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Talk to me about lovely edible/ low effort things to grow in the garden

(50 Posts)
SarahAndQuack Mon 18-Mar-19 18:50:02

I've always had tiny postage-stamp gardens or collections of pots; last year we moved and now have a garden. Pros: it's large; the soil is lovely sandy rich stuff; there's a good amount of shelter on all sides; it's sunny, and (because it's almost boggy in winter!) it doesn't dry out too much in summer. Cons: it's full of huge boulders, no one has done anything with it, and random parts of it have been paved/concreted at some time in the distant past, so you end up heaving up paving slabs from under inches of accumulated soil. It's also rented, so anything that would take a long time to establish is a calculated risk, and we're on a budget anyway.

Last year, when we'd just moved in, I carved out some veg beds. We grew:

- artichokes (pretty, not deeply practical)
- herbs
- courgettes (brilliant)
- beans (not brilliant, but got them in late so will re-try - any recommendations what?)
- spring onions (fine)
- cherries (weirdly, despite buying the tree in blossom, very good crop for a 4ft fan!)

We also discovered there were semi-wild raspberries in the back field, which did well, and this year I've moved a few of them to the veg patch to make them a bit more accessible.

I'm fancying trying squash, more beans, maybe some mange-tout peas, maybe tomatoes, and my DP fancies trying corn.

I would love to know what you'd do, both in terms of things that you've found easy and reliable, and in terms of specific varieties you really rate.

FWIW, my DD is nearly 2, and loves to be out in the garden, so I partly want to do things she enjoys. She loved the raspberries last year.

CrazyCatLady13 Mon 18-Mar-19 19:15:13

Potato onions - as long as you leave one in the ground it will grow more. Pretty flowers too!

Miniature kiwi - grows as a vine, smooth skins that you can eat whole.

Sugar snap peas - never make it as far as the kitchen!

Beetroot and radish are quick and easy.

Strawberries in hanging baskets stops slugs getting them before you do.

Winter and summer purslane great for salads and self seeds.

CrazyCatLady13 Mon 18-Mar-19 19:16:18

Tom thumb beans grow as a bush and big crops as well.

Palominoo Mon 18-Mar-19 19:17:04

Purple sprouting broccoli

SarahAndQuack Mon 18-Mar-19 19:18:43

Ooh, catlady, thank you! Lots to think about there. My DP will love you for suggesting radish. How do you grow them?

palo - that sounds good too!

Herculesupatree Mon 18-Mar-19 19:21:36

I too am eating purple sprouting broccoli grown from last year. Sprouts are also good to grow to have your own on Xmas day and avoid the last min dash to the supermarket! Both (for me) are a case of planting and leaving till you want to harvest.

Tomatoes can be good if it’s a hot year but otherwise not too good outdoors.

Courgettes are v easy and you get a lot for little effort.

I’ve never had much success with autumn squash but have done well with summer squash.

ThePittts Mon 18-Mar-19 19:27:10

Leeks are fairly easy to grow, and don't need too much looking after.
Courgettes as you mention are on my list every year. Runner beans, and peas, although the peas tend to get eaten before they get as far as the kitchen !

picklemepopcorn Mon 18-Mar-19 19:27:47

White currants blackcurrants and redcurrants.
Blueberries if you have acid soil. If you have to grow in pots it's too hard.

Tumbling Cherry tomatoes
Mangetout peas.

Jerusalem artichokes.

FlibbertyGiblets Mon 18-Mar-19 19:31:52

Cut and come again lettuce.

Rhubarb (swoon).

Gooseberry bush. Nomnomnom.

Yes to all the suggestions you've had already.

FlibbertyGiblets Mon 18-Mar-19 19:32:40

Hahahah no one's said carrots. Quite right, they be bastards to grow.

DonPablo Mon 18-Mar-19 19:33:04

Tumbling tomatoes in baskets and pots couldn't be easier.

Radish are dead easy too. And cucumbers. I get hundreds of cucumbers every year! Pumpkins too, but they need space to spread about unless you grow them creatively up supports.

Lettuce and spinach are easy too.
Happy days!

