Absolute beginner looking for advice

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by barryp, May 29, 2008.

  1. barryp

    barryp Apprentice Gardener

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi all, I'm a complete beginner when it comes to gardening but i've recently become interested in getting involved, i'm mainly interested in begining to grow things i would be able to use in the kitchen as opposed to just growing for the sake of growing, my main problem is my location, i live in a ground floor apartment so the only space i have would be on my patio using pots, my parents house has a large garden which i can use but again i'd probably rather use containers than take over their garden just yet.

    Basically i'm looking for a few pointers on what to grow and how, i would rather start off with something simple at this stage and i am aware that at this stage in the year i may have missed the boat with regards to getting started with certain things.

    as i said earlier i'd like to grow things i would use regularly in the kitchen, by this i mean anything to go in my salad or pasta, so lettuce onion tomatoes, garlic, chilli, peppers, basil. these are the sort of thing i would use regularly.

    i have never spent any time at all in the garden so i have no idea on when to start when to harvest, what pots to use, what conditions i need so any pointers or advice on where to start would be great.

    also do i start with plants or seeds and where is best to purchase, i have seen loads of cheap seeds on ebay but i'm sceptical, am i better off at the garden centre?

    sorry for the long post but its my first post and i'd like to get as much info as possible

    Thanks in advance for any help

    Barry
     
  2. takemore02withit

    takemore02withit Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,695
    Ratings:
    +40
    Im not a veg grower barry, but hang on in there coz there is loads of advice from very experienced friendly people here, and I'm sure you will get the answer to your questions pretty soon.:thumb::D 02
     
  3. