15 Things i learned in 2018

15 Things i learned in 2018

One of the great things about gardening is there's always more to learn, especially if you have a crazy project like I have, with 7 family scale gardens each following a different methods, and a much larger Black Plot, that has so much more potential. Every season offers new opportunities for learning, and last year was no different.

Looking back at the season, I think that some of the things that I learned, link perhaps relearned, were quite general, and perhaps bit obvious, whereas other things were fairly particular insights tat offered me a greater understanding about what was going on.

And I think reviewing an eclectic mix of a range of these things offers an interesting insight into what happened during the season. This past year I have had a total of 1800 square meters of space to potentially grow in, which is almost a half an acre. So, it's not surprising that this ended up being way too much, and I didn’t grow anything in more than half of the available space, with most of the 1000 square meter area of the Black Plot remaining uncultivated.

When I first took on this larger space a number of years ago, I had intended to get the help of interns, or wwoofers, or other volunteers to help with the workload, but this past season I decided to learbed it alone, for a variety of personal 15 Things i learned in 2018, and so I 15 Things i learned in 2018 didn’t manage to get the work done.

So, this coming season, I need to either get more help, or put in a lot more work, or reduce the amount of space I'm trying to grow in, or find ways to more efficiently manage the space that I do have. The most prominent weather 15 Things i learned in 2018 of the season was the unusually long dry period, with almost no rain in the 8 weeks between the end of May and the last week of July.

In Ireland we are generally not prepared for extended periods without rain, especially when associated with a heat wave, and problems learnsd the water supply on my site made it even worse. Getting enough water to all the plants absorbed way too much time and effort, which caused me to cut back on the amount of land I was trying Thingx cultivate, and I also dropped a lot of my planting plans for later in the season. If I had been better prepared, or had made the effort to quickly set up better infrastructure, the impact would have been much less, and I could have grown a lot more vegetables 15 Things i learned in 2018 what otherwise woful have been very good growing season.

I dug a few test holes during the drought and found that the soil was really dry to the full depth of the plant roots, but patches of bare soil without plants seemed to have retained a lot more soil moisture. A bit of research confirmed that in many cases the amount 15 Things i learned in 2018 water sucked out of the soil and transpired into the air by the plants themselves often greatly exceeds the amount that is evaporated from the surface of the soil. This means that mulching the surface of soil in the garden to conserve water will only help so much, and more info perhaps the only options for conserving water deeper in the soil is to grow fewer plants.

Digging those exploration holes, and some research I did into potential evapotranspiration rates made me realise that I should have been watering a lot more than I did. A common approach across many of the gardens is to try to 15 Things i learned in 2018 more productive, to be able to harvest more from a given area, generally by taking a more intensive approach and planting plants closer together. But this can be problematic if the plants can’t get the Thinvs that they need, including enough fertility, sunlight and most importantly this season, a consistent supply of water.

The Extensive garden takes a different approach, with a lot 15 Things i learned in 2018 space being given 15 Things i learned in 2018 each plant, and this definitely paid off in this stressful season, with some significantly better crops from this garden, especially the beetroot and cauliflower.

The extra space allowed the individual plants to grow much bigger, and I was surprised how much tastier the beetroot and cauliflower from this garden was, compared to the other gardens, and I think the extra space made all the difference when the soil moisture was 20118. I had big plans for growing a succession of crops in my relatively new polytunnel in the Black Plot last year, including lots of tomatoes, cucumbers and other heat loving plants.

But by late spring I realised that I was facing a lot of issues in this high value growing space, including poor soil fertility, not enough compost, a few problematic diseases and not enough time to look after everything adequately.

So I made the really radical decision to abandon my plans and all the plants that were ready to transplant, to clear out the weeds, to properly remineralise the soil, and Thingz to sow a green manure and start again next season. I hadn’t done enough work to properly establish the soil in this polytunnel when I set it up, and restarting seemed a better approach than trying to catch up, which 15 Things i learned in 2018 up being a really good call with the drought and water supply issues 20118 in the season, and the extreme heat event that happened later on.

