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					Please note the following: Please copy freely, but note that copyright exists on this material and if any part of it is reproduced, full acknowledgement should be given to the Food Gardens Foundation (FGF) & BMW S.E.E.D. Programme. Should you wish to incorporate the material into any document or adapt it in any way, please obtain written permission from FGF or the BMW S.E.E.D. Programme.. The copyright includes all the intellectual content and artistic material. Please indicate to target groups that regularly updated material can be obtained from FGF or the BMW S.E.E.D. Programme. The Food Gardens Foundation, as a not-for-profit NGO, do not allow re-sale of their material by second or third parties. If any FGF material has been reproduced, only the direct costs associated with reproduction or copying are allowed to be recovered. The material as contained in this folder should not be regarded as all that is needed to go out and train 'Food Gardening'. This folder is but an academic collection of skills and methods, and will remain academic until you have gained practical experience and implemented the whole ideology yourself. It is recommended that a person attend both the Basic and Advanced Training Courses as presented by the Food Gardens Foundation before any attempt is made to act as instructor or trainer to others. This normally includes a six month practical implementation phase after each course.

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Contents
BECOME A FOOD GARDENER AND TEACH OTHERS...................................................... 4 WHAT IS THE FOOD GARDENS FOUNDATION (FGF) METHOD? ................................. 5 ADVANTAGES OF THE FGF METHOD .................................................................................. 5 3.1. USE OF RUBBISH................................................................................................................... 5 3.2. TRENCHES ............................................................................................................................. 5 4. HOW TO START AN FGF FOOD GARDEN ............................................................................ 7 4.1. BENEFITS OF FGF METHOD:............................................................................................... 7 4.2. COLLECT RUBBISH (FOOD FOR THE SOIL) ..................................................................... 7 4.3. DIGGING THE TRENCH-BED .............................................................................................. 7 4.4. FILLING THE TRENCH ......................................................................................................... 8 4.5. MULCHING............................................................................................................................. 8 4.6. PLANTING SEEDS OR SEEDLINGS .................................................................................... 9 4.7. WATERING............................................................................................................................. 9 4.8. PROTECTING YOUR FOOD GARDEN ................................................................................ 9 5. RAISED BED GARDENING ........................................................................................................ 9 5.1. WHAT ARE "RAISED BEDS"? ...................................................................................................... 9 5.2. WHY USE RAISED BEDS? ............................................................................................................ 9 5.3. DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION ...................................................................................................... 10 6. FOOD-GARDENING IN CONTAINERS ................................................................................. 11 6.1. CONTAINER CHOICE ......................................................................................................... 11 6.2. WHAT IS AN GROW BAG? ................................................................................................. 12 6.3. SOIL AND DRAINAGE ........................................................................................................ 12 6.4. WHICH VEGETABLES TO CHOOSE. ................................................................................ 13 6.5. CONTAINER CANDIDATES............................................................................................... 13 6.6. CONTAINER CARE.............................................................................................................. 13 6.7. REPLANTING CONTAINERS ............................................................................................. 14 6.8. POTTING SOIL RECIPE....................................................................................................... 14 6.9. POTATOS IN CONTAINERS ............................................................................................... 14 6.10. HOW TO PLANT A STRAWBERRY BARREL............................................................... 15 7. GENERAL TIPS .......................................................................................................................... 15 7.1. LOOKING AFTER THE SOIL........................................................................................................ 15 7.2. SEEDLINGS .............................................................................................................................. 16 8. ENSURE A CONTINUOUS SUPPLY OF FOOD .................................................................... 16 8.1. WHAT TO PLANT ................................................................................................................ 16 8.2. HOW FAR APART MUST THE ROWS BE?........................................................................ 16 8.3. HOW MUCH SPACE BETWEEN THE PLANTS?............................................................... 17 8.4. ANTI-PEST PLANTS ............................................................................................................ 17 9. MULCH......................................................................................................................................... 17 10. HOW TO WATER ................................................................................................................... 19 10.1. WATERING NEWLY-PLANTED SEEDS ....................................................................... 19 10.2. WATERING SEEDLINGS (VERY YOUNG PLANTS) ........................................................... 19 10.3. HOW MUCH WATER? HOW OFTEN? ........................................................................... 19 10.4. MULCH: THE WATER-SAVER....................................................................................... 20 10.5. RAINWATER .................................................................................................................... 20 10.6. DIRTY WATER FROM KITCHEN OR BATH ("GREY WATER") ..................................... 20 11. COMPOST................................................................................................................................ 20 11.1. COMPOST CONTAINERS ........................................................................................................ 20 11.2. HOW TO MAKE GOOD COMPOST ........................................................................................... 21 11.3. BUILDING UP A COMPOST HEAP ................................................................................ 22 11.4. WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE IN THE COMPOST HEAP .................................................. 22 12. ANIMAL MANURE ................................................................................................................ 23 12.1. USING MANURE.............................................................................................................. 23 12.2. COW MANURE...................................................................................................................... 23 12.3. HORSE MANURE................................................................................................................... 23 12.4. PIG MANURE ........................................................................................................................ 23 12.5. CHICKEN MANURE ............................................................................................................... 24 1. 2. 3.

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SHEEP MANURE ................................................................................................................... 24 12.6. 13. OTHER MANURES ................................................................................................................ 24 13.1. PIGEON DROPPINGS.............................................................................................................. 24 13.2. RABBIT MANURE ................................................................................................................. 24 13.3. GOAT MANURE .................................................................................................................... 24 13.4. HOME-MADE LIQUID MANURE................................................................................... 24 14. SEED-SOWING GUIDE ......................................................................................................... 26 14.1. AREA MAP........................................................................................................................ 26 15. COMPANION PLANTS.......................................................................................................... 31 16. PEST CONTROL WITHOUT POISONS.............................................................................. 31

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1.

BECOME A FOOD GARDENER AND TEACH OTHERS

The Food Gardens Foundation (FGF), which used to be called Food Gardens Unlimited, is a non-profit, educational organisation. The FGF teaches people to grow food for their families and their communities easily and quickly: at very little cost in very little space and with very little water. The FGF teaches people how to use available resources to grow food, thereby improving health and quality of life - at the same time saving money and even making money. Through the Food Gardens project many people come to realise: the food-producing potential of a small backyard that kitchen and veld rubbish can restore life and fertility to the poorest soil that they can save money by cutting food costs that fresh vegetables are essential for good health - especially for the growth and development of young children that self-help and community involvement are means to a happier, healthier way of life that FOOD GARDENING is a creative and beneficial activity which can be shared by every member of the family that FOOD GARDENING can be income-generating…..good news for the unemployed. Food Gardening helps both urban and rural communities. People everywhere can grow food even when they have problems such as shortage of water and space, bad soil, etc. Food Gardening is a life-improving activity for all - young and old, rich and poor, including the disabled. The Food Gardens Foundation motto is:

"MAXIMUM PRODUCTION IN MINIMUM SPACE WITH MINIMUM WATER"

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A: THE FOOD GARDENS FOUNDATION (FGF) METHOD

2.

WHAT IS THE FOOD GARDENS FOUNDATION (FGF) METHOD?

THE FGF METHOD is a special method of growing vegetables with very definite advantages. It is especially useful if there is a shortage of land, water or money. Briefly, the method involves digging a trench, which is then half-filled with "rubbish" organic matter) and topped up with the dug-out soil. Seeds or seedlings are planted immediately on top of this "compost heap". The FGF method succeeds and gives better results than the "Scratch and Plant" method.

3.

ADVANTAGES OF THE FGF METHOD

The FGF method does not need money for fertiliser or poison sprays. The Food Gardens beds give more, and better, vegetables for the following reasons:

3.1.
•

USE OF RUBBISH

Rubbish at the bottom of the trenchbed provides the soil with a mixed diet. The soil is so well-fed that the vegetables grow very well, and you can plant them closer together than usual.

