Any novice veggie patch people want to share the anticipation and hope of growing our first edible things from the garden?

(113 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Tue 16-Apr-13 22:30:26

Hi, I've made a raised bed for a veggie patch, spent silly money on soil and compost, and finally planted some seeds in it a few days ago. I'm totally new to this so I've no idea how it will go but I'm quite excited about the possibility of it working. it better anyway after the money I've spent on it

I've only got a 1x2m bed at the bottom of the garden but I've planted:
-spring onions
-leaf salad
All of the above are direct sown (cos I didn't know how to propagate and all that) apart from the strawberries which I bought as plants.

And I've got two separate trough planters for peas plus three bags to grow potatoes. Oh and two blueberry plants I bought last autumn.

I have dreams of nibbling through delicious fruit and veg all summer. Anyone want to join me in the veggie adventures? Or give me any advice?


crazyforbaby Wed 17-Apr-13 04:18:32

Hi there!
This is EXACTLY what I am looking for-thank you! DH has always been 'the gardener' of the family, but since we moved to Canada he has been promising to tackle the garden, but nowt has been done. So I am definitely gonna do something while on my maternity leave.
The children at school tell me that they learnt in Geography that we live in a tropical zone, which is news to me, as there is still snow on top of the mountains. (we do however have a palm tree outside the front door which is flourishing with our neglect)
I don't think I am brave enough to plant seeds straight into the ground. Some of the local shops are selling courgette, broccoli and strawberry plants which look sturdy enough to me, however I have done nothing to prepare the soil. I also have a cat and a digger dog who pull everything up, so I am thinking of trying Square Foot Gardening and surrounding it with a little fence.
Must stop looking at Pinterest and the beautiful garden designs there. Mmm I can almost taste those sweet strawberries ! Any advice much appreciated!

lolalotta Wed 17-Apr-13 06:40:50

Hello! May I join? We have moved house 3 weeks ago and it has a 100ft garden (!!!) and a greenhouse! So far, I have washed down the greenhouse inside and out and planted 7 tomatoes (not grown from seed) and a courgette plant! Some untreated scaffolding planks are arriving tomorrow for the three 8ft x 4ft raised veggie beds we are building this weekend...gulp! I've found a source for some well rotted manure but still need to find some top soil!!! I bought a rhubarb plant yesterday ready to go in and some runner bean seeds but that is as far as I have got! grin

lolalotta Wed 17-Apr-13 06:42:24

I am new to gardening too BTW, so is my OH...

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 17-Apr-13 09:59:18

Hello everyone!

crazyforbaby where are in Canada? I'm jealous! Re cats in garden, our next door cat kept using our veg patch as a litter tray so I've draped some netting over it and that seems to have stopped it. I'm thinking I might need to get some fruit cage things though so the netting doesn't squash anything that decides to grow. My patch is also under a tree which I didn't think of when I did it (its in the sunniest corner of the garden) and birds keep crapping on it, do you think this is a problem? Don't fancy crap flavoured veg come summer.

Hi lolalotta I'm new to gardening too so I've no idea if any of this will work. Your garden sounds fab. Watch out where you get your soil cos I paid over £100 from somewhere online last year and it was full of stones and nails. I called them and they were all innocent about it, said the boss would call me back but he never did. I can't even remember where I got it now. I ended up putting in to the bottom of another bed that was being made in our decking and topped it up with better stuff. For my veg patch I put in sandy loam soil from a local reputable builders merchant and the difference between that and the stony stuff was amazing. I then put some compost on top and a sprinkle of blood fish and bone (yuk) cos it said on the packet it was good for veggies!

It's absolutely pissing down here today (Scotland) so I just hope my seeds won't drown before they've had the chance.

crazyforbaby Thu 18-Apr-13 06:31:40

Hi Sleeves,
I live in Vancouver and I am jealous of you living in Scotland, so there! Went there on holiday once years ago and loved it.
You all sound a lot more organised than me. I took the dog out for a v long run for the past couple of days...he is now flaked out on the garden and does not look up to digging down to Australia!
A local Botanical Gardens has a Plant Sale coming up. Their beauteous cuttings and plants have people coming from all over the province. The organisers have requested volunteers from my 13 year old's High School. I need to sell the idea of volunteering there to her...not easy as she is barely speaking to me except in grunts at the moment...A friend told me that if DD helps out there for a couple of hours that she will be given as many free plants as she wants <swoon!>

nooka Thu 18-Apr-13 06:45:53

I'm not a complete novice, but I'm only a few years in and not terribly successful so far! Last year I got a bit sad and dh said he'd take over, but all he's done so far is plant some leeks that are showing no sign of life at all.

I have started pepper, tomatoes, beans, two types of courgettes, squash, cucumber and aubergines inside and have lots of tiny sprouts so far.

We are also in Canada, but interior from Vancouver and it's semi desert here - very hot in the summer but a really short season (late May until maybe mid October). I would love a greenhouse!

We have a big garden and a separate fenced veggie patch (fenced because ddog has also been known to dig a bit). Most successful planting to date has been potatoes. We do have fantastic fruit trees, but I can't really take any credit for them as they were planted long ago.

lolalotta Thu 18-Apr-13 16:46:32

Our scaffolding planks have just arrived for the raised beds, they're huge, eeeeeek! grin

SilverSixpence Thu 18-Apr-13 18:37:33

yay I want to join too! I've got a bit obsessive in the past week grin. We have a tiny London garden (half patio, half lawn with soil around the sides). I want to grow from seed, not sure it will work but it hasn't cost me much as I got some trays and a propagator from my mum spent a fortune on seeds though. I sowed herbs, aubergine and tomatoes on Sunday but none have come up yet - is it normal to take so long? Planted some radish and salad leaf seeds day before yesterday which are sprouting, which is exciting!

