Vegetable plot inspiration please!

(10 Posts)
Winceywoo Sat 15-Jun-13 19:40:23

We have a fairly big neglected veg plot in our garden, maybe equivalent to half an allotment of space. The previous owners had let it dwindle and now two years later I need to decide if it's worth restoring or just grassing over. Weeds are the biggest problem, at the moment. My DH seems quite keen to get stuck in, and without sounding too sad it could turn out to be a nice hobby to share together. (Aah). But to make it work, we need to be realistic about time, energy and enthusiasm.
As we will be committed to holidays in August for the next 8 years, I would like to grow stuff that is ready either before then or early autumn. Also we need to grow veg that doesn't need watering every day as I think we will lose enthusiasm as our garden is hilly with no water butt near the veg plot. My late father was a keen gardener and it would be nice to keep the tradition going, albeit in a small way.
The next few weeks would be spent preparing the area then planting etc after the summer hols. As the plot is a good size I was thinking of planting fruit bushes as a more permanent feature but would be grateful for your collective wisdom as what else to grow, especially non-summer stuff. Many thanks and sorry to ramble.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 15-Jun-13 20:51:01

This is what I'd do. Split it into 4 for rotation maybe with a herb bed in the middle and then paths going down the middle and across

Plants:
Strawberries
autumn fruiting raspberries
Rhubarb
Borlotti beans
Sweetcorn
Florence fennel
Beetroot
Butternut squash
Pumpkins
Oca
Leeks
Swede
Lettuce
Carrots
Cabbage
Rainbow chard
Shallots
Purple sprouting broccoli
Some flowers - calendula , poppies, sunflowers, whatever you can find.

With the watering I don't do any beyond the initial planting /sowing. Add stuff to improve your soil and hoe off the weeds regularly. I get the same yield generally as those at the allotment watering regularly. It is hard to do if you are use to watering and I got an email from my friend to say she cracked and watered mine whilst we are away.

Invest in a good hoe, I am very attached to my Wolfgarten push pull weeder (or something like that). Make space for a compost heap and somewhere to take a cuppa.

Winceywoo Sun 16-Jun-13 08:38:37

Thank you for your excellent advice. You have inspired me to start work on those weeds today! Liking your suggestions for veg, I was thinking of rhubarb, leeks and shallots so pleased they're on the list. I already have some strawberries in troughs but the yield for a family is rather small. I didn't mention that we back onto a field and get mice, foxes, small deer and badgers in the garden so I will need to try and deter them. Are there any plants/scents that they dislike. I believe human urine is supposed to warn off foxes! Also, in gardening terms, what does rotation mean?

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sun 16-Jun-13 12:02:50

Here's a bit about crop rotation. That's difficult with the wildlife. Think the only certain way is to fence it off but then that gets expensive. I don't think plants will really work.

I haven't had much success when I try strawberries in a trough either, they do much better for me in the ground, as long as they are netted which I often don't get round to.

Have you got friends who grow veg ? They may well have raspberry canes they could give you and in the autumn some rhubarb, plus some strawberry runners and bits of herb plants. For cheap seed have a look at MoreVeg, Premier seeds on EBay, Lidl, Wilkinsons. Above all enjoy yourself and if things don't go to plan one year, hang in there, there's always another smile

Winceywoo Mon 17-Jun-13 07:31:58

Thank you Wynken, Great advice. Sore back today after a frenzied weeding session when the rain stopped yesterday.

purplewithred Mon 17-Jun-13 21:02:08

Grow what you like eating. If you aren't going to eat it don't grow it (unless it's pretty and you will enjoy looking at it).

Fab list from Wynken, i'd add courgettes - if you ignore them they just grow into marrows, but when you pick them then they carry on churning out courgettes for you.

Talkinpeace Mon 17-Jun-13 22:12:39

My veg garden is the size of an allotment plot
BUT
its all divided up into raised beds - mostly 4 foot by 8 foot
I'd suggest you put in a few dividers and start with small areas and then expand when you feel like you need more space
that way it will not overwhelm you

my best trick is to buy a tray of living lettuce in the supermarket, soak it in a bucket for an hour and then divide up into 24 clumps = lots of lettuce for 99p

Winceywoo Tue 18-Jun-13 17:46:13

Thank you tip, I've seen that lettuce in sainsburys,! Did you buy those veg plot border kits or make your own? Our garden is hilly, with veg plot at the bottom of hill, iykwim.

Talkinpeace Tue 18-Jun-13 18:35:17

cheap planks and setting out pegs for me.
concrete kerb stones for my next door neighbour!

Winceywoo Tue 18-Jun-13 19:11:14

Thanks, will go scavenging!

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