The rubbish attracts beneficial bacteria and earthworms. Earthworms make the soil more fertile by breaking down organic matter (rubbish) into humus. • • The rubbish acts as a sponge which holds water so that it does not drain away too fast. This encourages deep rooting. It is especially important in areas where water is a problem. The rubbish builds up the soil from the bottom. The covering of mulch improves it from the top.

Collecting and using rubbish this way helps to keep the environment clean and healthy.

3.2.

TRENCHES

Trenching the beds to a depth of 50cms (knee deep), and then re-filling them with rubbish and soil, improves the soil. It also: encourages deep rooting improves drainage and ensures deeper penetration and better circulation of air plants need air as much as we do. DOOR-SIZE BEDS 12 metres x 1 metre OR 2 spades x 1 spade) • Door-size beds enable the gardener to reach every part of the bed without standing on the soil in the bed. Standing on soil compacts it, squashing out air and preventing root development.

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•

Our small bed is easy to water, easy to check for pests, diseases and weeds. It is easy to protect from birds, fowls and small animals.

If you want to grow large quantities of vegetables you can make the beds longer than 2 metres, but they must never be wider than 1 metre (so that you don't have to stand on the soil).

ONCE THE TRENCHBEDS HAVE BEEN MADE THEY WILL LAST FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS - WITHOUT ANY FURTHER DIGGING! IMPORTANT NOTE: PROBLEMS YOU MAY EXPERIENCE
Many people will not be enthusiastic about the Food Gardens method because digging is hard work - especially if the ground is very hard or stoney, or if there is a shortage of labour. It is therefore very important to understand fully the benefits of the Food Gardens method i.e. that it needs very little water and little work after the initial preparation - and will produce bigger, better and more vegetables. We have found it a useful experiment for people to start with one bed using our method, and another bed using the usual "scratch and plant" method - and then to compare results. No further persuasion will be required!

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Worksheet
4. HOW TO START AN FGF FOOD GARDEN
4.1. BENEFITS OF FGF METHOD:

needs little water uses rubbish to produce food produces much more than normal gardening improves your health

4.2.
•

COLLECT RUBBISH (FOOD FOR THE SOIL)

Improve your soil with "rubbish". A well-fed bed can last up to five years and produce many vegetables.

In a bucket, bin or bag collect kitchen, garden, veld or other organic material, which will decompose (rot) and return its goodness to the soil. (Organic means natural not synthetic). "Good" rubbish: Food scraps, fruit and vegetable peelings, mealie cobs and leaves, dead flowers and plants, leaves, grass-clippings, dead veld grass and weeds, crushed bones, egg shells, torn-up newspaper and cardboard, and a few small rusty tins. Ash: WOOD ash can be used in the trench and can occasionally be sprinkled onto the soil, and worked in. It is a good plant food.

DO NOT USE COAL ASH.
Do NOT use the following items. They will NOT provide food for the soil: "Bad" rubbish: Artificial materials such as plastic, rubber, glass, old batteries and "drip-dry" materials. [Plastic, glass and metal can be recycled. You can sell these to recycling depots, e.g. Collect-a-Can, or leave them at a collection point.]

Neighbours, stall-holders and shopkeepers can help supply "good" rubbish for your trenches. You will need about 6 very big bags of rubbish for one trench. (Bag = about 1 m x 1.5m). Have the rubbish ready before you dig the trench.

4.3.

DIGGING THE TRENCH-BED

MEASURE out a bed the size of a door - 2 metres x 1 metre (A spade is generally 1 metre long). Where possible make the long side of the bed from East to West.

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DIG the trench-bed to a depth of 50cms (about knee-deep). Put the topsoil (usually darker) at one corner and the subsoil at the opposite corner.

4.4.

FILLING THE TRENCH

Half-fill the trench with the rubbish you have collected. Put the coarser rubbish (like sticks, mealie cobs and stalks) at the bottom, and then put 6 small, flattened, rusty tins on top. Add torn newspaper and cardboard, and all other rubbish. Stamp the rubbish down, and add more rubbish (if necessary), making sure the trench is really half-filled. If you have manure, sprinkle a little on top. WET THE RUBBISH a little. It will decompose more quickly. COVER THE RUBBISH with soil immediately to avoid bad smells and trouble from flies, rats and dogs. PUT THE SUBSOIL back first, and then the TOPSOIL. DO NOT STAND ON THE SOIL IN THE BED.

[The filled trench should be about 15cms higher than ground level - because the level of the bed will drop when the rubbish decomposes.]
MARK EACH CORNER of the trench-bed with a long, strong stick. This will mark the shape and the size of the bed. • The soil on top of the bed should be fine (not lumpy) and levelled with a rake or a piece of wood. Any left-over soil could be kept in a corner until it is needed for a compost heap or for other purposes.

EACH BED PREPARED ACCORDING TO THE FGF METHOD will serve you for about 5 years. You will then need to re-dig the trench and put more rubbish in it again.

4.5.

MULCHING

Mulch is a protective covering for the soil. It can be dry grass, dead leaves or wood chips. COVER YOUR FlLLED TRENCH-BED with a 7cm layer of mulch. If you do not have grass or loaves, you can cover the ground between the rows of plants with small stones or with newspaper or plastic punched with small holes. REMEMBER: When plants are about 5cm tall, arrange a little mulch carefully around them. MULCH (OR A SOIL COVERING) IS VERY IMPORTANT because it keeps the soil cool and moist, and conserves water. (See paper on Mulch).

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4.6.

PLANTING SEEDS OR SEEDLINGS

SEEDS or SEEDLINGS can be planted immediately. ( See Seed Sowing Guide and Planting Plan). Use your outstretched hand (which is about 20cms across) for measuring distance. (Refer to Planting Plan for distances between rows). Use a stick (or your hands) to make partings in the mulch, starting right at the edge of the bed.Always make the rows across the bed. In each parting make a shallow furrow in the soil for planting seeds. Sow seeds carefully - not too close together. Mix very small seeds (like carrots and lettuce) with fine dry soil in order to spread them out. Cover the sown seeds with fine, dry soil. Small seeds need a thin layer of soil; bigger seeds need a little more soil. Press the soil down gently, but firmly. DO NOT COVER SEEDS WITH MULCH.

4.7.

WATERING

Water carefully. Use a watering can, or a tin or plastic bag punched with small holes. (The water from a hose-pipe can be too strong and will wash the seeds away.) Water the seeds daily for the first 10 days. (See paper on How to Water for more information). A MINIMUM OF 4 BEDS IN YOUR FOOD GARDEN IS IDEAL

4.8.

PROTECTING YOUR FOOD GARDEN

Try to put a fence around your Food Garden (sticks, reeds, wire or a stone wall) to keep out children, dogs, chickens etc. Each door-sized bed can be covered with a hand-made or bought net. A "live" fence (using thorny plants) will keep out thieves and animals.

5.

Raised Bed Gardening
5.1. What are "raised beds"?

The "raised" part means that the soil level in the bed is higher than the surrounding soil, and "bed" implies a size small enough to work without actually stepping onto the bed. A bed should be no wider than 1 metre, but length can be whatever suits the site or food gardener's needs. The bed does not have to be enclosed or framed.

5.2.

Why use raised beds?

Gardening in raised beds is an excellent solution to be used where the soil is unsuitable for gardening due to hardness or too many stones in the soil.

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•

Higher Yields: There are many reasons for raised bed food-gardening, but probably the most important is more production per square metre of garden. In a traditional home garden, good management may yield more than double the conventional yield. Raised beds do not require the usual space between rows because no walking is done in the bed to cultivate or harvest. Hence, vegetables are planted in beds at higher densities - ideally spaced just far enough apart to avoid crowding but close enough to shade weeds. Improved Soil Conditions: Another reason for greater production in a given space is
the improvement of soil conditions. Soil compaction can reduce crop yields up to 50 percent. Water, air and roots all have difficulty moving through soil compressed by human feet. Plows, tillers or spades have been the usual answer to this problem, but food gardeners can avoid the problem completely by creating beds narrow enough to work from the sides. Soil organic matter content can be increased greatly without getting bogged down.

