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Growing Questions & Answers June 2019

Another batch of reader questions answered in this article: Controlling Weeds, Green Manures, Feeding Parsnips with Comfrey Tea, Garlic Rust & Leeks and is it Too Late for Onions? after a reader loses his crop to disease.

Controlling Weeds

Field of Weeds

How to Control Weeds

Hi John
As a new subscriber, I’m really enjoying your newsletter etc. Are you able to do an article on the types of common weeds found on an allotment and suggestions how to get rid of them. Just a thought.
Vanessa Eden

I’m a bit ahead of you there – there’s an article on controlling common weeds on the site already.

Digging Red Clover Green Manure

Digging Red Clover Green Manure

Green Manures

Hello John
You mention in your recent e-mail growing mustard as green manure, could you please let me have further information on this and where to buy the seed.
Ann Petch

There’s an article on green manures including mustard that should help here: Green Manures

Seeds are available from many suppliers on the internet.

Feeding Parsnips with Comfrey Tea

Hi John, I have prepared a parsnip bed and have plants ready to go in. I have been using Comfrey on other plants on my allotment with great success, can I use the Comfrey tea on the parsnips without causing root division.

Thank you.
Allan Bevan.

I’m a bit surprised you’re planting out parsnips now – quite late for them to be going out. Also, in my experience, any root disturbance inevitably results in forked, misshapen roots.

However, to answer your question regarding comfrey tea, as best I can.

Parsnips seem more prone to root forking problems than carrots. Given the opportunity, they’ll chase after rich spots in the soil – which is why you should never manure before parsnips.

If the comfrey tea is evenly watered on and soaks equally into the soil, then you may well get away with it. Personally, I would be wary of risking it though. Still, I’ve never done it and could be wrong. Perhaps try it on half the bed and see what happens?

See also:

Comfrey – 7 Articles and Downloadable Leaflet

How to Grow Parsnips

Garlic Rust & Leeks

Hi John
My garlic had rust. Can I plant my leeks there now?
Fiona Stokes

Hi Fiona
I wouldn’t grow in the same spot if you can avoid it. Garlic and leeks are both members of the onion family and can both suffer with rust.

Too Late for Onions?

Thanks for your news letter, my problem this year, all of my onion have diseases. Is it too late to replant onions? and what variety to plant at this time of year.
Thank you.
Trevor McPherson.

I’m afraid it’s far too late to plant onions now. They’re sensitive to day length and we’re nearly at the longest day. In August you can plant over-wintering or Japanese onions to get an early crop next year.

Please Note:

Comments on the above topics are welcome but please don’t post unrelated questions via the comment box. If you have a question, please send it to me via email. Try to include as much information as you can such as: your location, type of soil etc. Photographs are always helpful.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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