- Oct 8, 2017
- Reaction score
- Birmingham, AL USA
- Hardiness Zone
I created 9 raised beds last year. I thought I was smart and whilst I filled most with sticks etc I had the presence of mind to create a couple of beds with fine compost suited to carrots, parsnips etc. I made them lovely and rich with lots of manure.....and yes.....you are right - star fish, three legs, you name it! Most of my wonky carrots ended up being given to the horses that pooped out the manure!!I heard the starfish come when the soil is too rich?
I thought the forking happened when the tap root hit a stone or stick.I heard the starfish come when the soil is too rich?
I gathered the idea that the forking comes from the plant following near sources of nutrient rather than growing deep in search of nutrient that has not yet leached away from surface applications. Generally my clay is too dense for carrot although this spring I had the best shape so far after adding char and a bunch of leaves from the fall that normally would have been in my compost pile. No fertilizer at all this year was a theme. It was a test year since the herbicide in the cow compost caused trouble 3 years ago. They were perfectly formed but not large. I recall being amused that they grew well in the remediated soil but disappointed that I had bought a smaller variety seed. My expectations were not high for carrots so it was still a good experience.I thought the forking happened when the tap root hit a stone or stick.
Around here I have a thin layer of black soil over sand. It's only from mixing in leafs and sticks to compost in place that I can build up organic matter in the ground. Which is why I use this wood core technique best known for use in hugelkulture construction.
But yeah, I can lift a 8" straight carrot from the ground by the tops without using a tool or breaking the tops or root. Sand is good for one thing...
Could it be that the wood helps with moisture regulation of lettuces?Thank you for the comments. I admit I have been surprised by the results this fall...very surprised.
I have several different types of lettuce growing in HK tubs and they are outproducing in-ground plants by up to 5 to 1. Shocking! And I don't understand it?
I have never ever been able to grow lettuce successfully before here in Texas but now have a way. If nothing else, this experiment was worth it just finding that out. HK tubs will be a regular fixture in my garden from now on.
Thank you again for your comments.
|Brassica type||Height to fruit, in||Width, in|
|Broc 1 HK-ground||15 -- 10||31--21|
|Broc 2 HK-ground||14--10||32--16|
|Cabbage 1 HK--ground||12--8||25--14|
|Cabbage 2 HK--ground||12--8||23--15|
|Brussels 1 HK--ground||10--8||19--12|
|Brussels 2 HK--ground||10--9||19--14|
|Malabar spinach 8-8|
|Swiss Chard 8-20|
|Bok Choy 8-20|
|ButterCrunch lettuce 8-21|
|Sylyestra lettuce 8-21|
|Green ice lettuce 8-22|
|Little gem lettuce 8-22|
|Romain lettuce 8-22|
Most of the leafy veggies have finished their initial production cycle, The table below summarizes the results for those that have finished this initial round of production.
The data is presented in ounces and shows a consistently higher production in the HK containers vs the in-ground plants.
Type HK Pro Gar Pro Ratio Malabar spinach 8-8 14.1 2.8 5.04 collards 9-2 7.1 4.9 1.45 Swiss Chard 8-20 4.8 2.5 1.92 Turnips 8-21 0.6 0.4 1.50 Bok Choy 8-20 45.3 0 #DIV/0! ButterCrunch lettuce 8-21 37.4 15.2 2.46 Sylyestra lettuce 8-21 33.4 13.3 2.51 Radish 8-22 13.5 12.1 1.12 Green ice lettuce 8-22 35.2 15.4 2.29 Little gem lettuce 8-22 31.9 12.8 2.49 Romain lettuce 8-22 6.8 3.2 2.13
I can see problems with brassicas, in that decomposition tends to be an acidic process, whilst brassicas like neutral/alkaline soil, as they were originally shore plants. ...
Do you have to contend with slugs and cabbage whites in your area?First cabbage harvest from HK container. This one weighed in at 9 pounds and 8 ounces with the head 9 + inches across. There is one other head in the same container, about the same size that will be harvested soon also.
View attachment 93413
View attachment 93414
My in-ground comparison cabbage plants are significantly smaller and an estimated 2 weeks from harvest.
One HK tub producing almost twenty pounds of cabbage.... not bad, not bad at all.
Looks like Cauliflower may be the next to harvest.... its forming a beautiful white head now.
Prevention is quite effective for me.Do you have to contend with slugs and cabbage whites in your area?
Slugs don't like lime, so if you surround your brassica stems with lime, that'll help.Do you have to contend with slugs and cabbage whites in your area?
It's so difficult to grow them in the UK - from what I can tell even the best gardeners don't manage without netting - but even then it's so easy for something to get inside the nets. I love seeing them growing in gardens, but I'm not sure it's possible here - without jumping through hoops and ugly nets and cages everywhere.
I'm thinking of using containers next year. I have a heavy duty portable greenhouse - it's quite big. I'm thinking of putting it on my patio, covering it in net and putting all my brassica containers in there.
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