I just started a thread as i have a shaded area which might be good for a small raised bed, but its in the shade - I might try some spinach and rainbow chard in that.

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 18-Apr-13 19:55:04

None of my seeds have come up yet but my strawberry plants are at least looking like they're growing and they are now sticking up nice and straight and look a bit bigger. The blardy rain though was so heavy that some of my pea seeds reappeared since the soil took such a battering, I just hope the seeds that aren't as obvious haven't also surfaced and been eaten by birds or something...

I don't know what grows in shade, I've put my veg patch in the sunny corner of the garden (but its under a tree so the birds keep crapping on it grrrr).

nooka Fri 19-Apr-13 05:33:49

My aubergines took at least 10 days to come up, might even have been a fortnight. The packet often has a note about times - mine says 7-14 days but it depends on the variety.

poppy77 Fri 19-Apr-13 05:54:33

Hello, can I join in? I have an allotment (I hope that's ok - I am still a complete novice) which I've had for 14 months now, but last year was an utter disaster - I had just about managed to clear the weeds when it started to rain and Did.Not.Stop all summer. I think I grew a couple of sweet peas, lots of rhubarb and that was it.

So I've cleared most of the weeds again - but this year I am definitely cheating (and as a single parent with very little child-free time and a new puppy I think I'm allowed) - I have put in a load of raised beds, chucked in some compost and top soil, and ordered some of the sets from Rocket Gardens. The soft fruit plants arrived in February and are already in, and I am trying to get everything ready for the veggie plants which should arrive very soon.

I went there yesterday after a bit of a break - the daffodils I planted had flowered and all of my many rhubarb plants were well on the way to producing stalks long enough to pick. The good thing about being a rubbish gardener is that I have super-low expectations, so I was very pleased with myself!

SilverSixpence Fri 19-Apr-13 10:50:24

nooka - thanks that gives me some hope! Are you planning to put your aubergines outside? I've read that they do best in greenhouses or inside, we have a spare room so I could put them in there but would prefer to put them in the garden if they will do well there.

I've just been on the Rocket Gardens site, it all looks amazing! I'm very tempted to give up on my seeds and go for their patio garden set - if they haven't sprouted in another 2 weeks that will be my back up.

I've also discovered a small shop near us selling plants, trays of broccoli, pointed cabbage and lettuce 6 for £2, tomato plants 99p each.

lolalotta Fri 19-Apr-13 18:43:32

Hello newbies!!! grin
It's my birthday today so my OH took the day off. We spent the afternoon building our first bed! (only another two to go!) it was very straight forward and looks really good! I had to borrow a spirit level off my sister though as it doesn't look very level at the moment so we will check that tomorrow! We just need to get some top soil and well rotted horse manure and then we are all set! Itching to get planting, lol!!! I was thinking about a few pumpkins for Halloween...I thought my DD, who's 3, might enjoy watching them grow and then carving them! We are hoping to get lots more done tomorrow.... wink

lolalotta Fri 19-Apr-13 18:44:33

Just off to check out rocket garden site...

ilikeyoursleeves Fri 19-Apr-13 19:12:57

Lola- happy birthday! Pumpkins take up a huge amount of space I think but since you've got 3 beds you will prob have enough space. What else are you going to plant?

My seeds still haven't sprouted though I only planted them last Saturday. I bought some bamboo canes and string today in the anticipation of my peas growing smile it was nice and sunny all day here too so hopefully that's helping my little seeds.

lolalotta Fri 19-Apr-13 20:01:43

Ilike I hope you see something popping through soon!!! I'm sure it won't be long now! We have some grow bags in the greenhouse to sow some lettuce seeds this weekend, I am nervous about sowing, what if I do it wrong or too thinly or too thick?!? I want to read up about succession sowing so we can get a continuous supply of leaves...I think you sow every two weeks or something like that? My tomatoes are growing and growing and looking stronger everyday! grin

lolalotta Fri 19-Apr-13 20:02:51

I still need to find done cucumber plants...the ones at my local garden centre don't look too healthy for some reason!

ilikeyoursleeves Fri 19-Apr-13 22:25:22

I've sown half a row of spinach, spring onions and lettuce just now and will sow the other half in a few weeks time. I'm confused about something though, how do I grow things that will be ready in autumn / winter? The things I've planted recently will hopefully be ready in summer so do I then plant stuff for autumn and winter after I pull the summer things out? As in, in the then empty space? Will things be growing all year or do you need to give your veg patch time to rest sort of thing?

Beamur Fri 19-Apr-13 22:31:35

likeyoursleeves - maybe plant some purple sprouting broccoli, brussel sprouts maybe and look at some other over wintering stuff. But, it is ok to have 'bare' soil over the winter once your crops are over. Good time to dig over, add manure etc.
Be ready to deal with pests! Slugs and snails may also find you newly grown delights just as tempting.

ilikeyoursleeves Fri 19-Apr-13 22:38:15

Should I plant them just now or later then? I've only a teeny patch 1mx2m and most of it is already taken up by things (well, seeds that will hopefully grow). Do I wait until the summer stuff has been eaten up?

