Inspirational growing links

I must share this link about an allotmenteer in Stockholm who produces unbelievable quantities of food on a plot of 10 metres square. Every month she weighs and records what she produces, and this is recorded on the blog. Originally from China, her vegetables and growing methods reflect this, and she also shows a very economical/space-saving way of starting seeds indoors, since she lives in a small flat with nowhere else to start her seeds.

If you don’t read Swedish you can still read the blog by viewing in Chrome, which will translate the page for you.

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Wow, those yields are really incredible - I think that her plot size is equivalent to only about half an allotment. What an achievement. I will enjoy looking at it in more detail one evening this week.

Are there any ideas from her that you will look to try or new crops to grow?

This is a great idea for thread, Rachel. Thanks for starting it.

She eats a lot of pumpkin/squash greens, which is common in Asia and Africa. I have grown shark’s fin melon, which is INCREDIBLY prolific, and it is this one, in particular, that she eats the greens of, so I will grow it again next year for greens. I also intend to read through all the blog posts and make notes of the plants that she’s growing so well to see whixh others I’d like to try. Oh yes, she also grows Malabar spinach in an unheated tunnel on the plot and it looks fabulous. :slight_smile:

mmm, i wonder how she does that! I thought it needed a fair bit of warmth - but perhaps Stockholm is warmer than I realised or maybe she just has a special way. Shelter and microclimates can also make a big difference, I guess. Looking forward to reading more.

Malabar spinach does need a lot of warmth, but it grew very well in my greenhouse last year. Stockholm summers are not unlike ours, but shorter (and with longer days). On top of that, it was the hottest summer ever in Scandinavia this year, so the MS must have loved its environment, well-tended in a polytunnel in a hot summer! :slight_smile:

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I’m not raining on Zita’s parade - those are fantastic yields. But I am looking at her growing medium and she appears to be gaining both fertility and soil warmth by using pretty much pure half rotted manure and compost. This is common practise in China and one of the reasons why so many pandemics start there - e-coli 157 central apart from anything else. Essentially she’s turned her allotment into a giant compost heap and isn’t leaving that compost to mature before she sows into it. The nitrate levels are going to be very high in those huge leaves. I grow squashes etc on my fermenting compost heap myself to give them the extra warmth and because they are greedy feeders, but I put a barrier - in the form of a couple of sheets of cardboard, topped with finished compost between the plant roots and the fermenting mix underneath. You can get just as much nutrition into a much lower weight of leaves if you apply half an inch to an inch of finished compost and the long term soil health will be better. Envying you your malabar spinachRachel. Mine was absolutely miserable this year, even in the poly tunnel, in a very, very cool Irish summer. Friends who’s tunnels faced south had it grow well for them - indeed they are still selling it in vast amounts. It’s a great crop for a warm garden/greenhouse/tunnel.

That’s interesting Kathryn, I didn’t know about it being a common practice to use half-rotted manure as a growing medium, and I missed that detail in the blog. I was intending to go back over it with a fine-tooth comb to collect details, and I still will.

We keep hens - partly for their manure - but we bought a compost tumbler at the same time, and their manure spends six weeks in there being tumbled daily with kitchen scraps before being allowed in the general compost heaps. And yes, too much compost could definitely be bad for those eating the greens. But I’m still seriously impressed. :wink:

The malabar spinach that did well here in Worcestershire last year (or was it the year before? I can’t remember) loved the horribly hot greenhouse that everything else fried in. I overwintered it in the bedroom under lights, just ticking over, but then it got a lurgy and I threw it out. Family health problems this spring meant my seed-starting was rather chaotic, and those got missed, but I’m trying them again next year. New Zealand spinach, on the other hand, is doing wonderfully, both inside the tunnel and out, although I always forget how late it is to get going. Hope you have better luck with your MS - and the weather! - next summer. :slight_smile: