For example, seedlings of the pumpkin family, which includes marrows, gems and so forth, prefer to be sown directly rather than planted as seedlings.
Sometimes, however, there is an advantage in using cavity seedlings, such as when you want to get the crop in as soon as the danger of frost has passed. By doing so, you can gain a couple of weeks’ advantage on the market. But if you miss the correct transplant window, this can backfire and the plants will remain in limbo for a while before developing further.
Sometimes, farmers have seedlings produced for the first planting and direct seed for the second. If the seedlings are slightly overgrown, the later, seeded crop is likely to catch up to the transplants.
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Taking the sting out of the drought
Living through long periods of minimal rainfall has become a way of life for many farmers in various parts of South Africa. Brett Walker, who farms mixed livestock in the Eastern Cape, spoke to Glenneis Kriel about the various ways in which he alleviates the impact of the ongoing seven-year drought in the region.
The basics of bull management
The money-maker in the herd is the bull, says eastern Free State Simbra breeder Rick Dell. He spoke to Annelie Coleman about the management and selection of breeding bulls for commercial cattle herds.
Living the organic farming fantasy in the Western Cape Winelands
Following the rebuilding of Tulbagh after the 1969 earthquake, Brian Berkman has discovered that this historic town is experiencing yet another revival with trendy art galleries and farm-to-table dining.
Benefits of irrigating with wastewater
A recent study by Dr James Meyer, a private consultant, and Dr Rian Pierneef, a researcher in bioinformatics at the Agricultural Research Council’s Biotechnology Platform, found that wastewater from piggeries significantly increased the microbial diversity of soil. Pieter Dempsey spoke to the researchers.
The pros and cons of drip irrigation
Drip irrigation saves water and electricity, but is not suitable for all crop types. So make sure you end up with the right system, says Bill Kerr.
Groote Post: channelling a crisis into an opportunity
In 2020, South Africa’s wine industry encountered an unusual challenge: a ban on the sale of alcohol as part of the fight against COVID-19. This crisis spurred Groote Post, a family-run wine farm outside Darling, to blend its Internet savvy and tourism offerings with its tradition of winemaking and selling. The farm’s Nick and Peter Pentz spoke to Jeandre van der Walt.
How composting works
Composting speeds up the natural decay of organic material by providing the ideal conditions for detritus-eating organisms to thrive. The result is nutrient-rich soil that helps plants grow.
A formula for successful fynbos production
Nico Thuynsma’s love for all things floral and horticultural, and fynbos in particular, led him to establish a nursery and cut flower operation in the Cullinan area of Gauteng, where he produces proteas and other types of fynbos. Pieter Dempsey spoke to him about his passion for growing these plants.
A charming countryside guest house
Ellas in Greyton offers exceptional food, lovely views and wonderful hospitality, says Brian Berkman.
Over-irrigating costs you money in terms of water and electricity, and may lower your crops’ potential. Under-irrigating is also detrimental. Learn to irrigate properly and at the optimal time, says Bill Kerr.
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Crop Covers To Fit Your Needs
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