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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.

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