Vegetable Lessons
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So, this is what I've learnt since 2006 with regard to vegetable growing at Longfield.

Apple trees - do I need to spray them since glue bands and apple moth traps did not solve all of the problems?

Aubergines aren't really worth growing.  They produce very little per plant, even when successful, and I don't think they're very special to eat either.

Gherkins need a proper climbing frame support.

Globe artichokes are related to the thistle and if allowed to flower their blossoms can measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a violet-blue colour. Globe artichokes contain an inedible core called the choke, which must be removed before the heart of the artichoke may be enjoyed.
In 2008 I grew five from seed for the first time.  The seedlings seemed very healthy but when I planted them out in early June they did not grow and just slowly deteriorated.  Where did I go wrong?

Grow cape gooseberry plants in small 5 or 6 inch pots to get smaller plants with more fruit and less foliage.
In 2008. I put four plants together per larger pot surrounded by growing supports, one in the greenhouse, two in the potting shed and one outside of the stables to see if this was more successful than individual plants.


Need a much better support system for cordon tomatoes.  Next year construct canes to the roof (preferably strong plastic or metal) with wire across.

Don't pack in so much into such a small space.

Parsnips are very hard to germinate and grow.  I tried both indoor and outdoor germination.  It's cheaper to buy them from the supermarket.

Pepper plants need a better support system in the potting shed. Need to string some wire across for them to lean against.

The cherry plum tree needs protection from aphid attack next season.

Grow cherry tomatoes in pots, not in the greenhouse.

Brussel sprouts need protection from whitefly & caterpillars and cane supports.

Sweetcorn seed must germinate rapidly or it will rot. For best germination, soak seeds in clean water overnight before sowing in warm soil (65 degrees).
In 2008, I planted out my very healthy sweetcorn seedlings on 11 May.  All but one of the plants in the tunnel rotted as we had so much rain, the minipop in the veg garden faired better.  New seeds sown on 5 June failed and even the replacement plants purchased for the tunnel and planted out on 24 June struggled. 

Grublike gray to brown corn earworms feed on sweetcorn silks and kernels. They are larvae of moths that lay eggs in the tips of immature ears. To limit damage, use a squirt bottle to place five to six drops of vegetable oil in the tip of each new ear. For nearly worm-free harvests, add Bacillus thuringiensis (also known as Bt) organic insecticide to the oil. If earworms are minimal, simply break off the blemished tips as you shuck. Varieties with tight husk tips (such as ĎArgentí) often show only modest earworm damage.