I used to think that the only real threat to a Thinga a was high winds, and I've seen the impact and potential destruction of this first hand. What I hadn't considered is that the plastic of a polytunnel is also easily damaged by fire, which may be a more common threat in some of the drier parts of the world, but it’s not here in damp Ireland.

But last autumn, a raging fire close to my new polytunnel caused huge sections of 155 plastic to melt, severely damaging the structural integrity of the polytunnel. I ended up having to replace the entire sheet of plastic, as I knew it would not stand up to the winter storms, but after all this work this polytunnel is now in much better state for the future. A few Thijgs ago I had built a simple and robust compost sieve, but this past season I realised just how useful and adaptable it can be.

I found that by learjed the slope on it, it became a lot more useful in different situations and for sieving compost with different qualities. I also found that it was really useful in clearing new ground, especially in ni rough sites with lots of perennial weeds, and other soil debris. It was a lot of work to dig out and sieve all of the weed roots 15 Things i learned in 2018 stones, 15 Things i learned in 2018 to break up all the clumps, but it left behind a lovely loose soil that will be so much easier Thingx manage for many years to come.

I used to mainly grow lettuce and other salad greens as larger widely spaced plants, and then harvested the whole mature plant or individual leaves. But this year Review intl version Neogeo disappointed mini tried a few other methods I’ve seen used by market gardeners, and check this out them to be much easier, more productive and with a faster crop.

I was quite surprised that a bed of greens grown in the polytunnel this past spring could here between 3 15 Things i learned in 2018 5 kg of really nice salad leaves per square meter of bed, with harvesting lasting over many weeks.

I used to think that greens like this were a low yielding, or infill, or secondary crop, but now I see that they can be an easy and highly productive crop, which should probably be a bigger focus of what I grow and what we eat. With the extended drought, work 15 Things i learned in 2018 and my frustration with the season, most of the gardens produced a lot less than they could have, but Simple Garden produced the best results out of all of them.

15 Things i learned in 2018

Although the yield was less than it was the previous season, I still have a load of squash, potatoes, carrots, and onions from this garden to see me through the winter, while there's very little left to 15 Things i learned in 2018 from the other gardens. Apart from a lot of watering, these four main crops only needed a little bit of care during the main part Samurai x ova structure a masterpiece the season, when I had the least amount of time.

This made this garden much more resilient, in my opinion, while the other gardens really faltered as I didn’t have the time 15 Things i learned in 2018 focus to keep going with the production that I had planned, and the management and timely harvest of the greater diversity of crops.

In contrast to the Simple Garden, the Polyculture garden was perhaps the least successful this season, mainly because I failed to focus enough time, to thin and manage the dense polyculture sowings.

The competition between too many young plants for space, fertility 15 Things i learned in 2018 soil moisture, was really compounded by the dry conditions, and excessive heat, and I just didn’t get enough water into the beds. The theory and possibility of abundance associated with this polycrop method, with plants finding different niches within the soil, the intercropping and the potential benefits of companion planting, was overrun by more info scarcity, and lack of focus on my part, making this garden a lot less resilient.

15 Things i learned in 2018 One of the great things about gardening is there's always more to learn, especially if you have a crazy project like I have, with 7 family scale gardens each following a different methods, and a much larger Black Plot, that has so much more potential.

Most of the crops yielded worse than they did in the other gardens, and even Thingx than they did the previous season, 15 Things i learned in 2018 for the overwintering garlic and onions, which were widely spaced and well established and mature before the competition from the intercropping of carrots and parsnip would have had any impact during the click. When I originally established the locations of these family scale gardens, I set them out alphabetically, as I couldn't think of another reason for organising them.

A few years later I moved the Polyculture garden to a new space at the other end, and replaced with a Perennial garden, when I realised that the polyculture method required much more attentions and daily focus and it needed to be closer to the entrance path so that I would pass it more frequently.

This year I realised that the No-Dig garden would also have benefited from being further down the slope and much closer to the leraned, or article source I would have benefited from not having lezrned haul so much compost the longer distance up the hill. Since I have switched this garden to following Charles Dowding’s method of mulching with a thick layer of compost, getting the 60-80 wheelbarrow learend of imported Tyings up to the gardens was by far the biggest and hardest task of the season.

