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Rhs level 2 certificate year 1 week 21 2012
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Rhs level 2 certificate year 1 week 21 2012

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Root veg

Root veg

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  • 1. RHS Level 2 Certificate Week 21 – Outdoor food production. Vegetables – root vegetables and miscellaneous
  • 2. Learning Outcomes
    • 1. Root vegetables. For named varieties of each of radish, carrots (early and main crop), potatoes (early and main crop), onions (spring, main crop and overwintering), leeks and beetroot, state:
    • 1.1 state the place in seasonal rotation and successional cropping
    • 1.2 state cultivation, propagation and care requirements
    • 1.3 state 1 pests and 1 diseases of each, their symptoms and their control
    • 1.4 state harvesting period and technique and storage
    • 1.5 Describe how quality and yield may be determined by the following: base and top dressings, thinning, weed control, crop support, irrigation and pest and disease control
  • 3. Root vegetables – general points
    • Root vegetables are discussed together but have particular and differing requirements.
    • Generally, apart from carrots, manure is applied when digging the plot the previous autumn.
    • Use a stale seed bed and apply a balanced fertilizer when preparing this.
    • Lime requirements vary depending on the crop.
    • Watering is important and should be consistent – lack of water leads to split roots.
  • 4. Carrots ( Daucus carota ) Varieties
    • Round rooted – good for heavy or stony soil. E.g. ‘Parmex’ , ‘Paris Market’
    • Early – ‘Amsterdam Forcing’
    • Main Crop: ‘Chantenay’
    • Late Main Crop: ‘Autumn King’
    • Resistant to Carrot Root Fly: ‘Resistafly F1’
  • 5. Carrots - cultivation
    • Dig the soil in Autumn but do not manure or add compost.
    • Prepare a stale seed bed, adding balanced fertilizer but do not lime.
    • Sow where they are to grow, carrots resent transplantation.
    • Sow in 1cm deep drills about 15cm apart, very thinly to avoid the need to thin.
  • 6. Carrots – after care
    • Water regularly after germination. Irregular watering causes split roots.
    • Thin if necessary to 4-6cm apart. On a damp overcast day and remove all thinnings.
    • Keep weeds under control until well established. Use a mulch between the rows.
    • Control pests and diseases.
  • 7. Carrots – pests and diseases
    • Carrot root fly – low flying insect lays eggs in the soil and crowns of plants. Control – barriers of fine mesh, nematode control available. Good crop hygiene at harvest.
    • Aphids – spread viruses so control by using fatty acid spray as soon as they are seen
    • Violet root rot – no control, apart from long rotation and crop hygiene, improve drainage.
    • Dwarf Motley virus – discoloured leaves and poor yield. Spread by aphids so control is to control aphids.
  • 8. Potatoes ( Solanum tuberosum ) Varieties
    • Early: ‘Pentland Javelin’ Good disease resistance and some resistance to eel worm
    • Salad: ‘Pink Fir Apple’ Good flavour and unusual appearance, smaller yields than traditional varieties
    • Main Crop: ‘Cara’. Good blight resistance.
  • 9. Potatoes – cultivation
    • Chit the seed potatoes before planting. Plant only certified virus free seed potatoes.
    • Do not lime – encourages scab.
    • Early varieties – plant in March, main crop in April (provide frost protection on cold nights)
    • Water regularly at the base of the plants.
    • Earth up when haulms are about 30cm tall to half their height.
    • Main Crop varieties benefit from high nitrogen and potash liquid feed when the canopy begins to touch. No need to feed Early varieties
  • 10. Potatoes - harvest
    • Harvest Early potatoes once they have flowered. They should be chicken egg sized. Earlies do not store well. Treat Salad varieties as for Earlies.
    • Main Crop – harvest once the haulms are dieing back (but do not leave too long because of late blight). Lift and allow to dry before storing in a cool, dark, dry place.
  • 11. Potatoes – pests
    • Slugs – soil dwelling Keeled Slugs so pellets of limited use. Good cultivation and use nematode control.
    • Wire Worm – avoid planting on newly converted grassland. Use traps and cultivate soil well to expose the pest. Adjust planting times.
  • 12. Potatoes - diseases
    • Blight – brown patches on leaves, dark spots on tubers which then rot. Grow resistant varieties, spray if necessary with copper fungicide. Avoid splashing the leaves of the plants when watering.
    • Mosaic virus – yellow mottled leaves, weak plants and poor yield. Control the aphid that spread the virus.
  • 13. Alliums – general points
    • Need open sunny site – fine leaves
    • Neutral to slightly alkaline soil
    • Very vulnerable to weed competition – there is even a special hand hoe called an onion hoe!
    • Need careful watering though the exact requirements differ for onions and leeks
  • 14. Onions
    • Grow from seed or from ‘sets’ (specially grown and treated baby onions).
    • Need consolidated soil
    • Pests and diseases – onion root fly, stem and bulb eelworm, onion white rot
    • Harvest – stop watering once leaves begin to die back and shoulders are above ground, need to be lifted and allowed to dry before storage.
  • 15. Leeks
    • Transplant into deep holes and do not backfill
    • Do not consolidate ground
    • Liquid feed for mid-season varieties mid to late summer
    • Harvest as needed – mid and late season varieties stand well into winter.
  • 16. Learning outcomes
    • 1. Root vegetables. For named varieties of each of radish, carrots (early and main crop), potatoes (early and main crop), onions (spring, main crop and overwintering), leeks and beetroot, state:
    • 1.1 state the place in seasonal rotation and successional cropping
    • 1.2 state cultivation, propagation and care requirements
    • 1.3 state 1 pests and 1 diseases of each, their symptoms and their control
    • 1.4 state harvesting period and technique and storage
    • 1.5 Describe how quality and yield may be determined by the following: base and top dressings, thinning, weed control, crop support, irrigation and pest and disease control

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