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help for a complete novice.

(5 Posts)
inlectorecumbit Sun 12-Mar-17 15:21:16

So l took early retirement and l am bored.
We have a back garden with astroturf and pebble borders- no areas for planting.
So l really want to learn and to try to grow something bearing in mind l have only ever manged once NOT to kill a houseplant.
I like the ideas of growing tomato plants and maybe small fruit trees in planters, perhaps a very small Lean too greenhouse...
So how can l start ? when can l start? Are there any good websites or books that l could buy to get me started??

JT05 Sun 12-Mar-17 16:07:26

How exciting! Planters definitely sound the way to go. How big is your garden? Have you got a good place for a green house? Also have you a garden style in mind? Tomatoes grow well outside, depending where you live. Fruit can definitely be grown in pots.
The RHS website is a good starting point.

shovetheholly Sun 12-Mar-17 16:50:34

First of all, everyone can be a gardener. There is no such thing as green-fingered and black-fingered! The main skill gardeners need is the time to be attentive to what they are creating. Plants rarely die suddenly overnight (though a major pest attack can occasionally do this) - most of the time they struggle for AGES before giving up the ghost. So the main thing you need is the leisure to notice that something is wrong at an early enough stage to intervene meaningfully, and Google/Mumsnet to figure out what it is! The big enemies are neglect and over-care (overwatering), and the main thing you can do for both is just to keep an eye out. smile

Get the DVDs of Alan Titchmarsh's 'How to be a Gardener'. It's an excellent introduction.

I like the idea of starting with a container, but with one proviso, which is that you recognise from the outset that container gardening is actually fussier than gardening in the soil, because plants in pots are more dependent on you for nutrients and the right amount of water. If you don't get it absolutely right first time, don't blame yourself, think that you're rubbish at this and give up! smile

inlectorecumbit Sun 12-Mar-17 17:27:03

Thanks for both the replies.
We set out garden out as above a few years ago when we got the dog-to stop him bringing the mud indoors during winter also and it is a big also l have a phobia about worms grin. But l am determined.
We have a square garden with astroturf in centre and coloured pebbles and paths around the edges. We already have a smallish paved area which could take a small greenhouse but maybe l shouldn't be too ambitious this year. We get the sun ( that big yellow ball in the sky which seems to have got lost in the last 6 months) in the garden for a large part of the day especially down the right hand side so l think that is where l will put my planters for now.
I watched a video online of vegetables being grown from cutoffs of potatoes onions etc which could sit on my windowsill for the next few weeks until the weather improves.
Can l just ask if l buy a small fruit tree which l have seen in garden centres in pots--do they have to be transferred into the ground or can they thrive in the actual pots?
Thanks for the DVD suggestion. I am going shopping tomorrow for ideas

shovetheholly Sun 12-Mar-17 17:34:46

Growing from seed is quite challenging in many cases. There's a lot that can go wrong, and even when you get everything right technically, vagaries of the weather can ruin the best laid plans! It might be easier to start with something simpler - you can buy seed potatoes in the garden centre and chit them on a windowsill, then plant into tubs and you'll get a quicker, easier result. Tomatoes are, however, very easy to do from seed, so you could give them a go on a sunny indoor windowsill - then plant out after all danger of frost has passed into a growbag.

Most fruit trees will struggle in a pot. You can buy special dwarf patio ones, but these will definitely need more room than is supplied in the containers they come in!

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