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This section will feature one way of planting tomatoes. The steps are as follows:
You seed them in pots at home or in a green house. When they have their second
set of leaves, you transplant them into a larger pot. This step can be repeated as
often as necessary until they can be planted in their final place.
You can use milk cartons or liter bottles if they get really long. You just remove
all leaves except the very top ones and more roots will be formed along the stem
that is under the soil.
Now, when it is time to plant them in their final place (the ground) you make a
shallow trench with a deeper place at one end. This is where the main root ball
will go. Lay the plant on its side and cover it completely except for the very top
leaves. Prop these up and place a plastic cup or an empty flower pot over the
root ball and partially submerged in the soil.
You give water in the cup to the deep roots and along the underground stem. I
have read that the deep roots take-up water and the roots nearer the surface
take up nutrition.
The reason for planting the plants in this way is that the tom's roots like warmth
and when planted this way, they get extra. By laying the plants on their sides the
covered stem roots are closer to the surface. When plant gets this extra warmth
it will grow faster than plants that have their roots planted deeper in the still cold
soil. This is helpful, as here in the north we have a shorter growing season.
Leave the tom facing the sun
for a couple of days to get a
"bend", making it easier to
The "bend" makes the foilage naturally
curl upwards putting less stress on the
tender stem tip.
When you transplant
tomatoes, remove all leaves
except the very top ones.
When transplanting tomatoes,
always plant them deeper
than they were. Only the top
leaves should be sticking-out
above the soil.
When you are transplanting the toms out, lay
them on their sides in the little furrow that you
have made so that it will form roots all along the
This is the way the planted toms should look with their watering cups. Don't
forget to water over the horizontal stems underground. You can mark them
with sticks for so you won't forget...see the pic on the right. We have used
The toms are planted amongst the butterleaf lettuces, maximising the space
available. The lettuces will be picked in a couple of weeks and then the
toms will have all the nutrition for themselves.
We make little newspaper planter pots
for seeding with this wooden
I just fill it with my compost, insert
the bean and cover that with a fine
There are all kinds of ways that one can seed and plant their beans, I will
show just one of them here below.
We begin by making paper seeding "cups" out of newspaper with a special
little paper roller that we found in Britain. These will be filled with garden
soil, the seeds will be planted in this and then covered with a fine compost.
You water them once then place them together in a container in the green
house to germinate.
They should be up within a week. Wait a few days to to give the roots time
to form a decent clump, then plant them in the place where they will
We select a place where the beans will come the year before the planting
Once a place has been selected, it is a good idea to make a trench, fill it
with compost or weed cuttings (earlier in the year), and work it through
with regular ground.
Use a tulip planter to make the holes (it should be like a hot knife cutting
through soft butter if the soil texture is correct), fill the holes with water
then lower the plantlets in and cover. When you have finished planting the
row, water it once again...then let Mother Nature do her thing and do
YOUR thing: defrost and clean the freezer.
Ready to plant
Runner beans with a nice root
clump in the newspaper seeding
The trench mixed and raked...
Lower the root clump into the hole
that has been filled with water.
The beans planted
and watered- in, it
is a question of
time and weather
before they begin
Just water liberally
and cover, placing a
the root ball.
Don't forget our rule of thumb: the frost threat is not past until
after the IJsheiligen (11 May - 14 May).
Even then you should be aware of weather changes for a couple
of weeks more.
The cultivation of asparagus on our complex is not widespread, but there are a
few folks that are making the effort.
I visited Gerard Schepers, Lottie 262 and he explained how he does asparagus.
The process of growing asparagus is a long and sometimes tedious job. Having
said that, the hardest work is in the beginning stages with the ground
preparation and development of the mound; after that, it is a relatively simple
matter of maintenance. Perhaps the best aspect of all is that once the bed had
been made, it can be used for 10 - 12 years.
When it comes to harvesting…well who's going to complain about that! One
must only be careful when removing the stalks.
The procedure that is described here is one that you follow every year until the
bed has finished producing.
The first thing to do is to decide if you want green or white asparagus.
Next decide if you want to buy seeds to plant (which will cost you an extra year
before the first harvest) or buy klauwen (root clumps). Gerard chose for the
You choose a sunny location with sandyish soil if at all possible.(1) In March,
dig a trench about 30-40 cm deep (± the depth of a spade). The length depends
upon how many plants you want to have.
