Soil management articles

Apr
30
2017
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for May

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Generally one of the busiest months on the vegetable plot, here John Harrison shares his fruit and vegetable growing guide for May. The soil is warm and the plants growing well. But watch out for a sneaky late frost. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for frantic last minute wrapping of fleece to protect tender plants. Read more …

Mar
29
2017
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for April

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By April spring should be well and truly underway, the soil warming up nicely and everything growing away. Don’t be complacent though, it’s been known for a cold snap with snow to strike even in the sunny south of England. Read more …

Feb
26
2017
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for March

2

March is the month when things really start to move in the growing season. In fact the start of the year used to be Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation, 25th March until 1752 in Britain when we adopted the Gregorian calendar and started our year on the 1st January. Read more …

Feb
7
2017
Daniel Scharf

If ‘agroecology’ is such a good idea, how can we get the planning system to promote it?

2

The planning system doesn’t currently differentiate between different types of agriculture, and maybe it should. The type of agriculture we prefer could be labelled ‘agroecology’ – but the problem is how to define it and how to get the planning system to recognise it, let alone promote it. Read more …

Jan
26
2017
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for February

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February, being the last of the winter months , often has a sting and ends up being the coldest month. So, more than any other month, this one you need to play according to local conditions. It’s best to hold off than try to sow in waterlogged, near frozen ground that will most likely rot any seeds. Read more …

Dec
28
2016
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for January

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January is generally a very cold month with hard frosts freezing the ground although there are no guarantees with British weather. Looking through my diaries, snow isn’t that likely for a prolonged period, but you never know. Read more …

Nov
28
2016
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for December

0

Predicting winter weather is as hard as predicting summer weather in Britain, which makes it difficult to advise on jobs. We’re pretty sure of seeing some hard frosts but those dreaming of a white Christmas are actually more likely to see a white Easter. Read more …

Oct
28
2016
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for November

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November is the month when the hard frosts and heavy rain usually arrive so it’s important to grab whatever time you can on the plot in case you don’t get another chance. Read more …

Sep
28
2016
John Harrison

Fruit & vegetable growing guide for October

0

October is really the last of the hectic months on the vegetable plot. There’s little to sow and plant but still a fair amount to harvest and store away to eat through winter. This is the month when the first frosts usually arrive so killing off all but the hardy plants. Read more …

Sep
16
2016
Dave Darby

Low-impact & the city 4: front gardens – concrete or plants?

4

My partner’s mother lives in Hounslow, under the Heathrow flight path and next to a dual carriageway. But she has filled her front and back garden with flowers, trees, bushes and vegetables. When she visits, she often brings pears, plums, spinach, tomatoes or flowers from her garden. Read more …

Jul
10
2016
Simon Fairlie

Why do organic farmers have to pay for certification rather than farmers who use toxic chemicals?

5

It’s always more expensive to do the right thing isn’t it? Like taking the train instead of driving or flying, or buying recycled products, organic food or natural building materials. If you want to do the environmentally-friendly or socially-just thing, it’s going to cost you more money. That can’t be right, can it? Read more …

Feb
7
2016
John Harrison

Viable self-sufficiency

4

Back 40 years ago in 1976, John Seymour’s most famous work –The Complete Book of Self-Sufficiency – was published. It was billed as for dreamers and realists which was pretty accurate. Read more …

Feb
4
2016
Dave Darby

Win a copy of our partner Sally Morgan’s great new book, ‘Living on One Acre or Less’

1

This is a new book by our partner Sally Morgan of Empire Farm. It’s a comprehensive guide to starting and running your own micro-smallholding. Read more …

Dec
28
2015
Richard MacKenzie

Getting into the allotment groove: reasons for getting an allotment

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Recently I hosted a radio show where I asked the question What Does Your Allotment Mean to You?, what was interesting was just like the many approaches to growing your own, there were just as many reasons for doing so. Read more …

Dec
15
2015
Dave Darby

How to prevent desertification and reduce atmospheric carbon by increasing livestock

7

Desertification is the process whereby grasslands slowly turn into deserts, and suggesting that we can help reverse this process by increasing the numbers of livestock that we run on grasslands sounds counter-intuitive, Read more …

Oct
30
2015
Paul Jennings

How a ‘chicken tractor’ can clear and improve soil, as well as getting rid of pests

1

My vegetable field has some problems. It’s not that vegetables don’t grow there; over two seasons I’ve had some notable successes, it’s just that there’s verdant weed growth throughout, more slugs than you can shake a stick at, and the soil needs improving Read more …

May
30
2015
Hayley Monckton

3 million front gardens have been completely paved since 2005. Let’s try to reverse this trend.

2

The RHS 2015 Greening Grey Britain Report reveals that three times as many front gardens are paved over compared to ten years ago, a total increase of 15 square miles of ‘grey’, and that plant cover in front gardens has decreased by as much as 15%.   Read more …

May
18
2015
Paul Jennings

Should we be planning to ‘drought-proof’ our food production for a warmer climate?

1

The weather is not the climate. Nonetheless, over the last few years I have noticed that I have developed a slightly panicky fear of the weather; I can’t notice the weather I suppose, without it triggering all sorts of associations in my mind to the myriad articles I’ve read, and conversations I’ve had, about Anthropogenic Climate Change. Read more …

Mar
13
2015
Elisabeth Winkler

Protest to save food-growing land in Bristol

2

Protestors are occupying trees in Bristol, UK, on food-growing land threatened by a controversial road-building scheme.

Evictions started yesterday, after Bristol City council won a High Court possession order. Read more …

Nov
28
2012
Phil Miller

The laya: wonder tool

0

Soil management is a big subject. It seems to require the balancing of; drainage, crop rotation, enriching with compost and turning mechanically. It can be approached as a science or an art because it consists of both. Read more …

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