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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

applestar wrote:I just borrowed a book from the library. I came across it in Googlebooks, so you CAN read it on-line. It's called YOUR GARDEN WEEK BY WEEK by HELLYER, A.G.L It's an older book, written by an author based in London area, so some of the information is not pertinent to my own situation, but it appears to be a very detailed description/gardening journal of a serious gardener. (I don't have a greenhouse or a cold frame either, but this book gives you a good idea of HOW to use them.) Some of the information and the sheer scope of the book might be overwhelming/daunting to a beginner, but I think it conveys an interesting seasonal PROCESS of gardening.
So I've been reading this book, and I want to impress on everyone that my recommendation is with regards to the week-by-week calendar of gardening tasks that this book provides. I said it's older, well it's from the 30's and the author uses ALL KINDS of chemicals -- fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides :eek: But at the same time, there are plenty of mentions of well rotted (e.g. composted) manure of all kinds, and other organic gardening techniques. If you read the book the way I do, from a standfast organic gardening and anti-chemical use point of view, you can automatically substitute SAFE alternatives as you read, or make mental notes to look one up.

I had to laugh when on one page, it said to [my underlines] "Mulch fruit trees with well-rotted farmyard or stable manure or ... spent hops (not hop manure, which contains chemicals). When just 2 pages before, in bold type, it says "Dust Brassica Seedlings with DDT" BUT! The point of interest here is that you want to watch out for flea beetles on your brassica seedlings as the weather warms up in May, and that it's a good idea to mulch fruit trees with compost after they have flowered and are starting to fruit. Interestingly, the author needed to explain what "mulch" was for. "This is known technically as a mulch..."

Then, the entry right above it describes, with illustration, how to make "liquid manure" for feeding fruiting cucumbers. I've seen this called "manure tea" by other authors. (Well, I actually don't have ready access to manure, but I can -- and I will -- make and use compost-enriched-with-alfalfa-pellets tea.) So you really have to be selective and make intelligent use of this book, which really contains a LOT of technical and detailed information. :cool:

Well, back to the book.... :wink:

Senior Member
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: Zone 3 Canada

The alphalpha meal or pellets is one natural fertilizer I have not noticed being mentioned here. I buy 50 lb bags of alphalpha meal and use it all through the year but certainly in the greenhouse in the earlier months.

Rabbit feed is alphalpha pellets and those work well to fire up your new compost piles too.

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Hey Amzy

I used to live in Dalgety Bay, right across the Firth from Edinburgh. Love it there; nothing better than those summer days that go until 10PM (Lots of Yanks forget just how much further north you are and the New York and Madrid are on the same parallel). Those extra long days must make for fantastic plants...

You've answered your own question in the best possible fashion, dear; you talked to Gran. Who's been doing this thing, locally in your area, with lots of local knowledge, and likely local varieties, for longer than the rest of us have probably been alive. She's steered you back to the soil so I know she's good, so do pay attention to her. Our elder gardeners are fountains of information; I know I'm getting better as I get older... 8)

We'll help out when Gran's stumped...


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Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:55 pm
Location: Scotland


Yip grans are great! lol!

My gran is so busy tho so getting to see her is like a millitary operation! lol!

Ive planted the following: Pea. onions, strawbs, rasps, chillies, peppers, toms, various herbs and carrots!

So wish me luck! I think I'm gonna need it! lol!

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT


And we're here...


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