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Tricks of the trade

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default Tricks of the trade

Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2010, 1:33 pm

Well, in my introduction in the member profiles bit I mentioned that through my business I spend a bit of time with commercial growers, and that I like to see what I ideas I can take from commercial growing and use in my garden. Well, I thought that a thread to exchange some ideas you don't often see in books might be in order !
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default Confusing cabbage root fly

Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2010, 1:50 pm

Cabbage root flies find a suitable place to lay eggs by doing a series of trial landings. If a high proportion of them are on a suitable host plant, they decide it is a good spot and lay their eggs.

So, they can be fooled ... when sowing brasicca into modules, sow also a pinch of trefoil seeds (from the green manure section of the seed list) into the same module. There is now a good chance that the flies will land on trefoil leaves - an unsuitable host - on enough of their trial landings to convince them to go elsewhere. The brasicca should eventually out-compete the trefoil, and smother it. Hopefully the trefoil might result in some useful nitrogen fixing along the way.

Source: Paper , and seen in use on organic farms.
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default Sweetcorn pollination

Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2010, 1:58 pm

Problems getting a good fill on your sweetcorn cobs ? Ever noticed that the tassels appear a bit ahead of the silks ? For many varieties, the peak pollen production does not exactly coincide with peak receptiveness of the silks. I guess it is so to promote cross pollination rather than self-fertilisation.

So, you can improve matters by sowing your seed in two batches, about a fortnight or so apart, then planting them out in alternate rows.

Source: French maize grower.
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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Compostwoman on 8th September 2010, 3:10 pm

Chilli-head wrote:Cabbage root flies find a suitable place to lay eggs by doing a series of trial landings. If a high proportion of them are on a suitable host plant, they decide it is a good spot and lay their eggs.

So, they can be fooled ... when sowing brasicca into modules, sow also a pinch of trefoil seeds (from the green manure section of the seed list) into the same module. There is now a good chance that the flies will land on trefoil leaves - an unsuitable host - on enough of their trial landings to convince them to go elsewhere. The brasicca should eventually out-compete the trefoil, and smother it. Hopefully the trefoil might result in some useful nitrogen fixing along the way.

Source: Paper , and seen in use on organic farms.

So that explains ( presumably) why the ones I had not weeded around, didn't get it. I did wonder why.

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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Guest on 8th September 2010, 4:44 pm

Is bindweed also a non suitable host plant for cabbage root fly too? At last a possible benefit from having 1.5 beds constantly being covered by it!

and nthread

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default Fooling onion white rot

Post by Chilli-head on 8th September 2010, 10:12 pm

Onion white rot is one of those diseases which persist for a very long time - up to 10 years, in the form of black sclerotia in the soil, ready to infect any allium crop planted there.

The sclerotia can be fooled into germination by watering with a solution of 1 part garlic juice to 1000 of water, preferably when the soil temperature is 15-18C. Of course, if there are no suitable host plants there, it will then eventually die.

Source: F. Crowe, Oregon State University.
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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Compostwoman on 8th September 2010, 11:05 pm

Compost made from onion growth has also been shown to have an impact on Onion White Rot

Have source but need to search it out, but used it as part of an item I did for Grow Your Own mag last year....

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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Chilli-head on 24th June 2011, 3:09 pm

Bit of a long delayed response, but here's some more info on onion white rot and compost.
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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Sparhawk on 24th June 2011, 5:13 pm

Compostwoman wrote:part of an item I did for Grow Your Own mag last year....

Rats! Missed that one!

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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Chilli-head on 17th August 2011, 9:01 pm

I have had some onion white rot problems for a couple of years, and seem to be seeing that the problem appears worsened by multi-sowing onions in modules. Whether it is the compost (New Horizons this year) or the clustering together creating a climate for rot I don't know. The good news is that although my Beds Champions were badly hit, the Long Red Florence right next to them were completely unaffected, despite identical treatment. They have given a really good crop too, so go on the grow again list !
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default Re: Tricks of the trade

Post by Compostwoman on 17th August 2011, 9:23 pm

The Red Baron are good but I have found Jet Set to be susceptible.

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