•

•

Ease of Working: The food gardener shares some benefits from raised beds as well. The first, and most important, is the increased ease of timely planting and harvesting. Most people avoid working traditional gardens in rainy weather to avoid compaction and muddy feet. Because raised beds are designed for walking around, not in, there is no reason for mud to delay operation. Spaces between beds may be left in sod, mulched or even paved with stone or brick. Ease of Pest Control: Pest control becomes less difficult in raised beds. If burrowing
rodents are abundant, the bottom of the bed can be lined with poultry wire or similar material. The narrow dimensions of beds even make bird netting suspended on flexible conduit frames practical. Weed control with plastic mulch can be achieved economically, as the width of the bed can be spanned by one roll.

•

•

Water Conservation: The narrow dimensions of beds are advantageous for water conservation. There are several watering systems that ensure the water gets only where it is needed. Perforated plastic sprinkle hoses and drip-type irrigation disperse water in a long, narrow pattern well-suited to beds. They also reduce disease by directing water to the soil instead of wetting leaf surfaces as with overhead irrigation. 5.3. Design & Construction

A raised bed garden can be simply made by raking the garden soil into a ridge 10 to 20 cm high away from the foot paths. Permanent raised beds make much better use of the advantages of this gardening technique. The widths of beds are 1 metre. You must be able to reach all areas within the beds. Once you prepare your soil, you don¹t want to walk on it again during the growing season. Sometimes, the bed has only a path on the side, allowing use of a fence or trellis on the other side for climbing and vining plants. Length of beds varies. Width of the path is 30 cm at a minimum and usually 1 metre because of the use of wheelbarrows and other garden tools. Paths can be grass or other materials. Grass will need mowing. A gravel or bark-mulched path will not need mowing but may need some weeding. Material commonly used to hold growing medium and form these permanent beds are wooden planks, concrete blocks, stones, bricks, or even aged railroad sleepers. Old sleepers are useable, but new sleepers may cause some creosote damage to plants. "Pressure treated" lumber is safe to use; these chemicals are literally trapped in the wood.

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Avoid the use of creosote or pentachlorophenol-treated wood for bed frames. These chemicals can leach out and injure plants. Use pressure-treated lumber, redwood, cement block or brick. There are only a few guidelines to remember in raised bed construction: Keep the beds narrow and match their length to the site and the watering system. A north-south orientation is best for low-growing crops, allowing direct sunlight to both sides of the bed. Beds that will contain taller crops such as pole beans, trellised peas or caged tomatoes might do better on an east-west axis. Thus, lower-growing crops could be planted on the south side of the bed and still get full sun. Even if the soil is heavy clay, at least one-third of the volume of the bed's root zone should consist of existing soil. There are a lot of good minerals in clay and by loosening it up with one-third compost or peat and one-third coarse sand, it will make a good growing medium, add a little garden fertilizer. Raised bed possibilities are endless. Beds elevated 60 cm or more offer the promise of gardening without bending and can have benches built on the sides for even more convenience. Because a bed warms up quicker than the ground, it can easily double as a cold frame by covering it with a lightweight clear plastic cover. Imagine being able to start plants early in beds with covers and never having to transplant them! Supports for poles, cages and trellises can be mounted to the frame for longer life and ease of installation and removal.

6.

FOOD-GARDENING IN CONTAINERS

It is not essential to have a garden in order to grow edible crops. As long as you have an area which gets about four to five hours of sun a day, whether it be on a patio, balcony or paved courtyard, you will be able to grow a wide range of vegetables, as well as smaller growing fruit trees and creepers. Even if you do have a garden, you might not have the right growing conditions (especially for vegetables), such as insufficient sun, poor soil or too much wind growing the plants in containers will overcome these problems. Growing plants in containers has a number of advantages. While you may not be able to produce a large quantity of fruit or vegetables at a time, the plants are often easier to care for and protect from insect attack than those in the open ground. Filling the containers with the correct soil is less hard work than having to dig properly prepared beds and planting holes, especially for vegetables. It is also easier to ensure that each particular type has its own specific growing medium, for example, tomatoes need a very rich, well-composted and manured soil, but carrots like a light, very friable soil.

6.1.

CONTAINER CHOICE

Almost any object that can hold soil but allows water to drain out can be used as a container. This ranges from plastic and metal tins, black plastic plant bags, old metal or rubber garbage bins, metal barrels, old baths, a stack of car tyres, to specially made plastic, asbestos, cement and terracotta pots, containers, troughs and window boxes, as well as grow bags. The size of the container you use will depend on the type of vegetable you wish to grow. Shallow root crops, such as lettuce, spring onions and many herbs, can be grown in pots or containers which are between 20-50 cm deep; long troughs, flower boxes and wide, square

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containers are an excellent choice. Plants with a deep root system as well as climbing types should be grown in large, deep containers.

6.2.

WHAT IS AN GROW BAG?

Many overseas gardeners grow vegetables, especially tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, climbing cucumbers and courgettes, in grow bags. These are commercially made plastic bags filled with a rich growing medium. On one of the flat sides of the plastic bag are small holes for drainage, while on the other there are holes for planting. Not yet readily available locally, grow bags are easy to make. Take a large plastic bag such as an old 30 dm compost bag or a 20 kg fertilizer bag. Fill it three-quarters full with a rich, wellcomposted potting soil. Seal the ends well with tape. Make small drainage holes on one side, about 20 cm apart. Put your grow bag, with the drainage holes facing down, on any kind of flat surface which gets about three to five hours of sun. Morning sun is better than afternoon sun, especially in summer. Make holes in the top surface of the bag and plant your young established seedlings into them. Two holes per bag is the recommended number for plants such as tomatoes, peppers or eggplants.

6.3.

SOIL AND DRAINAGE

To grow well in containers, plants must get enough of the essential plant nutrients. While the soil must hold water and not dry out too rapidly, it must not become waterlogged either. Plants grown in containers will not do well if there is poor drainage, so the soil itself must drain well and the containers must have proper drainage holes. Make sure that the containers have adequate drainage holes before you plant - trying to improve drainage once a container has been planted is extremely difficult. The individual holes should be about 1-2 cm wide and the number of holes will depend on the size of the container. A trough 90 cm long usually has eight drainage holes, while round or square pots may have one large hole in the centre or three to five holes spaced around the bottom. The drainage holes must be covered to stop the soil blocking the holes. Use broken brick, small stones, pebbles or stone chips, but do not use bits of concrete - concrete has too much lime in it and the chemical leaches out onto the plants. It is a good idea to raise large containers a few centimetres off the ground by putting small pieces of flat stone under the containers to prevent weeds or debris from blocking the drainage holes. Either buy ready-made potting soil for your containers or make your own. If you feel that a ready-made soil is not rich enough for a specific vegetable, add extra compost or old manure, while coarse sand can be added to make the mixture finer and more friable. If you want to grow edible crops in containers, usually the best and most rewarding results are from vegetables. Certain fruit trees can also be grown in containers but do not produce as well as they would in the open ground. Citrus, however, especially the dwarf varieties of lemons, oranges and naartjies, as well as kumquats and calamondins, grow well in containers and make extremely attractive container subjects. Quick-growing climbers like granadillas can also be grown. To ensure good drainage, put down layers of stones, then container with the correct soil.

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6.4.

WHICH VEGETABLES TO CHOOSE.

