War on waste in my Vegetable Garden

Growing your own vegetables is great, but don’t fall into a Garden Centre fuelled spiral of buying endless bamboo canes/ plastic netting/ posts etc with which to pursue your hobby.

Use every natural resource that you can lay your hands on like the cottage gardeners of old. Do not be responsible for adding to landfill as a consequence of your new-found enthusiasm for home-grown produce.IMG_0396

Grow your own bamboo canes, and get really good posts from sharpened hazel wands cut from your own stools. Both of these are really easy to grow, but, realistically, only if you have quite a large garden to play with in the first place. If you only have a small garden then keep re-using everything until it falls apart. Actually we adore the Hazels/Cobnuts as we get superb nuts every year, as long as we keep the squirrel population under control , and love the Bamboo as it provides such a wonderful evergreen, rustling screen.

You should ALWAYS cut peasticks in the winter and keep for your peas in the spring. Peasticks are best if they contain lots of low-level twigs for the peas to scramble up. The ones shown here were taken from a neighbouring lane after the old elm hedge had been trimmed by a tractor and flail. We often also use the prunings from our  own semi- coppiced chestnuts, or the hazel thinnings.

 

IMG_0398Never buy any plastic netting again. Always use an easily biodegradable twine such as hemp or sisal, and always recycle the plastic labels. I usually scrub mine with Fairy Liquid, and reuse  them for several years, only then finally consigning them to the recycled plastics bin.

For carrots, use some old polypropylene or thick polythene, folded in half to give a double thickness, as a cage at least 2 ft high to help control carrot root fly.  Make sure you bury at least 6” under the ground. You may still get a few losses, but better than nothing. In my experience it is a total waste of time buying so- called resistant carrot varieties, as is bothering with companion planting. I do intend to trial Nemasys this year, and will report later on the results

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