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I'd be interested to read people's views of purple carrots with respect to taste. I am tempted to try them this year but am a bit worried the taste will not be as good as orange. I seem to recall reading this somewhere but can't remember where!!
Good luck with the asparagus hope you have good slug control.I'm going to try carrots this year because they came up allover the boarders last year and we had'nt even planted any so hopefully we'll get a good crop.


Keep a look out for asparagus beetle - I failed to notice it last year until it became a severe infestation then had to spend hours picking the blighters off.
I am going to try the sweet potato, have really gone mad on this veg, will also try plenty of new varieties of the veg we enjoy. This year I will also use the allotment more than last year due to studies and exams.
another seed catalogue arrived in the post today and I've been having a lovely time browsing through while the rain has battered off the windows. Have only grown in pots on the patio before now, but going to invest in a raised bed so I can grow even more!
Purple carrots YUM ! I'm generally a bit conservative (with a small c!!) when it comes to veg, can't see the need for some of the wacky colours but we grew some purple carrots in my carrot comparison for Gardeners' World Mag and they were gorgeous, grew well and tasted lovey with a serious crunch too. But I'd suggest avoiding the white ones they were....vile ! As for sweet potatoes, I suggest you choose any of the orange fleshed varieties I once grew a white or cream fleshed one and the taste was , well, nothing much....grow orange and they are delicious ! PG
Has anyone ventured down the root advocated by American author Mel Bartholomew entitled Square Foot Gardening? He is suggesting growing veg and square foot blocks rather than rows and claims that this is far more suitable for small gardens, containers. Some disciplines remain the same but he says that the yields are greater. I am moving back to veg growing after a long while but only have some long wooden containers and just the two of us hence my interest.
Square Foot Gardening In reply to Mike Gordon at 2:03 pm on Friday 23 January 2009, who wished to know about Mel Bartholomew entitled Square Foot Gardening. Yes I am seriously working this method including his special mix (one third each of good compost, peat and vermiculite and then everything goes into marked one foot squares). Two years and the results are extraordinary. No disease, nice plant size, slugs and snails hate vermiculite (the big ones). Just make sure you use chicken manure at double the recommended rate when topping up. The only real failure is onions, but then I never have been able to grow them anyways. Recommend 8/9 inches of mix. Avoid introducing earth, so clean compost. Line sides and base with terram, otherwise you will get leaching back of soil and pests, or possibly any nasties in wood surrounds. So far have 192 square feet, and plan to double. Framework 6insX2ins pine rafters, most economic 4.4metres which gives you 3 4Xft blocks joined. Stack one plank on top of another to give 12 ins depth. Use 8/9 ins mix only. Securely bolt corners using 2X2ins wood, about 2 metres high which will hold pea or beans with transom between. Then normal canes or netting. Do not use screws or coach bolts, as they do not last. Ends same wood, then two partitions walls can be any old rubbish wood, as not load bearing. Structure should last 10 years plus. Best vermiculite is V4 from local builders merchant. Sphagnum Irish is much better than Garden Peat. Good luck.
The only problem with asparagus is that when you first start out, you can't pick any spears for two years apparently! I bought som elast year which just grew ferny things (I now know this was as it should be!) but as I had to re-do my raised bed veggie patch, I'm having to start over this year. I understand that you have to dig out a trench about 15" wide, lay a mound of earth down the middle and sit the crown astride it, then fill it in gradually as the crowns sprout...but I've yet to try this myself! Good luck!

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