The quick-growing, quick-maturing crops and the 'cut-and-come-again' vegetables are the best choice. Most salad crops are extremely successful and popular because of their good flavour when freshly picked. Only one or two tomato plants and peppers can provide you with plenty of fruit over a relatively long period, while a long trough of loose-leaf lettuce will go on producing leaves for months on end. Many of the spreading vegetables, such as cucumbers and courgettes, are easily trained up a trellis or wall, while climbing beans and peas take up less room than bush types. Always be as selective as possible when choosing the actual cultivars. Many of the newer hybrids have been specially bred for container growing and it is worthwhile trying to get hold of them rather than the older types.

6.5.

CONTAINER CANDIDATES

Beans - climbing Beetroot Broccoli Cabbage - small head Carrots - short rooted Cucumber Eggplant Lettuce Peas - climbing Peppers Potatoes Radish Spinach Swiss chard spinach Tomatoes, especially determinate and small-fruited types Turnips

6.6.

CONTAINER CARE

It is important to realize that plants in containers usually dry out far more quickly than plants in the ground. This is mainly because the surface and the sides of the container are exposed to the sun. As containers are often placed on a paved surface, this also reflects the heat, as do surrounding walls, particularly white painted ones. Water your container plants regularly. It is far better to check your soil than to follow a hard and fast rule of watering every day, twice a week or every five days. The quality of vegetables in particular can be spoilt if the plants dry out. Lettuces will quickly turn bitter if they get in the least bit dry. Weather conditions are an important factor in how often the plants need to be watered. Remember that when it rains, containerized plants get less water than those in the ground because of the smaller surface area - often the foliage is so dense that no rain will actually soak in. Like all plants, your containerized ones will need regular feeding. This is especially important with vegetables as steady, vigorous growth is essential for top quality produce. While the usual granular fertilizers can be used, these are often difficult to apply to containers - too much can be applied or the foliage can be burnt. Water soluble, concentrated fertilizers, either artificial or organic, are a much easier and safer method. There are a number formulated for

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container plants and vegetables so follow the manufacturers' recommended rates of application and frequency. If you making liquid manure, water the plants every three to four weeks.

6.7.

REPLANTING CONTAINERS

Before planting a second crop, you will have to replenish the soil as the original plants will have used up a great deal of its goodness. Small containers and troughs can easily be emptied and refilled with a fresh soil mix. This is not always practical for the larger containers. You will have to re-use most of the existing soil and add fresh material. Always take out the entire old crop, especially the roots. Loosen the soil as deeply as possible and take out at least a quarter of it. Refill the pot with a good potting mix or a rich compost. Add some old manure (fresh manure has too much nitrogen in it which could burn the plants) for the leaf crops but not for the root vegetables. Because of the build-up of soil diseases and nematodes, try to alternate the crops in a simple form of crop rotation - this is especially important with tomatoes and potatoes. Growing marigolds in your containers for one season is another method which can help in clearing out nematodes.

6.8.

POTTING SOIL RECIPE

2 parts garden soil 1 part coarse sand 1 part sieved compost or peat Add 30 g of balanced fertilizer, such as 2.3.2, to each bucketful of the mixture, or use a generous handful of old manure and about 30 g of bone meal.

6.9.

POTATOS IN CONTAINERS

If you do not have enough space in your garden or the right position for potatoes, you can solve the problem by growing your potatoes in a number of novel ways (such as in barrels or plastic bags), one of the easiest being to grow them in tyres. To grow potatoes in tyres, follow these simple steps: 1. Place a car tyre on the ground or on a paved surface in a sunny position. Fill it up almost to the top with well composted soil and add a tablespoon of 2.3.2 fertilizer. 2. Put about four or five sprouted seed potatoes into the soil and then cover with about 5 cm of soil; water well. 3. Keep the soil damp and when the shoots appear and have grown about 10 cm above the top of the tyre, put on another tyre and gently fill it in with well-composted soil, taking care not to break the plants. Feed the plants with a liquid fertilizer. Keep the soil damp.

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4. When the plants grow through the soil again, put on another tyre and fill it Up. Feed again with a liquid fertilizer. You may be able to put on a fourth tyre before the plants start to flower. Keep the soil damp. 5. Once the plants have flowered and the foliage begins to turn yellow, you should harvest your crop. From one set of tyres you can get up to 5-6 kg of baby or new potatoes - large storage potatoes are not suited to this growing method. You can also grow baby potatoes in thick black plastic bags or large drums, following the basic steps of covering up the potatoes as they grow.

6.10.

HOW TO PLANT A STRAWBERRY BARREL

1. Make sure the strawberry barrel has adequate drainage holes. 2. Put in a 5 cm layer of small stones or stone chips for drainage. 3. Fill the barrel with good compost enriched potting soil to just below the first set of holes. 4. Push the strawberry plants through the holes from the inside of the pot with the roots just below the holes. Fill with more soil, making sure that the roots are firmly anchored, and water well. Fill with soil again to the next set of holes. 5. Continue in this way, filling up to the top of the barrel, then plant three strawberries at the top. Water well.

7.

GENERAL TIPS
7.1. Looking after the soil

NEVER stand on the soil in the beds. Standing on soil makes it hard, squeezes out the air, and will make your bed collapse. Make sure the soil is always covered with mulch or growing plants. (Mulch protects the soil from wind, rain and sun. It also enriches the soil by adding organic matter. Mulch decomposes so you will need to add more regularly). It is unnecessary to dig or turn the soil - the earthworms will do this for you. Mulch and organic material attract earthworms to your Food Garden.

Liquid manure is a good plant food. Collect dung to make liquid manure (not chicken dung
because it is too strong). Put 1 litre of dung into 10 litres of water. Leave for 3 days before using this mixture. For very young plants use one bottle of the mixture to 40 bottles of water on wet soil ( 1 :40). For bigger plants add one bottle of the mixture to 20 bottles of water on wet soil (1:20). Only use liquid manure when the plants are strong and well-established, about 10 cms tall.

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7.2.

Seedlings

Before you make your bed, you could grow some seedlings. Fill small containers (e.g. milk cartons, tins, plastic bottles) with good soil and sow seeds in them. Make holes in the bottom of the containers for drainage. Keep the containers in a warm sheltered place (not in direct sunlight) -and water them regularly. When the plants are about 10 cms high, you can transplant them into your trench-bed. Growing seedlings this way is a good idea because they are easier to look after in a small container than in beds. It is also useful if you want an early crop. You can also sell these seedlings to lazy or impatient gardeners!

8.

ENSURE A CONTINUOUS SUPPLY OF FOOD

A family Food Garden should have at least 4 beds. When the first trench-bed is properly planted according to FGF instructions, prepare the second bed in the same way. Plant your second bed four weeks after the first bed was planted, the third bed four weeks later ... and so on until you have 4 beds. This is called succession planting and will give you continuous fresh vegetables all year. Never leave empty rows in a bed. After harvesting, always re-plant each empty row with seeds or seedlings. Practise crop rotation. (See paper on Crop Rotation).

8.1.
•

WHAT TO PLANT

Plant the right seed for each season - e.g. not peas in Summer. Plant the right seed for your region. (See our Seed-sowing Guide).

Plant a variety of vegetables in each bed - root crops leaf cross and legumes. • Rotate your crops: Do not plant the same type of vegetable in the same place year after year. Change each time you plant.

Tall plants (e.g. tomatoes) and creeping plants (e.g. pumpkin) should be planted in a separate bed.

8.2.

HOW FAR APART MUST THE ROWS BE?

Use 20 cm (the distance between thumb and baby finger on an outstretched hand) as a general guide. • Use your common sense: Think of the size of the mature plant (and its roots). For bigger plants (e.g. cabbage) leave about 25 cm; for smaller plants (e.g. carrot) leave 15 cm between the rows. Plants may touch - but not squash each other.

16

8.3.

HOW MUCH SPACE BETWEEN THE PLANTS?

This depends on the size of the mature plant. The bigger the plant, the bigger the space. Again, they may touch but not squash. If plants are too close they need to be transplanted - e.g. cabbage, spinach. Some plants do not like to be transplanted - e.g. carrots, beetroot, peas and beans. It is good to harvest some of the small plants, and to make space for the rest to grow big and strong.

