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The fruit and veg growing thread


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Old 08-03-2009, 21:38
googleking
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Anyone got an allotment? I've just acquired a plot and am focussing on clearing and building raised beds right now - collecting materials this week to start that - although have planted some garlic out which has done well this first week. Hard as nails, garlic Have onion sets to put in next and have planted various seeds which have mostly been disappointing - going to try again though - think I was too early, not enough/too much light, planted them too deep etc etc...
Ooh snap. I just got an allotment plot too, yesterday in fact. Going to have to do a massive digging and weeding session starting next weekend as the plot wasn't tended to last year. I also want to do raised beds but not sure if I will have enough soil to do it without having to massively excavate the non-raised-bed parts! The plot they've given me is already about 20cms below the level of the path through the site!

Also working out what to do with the tools and stuff. I have inherited a small shed with the plot where I can put seeds and small tools but I'm not sure about leaving expensive stuff there. I wonder if it's possible to bury a large metal box in a secluded corner and cover it up somehow.
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Old 08-03-2009, 21:44
taygirl
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two years ago we used the whole garden as the kids were really young so we nicked the space and got a crop of onions, parsnips, lettuce, carrots, runner beans, peas, beetroot, leeks, and potatos and in the greenhouse tomatos, peppers and cucumber the kids loved having everything fresh out of the ground. Last year it was just the tomatos due to personal circumstance but we will be going for some carrots, potatos and peas and the good old toms in the greenhouse i can't wait for the weather to get better.

On the same line my mum grew carrots in an old bin and got a great crop and had potatos in 2 growbags and had about 5lb so she is trying it again this year.
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Old 08-03-2009, 21:55
malaikah
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Ooh snap. I just got an allotment plot too, yesterday in fact. Going to have to do a massive digging and weeding session starting next weekend as the plot wasn't tended to last year. I also want to do raised beds but not sure if I will have enough soil to do it without having to massively excavate the non-raised-bed parts! The plot they've given me is already about 20cms below the level of the path through the site!

Also working out what to do with the tools and stuff. I have inherited a small shed with the plot where I can put seeds and small tools but I'm not sure about leaving expensive stuff there. I wonder if it's possible to bury a large metal box in a secluded corner and cover it up somehow.
have you got a car? it'd be best to get a load of well rotted muck to put on the bottom of the raised beds, and cart a load of mass produced compost to dump in there too.You can usually track down topsoil from somewhere as well I wouldn't leave any machinery e.g chainsaws at the plot but stuff like rakes, forks etc aren't really nickable. Just use a token padlock on the shed, so if it is forced off the door isn't damaged. Have a chat with your neighbours and find out what the crime rate is like for your site
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Old 08-03-2009, 22:13
Gogfumble
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I would love an allotment but I have already checked on the area we are moving to and all the local allotments have at least a 2 ear waiting list, one of them that would be perfect is only a 5 minute walk from the new house too. I'll put my name down but it will be a wait.

I'll just have to do with my small garden plot and greenhouse until then.
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Old 08-03-2009, 22:50
googleking
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have you got a car? it'd be best to get a load of well rotted muck to put on the bottom of the raised beds, and cart a load of mass produced compost to dump in there too.You can usually track down topsoil from somewhere as well I wouldn't leave any machinery e.g chainsaws at the plot but stuff like rakes, forks etc aren't really nickable. Just use a token padlock on the shed, so if it is forced off the door isn't damaged. Have a chat with your neighbours and find out what the crime rate is like for your site
Yup got a nice estate car so yes I can bring stuff in (can't drive the car particularly close to the plot though - will have to barrow it in). They get manure delivered to the site every now and again too. Thanks for the tips. Just ordered a load of beginners' books off amazon too.

I would love an allotment but I have already checked on the area we are moving to and all the local allotments have at least a 2 ear waiting list, one of them that would be perfect is only a 5 minute walk from the new house too. I'll put my name down but it will be a wait.

