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Successes and failures in the veggie growing


As we come towards the end of the growing year I felt it would be good to look back on the successes and failures of our veggie growing.

Part way through the growing year we had to face the fact that having the control bed in a neighbour’s garden in full sun and the moon bed in our garden in partial shade did not make for a fair trial of whether growing by the moon really improved yields and flavour. We will be running a better organised trial next year in our new veggie garden (more to come on this when David has taken some more photos).

However, we still worked the moon bed only on the correct days whilst the control bed was worked as and when with no reference to the moon calendar. So what were the results:

Root crops: aside from the carrots which were attacked by the dreaded root fly, our root crops did extremely well. Large well formed onions which are keeping well and extremely large parsnips which we are just starting to harvest, now we have had a frost.

These are some of the ‘better’ looking remaining carrots, edible but only just! We did have a lot of good early carrots though so it isn’t all bad news.

The onions from the moon bed were slightly larger than those in the control bed BUT a patch that were sown late in a very poor area of ground, which was neither part of the moon or the control bed, grew even bigger!

I had thought I’d photographed these when they were lifted – can’t find the photo so this is just a selection not from any particular area of growing.

Having only just started to harvest the parsnips it is a little difficult to say which are going to be bigger – the two from the moon bed were both woppers! We have scraped away a little of the soil from around a couple of parsnips in the control bed and they seem to be of a similar size. Celeriac is still growing in the control bed, we did not have room for in the moon bed, this is the first year we have tried this and it is looking promising.

Leaf crops, these did better in the control bed than they did in the moon bed, in part this could be because the control bed was in full sun so the ground warmed up earlier and the seeds got going more quickly. Cabbages of all varieties grew well and we are still harvesting these as needed. These savoy cabbages may look a little tatty but they taste wonderful…

These smaller cabbages will heart up for a month or so yet.

The leeks were a total disaster – still not much thicker than my index finger even now

Though as you can see the parsnip tops are good and healthy and can be used in soups and casseroles.

Salad green type crops all did well, it would be a braver person than me who said that either crop was better :)

Spinach beet did extremely well and we still have a few plants growing the plan next year is to try swiss chard too.

On the ‘fruits’ front we had bumper harvest of peas and broad beans which are now tucked away in the freezer for use in winter. In both cases, as I think I wrote earlier the crop from the moon bed was better than that from the control bed. French and runner beans did okay but I think next year we will have to start them off in loo rolls or the like and plant out once they are growing. The struggle for us is not being able to plant things outside until a month later than in the south of England. Tomatoes, whilst not part of any trial gave us the best crop we have ever had, grown in what, at any other time of year, is the bulb house (no growing toms. out of doors up here!)

So to the flower plants – cauliflower and broccoli. Both of these were an unmitigated disaster in both the moon and the control bed. They grew poorly, the broccoli bolted, the flea beetle attacked them, the large white caterpillars attacked them… eventually we heaved the whole lot out, shredded and composted them. We have never had any real success with caulis or broccoli – no matter where we were living… We’ll keep working on this though.

Finally the potatoes great crop, couldn’t have asked for better and we are enjoying the main crop tatties now.

So conclusions – well none really as I said at the beginning we need to run another trial next year in the new veggie garden.

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What a shame you didn't get any conclusive results, Mg. Next year should be interesting, though! Keep us posted.

20 Oct, 2009


Will do... I just wish himself would get the photos of the new veggie garden as it is now taken. Then I could start writing about that too :-)

20 Oct, 2009


I like the fact that you compare the two - I've tried but in my little veg patch I work on it when I can and then remember to check my moon calender!!

20 Oct, 2009


Thanks GS the only reason we are able to do this is because Bulbaholic, aka Mr Moonbulb, is retired. If we were both working full time it would be just about impossible...

20 Oct, 2009


Fascinating edible subject are you able to compare notes with others doing this MG?

20 Oct, 2009


Yes I've got a couple of other folk who I communicate with - aside from all the gardening media lol

20 Oct, 2009


Really interesting Moongrower.Overall you have still had good crops and plenty in the freezer.
Look forward to your reports next year when you conduct the next trial

20 Oct, 2009


I found this a fascinating subject look forward to a truer comparisson next year.

20 Oct, 2009


Watch this space folks...

20 Oct, 2009


It was interesting to read how your experiment went. You have lovely looking onions. I hope you get more conclusive results next year.

20 Oct, 2009


Hi MG, I love this blog and think it will make excellent reading again this time next year. It's well documented that trials like this always seem to favour the 'moon grown' side but without any real explanations. One theory is that the people tending to the 'moon' side have to stick to a regulated regime and it is this that helps to produce the better yields. Taste on the other hand is more subjective and those that have stuck to their regime for so long would not say that theirs was any worse than the 'normal' grown ones. This is a truly fascinating subject and I can't wait for next years results. :~))

20 Oct, 2009


Hi Ian we are looking forward to the trial next year - we will have more space in both of the beds so can trial moe veggies. I 'know' that the likes of Toby from Gardeners World have done trials but they have all sorts of folk to help them... this was just us doing our own thing.

20 Oct, 2009


Hi MG, I'm a bit confused about your last comment has my comment upset or offended you in any way? If it has, it was unintentional and I apologise now. I am truly sorry.

20 Oct, 2009


What! No way have you offended me Ian I was just trying to explain that we did this buy ourselves whilst Toby Buckland had a team of gardeners off camera who were doing most of the hard work. How did you think I was upset with you - I'm not, honest injun!

20 Oct, 2009


Oh, I'm so relieved.
I don't get to watch much TV so didn't know Toby Buckland had been doing this. Yes I agree that TV gardeners have hords of pro gardeners behind the scenes doing the real work for them so they can just turn up on the day of filming and 'look good'.
I have read (on the net) of trials like this done by proper gardeners and these were the results I mentioned. Of all the ones I have read about, the 'moon' grown ones always outdo the 'normal' grown and I was repeating something that occured to me whilst I was reading them. It was the sentence "this was just us doing our own thing" that I didn't understand. No harm done and all's well here. :~))

20 Oct, 2009


I suspect, but have not proof, that most folk actually don't do a proper trial. Why would they unless they had a reason to do so? Then there are also the folk who do not want to admit that there is no obvious gain... because they are paid to write the story so.....

No on is paying me to write about this trial... I have had an article commissioned on growing with he moon but it was theoretical not about the actual trial itself.

I may, just may, end up a year from now writing about my results. I will still be totally truthfully and if I can see a real difference will say so.

Mr MB firmly believes that growing by organic principles is enough - I'm open minded...

xxx C

20 Oct, 2009

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