The best manure

... is the farmer’s boot, i.e. there is nothing more important in veg growing than to walk your crops on a daily basis. This piece of farming wisdom was passed on to me by a grower friend who, in turn, no doubt heard it from someone else.  Farming is filled with these pieces of folklore, many of which seem to be salutary in nature and to be ignored at your peril. It is clearly important to walk your crops to check their health and see what wildlife has decided to eat them prematurely but I find this and other ‘sayings’ very useful reminders. They occupy my daily thoughts. A couple of mice destroyed 32 young tomato plants the other night. Luckily we spotted the severed plants and were able to deter them. Had we not done so, the destruction might have continued; losing 5% of our crop potential each night! While I’m on pests, you might have noticed the prevalence of slugs this cool spring. After a year of not seeing a slug we have been caught out a few times already. Painfully being reminded of the influence of a very wet winter. Keep a watchful eye. Thank you, Richard and Remke

Date Published: 
Friday, 27 May, 2016