I'll just have to do with my small garden plot and greenhouse until then.
Was billed as a 7 year waiting list where I am, but I actually only had to wait 4 years, some people above me on the list dropped out when their moment came. However they have now closed the waiting lists altogether as they are impractically long now the credit crunch has arrived and everyone has had the idea of growing their own veg. So yes get your name down asap and people above you might also drop out like they did for me.
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Old 09-03-2009, 19:39
bostin_austin
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Allotments are great!. I'm lucky really, as I got mine 5 years ago when there wasn't too many people that interested in them. On our site, there were quite a few vacant at the time, so I took on 2, both 60 x 20 foot. Now, there is a 10 year waiting list for a plot on the same site, it's crazy.

It took me a while to get the soil sorted as it hadn't been tended to for a couple of years before I took it on. The one allotment had carpet buried under the topsoil which was pain to remove, but I got there in the end (at one point, I seriously thought my allotment had more carpet than Allieds).

I'm fortunate as well in that I have a friend who keeps horses, so I've got a constant supply of manure. I even sell it on Ebay if there's too much, usually for between 20-30 per trailer full. You wouldn't believe it, but the response we get is incredible. I never know who's the craziest though, us for advertising it or people who search on Ebay for it. The customers come back year after year.
They say 'Where there's muck, there's money'.

I've got loads of seeds now, just waiting to start them off, though I've done my tomatoes, peppers and some chillies. I've got about 24 tomato plants, (big tomato lover!) using 7 different varieties of seed, and 15 peppers of 5 different varieties. I like to order off the internet as I think you get more choice. It's ok to go to the B & Q's etc, but they more or less offer the same thing, where as I like to try different varieties of fruit and veg. I've even purchased seeds direct from France and Italy.

Just got to wait for a couple of drier days then I can rotavate the soil and finish off making raised beds for strawberries.

Anyone ever bought nematodes, and if so, did they work?? Got to sort those pesky slugs out somehow, though last year at home, I used porridge oats around my hostas and it seemed to keep them off ( I really don't fancy covering the allotment in porridge, can you imagine what it would look like if we had the rain we had last year..).
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Old 09-03-2009, 20:17
malaikah
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I'm collecting some of the wood for my plot tomorrow Gonna build me a shed!
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Old 10-03-2009, 14:00
ejak
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I've been growing my veg in raised beds for about 5 years now.

As someone said earlier plant for year round crops, but sadly I lost all my autumn/winter crops to the pesky rabbits all my brussels gone, the kale, my leeks they even ate the last few beetroot's that i left in the ground because it stayed mild for so long.

I had some fabulous seeds from the lost gardens of Heligan all old fashion varieties. Also I bought seeds from the Eden Center and they all did great.

This year I'm growing potatoes, leeks, cabbages, courgettes, brussels, sweetcorn, peas, runner & french beans, beetroot, red carrots, broccoli, radishes, spring onions, salad leaves, & Strawberries. Plus Asparagus which i have three beds worth of (we love asparagus).

In my green house I will have toms, aubergines, cucumbers, peppers, chilli's, and I'm going to try one more time with melons but I'm going to grow these in my conservatory to extend the growing time.
I also have a kiwi fruit that I'm hoping will produce fruit this year.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:28
sheddy99
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This thread's given me a lot of inspiration! Might try and grow some strawberries too
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Old 11-03-2009, 13:13
Sallysally
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I always buy my seeds (and plants) from Suttons. The plants arrive in fantastic condition. I've also had a great deal of luck from newspaper offers (I read the Guardian, but I am sure they occur elsewhere too) - last Autumn I got brussels, kale, cabbages etc at a ridiculous price and the plants were brilliant.

Having said Suttons, I remember that this year, last month I saw some Globe Artichokes in Wilkinsons that were really cheap, so I am giving them a go. Every year I try something new, so this will be this year's experiment. Mind you, they are huge blighters, so if they are a mistake, I shall be regretting it big time!