TheBitterBoy Mon 18-Mar-19 19:35:00

Radishes are dead easy, just sow seeds about radish size apart, water every few days, more when it's hot, harvest after 6 weeks or so. I tend to sow a set every 2-3 weeks so there are always some to pick.

idlevice Mon 18-Mar-19 20:10:58

Cucumber, as long as you protect the stems until well established. I put a plastic bottle around mine. You can get different shaped ones, like globes, mini ones & yellow ones for variety.

CrazyCatLady13 Mon 18-Mar-19 21:01:04

Cucamelon are great, tiny fruit tasting of cucumber and lime. Grows up a trellis. Lovely in pimms or a g&t! Grows quickly from seeds of you can get as plug plants.

CrazyCatLady13 Mon 18-Mar-19 21:03:39

Patty Pan squash are easy, you pick them when about 5cm. Every plant has lots, and they're lovely roasted whole as you can eat the skin.

TalkinPaece Mon 18-Mar-19 21:06:05

Come and join the gang .....

SarahAndQuack Mon 18-Mar-19 21:54:15

Thanks all!

Someone else recommended leeks, so now I've had it seconded, I must.

pickle - oh, yes, Jerusalem artichokes would be easy. I have blackcurrants (forgot to say as they are not something I would have chosen - they were the only thing thriving in a mass of honeysuckle and abandoned car parts that were left by whoever was here before. There's about 2/3 of what looks to me like a morris minor embedded in the hedge, with a sycamore tree growing through one of the doors!)

flipperty - so glad you said gooseberries as I bought two plants in B&Q and am hoping they work!

thebitter - oh, that does sound easy. Ok, radishes it is.

cucamelon sound fun too.

catlady - YY, had been thinking about those.

talkin - I must! Sorry, I did know there was a garden section but forgot.

florascotia2 Tue 19-Mar-19 17:49:01

Rainbow chard - when young, raw in salad, when older cook like spinach.
Perpetual spinach - very, very easy, very, very prolific.
Climbing french beans - I find them easier and tastier than runner beans, though if you like those, they are generally quick and easy.
Russian kale - wonderful, very prolific. Any sort of kale is usually easy.
Potatoes - no need to be complicated about these. Whatever you grow will taste nicer than shop ones.
Blackcurrants grow like weeds here - NW Scotland . Ditto raspberries and gooseberries. I swear by Chris Bowers of Wimbotsham for all fruit bushes and trees. Other suppliers are available, of course.
Carrots generally like sandy soil.

IJustLostTheGame Tue 19-Mar-19 18:38:33

Potatoes are really easy to grow
Leeks are too and they are so much nicer home grown.
Peas are easy if you stick some netting up and they taste so different and nicer than frozen.

Ronsters Tue 19-Mar-19 19:40:50

Sweet corn, I grow it in a pot in a block of 4. Dead easy and although I don't get a massive crop, the cobs are delicious. I tried a variety called Goldcrest last year and it was the best so far.

Cucumber, I like the mini ones (Mini Munch), again they are very easy and you get loads of cucumbers.

ParoxetineQueen Tue 19-Mar-19 19:58:18

My old dad used to swear by potatoes for cleaning up the ground, they taste good and smother weeds. Last year was rubbish for runner beans so worth trying again. courgettes and rainbow chard are great as are cherry tomatoes in baskets.

TinklyLittleLaugh Tue 19-Mar-19 20:04:42

I only grow stuff you can just leave and pick every year.

Strawberries and tiny alpine strawberries
Autumn raspberries
Artichokes (can’t get rid of them)
Loads of herbs: mint, sage, rosemary, thyme etc

I have had a proper veg patch in the past but I prefer my flowers.

I’m planning to grow some salad leaves this year though.

Silvercatowner Tue 19-Mar-19 20:15:57

Peppers are really easy to grow in pots.

DangermousesSidekick Tue 19-Mar-19 20:31:50

Seconding leeks - does anyone want any?? I need to dig up all mine left from last year! - and potatoes. Also strawberries.

picklemepopcorn Tue 19-Mar-19 20:59:13

Lovely ideas here. Yum.

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