TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

September 29, 2009

Incorporating Caliente Mustard into the Soil

Filed under: pests&diseases — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 6:44 pm

The Caliente Mustard sown in July has been chopped up and incorporated into the soil.

The mustard was chopped up with a flail in order to get it into very small pieces.  The more it is mashed up the better because it releases more gases.

The chopped up mustard was then incoporated into the soil with a rotovator.  It must be mixed into the soil immediatley – the sooner the better.  The greenery must be well mixed in to the soil.  There needs to be moisture present for the production of gases, so this dry weather is not ideal.

The gases produced by the caliente mustard kill soil borne pests. 

  • Branston Produce are using the mustard as a biofumigant to reduce potato eelworm populations.  Their product ’Fumigro’ – is a hot mustard biofumigant for the control of soil borne diseases relevant to potato growers.
  • Harper Adams College are doing some research into the effect of the mustard on eelworms.

The green maure resulting from greenery of the caliente mustard  is a second benefit to the soil.

July 27, 2009

Winter Salad Leaves to Sow in the Autumn

Filed under: salad — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 6:33 pm

Winter salad leaves are excellent value, especially oriental varieties
and they should be sown, now, in the autumn. These cut-and-come-again
salad leaves can be grown outside in the vegetable garden, in tubs or in
window boxes. They grow well in the cooler temperatures and lower light
levels of autumn.

Salad leaves to sow in autumn are:

small, mild tender leaves



Land Cress – Variegated Winter
crisp & tangy

land cress variegated

land cress variegated

Mizuna – good taste & crunchy stem



This patch of Mustard – variety Mizuna – is doing well in Yorkshire. The
center leaves are cut out with scissors, & provide fresh winter salad
leaves with a bite!

June 22, 2009

Caliente Mustard

Filed under: Uncategorized, pea&beans — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 3:07 am

Caliente Mustard:

  • improves soil structure – as a green manure
  • suppresses soil disease and weeds – as a  biofumigant
green manure

green manure

Caliente Mustard produces a naturally occurring biofumigant gas (isothiocyanate (ITC)) when its plant cells are damaged (by crushing or chopping).

This gas suppresses a range of:

  • soil-borne diseases, including Verticillium wilt, Rhizoctonia spp., Pythium spp., Fusarium spp., and Sclerotinia spp.
  • nematodes (eelworms)
  • wireworms

To encourage the production of the biofumigant gas ITC:

  • chop the Caliente Mustard plants as finely as possible – the finer the chop the greater the effect.   Either, use a rotary mower,  a strimmer or garden shredder
  • incorporate the chopped mustard into soil immediately, simply digging in the whole crop, un-chopped, will not give the same effect.  Mix the shredded vegetation into the top 15cm (6in) of the soil either with a rotovator, or by digging in with a fork
  • seal the soil surface, at once, to keep the gases in, using polythene
  • the soil temperature should be warm, between 10-15°C (50 – 59°F)
  • autumn or late spring incorporations are the most effective

To grow Caliente mustard:

  • Sow spring to late summer – it will be ready 60 to 90 days after sowing
  • To cover areas of bare soil over winter, sow early October (no later than mid-October) & the crop will be ready for incorporation in early to mid spring
  • 200g of seed covers approx 120sq.m
  • 1kg covers approx 600sq.m
  • Caliente mustard is available from Tozer Seeds

Powered by WordPress