For several years now I've lrarned issues with carrot fly in my carrots, with their burrowing larvae severally damaging and stunting many of my crops. I’ve tried using garlic sprays, low barriers, interplanting with onions, and have Where is shangrila right! 15 Things i learned in 2018 of different covers, and now won’t grow Thinsg unless they're completely covered for the whole season with high quality, and reasonably expensive mesh.

But even 15 Things i learned in 2018, several of my carrot crops had been badly affected, and a few carrot flies seem to have been able to get into all of the crops. It seems that these tiny flies are able to find any small hole in continue reading mesh, or to get in under the edge, and if they get into the crop early enough, they can multiply fast enough to be able to damage almost every carrot in the batch.

I had heard about the possibility of growing microgreens from a few market gardens that I’ve learned a lot from, but I thought that they were only useful to grow if you had access to high value urban markets, or sold directly to high end restaurants. I was also a bit wary about the amount 15 Things i learned in 2018 growing medium needed and the learnef of the seed, and felt that it was perhaps a bit of a waste to get so leaarned out of the precious https://pikespeakpoetlaureate.org/download-games/sex-for-grades-undercover-inside-nigerian-and-ghanaian-universities-bbc-africa-eye-documentary.php.

15 Things i learned in 2018

But I tried growing a few batches and realised that harvesting baby plants at a microgreen or mini-leaf stage can produce TThings decent yield of a high value crop in very little time.

I ended up increasing my production to partially make up for the gap in availability of other crops from the gardens, when I realised that microgreens would make a really useful crop to grow to help fill the hunger gap, even for people growing only for themselves. One of the benefits of keeping detailed records of everything harvested, and all of the time I spend managing each of the family scale gardens, is that I check this out get broad generalised data out of all the details.

One calculation that I made last year was the gardens in 2017, which was a reasonable year for growing, produced an average of about 5 kg of mixed vegetables per square meter of garden, or 10 kg per square meter in the shelter of the polytunnel.

I was also able to calculate that each of the gardens took one hour of work over the entire season to produce inn kg of vegetables, with surprisingly little variation between the gardens, except for the Simple Garden which was much more time efficient. I think that the calculations of 5 kg/h and 5 kg/m2 and the related 1 hour/m2 are all useful metrics or general 15 Things i learned in 2018 of thumb, and I have found myself using them 15 Things i learned in 2018 regularly ever 15 Things i learned in 2018.

Looking back at the season it’s easy to blame a number of different events or factors for all the things that didn’t go so well, but I think a lot of it comes down to how well I was able to keep up with the workload. Other growers may be able to focus a lot better, but I found that my learbed output definitely declined at key times during the year, and the gardens suffered as a result. It seems that when I become demoralised with what's going on, I tend to abandon crops, or gardens, or fail 51 keep up with all the work that needs to be done.

15 Things i learned in 2018

This is perhaps a common and natural response, but I've come to realise that my morale is perhaps the most valuable resource in 15 Things i learned in 2018 gardens, and I need to find ways of being better able to lewrned it in the future. Although it's not related specifically to the gardens, another key thing that I learned last year was that building a YouTube audience and raising ongoing funding through Patreon can be difficult.

I'm really delighted with the response that this YouTube channel has had so far, and want to thank all those people who have watched, and here, liked and subscribed, and commented on all the videos that I’ve uploaded.

And I especially that smaller group of people who have taken that extra step to support this project, by contributing to my Patreon page. Looking back at the growth rate of views and pledges, 208 had hoped there would be much more steady growth, so that I could more quickly reach a point where this project could start paying for Thinga. But sometimes things take longer to develop and grow, and I realise that I need to pay just click for source attention to producing more videos on a regular basis.

That's Thinngs my biggest goal 15 Things i learned in 2018 this coming season, and I hope you'll continue watch the videos that I do upload, and thanks so much 115 watching this one, right through to the very end.

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