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Gardening in Wem

Vegetables & Fruit: General Advice on Growing in Wem.
  • Ask advice of other gardeners or gardening clubs in the area - join your local gardening club, the Wem & District Gardening Club. Listen to advice - it can save a lot of time and failures but don't worry too much about ignoring it - including the information on this website - you can try anything once. The delight of this country is that incredible variation in soil, weather etc. that you find over quite small areas. What works for the neighbour around the corner may not work for you (and vice versa) so trust your judgement.
  • Consult your local library (Wem Library will allow you to access material from across Shropshire Library Service) or bookshop. Both will be able to show you the books available for loan or purchase.
  • Soils will vary even over short distances. Many areas of Wem are on sandstone. This is an advantage with heavy downpours because the ground drains quickly and does not become waterlogged. However fertility tends to be low and the soil needs the addition of organic material.
  • Remember that the soil is not just an anchor for your plants. A healthy soil is one packed with microscopic and invertebrate life. Such soils will produce healthy plants resistant to attack from pests and adverse weather conditions.
  • Produce your own compost.
  • Always read the instructions on the packet of seeds or provided with a plant.
Vegetables
Fruit
  • Plan your rotation pattern. Rotate crops to prevent build up of pests and inbalance of nutrients. 3-year cycle of brassicas (manure, fertiliser and lime, need ph 6.5-7.5) roots (fertiliser) and others, e.g. onions and legumes, (manure) works well, 4-year is better if you have the space. Unless you have a large garden, you will need to compromise on this rotation.
  • Prepare ground well but do not overdig and bring up lower soil which has lower fertility.
  • Use raised beds where possible, means no digging and higher cropping levels.
  • Containers or troughs can be used for some vegetables if space is limited.
  • Don't plant if soil is too cold and wet.
  • Don't mix lime and fertilisers/manure, separate by a month.
  • If planting a number of fruit trees, plan site well in advance.
  • Some producers use decoy fruit bushes to distract 'bird strike'. Silvaspin, based on the outskirts of Wem, find this very successful. However you need sufficient ground for this to be effective otherwise you are probably sacrificing productive ground needlessly.
  • Always read documentation supplied with plants and make sure that plant is what you ordered.
  • Match your fruit to the site. Check suitability of soil, drainage, light, exposure, possible frost pockets, growing space available, temperature range. Some problems can be overcome, e.g. windbreaks can be built, frost protection can be provided.
  • Prepare site during previous autumn.
  • Container-grown bushes and trees can be planted at any time (within reason). Check that the plant is genuinely container-grown, not placed in the pot for transportation.

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Gardening in Wem