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growing your own fruit and veggies

(16 Posts)
veggiegirl Wed 22-Apr-09 11:49:50


I'm in the process of strating my own fruit and veggie patch and wondered if anyone has done this and how you started out?

I'm not sure what I need to know, what info did you find out about? are you expereinced gardeners? Do the little one's take part in this?

I know these are lots of questions and I'm really keen to hear people's views on this.


DevilsAdvocaat Wed 22-Apr-09 11:59:32

i have just started mine and have no idea what i'm doing!

i've got courgette, cabbage, pumpkin, beetroot, radish in single lines next to each other (as far spaced as i can).

in a planter i have lettuce and herbs, tomatoes in a pot.

i have no idea if it will work but i figure seeds aren't expensive!

what are you going to grow?

my lo is under two so he wasn't that interested!

DevilsAdvocaat Wed 22-Apr-09 12:00:48

oh i know you have to rotate crops like root, brassicas and others that don't spring to mind but i'll deal with that next year

i'm not an experienced gardener but am v keen.

Galava Wed 22-Apr-09 12:03:18

Oh its easy peasy and so much fun.

Just grow what you like and dont grow anything you are not really keen on as sods law it will thrive and you'll be eating it for ever.

Peas are so much fun, grow really quickly and your LO will love harvesting them. Mine never reach the kitchen.

beanieb Wed 22-Apr-09 12:03:30

I found this book 'Vegetable and Herb Expert' invaluable.

Have had an allotment, twice, and this book really helped me as a kind-of beginner.

Overmydeadbody Wed 22-Apr-09 12:04:50

My parents have always had a vegetable patch and I'm attempting to grow my own this year for the first time. All I have is a balcony though so am using grow bags and pots.

Have cherry tomatoes, mini squash, strawberries, potatoes, runner beans, yellow bell peppers, and herbs.

Onlyaphase Wed 22-Apr-09 12:06:37

I think the key when starting out is to do a little bit at a time - e.g. clear one bit of bed, add compost, and then put plants or seeds in, then move onto the next bit of ground. This gives you a feeling of something being achieved without feeling you have to clear the whole garden before you can do anything.

I've just started using raised beds this year, and we have one completed bed, with plants and seeds in, and one semi-completed bed, plus space for two more when time and availability of labour allows. I'm growing expensive things - raspberries and blackcurrents, salad leaves, and then lots of things to freeze like broad beans and runner beans, and then things to make soup out of in winter like leeks and parsnips.

As for children, DD is 2.6, and we have just fenced off the veg patch to keep her, the cats and the dogs out - none of whom are helpful when it comes to gardening.
Good luck

BCNS Wed 22-Apr-09 12:12:15

been growing for a couple of years now.. this year i have:

french beans
spring onions
lettuce/ rocket/ mixed salad
bell peppers
cayanne peppers
jalopeno peppers
mange tout
normal peas
butternut squash
oh and sunflowers for dc's

lots in pots.. peppers are indoors/ lots in grow bags/spud bags and some in veg patch.

dc's help out.. and just follow the seed packet instructions and bung them in.. very easy.

don't use potato soil for potatoes more than once. and watch out for blight on toms and spuds!

meltedmarsbars Wed 22-Apr-09 12:46:06

Frost danger!!!

Tomatoes, peppers, cougettes, pumpkins, are not frost hardy so make sure you keep night temperature to above 5 centigrade - ie don't plant outside till ave night temp is 5 cent/50 farenheight.

your local allotments might have a society - great for wise old gardening duffers full of advice.

slug Wed 22-Apr-09 12:53:18

Children love gardneing. DD is in charge of snail removal. We grow, in pots (because we don't have an actual garden)
salad leaves
and various other flowers/weeds.

Try making a slug trap. Get a jam jar, dig a hole in the garden and bury the jar so only a bit of the rim is above ground. Pour in some beer (not larger) the yeastier the better. The slugs are attracted to the yeast, fall in the jar and can't get out. I figure they die humanely because the probably are pi**ed while drowning wink

BlueChampagne Wed 22-Apr-09 13:40:04

Lots of advice under MN gardening topic too. We have an allotment (started BC - before child) DS did help me plant some broad bean seeds this year but we generally try and go up there at nap time so DH and I can both work! Depends how old your DC is/are.

Plant some flowers as a crop - for picking - I think dahlias are great for the end of summer. And bulbs in the spring. Much more satisfying than forking out for daffs.

veggiegirl Wed 22-Apr-09 14:40:05

wow, so much great info, until now I thought I was a mad hatter thinking of doing this with a child of 11 months who won't know anything as yet and can't help. Love the slug trap idea more organic than pellets.

I'm looking to grow: cabbage, brocolli, potatoes, lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, artichoke, cauliflower, runner beans, strawberries, carrots, rhubarb....I think that's it...hubbie is digging up the rest pf the patch as we speak and I did the first of the pots yesterday and am hoping to do the patch planting this evening and tomorrow. Can't wait...

If any of you were starting from scratch what questions would you have first and foremost?

BlueChampagne Fri 24-Apr-09 13:06:42

Globe artichokes look fab as well, but you may not get any fruit till next year. Having said that, ours produced a few in the first year so fingers crossed. If Jerusalem artichokes, be aware that they spread like mad.

Don't forget to net your brassicas and strawberries. And see if you can get some summer and autumn fruiting raspberry canes for an extended fruit season.

Generally, plant things you like and are expensive: rocket, butternut squash, mange-tout peas, soft fruit.

GentleOtter Fri 24-Apr-09 13:16:24

Keep the seeds of the expensive veg - butternut squash, pumpkins, tiny tomatoes and sow them.
Companion planting eg savory with beans, basil with tomatoes etc helps both plants keep preditors away and improves the taste. Cook the companion plant in with 'it's' vegetable.

veggiegirl Sun 19-Jul-09 11:08:20

I've got a great resource for all of you...

Have a look here:


It's great resource and ongoing support.

sarah293 Sun 19-Jul-09 11:27:15

Message withdrawn

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