AMMONIA – 15 December 2017

Another lesson learned this month; fresh muck, however well rotted (and it is lovely stuff, thanks Mike!), contains appreciable levels of ammonia.

We spread and top dressed the beds outside, and also happily spread this in the poly-tunnel in a bed opposite our healthy winter salads. We closed the doors, and went home for the weekend! Two days later, the levels of ammonia were so high it made our eyes water, but worse, the ammonia had scorched the leaves of spinach, rocket, mizuna, and komatsuma, leaving large white areas. The white lisbon spring onions have totally succumbed.

Sadly, we are now, in November, hoping that a late re-sowing of these varieties will help to fill the salad “gap”. Talking of winter varieties, we’ve had a very poor result from the winter lettuce variety, “Brian”, with a 20% germination rate! Even after 3 weeks, and heated. We are not impressed, so will be returning to our stalwart “Marvel of the 4 Seasons”, which has never let us down. In fact, right now, we have 20 “Marvel” lettuces ready for harvesting right now.

What’s that they say? Famous last words?

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