Hints & Tips
The sun has been shining, the snow has been snowing, the wind is blowing, the grass is growing. So far so British springtime. But don’t forget, whatever you are looking out outside, you need to start thinking about the coming growing season.
Dick’s blog yesterday quite rightly extolled the virtues of the very fine Oleo-Mac MH175RK Front-Tine Tiller with Reverse Drive. A very fine machine with top-grade features at a very reasonable price, this cultivator could revolutionise and speed up your soil preparation. It’s worth taking a look at and, just to help, here’s what some of our customers have been saying about it…
‘Fantastic machine’, ‘easy to start…great value for the money‘, ‘I am very impressed.’, ‘Great machine…very easy to use’, ‘produced a fine tilth…highly recommended machine’, ‘Quality Product…well built…starts the first time…’ ‘robust…value for money’.
So clearly a pretty good choice for plot and bed cultivation, especially at the price tag of £399.00 (a saving of £200).
But what are you going to cultivate? Are you a flower person, wanting to turn your garden into a local equivalent of Kew Gardens? Do you have a lawn that you feel is a waste of time and wish to cultivate it? Are you an allotmenteer with a classic patchwork shed and a desire to grow even more broad beans and courgettes? Whatever your purpose, the Oleo-Mac would be a good bet.
But I wonder if, like many people, you have your eyes on the cost of cabbages, peas and raspberries and are thinking of starting a vegetable patch from scratch? Perhaps like so many others, you are on the classic 100-year waiting list for an allotment and you don’t want to wait any longer to grow your own greens. Or perhaps you just fancy eating produce that has no added sugar or salt, or chemicals and isn’t perfect but that you grew with your own toil and sweat.
Take it from me. If that’s what you want, despite the hard work, the blisters, the cold, the soil permanently under your nails or the gradual erosion of your wardrobe so you end up spending every day dressed like a scarecrow; despite all that, pulling up your own potatoes out of the soil and popping them on a plate less than an hour later is something very special.
If you are turning a flower patch into a vegetable patch, you will need to get rid of any heavy-duty roots (roses and so one) weed it thoroughly, take out any bulbs and re-plant them elsewhere (unless you are just disposing of them) and turn the soil over as per usual.
Well, first you need a patch of ground you want to cultivate. Whether in your garden or on the local plot you will need to prepare this so here are a couple of tips to get you going.
Location is very important. No self-respecting vegetable wants to be brought up in shadow, They are like optimistic British sunseekers, flocking to the nearest poolside hoping to get to the towels and sun loungers before the Germans so they can get roughly the colour of beetroot. They need sunshine, as much as possible in this climate of ours, and they also need water. So, if you have a choice, don’t be locating your vegetable patch in the shadow of the house, a big tree or the shed.
Find a good open spot where your crops will get the best of the sun and the rain that they can. And I know that some crops need shelter from strong winds and so on; but try to use hedges or fences or smaller shrubs or other things as windbreaks to offer shelter, anything casting big shadows over the ground for long periods will keep down the growth of your veg
Get rid of any long grass with a line trimmer or brush cutter and then you will be ready to create your bed.
Get rid of any perennial weeds including brambles, dandelions, nettles, couch grass, bindweed. These weeds can be very tough and your line trimmer may not be
able to cope with all of them. You may need to use a good brushcutter with a metal blade for some of this work.
Another way is to cover the ground with weighed down sheets of plastic or old carpet or rugs. This will kill the grass and weeds then you can dig out the roots and clear the ground. The amazing CEuk Root Assassin Shovel 48” is a great tool for this and for cutting the turf and even lifting it. Once cut and lifted, stack it to use as compost then turn over the soil, underneath.
Even if you don’t have a major weed issue, after removing the turf, a good deep weeding session or two will probably be needed. Please remember, every weed you get rid of means more water, space and nutrition for your chosen goodies.
Oh, and don’t forget to cover your patch in early spring to discourage weeds from returning and to keep the soil warm.
If you look at these pages, there is even more information on how to start a vegetable garden from scratch and some other tips on cultivation and on these pages you will find information on tillers, cultivators and rotavators.
if you need any further information on any of our ranges of cultivating machinery, or anything else, please visit our product pages, or give us a call on 0345 4588 905 (9am-5pm Mon-Fri & 10am-4pm Sat) and one of our team of friendly, knowledgeable product advisors will be very happy to help you.
‘Excellent advice and service. Needed advice on scarifying lawn – given expert advice – bought product late afternoon, delivered next morning – stunning service!’ C. RENN. (TRUSTPILOT)
Enjoy your garden. Drew Hardy
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