Beamur Fri 19-Apr-13 22:45:13

I'm a relative novice (this is my 3rd year) - but have had a root in my seed box and can tell you the following.
Kale - can be planted March through to July, with a harvest from June to Feb (obv dependant on when planted)
Broccoli - sow indoors/outdoors March/April/May, plant out July/August - harvest from Feb onwards.
I've a load of broccoli seedlings on my windowsills and may start off some Kale once I get some space.
I bought some half size propagators this year - they fit on a windowsill and have started from seed a few more veggies and so far they're doing well.

nooka Sat 20-Apr-13 05:26:32

SilverSixpence yes I'll put all my stuff in the garden. Once it's finished being very cold here it gets pretty hot -I just have to get better at watering, i think that's why my crops don't do so well. Last year I got flowers but no fruit. I've found some shorter season baby sized aubergines so hopefully they'll do something smile

goingtobefree Sat 20-Apr-13 06:27:03

Can I join in as well. I am a complete novice. We ( myself and my 4year old dd) have planted cucumber, tomatoes, beans and pepper seeds in a seed tray yesterday. Really embarrassed to ask this - do you cover the seed tray with a cling film? What is the difference between seed tray and propagation trays?
My daughter is always in the garden pretending to plant, picking wild flowers ,digging up small patch.
We have some pea pods to plant outside today, weather permitting.

nooka Sat 20-Apr-13 07:24:28

I don't think cling film would be a good idea - they need some air. Propagators tend to have a clear plastic done (keeps in the moisture a bit and creates a bit of a micro climate) plus sometimes they have heating elements, as quite a few vegetables need a certain amount of heat to get them going. You might do better to put your tray in a large clear plastic bag.

iPadTypo Sat 20-Apr-13 07:51:43

Marking my place for later when I am on the computer.

lolalotta Sat 20-Apr-13 11:00:03

Sunshiney day here today!!! grin

SilverSixpence Sat 20-Apr-13 15:29:57

Gorgeous weather here too. I moved all my seedlings to a south facing windowsill but now I'm wondering of its maybes bit too warm! The propagator especially has got quite steamed up - is this ok? It's got aubergine and tomatoes in which have done nothing in 6 days so far, so I'm hoping the warmth will give them a boost.

I accidentally overwatered by marrow seeds so they don't look promising

lolalotta Sat 20-Apr-13 18:43:40

Hi silver, no experience of propagators so can't advice! :-s
Hopefully somebody more experienced will pop along soon!
Been out there for 4 1/2 hrs this afternoon enjoying the sun, managed to get bed no.2 in nice and level and general pottering around! grin

orangepudding Sat 20-Apr-13 18:56:53

Can I join you?

I have just taken on allotment with a friend. Keeping it maintained seems quite daunting at the moment! So far I have cleared a couple of the beds of weeks and stones. The others are all covered with weed control fabric at the moment.
I planted out some cucumber and rocket today. I'm not sure of there is any chance of the seeds coming up. I have also planted some tomatoes and corn in trays. I have used cling film to cover them, read it's fine to do that.

lolalotta Sun 21-Apr-13 15:02:58

All three beds done (phew) now off to livery yard to collect some well rotted horse manure...

SilverSixpence Tue 23-Apr-13 09:13:48

How's everyone getting on? 4 of my marrow seeds have germinated, lots of radish and salad leaves, and one Black Russian tomato seedling has sprouted. None of the aubergines out yet. Also herbs haven't grown at all, what am I doing wrong? They are in a seed tray but not in the warmest spot - will they germinate if I move them somewhere sunnier?

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 12:51:47

Silver, I would try moving them somewhere warmer, we cheated and bought our herbs as little plants! :-S
Have been busy this morning planting runner beans, French beans and stringless beans, I'm just starting them off in the greenhouse and then will harden them off for a few weeks (if they come through that is!) before putting them in the beds... I want to have a go at succession planting so we don't end up with too much of a glut? Do going to plant some now and another batch in 4 weeks or so??? I have no idea if this will work? What a beautiful day!!! grin

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 12:52:43

Yay for your sproutlings BTW!!! Exciting! grin

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 14:17:15

6 sweet peppers and a tray of radishes have gone in now!!!

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 14:18:11

I just need to do my Tom thumb lettuce/ spinach and rocket now...probably tomorrow!

nooka Tue 23-Apr-13 16:36:50

Has anyone found that their tomato plants are growing very slowly? Mine don't look any different than they did a week or so ago. They are very small and weedy looking sad On the other hand my beans which I only planted a week ago need to be potted on already - I'd forgotten that using the propagator makes them grow a bit madly (It will be another three weeks or so before I can get them outside - hope I didn't start them too soon!)

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 18:35:40

Nooka, I cheated on the tomatoes too and bought little plants at the garden centre (I feel like I am going to get chucked off this board for not starting EVERYTHING from seed but I have moving house for an excuse! wink) so I can't share my experience I am afraid... I did plant lots of beam seeds today though!!!

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 18:36:45

I wish there was done way we could share pictures on this thread and get a little novice gardeners club going!!!

lolalotta Tue 23-Apr-13 18:36:58


nooka Tue 23-Apr-13 18:49:31

You can put pictures on your profile lolalotta (and you don't need to add any other personal details - mine currently just has a picture of my dog).

Nothing wrong with buying veggie plants in pots! I usually end up with a bit of a mix, depending how my seed growing turns out. also I'm a bit impatient. We can't plant out until May so the pots on my windowsill make me think I'm doing something!

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 24-Apr-13 03:15:08

Eek I'm now worried I've been a bit premature in sowing all my seeds outside! I thought you could sow them after the last frosts had been? I've not done any propagator stuff and deliberately bought 'direct sow' seeds thinking I could just pop them in the ground and they'd grow?

