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Veggie patch in garden??

(26 Posts)
milge Fri 04-Feb-05 12:53:35

Commplete garden virgin here, we moved last year from a city house with no garden to the country with over an acre. DH announced that he thought it would be good if we grew our own veggies in the garden this year, in a kind of "over to you, little woman" way.
Can you just rope off a section of land and bung some seeds in ? Any top MN tips please? Is there a good book i can use - how to transform a piece of lawn into a veggie patch?
We are both unused to anything green, and don't even mow the grass, inherited the previous owners gardener. I would like to grow veggies and herbs because i prefer traceable foods, but is it too much for a garden virgin to take on ? DS aged 2.4 would love helping too, which is why i have forgiven DH for his sweeping statements! Also rather fancy keeping chickens in an Eglu, which Dh has vetoed until after my first crop!( but i guess that is another post). TIA

tarantula Fri 04-Feb-05 13:04:01

I was a garden virgin pretty much up till last year and then just went for it with the veggies. I got dp to help dig a patch at the bottom of the garden. They say to double trench but we didnt bother just dug and forked it. I was told not to walk on the fresh dug soil but use a long board. I also planted half a row of each veg every two weeks so they matured at different stages. I planted carrots, spring onions lettuce which all came up really well. Cabbages Caulis and broccoli werent so great. This year Im planning to add shallots as they are supposed to be easier to grow than onions and maybe potatoes. I grow my herbs in pots mostly but do have sage in the garden as it didnt thrive well in pots (no idea why).
Dp did do a lot of the watering and weeding after planting too which was very helpful.
also got loads of tips of the internet Cant remember the websites tho

KatieMac Fri 04-Feb-05 19:32:42

I'm about to start mine this spring. I have a raised bed (as my DH is getting old). I'm digging in last year compost.

I'm growing
Sweet potatoes, sweet corn, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, shallots, onion, garlic, cabbage (2 sorts), spring onions (that's all I've ordered - I think)

I'm really excited

sis Fri 04-Feb-05 19:38:33

There is an alotments website with a talk forum on edible plants here that may be helpful in your quest.

Frizbe Fri 04-Feb-05 19:41:08

I'm gona have a go this year too, I've not got much soil, so am going for potatoes in bins, apparently you can even do them in black bags if you need to! I've managed to grow tomatoes for the last two years, so will do those again, and I think Carrotts, Spring Onions, lettuce and beans. I tried courgettes last year, but these didn't quite grow properly with no greenhouse!

suedonim Fri 04-Feb-05 20:03:37

I'm thinking of growing a few easy veg this year, too. It has to be stuff that will grow okay this far north - that'll be spuds and neeps then!!

I mentioned on another thread about a gardening mag I've found, Easy Gardening - it's good, not too technical and starts from base camp so you know what you're meant to be doing. It has a veg section.

milge Fri 04-Feb-05 22:49:12

Thank you all v much. . at least i am not alone, makes it all so much better.

onlyjoking9329 Fri 04-Feb-05 23:05:38

we got an allotment last may and we grew quite a few things potatoes cabbages carrots beans spring onions sweetcorn beetroot, its great fun and the kids love it, we are still learning thou

Joolstoo Fri 04-Feb-05 23:09:37

do veggie patches wean you off vegetables

suedonim Sat 05-Feb-05 14:32:03

I've just rediscovered a packet of ?Bird's Nest gourd seeds I brought back from the US about three years ago. They grow into weird and wonderful shapes - maybe I'll put them into pots and see how they do. My friend in the US has them growing all over the fences etc- the plants are rampant!! Not sure if it's warm enough here but I've nothing to lose.

serenequeen Sat 05-Feb-05 14:34:21

oh i'm giving it my first go this year as well. doing lots of herbs, plus new pots, dwarf french beans, peas, courgettes, tomatoes, pak choi, spinach and salad mix. i'm reliably informed those are pretty easy to grow!

serenequeen Sat 05-Feb-05 14:45:18

while i remember... a friend gave me some good tips for the novice vegetable grower.

1) go for things with good ground cover to make a little look like a lot (e.g. courgettes, potatoes)

2) go for things that you like which are expensive to buy (e.g herbs, speciality veg like purple sprouting broccoli)

3) conversely don't bother with anything that is cheaply available in the shops (i was going to try carrots and onions but now won't bother)

4) go for things which you can plant straight into the ground

5) aim for something cropping from the garden during as much of the year as possible


serenequeen Mon 07-Feb-05 19:53:25

seems i have killed this thread!

