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Space in my veg plot, what can I plant right now?

(9 Posts)
llynnnn Fri 22-Jul-11 20:53:21

I'm going to dig my potatoes up tomorrow (very excited!) but what can I plant in their place now or is it best to let the soil 'rest' until next year?

It's my first year of growing anything so please excuse my clueless-ness!

Takver Fri 22-Jul-11 22:48:15

Loads of stuff to plant now - if you like salads then you can sow lettuce, or all the oriental greens do well sown now (pak choi, mizuna etc). You can put in kale or chard which will crop from late summer all through the winter into next spring. Or a late sowing of beetroot or carrots will do fine.

Or indeed you could wait a bit & sow spring cabbage in late summer - or broad beans to overwinter in autumn - or garlic in november . . . the possibilities are endless!

BTW if they are main crop potatoes you might want to wait a bit before digging all of them - earlies should be cropping now, but maincrop will carry on bulking up well into August.

commanderprimate Fri 22-Jul-11 23:09:44

I second the above, and I'd also recommend a row of spinach or two, which I find does a bit better late in the season as it doesn't bolt so fast. On the salad front, rocket would work well too. If you can get hold of plants, a late planting of courgettes/cucumbers can keep production going when your first lot start to flag.

I'm also a huge fan of overwintering onions - the Japanese shenshu types, which you can grow from seed or set. It's too early for them now, but if you plan to have some ground clear for mid Sept that'd be perfect. They're ready for harvest in June, over a month before spring sown ones.

I think this is the right time to plant "Christmas potatoes" too (usually carlingford early I think), but probably best not in the same ground as your maincrop.

QuintessentialShadow Fri 22-Jul-11 23:10:47

I would say to let the soil rest.

Takver Sat 23-Jul-11 09:54:54

If you are going to let the soil rest, its best to cover it though, either with a green manure (crop sown to dig in) or a thick layer of mulch/ground cover fabric - basically anything to stop the winter rains washing all the nutrients out.

GnomeDePlume Sat 23-Jul-11 18:32:20

I think the general feel is that you can plant second crop or Christmas potatoes in the same bed as you had your earlies but then you need to be strict about not putting potatoes in that bed for a couple of years.

You could look at creating a strawberry bed. Bare rooted strawberry plants will go in in autumn. Parkers are about half the price of other suppliers at the moment.

llynnnn Sat 23-Jul-11 21:17:41

Thank you for all your replies. Lots of great suggestions, still not sure what to do! If little plants are growing through the cold winter, will they need covering or protecting at all?

GnomeDePlume Sat 23-Jul-11 21:35:10

Strawberries grow half way up alps so on the whole they will be fine!

Actually, most plants which are expected to over-winter are fine except if temperatures get ridiculously low.

llynnnn Sun 24-Jul-11 22:55:20

Thanks, I'm such a novice! So much to learn!

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