weather probably a matter of days!

My polytunnel was well over 20 degrees yesterday. The later half of feb always comes as surprise, growth starts a pace, and late sowings that have looked pathetic all winter are now springing into life.

Here we go again...…..

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2019, 08:58:48 am »
It was 20 degrees OUTSIDE in Ceredgion yesterday - on the news, too. I'm digging over the ground inside now. It's heavy very stony subsoil/clay (we had to dig quite deep to level the ground). I'm going down a spades depth, digging in loads of well rotted manure (good source nearby) and the topsoil which we kept. In these temperatures, though, it's tough work. I'm not overly bothered, as I can work at leisure now, and prepare the beds one at a time over the next three months before I need room for tomatoes and other warm weather stuff.

It's been a long hard slog since Christmas, but it feels well worth it to have it all ready (or nearly....) for the start of the season. I started this thread at the end of last summer, before we had even moved in, so we are both chuffed to bits to be at this stage!

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2019, 05:19:16 pm »
Another update. First picture is inside the polytunnel. First early potatoes, broad beans and salad doing well. Peas, beetroot and spinach further along. I was expecting some pretty big problems, to be honest, but everythng looks great so far. The problems I expected were due to the fact that everything is growing in grey stony clay subsoil. I use a pick and remove stones, and add about 4 wheelbarrows of well rotted horse manure to each bed, from a local stable, working it in to break up the clay. I thought it might take a year or two to form new soil, but there may be enough nutrients in the manure to give me some crops. I'll update later in the season.

martcol

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Converting pasture to a veg plot
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2019, 05:24:04 pm »
I'm further behind, outside. The fruit beds in the distance have been in since January, but I had to put up a fence as they were getting nibbled by rabbits. water containers behind, and compost sheds. The black polythene is an experiment in no dig - a la Charles Dowding. I only have onions (sets) in so far, as we've been working on the house, too!

 

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