8.4.
•

ANTI-PEST PLANTS

Plant these between vegetables, or between the rows, or around the bed, or in the first or last row.

Common anti-pest plants are chillies, garlic, nasturtium, marigolds, danya (coriander), spring onions, herbs.

MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS HAVE A THICK LAYER OF MULCH BETWEEN ROWS. MULCH KEEPS THE WATER IN - MULCH IMPROVES THE SOIL.

9.

MULCH

MULCH is a covering (like a blanket) on top of the soil to protect and improve it. Mulch can be made of: • •

Dry leaves: These make an excellent mulch. Break them into small pieces. Dry lawn clippings: Grass cut by a lawn mower should be spread out to dry and turned
from time to time so that all of it is well dried and bleached before being applied as mulch. Mix with leaves or other dry material to make the mulch lighter and more airy. This mulch should not be more than 2,5cm thick.

• • •

Dry veld grass: Be sure that all roots are dried out and dead before using grass as a
mulch.

Dry weeds: Do not use weeds which have seeds on them. Newspaper/cardboard: These should be broken into small pieces so that they
decompose (rot) more quickly and allow air and water to pass through.

* * * COMPOST IS THE PERFECT MULCH * * *
MULCH is very important •

Mulch conserves water: The soil underneath mulch remains cool and moist - feel it
with your fingers. Mulched plants endure a long dry season without much watering.

17

• •

Mulch reduces the growth of weeds: Weeds cannot grow easily through mulch.
(Those that do grow through can be cut off or easily removed).

Mulch protects plants:
from the cold of winter the heat of summer from drying winds and from soil erosion.

• Mulch helps to change bad soil into good soil: The mulch finally rots and is like compost. Check for yourself. Soil which is always covered with mulch is dark and soft, and rich and fertile. • • • •

Mulch helps sandy soil to hold water and improves the drainage of clay soil. No digging is necessary when you keep on using mulch. Mulch attracts earthworms,
so they do the digging!

Mulch prevents soil erosion during heavy rains or watering. Mulch helps low-growing vegetables: Pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, unslaked tomatoes, strawberries and other vegetables which run on the ground are kept clean and healthy when they grow on mulch. They are not spoilt by splashing, wet soil, or worms.

NB: MULCHES SHOULD ALWAYS BE DRY - NEVER FRESH AND GREEN. STONE MULCHING can be used where leaves, grass, paper etc. are hard to find. Place small stones between the rows of plants.
Stones keep the soil moist; Stones catch the heat of the sun and keep the soil warm - very useful in winter; Spaces between the stones can be filled with compost or good soil, and spaces between the plants can be mulched in the ordinary way; Stone mulching is very good in hot, dry areas; it is used successfully in desert conditions.

NOTE WELL:
Where there is poor drainage after long, heavy rains, it may be necessary to remove mulch until the soil is warm and dry again. Germinating seeds and small seedlings need sun-warmed soil. Therefore keep mulch away from them until they are well established. Mulch should not actually touch the trunks of trees nor the stems of plants nor cover the base of perennials. In areas where there are termites (white ants) they will carry the mulch off the bed, especially if it is dry material. Soaking the mulch in a solution of 5 teaspoons (25ml) of Jeyes Fluid to 5 litres of water before putting it on the vegetable bed often protects it from termites. As the mulch dries, re-wet it with a sprinkling of the Jeyes Fluid water. REMEMBER TO REPLACE MULCH REGULARLY AS IT DECOMPOSES OR IS BLOWN AWAY.

18

10.

HOW TO WATER

Watering must be done with care and thought. Everyone asks: When should I water? How should I water? Your finger will tell you. Just stick your finger deep into the soil and feel whether it is too dry or too wet or just right.

10.1.

WATERING NEWLY-PLANTED SEEDS

Do not use a hose-pipe. A tin with small holes at the bottom makes a good waterer for newlyplanted seeds and seedlings and so does a plastic bag or bottle with some small holes punched into the bottom. When you are giving water to plants, move backwards and forwards over the rows so that the water falls gently on the plants like rain. This is especially important for germinating seeds, seedlings and young plants. In hot weather germinating seeds and young plants should be watered twice a day for the first ten days. After that, once a day, and after that only when your finger tells you that the soil needs water. Never let the soil dry out. If the tiny roots and shoots of germinating seeds and small plants become dry just once, they will die or become sick and weak.

10.2.

WATERING SEEDLINGS (very young plants)

Water seedlings deeply immediately you have transplanted them. (Transplant on a cool day in the late afternoon, and cover each plant for three days with a shade cap made from paper). In summer, water in the late afternoon and evening to prevent evaporation by the hot sun during the day. In winter (in cold areas), do not water in the late afternoon because water can freeze in the soil - and inside the plant - and damage it badly.

10.3.

HOW MUCH WATER? HOW OFTEN?

Deep watering twice a week is better than a little watering every day. Make sure, by testing with a stick (or your finger!) that the water has penetrated deeply enough to reach the roots. You should, however, check every day to see that there is sufficient moisture in the soil. Deep watering means deep roots and therefore healthier plants. Shallow watering means shallow roots and weak plants.

19

10.4.

MULCH: THE WATER-SAVER

As soon as your plants are well-established (at least 5 or 6cm high), surround them with some of the mulch which has been lying in between the rows. Mulch will conserve moisture and prevent the soil from drying out.

MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS HAVE A GOOD LAYER OF MULCH MULCH SAVES WATER AND TIME 10.5. RAINWATER

Catch rainwater from gutters using tanks, buckets, etc.

10.6.

DIRTY WATER FROM KITCHEN OR BATH ("grey water")

You can use this water. It should not be too soapy.

11.

Compost

Every garden must have one or preferably two compost heaps. compost is the ideal way to return organic matter to the soil. following nature's example. Decomposing vegetation provides a home for millions of soil organisms, it opens up the soil, improving drainage and easing the way for root growth, and it helps over-drained soils hold water and therefore nutrients. Plant remains all contain much plant food. The rotting process is carried out by bacteria. Millions of them begin to feed on anything recently removed from the soil. To carry on the decomposition, these bacteria need nitrogen If the garden waste is dug in "green" (unrotted), the bacteria draw the nitrogen from the soil, leaving plants desperately short of food. Turned into compost, the material actually adds nitrogen to the soil. After the initial rotting, a species of bacteria known as Azotobacter is attracted and can "fix" nitrogen from the air into a form usable by plants. The rotting process takes time and a successful, well-planned organic garden should therefore have at least two compost heaps, one left to rot down while the other is filled.

11.1.

Compost containers

Although you can pile compost up in a corner of the garden, compost in a container rots right up to the edges of the heap. In an open heap, the edges dry out so you must turn the whole heap at least twice during the rotting process to push unrotted material to the centre. The size of your container will depend on the size of your garden. There are plenty of containers at garden centres. The most useful is a wooden box with slatted sides, more sections easily being added Smile suggest you can material to the top while shoveling out the compost at the bottom but this is not realistic. Whether you build or buy a bin, make sure you can get at the compost easily.

20

11.2.

How to make good compost

Obviously, the first requirement for good compost is something to compost. Then the heap needs air, nitrogen, lime, water, heat, and bacteria. There are a great many old wives' tales about what can and cannot be used, but the rule is very simple: anything entirely organic in origin can be composted with a few exceptions (see opposite).

Air circulation:
Air is of vital importance in the compost heap. Without it, the material is worked on by a different group of micro-organisms, known as anaerobic bacteria, which turn grass cuttings and the like into a stinking, useless slime. So, first of all, the container itself should have plenty of air circulating through it. Secondly, never let the compost material pack down solid, but mix fine material with larger weeds or shredded newspaper.

