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Tips on creating a vegetable patch?

(14 Posts)
fufflebum Thu 25-Jun-09 10:17:44

I am considering starting a veg patch in the garden and wanted some tips from anyone who has done it.

The patch of ground gets some sun, but not all day, am I wasting my time?

How big a piece of ground is a good starting point?

Should I raise it?

What plants to grow? (We have chalky soil I think?!)


gardeningmum05 Thu 25-Jun-09 10:35:20

definately not wasting your time, go for it wink
i grow all my veg in pots as too lazy too dig blush
am abit of a novice, but i suggest you go to the garden centre and pick some veg plants, definately get some potatoes in straight away!
if the ground doesnt get water logged, i wouldnt make it a raised bed.

fufflebum Thu 25-Jun-09 15:58:10

Thanks gardeningmum05

Anyone else have any tips?

midnightexpress Thu 25-Jun-09 16:06:11

No, you're not wasting your time. I'm creating one near some very big trees. It's not ideal, of course, but the potatoes are doing well and also beetroot, strawberries, brussels sprouts and kale, and I'm planning leeks and cabbages for the winter.

I've found this site, which has some good planting plans and advice, and you can order according to the month, so that you put things in at the right time. It's also quite cheap, though obviously doing it from seed would be cheaper.

On chalky soil, brassicas should do well (cabbages, brussels, broccoli etc) as they don't like acid soil. But they can be quite troublesome - lots of pests. Potatoes are always good, as they're quite easy.

fufflebum Thu 25-Jun-09 18:00:07

Thanks midnightexpress

Keep the tips coming!!!!

northernrefugee39 Fri 26-Jun-09 08:15:03

Go for it!
We have a shady bit in our veg garden, and after lots of swapping around each year, the root veg- parsnips, beetroot etc are fine ther. And leeks, which are ready in autmn- we're planting spindly seedlings now.

I've stopped doing cabbages and cauliflour because catapillars always seem to get them, but broccoli is ok for some reason.

Lettuce, spinach and all beans- runner, broad, french etc are easy- and great ones to start with. You can carry on sowing seed for lettuce and spinach through the summer. And you can get dwarf bean sort of bushes, which don't need much support.

The children certainly eat what they pick, it's great.

And if you've room, we have a variety of raspberry called Autumn Gold, which has huge fruit at the end of the summer/sept when everything else is going over, and you don't have to do anything to them. Easy!

Lancelottie Fri 26-Jun-09 08:52:12

My main tip is NETTING, if you'd actually like to eat what you grow.

Or a recipe for pigeon pie.
<<warped and bitter emoticon>>

MaybeAfterBreakfast Fri 26-Jun-09 08:59:54

Good preparation is vital - dig lots of organic matter into the soil before you begin and get all the weeds and weed roots out. Hard work but it will pay off in the long run.

fufflebum Fri 26-Jun-09 10:08:24

Thanks for all these tips. I am inspired.

Any other tips would be welcome!

MarmadukeScarlet Fri 26-Jun-09 10:14:35

You may need to split the area into 4 beds/parts. most plants beneift from crop rotation to avoid pests etc -

onion family (leeks garlic) carrots and parsnip.

Peas and beans

Pots and toms

Cabbage family (caulis, broccoil, kale, turnip and radish)

I have raised beds as it keeps them neat and lessens digging imho. If you do this do not make wider that about 120 or you will not be able to reach the middle. Or longer than 3m or you will spend more time walking round them than gardening!

Which gardening had an allotment series about starting your first veg patch, go to your local library and see if they have them. It included ground prep, planning and how to make raised beds tips.

Good luck!

Terpsichore Fri 26-Jun-09 16:58:25

Just to add my twopence-worth, things like main-crop spuds are v. easy and satisfying, but they do tie up a lot of space (as do brassicas - I've done some purple-sprouting broccoli this year and realise it'll be there for AGES). They're also relatively cheap to buy. It's perfectly possible to grow some things in pots and containers, including potatoes, and I'd recommend growing lovely new ones which taste fantastic, are in the soil for much less time, and are more expensive in the shops. I've done this for the first time this year, and they've been a big success.

Then you free up the ground for more 'exotic' and seasonal things like beans, sweetcorn, courgettes, strawberries. Yum. oooh, and blackcurrants are fab if you have space for a couple of bushes. 'Ben Sarek' is an amazing variety which produces massive berries every year - you'll be giving them away!

fufflebum Sat 27-Jun-09 12:29:52

Thanks everyone so far. I keep checking back to see if anyone else is posting and am very pleased with all these tips.......

phdlife Sat 27-Jun-09 12:41:30

fuffle I hope you've started a compost heap! get that going so you've got some rotted organic stuff to dig into your patch before you start. good luck - I'm in the process of starting one too. however our big pest is possums not pigeons [grr]

fufflebum Mon 29-Jun-09 10:30:22

thanks everyone....

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