Eek maybe I should get a propagator too and try some inside too what you think? I'm off to google germination times since that's been 10 days since I sowed the seeds and nothings happened yet...

nooka Wed 24-Apr-13 05:29:33

Oh please don't worry because I said I wouldn't plant anything outside yet! I live in Canada and it's a lot colder here at this time of year than the UK (well usually anyway!). We can get frosts right into early May. You should be fine. If you are worried you can buy a light cover (can't remember what they are called) to throw over your little plants if it looks like the night might be a bit cold.

mrscog Wed 24-Apr-13 06:32:51

Hi, my advice would be to get some slug pellets and use them liberally. I've tried planting things a couple of years running now, only for slugs to decimate my 4 week old beautifully germinated and growing plants!

rhihaf Wed 24-Apr-13 08:46:37

Hi everyone, can I join?
Moved into my grandparent's old house and inherited an overgrown veg patch which I cleared out last year, and grew potatoes, rocket, carrots, radish and beetroot.

This year I am growing potatoes in bags on the patio, and have bought a really cheap crappy lean-to greenhouse. I say greenhouse, I mean rickety thing with plastic sides that blow off in hte wind and it's a discontinued model from Argos, clearly because the door is so low down you hit your head EVERY time you go in.....

rhihaf Wed 24-Apr-13 08:52:19

Forgot to say, I have planted peas - one lot from a box of LEO supermarket ones, and a 'proper' packet of seeds from Thompson and Morgan. As you would expect [surprised], the cheap 49p ones have all sprouted and are growing away like mad, and the T&M ones haven't sprouted yet...

I did soak my LEO peas in a cup of water overnight before planting out, and it really got them sprouting! The leftover ones were shooting sprouts in the cup after a few days smile

I have chard 'bright lights' just sprouted, some raddicchio, one bulb fennel sprouted. My courgette seeds (planted at the same time) not shown yet, nor the aforementioned peas.

Planted my first early potatoes a week ago. Arran Pilot and Foremost.

I love reading about everyone's veg exploits!

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 24-Apr-13 13:14:06

Ah nooka I forgot you were in Canada! I'm excited though cos hooray I now have some teeny salad leaf shoots poking out the soil and a few other shoots of who knows what have appeared but not in the line where I planted them so I think the wind / rain must have blown some seeds, either that or it's weeds!

Thanks for slug pellet tip, ill need to get some if that smile

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 24-Apr-13 17:00:46

Hmmm I think it's weeds that are appearing cos the same seedlings have popped up in a few random places! I did see two sprouting peas though woo hoo!

nooka Thu 25-Apr-13 03:21:56

That's why I plant in pots!

SilverSixpence Thu 25-Apr-13 08:09:52

Are we supposed to put stones in the bottom of containers to improve drainage? We don't have any stones in our garden so will have to go hunting!

I'd given up on my marrows but they have started sprouting thick green shoots smilealso herbs have all come up (except coriander and Thai basil) since I moved them to a sunny windowsill. The Thai basil is from eBay and hasn't done anything, neither have the aubergines I bought from the same seller. Should I complain? It's been nearly 2 weeks..

orangepudding Thu 25-Apr-13 08:40:34

Silver, which seller was it? I bought some seeds from eBay that should arrive today.
I out some tomato and sweet corn seeds on my window will. The sweet corn has sprouted but the tomatoes haven't which surprised me, thought the tomatoes would sprout first.
Homebase have plenty of small veg plants at the moment. Tempted to get some to stop my patch looking so bare!

This is just what I need! Very novice gardener here. I have wanted a veg plot for years and DH ( who is a very experienced gardener!) has built me a raised plot at the foot of the garden. So far we have planted lettuce, rocket, spinach, leeks, onions, garlic and beans. We have tomatoes in little plastic mini greenhouses in the conservatory and some potatoes chitting (I think that's the right word!) there as well, which will be planted in potato bags once they have started sprouting tubers. I am beyond excited at the prospect of eating something I've grown, but with marauding cats and greedy birds, I'm not sure how successful I will be!

Good luck, everyone!

TwllBach Thu 25-Apr-13 08:51:17

Can I join too? I moved into a house with a "proper" garden last year and tried sowing loads of seeds but only one lot worked sad

I did, however, get really excited when I chucked some sprouting potatoes I found in the back of the fridge into the soil bed, left them and then months later remembered! Went and had a dig and there were so many that I accused dp of buying a bag of potatoes and burying them to humour me grin it was so exciting.

This year I've got loads of seeds again but am a bit nervous about planting them. I have planted a few lemon pips in a jam jar on my window sill though, and I have shoots gringrin

rhihaf Thu 25-Apr-13 09:11:20

Wow TwllBach - lemon pips? THat IS a good idea grin From the name, I'm assuming you're Welsh? grin

If anyone wants a bargain, Poundland do a veggie pack of seeds including plum toms, beef toms, aubergine, courgette, oregano and rocket for £1!

Lidl (and other supermarkets now) sell 'Living Salads' that are grown in the UK. It's a small box of cut and come again lettuce leaves, but if you separate them out and pot them on, you've got 100s of lettuce plants!

Have just planted my first lot after hardening them off for a couple of days in the lean to greenhouse.

Lovely to hear everyone's veggie-related hopes and dreams!

TwllBach Thu 25-Apr-13 09:26:06

Dwin ddim yn Cymreig ond dwin byw yn Cymru grin ti hefyd?
(I'm not welsh but I live in Wales grin you too?)

From what I read, they probably won't grow to give fruit, but the leaves smell nice and I love citrus smells, so that's my primary aim. One person said that they had theirs for eight years in te house and then all of a sudden she started getting fruit!

I have one of those salad seed packs from homebase - do you think I could start them off inside?

SilverSixpence Thu 25-Apr-13 09:54:23

It was Colint976, he has 100% positive feedback so it must be me! I have been quite impatient and started poking the soil to see if there were any seedlings hiding in there so probably killed off anything that had tried to grow. I think I will sow some more seeds and see if anything grows, and if i don't get anything in 2-3 weeks I will give up and buy them instead.

