Garlic planting

On the weekend we planted four new types of organic white garlic bulbs- Theridrome, Messidor, Messidrome and Vigor, plus the purple Sabadrome and  Sprint (Primor) varities.

Theridrome: 

‘Thermidrome’ produces ivory white cloves of garlic in summer. The bulbs are ready when the leaves begin to turn yellow. Gently lift with a fork to break the roots and leave to dry in the sun for a few days. The bulbs should keep for several months. Plant individual cloves in a sunny spot during the autumn for the best-sized bulbs.

Messidrome

Comes from French production, producing large white bulbs with excellent flavour for all culinary uses.

Messidor 

Messidor is a softneck autumn planting garlic  which shows excellent vigour with fat juicy cloves and it grows well in most parts of Northern Europe.

Vigor:

White bulbs with purplish reflections of 12 to 17 beige cloves.

It will be exciting to see how they grow and which grow best in our hard clay soils.

Aphids – Bladlöss (and how to remove them)

This year is the first year that I have had any problem aphids and they have killed not only one chilli plant but also an eggplant (aubergine) plant. Unfortunately I believe they were on some chilli plants we were given as a gift but they soon spread. We also have some on our currants at the allotment but they do not do as much damage there. However you can see the red discolouration and pocked marked leaves that is the result of them. 

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Despite that they are a pain to remove there are quite a number of ways to remove them but depending on the location you might need to alter the technique. 

One is to use a high pressure hose to blast them off (obviously for outdoors) or manually pick them off with your fingers. 
Second is to use some eco-sprays to try and kill them. 

Neem oil: 
Add 7.5 ml neem oil per 1 liter of water. If it has solidified you can place the container in some warm water so that it is fluid. Add some dish fluid to the mixture and then spray on your plants. (Do not use on plants that will be in direct sunlight just after spraying as it will burn your leaves!) 

Garlic spray: 
Crush some garlic cloves in water and once the water smells garlicky spray on plants  adding some food oil can help but don’t use too much!   Recept: 1 l vatten, 1,5-2% såpa, ipressad vitlök. 

Or you can even add some garlic to your neem oil spray. 

*Garlic oil is a non-selective insecticide, which means that it will kill beneficial insects (such as lady bugs, who are natural predators of aphids) just as easily as it kills the bad guys. It’s best to keep as many beneficials around as possible. This spray should only be used if you haven’t seen any beneficial bugs or if you are indoors. 

Thirdly: Add some ladybugs/ladybeetles/ladybirds native to your area to the infected plants as they will happily chomp away on the aphids without destroying your plants. However from research it needs to be the larve that you need so it can be a bit tricky indoors. 

Weekend Course Introduction – Skattungbyn

SO THIS WEEKEND I TRAVELLED FROM STOCKHOLM UP TO SKATTUNBYN A LITTLE VILLAGE OUTSIDE MORA.

I APPLIED LAST YEAR FOR A DISTANCE GARDENING COURSE THAT FOCUSSES ON GARDENING IN THE NORTH.

ON MONDAY I GOT AN ACCEPTANCE LETTER BUT THE ONLY THING WAS THAT THE COURSE STARTS ON SUNDAY!

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I DON’T DRIVE/ HAVE A LICENSE SO I TRAVELLED NORTH FOR CLOSE TO 5 HOURS VIA TRAIN-TRAIN-BUS.

I STAYED AT A HOSTEL ON SATURDAY NIGHT AND THEN TRAVELLED TO THE VILLAGE ON SUNDAY MORNING.

THE COURSE INTRODUCTION WAS MOSTLY SPENT DISCUSSING OUR INTERESTS IN GARDENING AND WHAT

WE WANT TO GAIN FROM THE COURSE, LOGISTICS SUCH AS HOW TO USE THE SCHOOL PROGRAMS

AS WELL AS A FANTASTIC LUNCH FOLLOWED BY A WORKSHOP. IT IS VERY INTERESTING BECAUSE WE ALL

COME FROM DIFFERENT GROWING ZONES, TYPES OF GARDEN AREAS, SOIL TYPES AMONGST OTHER THINGS.

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WE MADE A BASIC PLANTING SOIL AND SPOKE BRIEFLY ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF GROWING POTS

AND PLANTING SEEDS. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE DESPITE BEING QUITE UNWELL.

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JAG ÅKTE TILL SKATTUNGBYN UTANFÖR MORA, DALARNA. JAG BLEV ANMÄLD TILL EN KURS HOS

MORA FOLKHÖGSKOLA ‘TRÄDGÅRD I NORR’ OCH SPENDERAT SÖNDAG MED DE ANDRA DELTAGARNA.

KURSEN ÄR DISTANS MEN VI HADE EN NÄRTRÄFF FÖR ATT MÖTA VARANDRA OCH FÖR ATT FÅ VETA

MER OM KURSEN. DET VAR SUPER KUL ATT MÖTA ANDRA SOM HAR EN LIKADANA INTRESSE

I EKOLOGISK ODLING. DET LÅTER JÄTTE BRA OCH JAG HOPPAS LÄRA MYCKET I KURSEN.

 

The exciting beginning of things to come

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Beautiful mixture of seeds from Runåbergs – a Swedish seed company who I thoroughly support. 

 

 

This year we have decided to try make our own potting mix as the most easily available one
is not all that good and contains peat. Despite the distance coconut coir travels, it is a 
much more sustainable resource than peat and we are very excited to try it as a growing medium. 
Bat guano will be used as a nutrient source as well as trying some mycorrhizal fungi that I actually 
first heard about via a TED talk on phosphorous depletion. 
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The above perlite and worm poop is a purchase from ebay, and will be included in our potting soil.