Nitrogen:
Because bacteria in the compost heap require nitrogen as a fuel, you must add a certain amount to the heap. Ideally, use animal manure. Alternatively, buy organic compost fuels, or activators, in a garden shop. Dried sewage sludge can often be obtained from the local sewage works - ideal also as a fertilizer. Seaweed meal is excellent, and dried blood, the best form of nitrogen fertilizer, makes a very good, if slightly expensive, activator. Whatever you use, you do not actually need very much - and not as much as the manufacturers say. A fine dusting every 30cm of compost is sufficient.

Lime:
Adding lime will keep the compost "sweet" helping to neutralise the acidity. Apply a slightly heavier dusting of lime than of the nitrogen activator every 30cm. On chalky soil, you may feel that it would be better to omit the lime and use very acid compost instead. You car' do this, but the bacteria involved actually prefer conditions that are not too acid, so rotting will take longer.

Water:
This is an essential ingredient of any compost heap. Generally, there will already be enough in the green material you put on the compost heap, certainly in grass cuttings. It is possible, in a hot summer, for the edges to dry out, in which case you may need to apply extra water. Straw is an excellent aerating material, especially mixed with grass cuttings, and it composts well, but you must wet it first.

Heat:
Decomposition is much faster when the material is warm. In summer you will have usable compost in two to three months; in winter, the process slows down considerably and the compost will not be usable until spring. You can cover the heap with black polythene weighted at the edges; this keeps the heat in and prevents it becoming too wet, a problem particularly in winter. A piece of old carpet will not need weighting down and heap.

Bacteria:
Finally, you need the bacteria themselves. There are millions in just one crumb of soil, so there should be plenty in the crumbs of earth that cling to the roots of the weeds you put in the

21

heap. It is completely unnecessary to add layers of soil throughout the heap: not only is it hard work, but it also makes the compost less concentrated. Managing your compost Really good compost is supposedly brown and crumbly with the sweetest of smells, like woods in the autumn, but if your heap is small and you are using any organic material you can find, it often will not live up to that ideal. Generally, while some material is in an advanced stage of decomposition, other material will not have rotted down nearly as much. The compost is more likely to be very variable, with a lot of semi-rotted fibrous material. But that will still improve the soil and certainly do no harm; it will just take a bit longer to rot down.

11.3.

BUILDING UP A COMPOST HEAP

Start with a 15cm layer of coarse material (horse manure, straw, or large weeds) to give a free flow of air at the bottom. Then add a layer of material 15cm deep. Sprinkle on some compost activator or nitrogen fertilizer, or add another layer of horse manure; the nitrogen in it will act as a compost activator. Add another 15cm layer of material, then cover with a dusting of lime, and so on. Always cover the bin to keep it dry. Compost rots down and shrinks quickly so that what seems like a finished heap one week, has sunk down to give room for more the next week. Getting good quality compost takes care, and each composting material needs different treatment. For example, always mix grass cuttings thoroughly with some coarser material such as larger weeds, shredded newspaper, or straw, to prevent them turning to slime. Newspaper can be difficult to rot down but is worth persevering with, particularly when mixed with grass cuttings. As a rough guide, use 1 part newspaper to 4 parts grass cuttings. Never put it on the heap folded into a thick wad; cut it into 2.5cm strips and keep it in a plastic bag until needed. Then put it in a bucket of diluted seaweed. Use only a small amount and never the paper from glossy magazines, which contains lead. Potato peelings often cause problems because those tiny "eyes" will develop into potato plants either in the heap or when the compost is spread. But they are not difficult to pull up and provide that much more material for the next heap. Any old clothes made of natural fibre can be put on the heap as well. It is a good idea to cut them into strips beforehand, as they will rot down faster. The amount of compost you can make in a year depends very much on the type of material you use but even more on the weather. From each bin you should, in a hot year, get two good binfuls in the summer - one in early summer and a second in late autumn and another in the spring if you are lucky.

11.4.

WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE IN THE COMPOST HEAP

Any material diseased or infected with pests - always burn this. The top growth of maincrop potatoes may infect the heap with potato blight spores. Roots of pernicious weeds. Coffee grounds tend to stick together, so are not suitable. Use tea leaves instead. Prunings from woody plants take too long to rot, although chopping them into smaller pieces can speed up the process slightly. Cooked kitchen scraps often putrefy and attract vermin. Any weed seeds: the heap will "cook" them and render them unviable only if it reaches a very high temperature.

22

12.

ANIMAL MANURE

Animal manures are the very best sources of organic matter for your soil, though more difficult to obtain than compost. Manure can be used on any soil, not only to improve its condition, but also to feed it with nutrients. Use some, like poultry manure, with care because of their high nitrogen content. Unfortunately, much bought-in animal manure is likely to be adulterated with hormone fatteners, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. However, if it is stacked for at least a year, there is little evidence to show that these chemicals pollute the soil or make their way into harvested vegetables and fruit. Leaving the manure for a year does lose some of the nutrients, but these can always be made up in other ways.

12.1.

USING MANURE

All manure is used neat unless otherwise specified - but avoid putting it on young shoots because it will scorch them. Make sure that it is well-rotted.

12.2.

Cow manure

Compared with other forms of organic material, it is very cheap, and excellent as a soil conditioner and source of nutrients. Cow manure does not contain a very high percentage of plant nutrients when compared with an inorganic fertilizer, but you will be using a far greater volume of manure than of an inorganic fertilizer, so the mineral concentration is less significant. Moreover, manure will hold water and maintain that high level of fertility that organic growers continually try to achieve.

12.3.

Horse manure

An excellent source of organic matter, horse manure is often more readily available near urban areas. There are plenty of stables who are pleased to sell it. Fresh horse manure must not be used directly around plants since it can cause scorching. Moreover, if put unrotted on the soil, much of the nutrient value will be lost and the straw mixed in with the manure will take a long time to decompose. If you have access only to small quantities of manure, put them on the compost heap where the high nitrogen content will assist the decomposition. Large quantities are best stacked, if possible on a concrete base and since there is a lot of air space in the straw, and thus a danger of it drying out, tread the heap down as you stack it. Cover with polythene to protect from excess rain. Horse manure will be ready for use in two months.

12.4.

Pig manure

Somewhat colder and wetter than horse or cow manure, pig manure has a very high nutrient content. Treat the same way as horse manure but, since it is heavier, you usually need not tread it down.

23

12.5.

Chicken manure

This is very powerful manure indeed, with an extremely high nitrogen content, and should not be used neat. If you can find a farmer who keeps hens in an old fashioned deep-litter house, where the birds are housed on straw, take as much manure as you can get and stack it as described for horse manure. If you keep your own hens, use their manure as a source of nitrogen for the compost heap. Chicken manure from a battery hen unit can be used to compost straw. Put a layer of straw in the bottom of a compost container, soak it with water, then cover with a sprinkling of chicken manure. Add more straw, water it, then cover with manure. Continue until the bin is full, ending with a layer of manure. Leave this type of compost to rot for at least a year because the manure will contain all the hormones that are fed to battery chickens.

12.6.

Sheep manure

Because sheep are not normally housed inside, you do not get a mixture of straw and muck as with cow, horse and pig manure. However, the manure itself is so high in nutrients that it is well worth going round the fields collecting it. Half a sackful will provide enough liquid manure to last the average-sized garden a whole year. You can easily make liquid manure.

13.

Other manures
13.1. Pigeon droppings

Pigeon droppings contain even higher concentrations of nitrogen than chicken manure, so contact local pigeon-racing enthusiasts. The manure can be used in the same way as chicken manure.

13.2.

Rabbit manure

is also ideal, though likely to be available in only small quantities. Use in the same way as chicken manure.

13.3.

Goat manure

is similar to horse manure, but of better quality. If you can find any, or, if you keep a goat yourself, compost the manure and use as horse manure. Before leaving manures, one suggestion that is not as crazy as it sounds: when the circus leaves town it is often left with a manure problem, so it could well be worth contacting it as soon as it arrives!