Just noticed 3 Black Russian tomato seedlings, so exciting. I had given up on those. I want to plant up my potatoes today, the potato harvest videos on youtube have inspired me. They've been sprouting for about 10 days so far.

orangepudding Thu 25-Apr-13 14:16:25

I got my seeds from a different seller, they didn't arrive today. I also got black Russian tomato seeds.

Have planted a few things on my patch but am going to put some seeds in my mini greenhouse. I have far more seeds that I need!

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 25-Apr-13 19:54:10

silversixpence I've put bits of a smashed pot at the bottom of the troughs that my peas are growing in. I laid them over drilled holes on the base. My raised bed is on top of our old gravel driveway so I'm hoping the stones will help drainage! You said you're growing marrows, are these courgettes? I found a random thick shoot growing near my carrot row, but only one of them. It doesnt look like a weed. I planted three courgette seeds in the one hole about 20cm away so I'm wondering if a seed has blown over a bit? Although I've labelled my rows I think the wind or birds might have jumbled it up a bit! Btw if you google 'germination times' you can see roughly how long things take to sprout, mine are only just appearing after 12 days so far.

sweetestthing hello! How big is your veg patch? Re cats and birds, I've draped some netting over my patch, supported by bamboo canes. Seems to have stopped the next door cat shitting in it anyway!

twllbach hello too! How cool about about your potatoes, I tried to grow some in bags last year, planted 5 seeds and got ZERO in return boooo, I blamed the weather! I've directly sown all my seeds outside, not sure if they will all work but if they don't ill just put some plants in and cheat

News flash from here- I have some peas sprouting wooo hoo! My strawberry plants are getting bigger too smile does anyone know if we are meant to keep feeding the soil? I put loads of compost in plus some of that bogging blood fish bone stuff about a month ago, should I sprinkle any more on? Can you over feed?

rhihaf Thu 25-Apr-13 20:16:01

Ooh exciting stuff ilikeyoursleeves! I think you can burn the leaves of things if you give them too much food, but if it's well rotted manure, strawberries and potatoes will grow in just that without even any soil!

Twllbach: yes, I am Welsh and I live in Wales; which bit are you in? I am defo going to try the lemon thing, we have a covered terrace which is very warm and south facing, so if it grows it should love it there. We shall see!

I am so excited about stuff starting to sprout!

rhihaf Thu 25-Apr-13 20:17:30

Has anyone grown curly parsley? Ive grown the flat leaf stuff, which dies off a bit over winter and is just getting going again. But my gran has a HUGE patch of curly parsley in her garden which just seems invincible! Wondering what other people's experiences are?

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 25-Apr-13 21:27:33

I've never done curly parsley but come to think of it I'm sure I've got parsley seeds somewhere from last year, maybe I should plant them too?

nooka Fri 26-Apr-13 06:02:44

I've got a load of mad beans now, they seem to grow an inch a day! Trouble is that I can't put them out yet, so I'll have to pot them on into much deeper pots. Plus all my seedlings are growing at sharp angles toward the window, especially today which was very sunny.

The tomatoes are still tiny though sad

lolalotta Fri 26-Apr-13 20:47:45

I have a radish sprout in my greenhouse!!! I only planted it Tuesday!!! :-o

SilverSixpence Sat 27-Apr-13 10:25:38

One of my marrow seedlings has nearly outgrown the seed tray - should i be transplanting to a pot or outside? I have a prepared gro bag style planter ready for it but not sure if it's still a bit cold.

We now have 5 aubergine seedlings! Our garden is tiny so I might have to give some away at this rate!

TwllBach Sat 27-Apr-13 11:47:56

Does it matter if its cold, as long as it is above freezing? I thought that it was the freezing part that matters... But then maybe you should wait till someone who has a clue comes along blush

I've got ten daffodils in my garden that I planted from bulbs in August and they look about ready to burst into bloom, so I'm sitting outside with the dog, determined to wait until I see at least one petal grin

My lemon shoots are growing by the day, but some seem to be splitting into stem ad a leaf - do you think I should cut the leaf off? In sure I read something about doing that if you want the main stem to grow big and healthy.

I've got a swede in my kitchen that is growing something out of the top of it, and something from the bottom too. I'm tempted to throw tar in some soil an see what happens!

ilikeyoursleeves Sat 27-Apr-13 18:33:08

I thought you could plant things after the last frost so to speak? I have directly sown everything bar my strawberry plants but who knows how it will all turn out. That's 13 days since I sowed everything and not much showing yet, only shoots in my leaf salad and peas really. Buying plants is my back up plan smile

I planted literally hundreds of bulbs in autumn and I've got about 50 daffodils now and loads of tulips are about to bloom!

TwllBach Sat 27-Apr-13 19:07:40

Oh I love tulips! I heard that they were difficult to grow, though? I'm so jealous!!

ilikeyoursleeves Sat 27-Apr-13 21:55:30

I just bought around 200-300 bulbs of various plants inc daffodils, tulips alliums and can't remember what else and now they are appearing its so exciting. I can't remember what colour the tulips are so it will be a surprise. All I did was dig holes and pop the bulbs in!

rhihaf Sun 28-Apr-13 12:46:23

Silver Sixpence: I think marrow plants will be ok outside, but you'll need to harden them off first. Put them outside in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame for about a week before planting them. Or just put them outside during the day and bring them into a shed/garage at night for a week or so, then plant.

Lolalotta: congratulations on your radish sprout! Yey!

Twllbach: I have no idea about lemon sproutings sorry. Have a read here

My lettuce on top of the potato bags is growing nicely now, although I have slug pelleted everywhere! What is everyone doing to control slugs?

Great excitement here as we have signs of growth from the tomato plants, broccoli, pal choi, lettuce and cauliflower!

