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25th July

That’s the courgettes in full production now, last weeks warm temperatures really brought them on.

Usually after we take the fleece of and do the first harvesting, it then takes a couple of weeks before they are in full production.

But usually we don’t get a week of temperatures nearing 30 degrees, last week was a bit hot, watering the tunnels was a constant job.

Last week I was on about the new camera guided weeding machine, and the bed weeder having to be working again.

Well it has proved to be a really good buy, yes, we are still having to bed weed, until hopefully I get better at operating it.

But last week we had all the field bed weeded, usually it takes us until mid-August at the earliest before we are done.

The new machine is getting much closer to the plants, and the fingers that spin round are taking out a lot of weeds, this is all making the job of bed weeding much easier.

We will now go over any crops that are getting weedy again with the bed weeder, just to keep them as weed free as we can.

I will still be using the new camera guided weeder weekly, so we can really keep on top of the weeds.

Last week I was on about the peat free compost being absolutely useless for bringing on brassicas and leek, and that they are running out of feeding around the four-week mark, and feeding seaweed is no help, this year’s plants were terrible, we lost half the brassicas and around ten thousand late leeks

So I have been doing trials before we get into next year.

I filled twenty trays with the now peat free compost and sowed cabbage seed in them.

For four weeks I gave them a weekly seaweed feed as per usual.

Week five and six I gave half the trays an extra feed of Ammonium Sulphate this has 21 % nitrogen in it.

The ten trays with only seaweed feed are now going back and looking very poor, the ten trays with the extra feed look amazing and are double the size and almost ready for planting just like when we used peat.

We won’t be planting them one reason its to late in the season to be planting them there isn’t enough time for them to grow, and second, they have had a non-organic spray.

But the trial 100% proved the no peat compost doesn’t have enough goodness in it, for hungry Leek and brassicas seeds,

Next week I will be doing another trial with thirty trays.

Ten trays compost and seaweed feed, ten trays compost seaweed and ammonium sulphate feed,

And the last ten trays with the trial sheep wool, bracken and comfrey organic compost no feeding is recommended.

Hopefully the sheep wool, bracken and comfrey compost will win this trial, if it doesn’t, we are in trouble, soil association doesn’t have any answers on different feeding and we are not allowed to use peat.

It will take four weeks at least before I will see what is the best, but I will keep you all up to date.

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