The only seeds I have sown so far this year are my broad beans, which I will be planting out in a few weeks time. I suppose I really have to get going!
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Old 11-03-2009, 14:22
squirts mum
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I'm trying a variety of beetroot called devoy this year, never grown beetroot before, anyone any tips? Otherwise I've got the normal things I grow every year, I get all my seeds from garden organic, I like to try the long lost varietys that they have.
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Old 11-03-2009, 17:35
malaikah
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I'm looking forward to beetroot this year! Hope it is a success
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Old 11-03-2009, 17:35
malaikah
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Sallysally do you have a plot? Or your garden?
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Old 11-03-2009, 18:00
LQS
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Just planted some Jersualem artichokes against a wire fence. Apparently they grow to 10 foot, need no care and will repoduce with almost weed like tendencies. They will provide me with veg in winter and provide a screen from the neighbour's prying eyes in Summer .
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Old 11-03-2009, 19:34
Sallysally
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Have a plot, (back of garden)but I am told that the size I have for growing veg is about the size of a small allotment. So whatever I can grow, I think allotment owners can do too.

We went through a phase of not growing much due to work pressures - just the basic stuff like beans and courgettes cos they don't need much looking after, but now we are really into it. So we are growing 3 rows of potatoes - early, mids and main crop, already have shallots and garlic in, red onions and white onions and have plans for leeks, parsnips, sprouts, cabbages etc etc.
So all fun!
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Old 11-03-2009, 20:05
slyfox51
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I have grown onions from sets for the last few years. I could probably buy them cheaper from the supermarket but at least I know what manure has made them grow. I also have blueberry, redcurrant & blackcurrant bushes.
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Old 11-03-2009, 20:06
slyfox51
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I'm trying a variety of beetroot called devoy this year, never grown beetroot before, anyone any tips? Otherwise I've got the normal things I grow every year, I get all my seeds from garden organic, I like to try the long lost varietys that they have.
Beetroot is fairly easy to grow, it is the boiling for over an hour to cook them that bugs me.
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Old 11-03-2009, 20:40
coulsdon59
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Beetroot is fairly easy to grow, it is the boiling for over an hour to cook them that bugs me.
Roast them in their skins - no mess.
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Old 11-03-2009, 21:02
Sallysally
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Beetroot is fairly easy to grow, it is the boiling for over an hour to cook them that bugs me.
If you pick them fairly young ie about slightly smaller than cricket ball size, then I find that boiling them for about 30-40 minutes max is sufficient. What I did last year was pick them in groups of about 8-10 and boil them all in one go. I then froze the ones I could not eat there and then. And actually, they are not too bad! Ate some today, as a matter of fact.

To freeze, take an old oven tray and freeze well apart. When frozen, you can lump them into 1 bag and take out what you need each time.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:51
ejak
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I'm trying a variety of beetroot called devoy this year, never grown beetroot before, anyone any tips? Otherwise I've got the normal things I grow every year, I get all my seeds from garden organic, I like to try the long lost varietys that they have.
beetroot love warm soil, if you plant out too soon they will bolt.
I put black plastic sheeting down, with bubble wrap on top of that on the prepared bed for a couple of weeks prior to planting out the beetroot. Once you start harvesting sow seeds directly into the bed every two weeks and you will get a constant crop right through to autumn.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:37
googleking
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beetroot love warm soil, if you plant out too soon they will bolt.
i keep hearing/reading "they will bolt". What does that mean? They will grow too fast and turn out rubbish?
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:45
sheddy99
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I guess it means they will shoot up.
I'm planting my chillis and some rocket and herbs tonight
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:53
slyfox51
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Roast them in their skins - no mess.
I never knew you could roast beetroot, I have just looked it up on the net. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:55
slyfox51
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If you pick them fairly young ie about slightly smaller than cricket ball size, then I find that boiling them for about 30-40 minutes max is sufficient. What I did last year was pick them in groups of about 8-10 and boil them all in one go. I then froze the ones I could not eat there and then. And actually, they are not too bad! Ate some today, as a matter of fact.

To freeze, take an old oven tray and freeze well apart. When frozen, you can lump them into 1 bag and take out what you need each time.
Thanks for the reply.
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Old 12-03-2009, 14:58
LaChatteGitane
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i keep hearing/reading "they will bolt". What does that mean? They will grow too fast and turn out rubbish?
It means they start goind into seed. All the energy will then go to the seeds, kinda drying out the root, ie the beetroot.
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