DewDr0p Sun 28-Apr-13 18:50:22

OP whereabouts (roughly) are you? After the last frost normally means mid-end May unless you live somewhere esp sheltered.

It might be an idea to plant a few courgette seeds in pots indoors as a backup. (Also worth bearing in mind that courgettes crop much better with 2+ plants) The salad and spinach will be fine.

DewDr0p Sun 28-Apr-13 18:52:58

I've been busy today. Have planted peas, spinach, rocket, mixed salad leaves and ruby chard outside. Plus got new thyme and mint plants in (mint in its own pot, so invasive) and ready to sort out runner beans in little pots inside tomorrow. Getting there!

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 28-Apr-13 19:33:02

I'm in ummm Scotland so I may have been a tad premature planting seeds then?!!! I have been looking at a bare bed for so many months I just wanted to sow something!

How do I grow inside then? Do I use a propagator or just put some compost in a pot? (This is why I directly sowed everything cos I don't have a clue!)

lolalotta Sun 28-Apr-13 19:44:51

My watercress is sprouting too, eeeeek! grin

DewDr0p Sun 28-Apr-13 19:52:20

Does it not say on the side of the packet? I usually get my courgettes from my Dad lol.

With runner beans I put them in individual pots (usually do a couple more than I want in case some don't work) and then put a plastic bag over the pot to encourage germination. I keep them in the dining room until they are big enough/it's warm enough to plant them out.

Oh here you go, the Thompson and Morgan website says:

Sow courgette seed indoors from April to May for transplanting later on, or direct sow outdoors from late May to June. Prepare the soil in early spring by adding plenty of well rotted farmyard manure to improve its structure and fertility.

Indoors, sow seed at a depth of 2cm (¾") in 7.5cm (3") pots of free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 20-25C (68-77F) until germination which takes 5-7 days. Do not exclude light, as this helps germination. Once germinated, grow courgettes on in cooler conditions until all risk of frost has passed and courgette plants are large enough to be transplanted. Gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting courgettes outdoors in rich fertile, well drained soil in full sun at a distance of 90cm (36") apart. Cover with a protective netting or fleece to prevent attack from birds and insects. When growing courgettes, a thick mulch of organic matter spread around the plants will help to conserve moisture at the roots.

Alternatively direct sow courgettes outdoors at a depth of 2cm (¾") and a distance of 90cm (36") apart. Sow 2 seeds per hole and thin out the weakest seedling per station after germination.

HTH! Although you could sow outside in a few weeks, I'd start them off in pots now to get a head start, I think.

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 28-Apr-13 22:21:38

Thanks! Hmmm will need to get some sowing compost and pots. What happens if you sow them in bigger pots?

JillJ72 Tue 30-Apr-13 07:27:25

Hi, perusing threads. Not a complete novice but growing from seed, growing in general I love. Thank you for helping me feel the buzz smile.

We have an allotment, but not one of those dreamy tidy edged, weed-free delights our allotment neighbours have (to be fair, they've had theirs for years and don't work so have time to tickle weeds during the day). Our allotment is one almighty battle with brambles and weeds and couch grass. We'll get there though. Had a good session at the weekend and put some things in (probably too early but it felt like a positive step to do so), and reading your thread is making me look forward to going tonight. Hope those weeds are ready for me! Now 3 years in and it's time to win the plot back from them!

Just wanted to say that if your seedlings are leaning towards the light, turn them round; they'll gradually straighten up and then start leaning again. And so you turn them again!


rhihaf Tue 30-Apr-13 10:30:27

Hi Jill,
welcome to the thread smile My garden backs onto a field so the brambles, nettles, couch grass, weeds and general wilderness is a constant battle! but it's fun isn't it?

I can't believe it, things have woken up so much in the last fortnight. My patio planters of spuds have started sprouting already! shock They've only been in a fortnight I am SO excited grin. The lettuce will have to go some to grow before the spuds take over.... the race is on!

Planting my early maincrop spuds today, varieties I've never tried before: Juliette and Kilfi, but in the ground, not in bags.

SilverSixpence Tue 30-Apr-13 11:33:22

Think Ive killed my radish and lettuce by trying to plant them out! Also they need thinning but I'm not sure how - do I just snip off the stem or do I need to pull them out by the roots?

I also planted a small tray of carrots from homebase, but they are also very close together, should I be thinning them as well?

ilikeyoursleeves Tue 30-Apr-13 21:26:31

I have no idea about thinning, never done that before but will be interested in the answer cos ill need to know soon!

So I'm thinking I've been too early in sowing my seeds outside... I think I need to sow some indoors but not sure what I need to do. Do I need a propogator or can I just buy some little pots and grow the seeds on the windowsill?

ilikeyoursleeves Tue 30-Apr-13 21:27:52

Hello Jill too! An allotment sounds both fun and hard work. How big is it? What have you planted?

orangepudding Tue 30-Apr-13 21:47:18

ilike, I put some seeds in old plastic food containers covered in cling film on my window rather than buy propagators - cheap and they worked. I did get a couple of propagators for use in the garden.
I had planted onions in my allotment but felt that they took up to much space for little gain. I cleared the weeds from under the blackberry bush and found some spring onions growing so decided it was probably a good place for my onions! I feel much happier in the portion they are in now.
I pout some seeds in the propagators in my garden and stuck stickers so I knew what was what. The ink has disapered, I have 8 different things planted and won't recognise most of them when they sprout!

ilikeyoursleeves Tue 30-Apr-13 22:01:48

Could I use those plastic containers that you get carry out food in? Would I just put in compost and sow some seeds? Does it need holes for drainage? Or could I use old pots that the supermarket herbs were in even though they are quite big?