13.4.

HOME-MADE LIQUID MANURE

24

It is very easy to make your own liquid manure which will be as nutritious as any you can buy. All you need is a large metal or plastic drum that holds water, a hessian sack and some animal manure. Sheep manure is the best because it is particularly high in nutrients, but cow, pig, horse. or goat manure can be used. About half a sackful will give a year's supply. Homemade liquid manure can be used neat, provided the soil has first been watered. This is essential because there are two possible problems with dry soil. The first is that the manure will simply run off the soil, rather than penetrate it. The second is that it will disperse through the soil more slowly, and therefore remain in more concentrated amounts that could cause root damage to delicate plants.

1 Fill the drum with water Collect up half a sackful of animal droppings. Tie up the sack with a double loop of string.

2. Put a stout stake across the top of the drum and loop the string over it to suspend in the water Leave for a fortnight, until the water is a nch dark colour Remove the sack and leave the drum covered.

25

14.

SEED-SOWING GUIDE

Think before you plant. For good results you must plant each kind of seed at the time which is right for it. Here are a few examples: Cool weather is essential for growing peas because when it is too hot blossoms do not set and there will be no peas to eat. Pumpkins planted in late summer result in diseased plants and no fruit. Lettuce and Chinese cabbage bolt (go to seed) when the weather is too hot for them; but tomatoes, beans and peppers can stand hot, dry weather well. There are some vegetables which grow nearly all the year round in the Western Cape but would only flourish in winter in the hot, humid Lowveld. In this Seed-Sowing Guide you will see which seeds you should plant for each month of the year in your climatic region. Work out which is your AREA on the map below and then go for it!
ONLY THE SEEDS MENTIONED IN THIS GUIDE ARE STOCKED BY THE FGF:

14.1.

AREA MAP

BOTSWANA
PIETERSBURG

3
JHB
KROONSTAD BLOEMFONTEIN

6 3

5

2
CAPE TOWN

DURBAN

4
PORT ALFRED

1

PORT ELIZABETH

OUDSHOORN

MOZA MB
26

NAMIBIA

IQUE

ZIMBABWE

AREA 1
Summer December Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrots, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, lettuce, marrow, mealies, pumpkin, radish, squash, sweetcorn, tomato. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, CM kale, leek, lettuce, marrow, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash. Bush beans, beetroot, Chinese cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lettuce, radish, soup celery, Swiss chard spinach.

AREA 2
Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, radish.

AREA 3
Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, mealies, radish, sweetcorn, tomato.

AREA 4
Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, marrow, mealies, pumpkin, radish, squash, sweetcorn.

AREA 5
Amaranth morog, brinjal, cabbage, radish, (chillies, greenpepper, & tomato may be planted in shade).

AREA 6
Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, mealies, radish, sweetcorn.

January

Amaranth morog, bush beans, cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, CM kale, leek, lettuce, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Amaranth morog, bush beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, CM kale, lettuce, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Amaranth morog, brinjal, cabbage, CM kale, chillies, greenpepper, radish, tomato.

Amaranth morog, bush beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, CM kale, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip. Beetroot, cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, onion, parsley, radish, Swiss chard, spinach, turnip.

February

Beetroot, Chinese cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, parsley, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Bush beans, beetroot, Chinese cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, onion, parsley, radish, Swiss chard spinach, soup celery, turnip.

Beetroot, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans,beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, CM kale, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, New Zealand spinach, onion, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, tomato, turnip.

Autumn March

Beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi. leek, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, parsley, radish, soup celery,

Beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, radish, Swiss

beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, CM kale, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, radish, soup

Cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, CM kale, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, radish, Swiss chard spinach,

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper,

Broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, CM kale, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley,

27

Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

chard spinach, turnip.

celery, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

turnip.

kohlrabi, CM kale, leek, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, New Zealand spinach, onion, parsley, pumpkin, radish, soup celery, Swiss chard, squash, peas, tomato, turnip. Amaranth morog, broad beans, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leek, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, New Zealand spinach, onion, parsley, peas, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, tomato, turnip. Amaranth morog, broad beans, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, New Zealand spinach, onion, parsley, peas, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, tomato, turnip.

radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

April

Broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, CM kale, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, peas, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Broad beans, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, leaf~mustard, lettuce, lucerne, onion, turnip

Broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, parsley, peas, radish, Swiss chard spinach, turnip.

Broad beans, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, peas, radish, Swiss chard spinach.

Broad beans, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, parsley, radish, peas, turnip.

May

Broad beans, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, peas, radish, turnip.

Chinese cabbage, leaf mustard, lucerne, onion.

Broad beans, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lucerne, peas.

Broad beans, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, onion, parsley, peas, radish.

Broad beans, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, lucerne, peas.

Winter June

Broad beans,

Chinese

Chinese

Broad beans,

Amaranth

Cabbage,

28

cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, lettuce, parsley, peas, radish, turnip.

cabbage.

cabbage, peas.

Chinese cabbage, lettuce, peas, radish.

morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, peas, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, tomato, turnip. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lucerne, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn.

Chinese cabbage, peas.

July

Beetroot, cabbage, carrot, lettuce, parsley, peas, radish, tomato, turnip.

Peas, Swiss chard spinach.

Peas.

Broad beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, lettuce, peas, radish, turnip.

Cabbage, peas. (Chillies and greenpeppers may be planted in very protected areas)

August

Beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, mealies, parsley, peas, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip.

Beetroot, cabbage, carrot, kohlrabi, leek, leaf mustard, lettuce, lucerne, peas, radish, Swiss chard spinach, tomato, turnip.

Beetroot, bush beans, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, parsley, Swiss chard spinach, tomato, turnip.

Beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, mealies, parsley, radish, Swiss chard spinach, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip.

Bush beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, greenpepper, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, peas, Swiss chard spinach, tomato.

29

Spring September

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, mealies, parsley, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard, spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip.

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lucerne, lettuce, marrows, mealies, parsley, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, soup celery, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard, pinach, soup celery, squash, sweetcorn, tomato. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato.

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lucerne, lettuce, marrows, mealies, parsley, pumpkin, radish, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn, soup celery, turnip, tomato. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, lettuce, leaf mustard, marrow, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, soup celery, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, pumpkin, radish, squash, sweetcorn, tomato.

Bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, mealies, parsley, pumpkin, radish, soup celery, Swiss chard, spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip.

Amaranth morog, bush beans, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, kohlrabi, leaf mustard, lucerne, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, radish, sweetcorn.

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, lettuce, marrows, leaf mustard, leek, lucerne, mealies, parsley, pumpkin, radish, squash, Swiss chard, spinach, soup celery, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, squash, Swiss chard spinach, soup celery, sweetcorn, tomato. Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, leaf mustard, lettuce, mealies, New Zealand spinach, radish, soup celery, sweetcorn, tomato.

October

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, leek, lettuce, lucerne, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, squash, sweetcorn, tomato, turnip.

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrow, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, soup celery, Swiss chard spinach, squash, sweetcorn, tomato.

Amaranth morog, chillies, greenpepper, mealies, New Zealand spinach, radish, leaf mustard, sweetcorn.

November

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, brinjal, cabbage, carrot, chillies, cucumber, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, parsley, pumpkin, radish, squash, sweetcorn,

Amaranth morog, bush & climbing beans, beetroot, cabbage, carrot, chillies, greenpepper, leaf mustard, lettuce, marrows, mealies, New Zealand spinach, pumpkin, radish, soup celery, squash, sweetcorn, tomato.

Amaranth morog, mealies, New Zealand spinach, radish, sweetcorn.

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tomato, turnip.

