Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Onion Conundrums!

This Eelworm problem really has exercised the ol’ grey matter for the last few days – the problem in essence is that although the Eelworm will naturally die off if you don’t grow the onion family (or a host of related plants), it will take a couple of years, & in that time you are only ‘safe’ in growing brassicas & lettuce.

I’ve taken advice from the good folks on the Grapevine, & have done a bit of research, & we appear to have a number of options:

Sterilise soil – similar to what they did in Vietnam.
Pros: will definitely cure Eelworm infestation
Cons: will also 'cure' all the ‘goodies’ - hardly a ‘green’ option; most chemicals which will do the job have been banned

Organic cure – sow a variety of marigold (tagetes minuta) which discourages Eelworm
Pros: can sow around existing planting plan; ‘green’ solution
Cons: will only ‘discourage’ not ‘cure’; plants are a bit big and not too pretty

Hard work cure – building raised beds, line with cardboard, import ‘clean’ soil
Pros: can grow onions and related in the raised beds, and brassicas & lettuce in the rest; this will look very good – we aspire to raised beds
Cons: expensive; lots of effort

Conscientious cure - only grow brassicas and lettuce in the plot for two years
Pros: this will get rid of the eelworm, & in an organic way
Cons: there are only so many cabbages you can eat

Lazy cure – just carry on & hope that this is just a bad year for Eelworm
Pros: It might be better next year; can minimise problem by sowing autumn onions & spring onions can be grown in pots at home
Cons: It might be worse next year

So those are the choices – having been to the Hill tonight with a view to taking a photo of the afflicted onions, they didn’t actually look too bad, & if the only real down side of having the Eelworm is that the onions don’t keep……well, I don’t know. We don’t have to decide anything just yet, & I’d still like to talk to Reg-next-plot – there is every possibility that I’m making a bit of a fuss about nothing very much!

I though about all of this as I picked my tea – POTATO (rocket), TURNIP (snowball) & BROAD BEANS (aguadulce) along with some LETTUCE (mixed), RADISH (cherrybelle) & BEETROOT (woden f1) leaves which I’ll have in a salad tomorrow. I also couldn’t resist pulling up the first GARLIC plant – rather a small bulb, & without peeling it, I don’t know if it has split into cloves properly – but it looks fantastc - cheered me up no end!

1 comment:

  1. Eelworm or no eelworm, that basket of goodies looks fantastic.

    Well done you.


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