Sorry if these are dumb questions!

fluffypillow Tue 30-Apr-13 22:32:21

Great thread!

First year for me. After deciding to start small, I am attempting to grow the following.......................

purple sprouting
Runner beans
sunflowers and sweet peas

Note to self...........must STOP buying seeds grin

ilikeyoursleeves Tue 30-Apr-13 22:56:09

Omg fluffy wow you're going to be very healthy eating all that! Do you have a big plot then? Have you planted anything out yet?

orangepudding Wed 01-May-13 07:53:43

ilike, those containers should be fine to start seeds of in. Cover them worth cling film after planting the seeds in compost. I uncovered mine when the leaves appeared and have now learnt to transplant to bigger pots quite soon after.
Fluffy, I too have a seed addiction - it's hard to resist when they are so cheap!

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 01-May-13 21:30:24

Oooo I now have spinach sprouting and some spring onions are peeking through the soil too!

And a big lone shoot has appeared in my carrot row and via google I've identified it as a courgette seed! I

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 01-May-13 21:32:23

Oops pressed send too soon.

I planted 3 courgettes seeds about 30cm away from the shoot so I bird must have dug it up then dropped it? Can I somehow move it back to where its meant to be? How would I do that?!

TwllBach Wed 01-May-13 22:55:32

My lemon seeds are growing really fast now, and it occurs to me that I don't actually know what I should do with them now grin I might have to replant them because they're in an old jam jar atm.

I'm hoping the weather is going to hold over the bank holiday weekend because I have a swede that I would like to plant, and maybe some carrots.

With your courgette seed, couldn't you just carefully dig it and a little bit of surrounding soil up, so you keep well away from the seed itself and just transport your little courgette-y ball from that place to the next?

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 02-May-13 02:34:25

Aha good idea smile ill do that at the weekend.

I bought slug pellets too due to a suggestion up thread, do I put it on now when the shoots are only just emerging or wait until there's lots of leaves to be potentially eaten?

DewDr0p Thu 02-May-13 12:56:26

Are slug pellets ok to use around plants you plan to eat? I'd check the box carefully.

Emerging shoots are extra tender and tasty, I think, so never too early to protect them.

JillJ72 Fri 03-May-13 19:15:10

Hi all !

Carrots - carrot root fly is a horrible little fellow that can smell a carrot from twenty flaps of its wings, so if thinning, bear that in mind. Couple of simple solutions - put a barrier around the carrots at least 20cm high (ie plastic sheeting), or plant them in pots at least 20cm high.

The plants I put in on Monday have perished, apart from the celery which seems to have relished the frost. I bought replacements today, and also got a thigh high greenhouse thing and also a netted tunnel thing for cabbages and broccoli. Allotment tomorrow it is!

Our allotment is something like 100ft x 20ft. It gets the sun all day and has a fox den in the brambles next to it. It became a plot about 4 years ago, we've had it for 3 now. A few more years and I hope we will have conquered it fully, and evicted most of the weeds.

We don't use chemicals; I've found personally using slug pellets seemed to attract the blighters. Would dearly love to rotavate but the weeds would have a field day!

In the ground already we have:-

Dwarf apple tree
Cherry tree
Plum tree
Raspberry canes
Gooseberry bush
Red and black currant bushes
Self-seeded chard
Narcissi, bluebells and aquilegia (for prettiness!)

To go in we have....

Purple sprouting broccoli
Red Baron onions
French beans
Runner beans
Courgette (green and yellow)
Red, yellow, orange pepper
Couple of types of lettuce

This year I've completely cheated by donating my funds to the garden centre's efforts. May sow a few things from scratch but need to clear our garden room of my crap to make space!

Weather forecast for my area is looking good this weekend so will get some time for digging and planting.

Have a good one!

ilikeyoursleeves Sat 04-May-13 17:55:48

Wow Jill you sound busy and very organised! Did you go to your allotment today?

I have a mystery going on here! I thought I had a courgette plant sprouting cos it looks like the shoot pictures online and on the packet. But it was about 30cm away from where I sowed it, so today I moved it back to the original hole (where I originally planted 3 seeds) but the three original seeds were still there unsprouted!!!!!


So I've sown three seeds indoors in yoghurt pots in case it's not actually a courgette seed. Hmmmmm. Any ideas what's going on?

On a happier less mysterious note, my peas are sprouting well as are my spring onions, spinach and salad. Carrots are peeking through too and strawberry plants are bigger smile

How's everyone else getting on?

orangepudding Sun 05-May-13 21:01:47

I went to my allotment today and noticed that a cucumber has sprouted, I planted a few so hope they will come through soon and won't be eaten by birds or slugs!

Ilike I have no idea about the courgette seed! Will be interesting to found out whether it is courgette or not.

The seeds in my propergators haven't sprouted yet and I'm getting impatient.

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 05-May-13 22:44:01

Talking if slugs I'm in a dilemma whether to put slug pellets on my veg patch or not. Don't want slugs but don't fancy the idea of poison in the patch cos a) I have kids though doubt they'd eat the soil! B) don't like the idea of killing things c) worried poison wound get on my veg d) worried poison would seep into the soil.

What are others doing?

rhihaf Tue 07-May-13 17:59:59

Slug pellets flat out! After last year I totally reviewed my mollusc policy.

You could try beer traps (just dig a hole, put a jar/cup/cut open can of beer in it), but that only works if you can get out to empty it pretty regularly, or it turns into a beery, slimy, gooey, stinky pit of hell.

Anyone planted any broad beans yet? I've never grown them and and considering it. Thoughts?

rhihaf Tue 07-May-13 18:00:43

Re: regular emptying of beer traps - I meant once a day or two, not hourly or anything! grin

ilikeyoursleeves Tue 07-May-13 18:49:35

Argh bloody slugs!!!! I had a row of leaf salad growing nicely, the leaves were about 2cm and today when I looked it has ALL GONE!!!!