15.
PLANT Beans

COMPANION PLANTS
COMPANION Marigold Petunia Summer savory Onions Dill or mint Rosemary or sage Celery Dill Sage or onions Celery Amaranthus or nasturtium Beans EFFECT Repels beetles Beans less likely to suffer from beetles Beans grow more strongly Beetroot grows better Broccoli grows better Repels cabbage butterfly Helps control grubs on cabbage Chemical secreted by dill improves health of carrots Carrot fly is repelled Bush beansHelp each other grow better Less likelihood of insects on eggplants Beetles repelled from eggplant In a circle at base of tree it deters borers Increases soil fertility Vine crop increases Leeks grow better Protection from aphids, snails and mildew

Beetroot Broccoli Cabbage

Carrots

Eggplant

Fruit trees Grapes

Garlic Clover or lupine Hyssop Celery or onions Chervil

Leeks Lettuce

Potatoes Radish

Beans Beans Lettuce Sunflower Borage Marigold Marigold Basil Thyme or peppermint

Potatoes less likely to suffer from beetle damage Both grow better In summer, radish more tasty Provides increased nitrogen to corn Soil nutrition improves for strawberries Helps control nematodes Tomatoes grow and produce better Improves flavour and growth Helps control white fly

Sweetcorn

Strawberries Tomatoes

16.

PEST CONTROL WITHOUT POISONS

Many gardeners use poisons to kill insect pests; but poisons cause serious problems: They are dangerous and can kill people - they are especially dangerous when there are children around.

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They kill dogs, cats and birds, and also the good creatures which protect our plants. They travel through the soil into underground water, then into streams and dams; they may even get into our drinking water. This danger is increasing every year. Poisons are expensive Instructions for using poisons must be followed exactly but many people are careless or cannot read There is no safe way of getting rid of tins and bottles containing left-over poisons.

FOLLOW THESE GOOD RULES FOR NON-POISONOUS PEST CONTROL:
Make sure that your soil and plants are healthy by using the FGF method. Pests go for weak, sickly plants! Plant several different crops in each bed (polyculture) - not just one kind (monoculture). Different tastes and smells confuse insects Rotate crops. As each crop is harvested replace it with a crop from a different family because different plant families are attacked by different kinds of insects. For example, replace members of the legume family (peas and beans) with members of the cabbage family (cauliflower, kale, broccoli, etc.). Remember that green peppers, tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same family. Remove pests by hand and kill them. Check each plant every day. Because insects lay hundreds of eggs at a time every insect you kill really reduces the number of pests. Quickly remove and burn damaged and diseased plants. Grow anti-pest plants. Plants such as marigolds, nasturtiums, garlic and spring onions repel insects plant them in and around your vegetable garden. Companion planting: e.g. carrots and onions benefit each other; lettuce and beans are also good. Use home-made, non-poisonous methods to kill pests or keep them away from plants

ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY INSECT REPELLENTS GARLIC SPRAY: Cut one whole garlic into small pieces, add two teaspoonsful of liquid paraffin and let it stand for 24 hours. Add 2 and a half litres of soapy water***. Mix well and strain into bottles. Keep bottles tightly closed and use the mixture when necessary. Spray it onto the plants or apply with a very small paint brush. Do not forget the undersides of the leaves. CHILLI SPRAY: 4 chillies, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, soapy water***.

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Cut all the ingredients into small pieces. Cover with a little soapy water***. Let the mixture stand for twenty four hours. Add 1 litre of water and mix well. Strain into a bottle - keep tightly closed. Spray or paint onto plants when necessary

"BEETLE JUICE": Collect the offending pests (e.g. those large yellow and black
monsters which eat roses), drop them into a tin of water to drown them, then pour hot water over them to make a strong "beetle juice" (ugh!). Leave for several days. Strain off the liquid and use as a spray.

WOOD ASH was used by our ancestors to repel pests. It is good for the soil as it contains
potash and phosphorus. Finely sprinkle old dry wood ash around, but not touching, the plants.

Never use coal ash. SOME COMMON PESTS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM APHIDS (plant lice) (dinta tse fumanwang dimeleng/izintwala zezithomho)
Dip a sponge or small, soft cloth into soapy water* and gently wipe aphids off plants. If the problem persists add a few drops of Jeyes Fluid ("dip") to the soapy water. Repeat this 3 times at 3-day intervals. A strong spray of plain water often removes aphids (repeat this 3 times at 3-day intervals).

RED SPIDER MITES are tiny creatures which spin tight webs on the under-side of leaves
and suck out the sap. They flourish in hot conditions and can be controlled by keeping the soil thickly mulched and spraying (especially the undersurface of leaves) with a fine, cool mist of water. ***Soapy water: Make a light lather using blue soap or Sunlight bar soap. Never use dishwashing liquid or other detergents.

ANTS AND TERMITES do not eat plants but they often bring aphids to .plants so keep them out of your garden. Termites (called "white ants"), belong to a different family; they eat anything woody including dry mulches, the bark of trees and even furniture and floors!
Pour Jeyes Fluid (mixed with a little water), or urine down the ant holes. Crush dry chillies into a fine powder and sprinkle it where the ants are running.

SNAILS AND SLUGS travel and eat at night; they like cool, moist places and hide under
garden refuse. Keep the area around your vegetable beds free from piles of dead leaves and other plant waste. Collect and kill them every day in the early morning or the cool evening Snails like beer. Push shallow containers into the soil and fill them with stale beer. The snails drown in the beer Sprinkle crushed eggshells around plants - the sharp shells hurt the snails' soft bodies. Snails and slugs are repelled by a mulch of oak leaves.

EELWORMS (Nematodes) are tiny parasitic worms which suck the juice from plant roots,
and the eggs they lay cause knots to appear on the roots. This stunts and kills the plants. If plants collapse examine their roots for rootknot.

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Mulch, compost and organic fertilisers produce organisms which prey on the nematodes. Marigolds protect plants from being attacked by eelworm. Where there has been an eelworm infestation sterilise the soil 2 weeks before planting. (See under cutworm )

CUTWORMS cut down young plants at soil level.
Dig gently around the plant with your finger and you may find a curled up cutworm. Kill it. Protect young seedlings with a stiff collar made from newspaper or the inside of a toilet roll. Collars should be half in the soil and half above it. A small stick placed upright in the soil next to the plant will stop this nasty worm from cutting the stem. Finely crushed eggshells spread closely around small seedlings may help to keep cutworms away. Soil which has been infested by cutworms or eelworms should be sterilised by soaking it with a strong solution of Jeyes Fluid (50ml Jeyes Fluid to 5 litres water) two weeks before planting time.

CABBAGE WORMS AND CABBAGE MOTHS. The worms come from the eggs
which the moths lay on the leaves of cabbages and other plants. Make a mixture of flour and salt and shake it onto the cabbage leaves through an old sock just a very fine dusting on to the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. Cut tomato leaves into small pieces and place them on and around plants which are being attacked Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 2 litres of water, and spray onto plants.

BUGS AND BEETLES
Try keeping them off your plants with the chilli or garlic sprays (see above) At night, place a lighted lamp on a stand in a basin of water, or hang the light above the water. The beetles are attracted to the light and fall into the water and drown. This works particularly well with Christmas beetles.

GARDEN FRIENDS
There are a number of creatures which eat garden pests but do not eat plants. Learn to recognise these creatures and know their ways and encourage them to live in your garden. (see FGF Quarterly Letter No. 54). Predators which help to keep down our garden enemies include spiders, ladybirds, lacewings, the praying mantis, lizards, frogs and insect-eating birds.

EARTHWORMS (dinonometsane/umsundu) are harmless. They do not eat living plants but they do eat the organic matter which goes into the FGF trench beds, and convert it into wonderful humus. Earthworms also aerate the soil and make tunnels for water to penetrate to the deepest plant roots. Earthworm activity results in healthy soil. Healthy soil produces healthy plants, and healthy plants resist pests and disease.

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Never kill earthworms or any other "good" creatures - they are valuable friends!

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