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vegetable virgin...

(108 Posts)
giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 20:34:32

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giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 22:15:33

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tiddlypom Wed 01-Jun-05 22:28:46

No, go for it, aim for self-sufficiency You need to tell us a bit more about where you live and whether you have a sunny patch, what kind of soil - crappy, clayey, builders' rubble, organically cultivated for the last 50 years, etc - then we can flex our bossy muscles.

My strawberry plants have been out in the fresh air for ages, and I've been sowing spinach out in the open. My peppers will go out in pots this week - I've been hardening them off, ie leaving them out during the day and bringing them in at night. But then I'm in sunny SW London, you might be somewhere colder? I put a pea plant out in a bed today. I was planning to plant broccoli later on the year, but have little experience of that. Rocket can certainly go in now, outdoors. Leeks - I have no idea!

Get Hub2Dee onto it!

hub2dee Wed 01-Jun-05 22:28:52

Oh behave, Gski - just back from NCT.

Tips ? erm.... ammend the soil with manure to make it nice and rich ? Keep it well watered ? Stick to rows so you know what's where.... label the rows... erm... not really sure what else, I am somewhat of an allotment virgin.

Any veg gurus ?

tiddlypom Wed 01-Jun-05 22:30:04

You heard us call your name, Hub2Dee...

hub2dee Wed 01-Jun-05 22:30:18

tiddlypom: you must all think I'm Alan Titchmarsh or something !

I'm really only good at eating the stuff.

hub2dee Wed 01-Jun-05 22:31:46

Tis true tiddly - I search for my name to make sure I'm not required in some far flung corner of MN.

tiddlypom Wed 01-Jun-05 22:33:55

Yes but you heard me as I typed it...

hub2dee Wed 01-Jun-05 22:42:16

Large ears.

giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 23:08:53

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giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 23:09:08

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giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 23:15:31

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hub2dee Wed 01-Jun-05 23:28:21

bumping in case someone who knows something useful sees it.

Hi Gski, NCT was good. I'll post in my 'online blog' bit later tonight or tomorrow.

Manure is about £1 - £3 per bag. For your area you will only need one or two bags, and you'll probably be fine without (I didn't ammend my allotment at all, just did lots of digging to help break up the soil).

giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 23:30:18

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hub2dee Wed 01-Jun-05 23:32:27

Raised beds are a good way to go. You may get free manure from a stable / farm (get as well-rotted as possible - either one year old if poss or deffo from the middle of the pile).

giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 23:35:05

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suedonim Thu 02-Jun-05 13:17:10

I'm pretty much a veg-growing virgin, too, but do mean raising spinach etc completely on your windowsill, or just getting the seeds off to a good start? Spinach grows outside, i think, and I've grown rockets in pots on a patio.

But nothing is coming up from the pea and carrot seeds I put outdoors - why aren't they germinating??

I've just bought some little onion plants, 99p for a potful! My runnerbean seedlings are taking over the house but it's bl%dy well raining again and too wet to get outdoors and plant them. Humph.

giraffeski Thu 02-Jun-05 13:19:10

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bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 13:20:01

spinach and rocket you can plant directly outside - also most beans i think.

suedonim - i've got about a 30% germination rate from my peas - apparently mice love pea seeds... i saw one in the garden the other day...

giraffeski Thu 02-Jun-05 13:23:59

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bossykate Thu 02-Jun-05 13:25:59

for the spinach & rocket, no i don't think so.

meggymoo Thu 02-Jun-05 13:28:57

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tarantula Thu 02-Jun-05 13:39:04

Im playing it by ear with our veggie patch too but so far Ive got rocket running wild in a pot and its fantastic. My carrot seeds have finally come up and my shallots and garlic and doing well. have planted cabbage and broccoli and caulis but think that might be a mistake as they are difficult to keep slug free. Still well see. Am planning on toms and strawberries next year for definate.

suedonim Thu 02-Jun-05 14:22:36

Ooh, that's bad news about the peas, BK. I'm not sure we have that many mice - our two cats like to supplement their meals with furry woodland creatures.

tiddlypom Thu 02-Jun-05 18:34:05

A raised bed is a great idea - you get good drainage for one thing.

My understanding is that you always get more for your money if plants are out in the ground (or in a raised bed) than in a restricted pot, so I'd do things in pots in winter. (But I may be wrong.)

Re carrots, I was told years ago by a horticulturalist that carrots were difficult and my experience has borne that out. However, they are so popular with kids I intend to keep trying.

Also, re spinach, I've read that planting them in slight shade stops them bolting, ie running to seed before you can harvest. So if you've got a bit of semi-shade, use it for spinach; but if you've only got sun, don't worry. A sunny raised bed with compost/manure sounds like every crop's dream.

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