The other stuff is all still there but I don't have any salad at all left, they ate literally all of it, sob sob sob sad

Tonight I am going to put the pellets out, little sluggy shits!

rhihaf Wed 08-May-13 08:26:53

Poor ilikeyourlseeves, have some flowers. Little sluggy shits indeed! Let's all rage against the lettuce-munching-machines, THIS IS WAR you bastards!

Ah, I feel better now. grin

bit of a heads up for a gale warning tomorrow for those of you in the south west, central southern England, midlands (away from the east) and much of Wales.
Went out yesterday and staked my broad beans in anticipation.

also, for the first time ever have been able to get lupins going thanks to slug nematodes. they arent perfect but have reduced my slug mountain.

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 08-May-13 12:21:27

I just went out to inspect the war on slugs and there's a huge slug trail mess over about quarter of my row of carrots now!!! It looks like they were having a feast then slowly crawled to their messy death urgh it's disgusting!

Starting to wish I hadn't bothered with this veg patch, for all the cost, time and effort I doubt ill get much at all in return sad

rhihaf Wed 08-May-13 17:00:26

Ohyoubadbadkitten: What's a slug nematode?
Ilikeyoursleeves: chin up! Give the garden another month and you'll be harvesting your crop and hard-earned veggies. Don't give up!

not that I'm ever able to take my own advice I do find that when I care less, more seems to grow! Honestly! When I shove stuff in anywhere without giving a damn, it seems to thrive, and the module trays of stuff I really nurture never seem as gung-ho.

Does anyone on here earth up their spuds?

they are weeny little creatures that you water into the ground and their natural host is slugs and they kill them off.

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 08-May-13 19:43:22

Can you tell us more about these wonderful sounding nematode things, pleeeeeease?!

lolalotta Sun 12-May-13 21:53:02

Google nemislug ilikeyoursleeves, I just started a thread on it!!!

lolalotta Sun 12-May-13 21:55:29

Nemislug is also organic is safe for veg plots apparently, only discovered it this evening on Amazon!

redwellybluewelly Sun 12-May-13 22:05:28

Can I join in?

I'm not a novice as such, but this is my first year of growing veg again after two years with no garden. My first garden had a 4 x 3 m veg patch which I created, I built a custom made greenhouse and used runner beans as climbers over trellis and garden arches. I adore growing veg but as I am organic often don't get a vast crop.

Anyway. This year after we moved house to one with a fabulous but rundown garden my DH bought me a rocket garden windowbox garden and it arrived on Friday! Dug it in today into my one 1.2m2 raised bed and spent my last garden vouchers on buying a cover for it to shelter the plants and hopefully protect them from cats.

Last weekend I potted up sunflowers, courgettes (2 types), tomatoes (2 types) , and some guords for DD. Don't have the room yet for anymore squash.

Big fan of nematodes and companion planting. I also encourage small birds who do insect patrol, we have nesting robins and blackbirds, and doves.

Must get in some strawberries though...

redwellybluewelly Sun 12-May-13 22:06:56

Oh and I'm also having a baby in 3 weeks so my ability to garden is severely affected!

rhihaf Mon 13-May-13 12:50:04

Hi Redwelly smile
Your garden sounds fab! I am intrigued by these nematode thingies - fabulous! Anything that helps the garden and the birds has got to be a good thing.

My potatoes (Foremost and Arran Pilot) in patio bags have grown so much in the last week that they have almost completely defeated my lettuce on top! So much for lettuce being a speedy crop hmm

My chives all survived last winter and have come back strong in the herb garden; and the gooseberry twigs bushes I got from Lidl have put on really healthy-looking green leaves.

Come on the summer! How is everybody else getting on?

redwellybluewelly Mon 13-May-13 20:07:39

rhihaf my last garden was truly amazing, the veg patch (which was pretty much all of it) was my pride and joy.

This garden makes me weep, so so much potential and was left effectively derelict for over twenty years. We've found the traces of a very lovely 50's style vegetable garden complete with the foundations of a greenhouse. Talking to a neighbour they've told us where the cold frames and fruit cages used to be as well. Such a crying shame.

redwellybluewelly Mon 13-May-13 20:08:07

rhihaf my last garden was truly amazing, the veg patch (which was pretty much all of it) was my pride and joy.

This garden makes me weep, so so much potential and was left effectively derelict for over twenty years. We've found the traces of a very lovely 50's style vegetable garden complete with the foundations of a greenhouse. Talking to a neighbour they've told us where the cold frames and fruit cages used to be as well. Such a crying shame.

redwellybluewelly Mon 13-May-13 20:11:31


Thats what happens when I attempt to edit.

I am in awe of potato growers, something I've never had much success with either in the ground or in the proper bags. I've agreed with DH we'll have another go when we take on an allotment next year or the year after.

ilikeyoursleeves Wed 22-May-13 21:26:00

Hi all long time no post! How is everyone getting on? My patch is looking ok ish... Peas are growing really quickly so I think I might need to stalk them soon? Can't quite work out how to do it though, I've got some bamboo canes and string but not sure how to put it together.

My strawberries have flowered and I read that you get a better crop next year if you take the flowers off but I can't bear to not get any strawberries this year! So I've taken the flowers off one plant and left them on the other two smile

Courgette plants are growing slowly, as are my spring onions and spinach. Potatoes have gone a bit mental too and my blueberries are looking fab and you can see the teeny berries already forming!

Not doing much other than watering the patch ATM. The slug pellets have killed a few of the feckers smile do I need to keep adding more pellets?

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