(2) When the trench is dug, make a small "ridge" in the middle on the bottom of
the trench. You then place the klauwen(roots) flat on top of this ridge, with
the roots spread-out like a spider and space them four per meter. Fill half the
trench with the sandy soil that you dug out to make the trench. The plantlet
roots (klauwen) are to be covered completely…and then just wait.
Let the plants grow until October, at which time; you clip the plants off just
above soil level (3). Add a little sandy soil as necessary. When March rolls around
again, mound-up your plants (4) before the asparagus grows out of the soil. Just
wait until about early May.
The time from first planting to the first harvest is fourteen months.
You know it's time to begin harvesting when you see the points
breaking-through the soil on top of the mound.
The first year you harvest you can only harvest for about two weeks, then you
must stop in order not to "wear-out" the plants. Harvesting in the following years
can extend to ± 21 June before terminating the harvest.
Gerard harvests about eight asparaguses from his bed per day; however, he says
that when things are really going well, it is better and in fact necessary to
harvest TWICE a day.
In early May you will see small, thick, white points protruding through the
top of your mound (5). It's time to harvest!
Begin removing the soil around the asparagus point with your index fingers.
To work deeper, use your index and middle fingers forked-apart (6).
Carefully remove more and more soil until you have reached the depth that
you want (7). You can then cut it with your special tool (8). You may
notice other points working their way upwards; just leave these, as they
will be ready the following day or perhaps the day after (9).
When you have removed the stalk, refill the hole so that the other
upcoming stalks won't become discoloured.
Sometimes you see that the stalks are a bit reddish-coloured or "blue" as
they call them here, and this means that they have had some light exposure.
You can't sell these to a restaurant, he says, but the flavour is not affected,
When they have been removed from the bed place them in a bucket of water for
one or two days, then wrap them in a moist cloth and place them in the fridge
until you have enough for a meal (10 & 11).
YOU CAN DO IT THIS WAY TOO
There are a couple of other allotmenteers that are cultivating "green" asparagus.
Here we see a pair of fotos from two different plots.
They say that good tools are
half the work. This is the a
specialized tool that is used to
cut the asparagus stalks below
Asparagus cultivated above ground has a slightly different taste.
This shows a proper mound, but it
was taken at harvest time.
Runners coming up
Contents of this page:
Tomatoes,Runner Beans, Asparagus
This plastic covering has a white and a
black side. White for sunny and warm
weather, black for cloudy and cool
SEPTEMBER Well, harvesting is drawing to a close for
many things, but not all by a long shot. Some folks' freezers and larders are
completely full already but there's more to come. You may think that planting
and sowing has finished for the year, but that isn't true…there are plenty of
things to sow, plant and harvest still and I shall mention a few below.
Freezing-in isn't the only thing that's being done to preserve fruits and
veggies from our gardens, some are making jellies, jams and sauce with their
fruits. Allotmenteers are also drying herbs and grinding them up in some
cases for use later. Hot and sweet peppers are being processed and put away
for later use as well.
Let's take a look at what can be done this month:
Perpetual Spinach - The last sowing for winter harvesting should be in late
September. Lettuce - in short rows. Witloof/Chicory - And you can begin
harvesting from off November. Endive - can be harvested from October.
Spring Cabbages - Take the little pots that you've seeded them in and plant
them out. Like all plants in this family, be sure that you firm the soil quite
well around them. The soil may also be a little above the previous soil line on
their little stalks. All these measures are suggested to improve the plant's
chances in combating clubroot.
Runner beans and French beans are still producing on my plot so continue to
harvest those. Beetroot, carrots, courgettes, cucumbers , kohl rabi, lettuces,
sweet corn, toms and turnips are ready as well as the leeks, pumpkins and
celery. Butternut squash will be ready this month as well. If you didn't finish
harvesting your main crop of potatoes in August then you'll need to get the
rest out in September.
Apples, plums and blackberries are dominating the fruit category this month.
Our Reina Victoria doesn't have another plum on its branches, but I have seen
plenty of trees that still do and these plums are still for sale along the country
roads in this area of West-Friesland.
Pruning is something that needs to be done to your Reina Victoria plum trees
now when the picking is over. Pruning and tying-up of the blackberry bushes
can be done after fruiting towards the end of the month. Summer raspberries
can be pruned as well.
Finish planting your summer-fruiting strawbs if you still have a few to do.
© Sjoerd 2006-2015