KatieMac Mon 07-Feb-05 20:03:32

I probably doing everything your freind said not to......but I'm doing it as a childminding activity - so I suppose carrots don't matter - they are cheap but the kids will recognise them

Frizbe Mon 07-Feb-05 20:11:09

oh I've just thought I might try pumpkins again! tried to do them out of pots the other year, and it worked, but, the underneath went bad...anyone got any tips to stop that?

KatieMac Wed 09-Feb-05 14:52:15

Sorry Frizbe, I know nothing about pumpkins.....I hope someone else does

suedonim Wed 09-Feb-05 15:44:23

I've never grown a pumpkin in my life but I did read an article about them a while back. You have to make sure their bottoms are clean and dry(!) by putting them onto straw or shredded newspapers and making sure it gets changed if it's wet, otherwise they can develop rot.

mammya Wed 09-Feb-05 16:14:50

I second the advice you've got here already and also recommend the Kitchen Garden magazine. Have fun! And get your DP to do the digging...

miggy Wed 09-Feb-05 20:04:43

Def go for raised beds-much less digging and weeding and get better drainage. I built mine (well in truth not personally) from old floorboards from salvage yard-much cheaper than sleepers. I made 6 beds, the 2 middle ones being shorter with a little greenhouse in the middle. Once you get the bug you will want a greenhouse (I am currently persauding dh we need a polytrunnel!). The paths in between are just gravel. Old mushroom compost is cheap and easy to get and fills the beds nicely.
Agree re growing more expensive things but also important to consider what you actually will use. Agree with Katie-carrots are easy, kids like to harvest and eat them, so worth growing. Same for peas-lovely for kids to shell and eat from the pod.
Try and plan so things will be available for as long a season as possible. Succesional sowing of things like lettuce and beetroot is best. The mixes of lettuce are great, so much cheaper than buying those supermarket bags.
Slugs are number one enemy-go out at night and drown them!
The new delia book "delias kitchen garden" covers setting up from scratch and is on offer with the book people.
Hugh F witerrwhatever-river cottage cookbook-is also very good.
Also those garden expert books series-veg one of those is good.
Guarantee once you start, the thrill of seeing things grow from seed and then being able to eat them will really give you the bug!

helenmc Wed 09-Feb-05 21:30:17

agree with miggy grow things you like to eat but there again anything you've grown always tastes a millions times better.
We managed a large football sized pumpkin grown in a grobag last year ...did have to keep watering and feeding like mad though. DD was so impressed . Don't forget pretty things like marigolds (the flowers can go in salads and they keep the carrot fly or is it white fly away).

emmagee Thu 10-Feb-05 23:01:28

Milge, just wanted to say about the Eglu, if you live in over an acre just get a regular hen house, it will give the hens a better environment. Eglu's are really just for trendy urban hen keepers IMO and your hens will be happier with a house with perches and a decent run or totally free ranging

Frizbe Sat 19-Feb-05 22:36:30

thanks for that suedonim, hopefully they'll go ok this year! I've been and purchased my seeds this week, and brought a cloche in the sales, so hopefully all will go well!

zaphod Sat 19-Feb-05 22:55:50

I have had great success with peas, runner beans, courgettes and broad beans. I even managed to grow a couple of cauliflower.

Because I had two babies in close succession, I haven't had a chance to more than maintain the shrubbery in the last couple of years, but am looking forward to getting back into it this year. This thread has given me the push I needed, and I will now nag dh until he digs up my veggie patch for me, while I read seed catalogues and visit garden centres.

suedonim Sun 20-Feb-05 16:20:31

Arrgh, lost my packet of gourd seeds!! I must have put them in a safe (ha!) place.

Last week I picked up a really handy booklet 'The Seed Sowing Guide' at my local garden centre. It's packed full of info about seeds, which to choose, where to plant, how to grow them, what to do with the plants as they grow etc. It's only 99p, and is from Thomson & Morgan, the seedsmen.

karenanne Mon 14-Mar-05 16:54:45

ive got this bug too.loljust got a copy of garderners world which tells you how to grow veg in pots and i thought rather than digging aa whole patch i'll start off that way.if it goes well and i get the veggie bug BIGtime then im going to apply for an allotment.
i havent really got alot of space in the garden too many plants lol but thought if i grow most of them in tubs i could plant beans etc up canes by the fence or suitable veg in sparse spots.could look rather pretty mixed in with all the flowers.

im hoping my dd and in time ds will want to help and perhaps it will encourage dd to eatmore veg.also i'll know where my veg comes from .

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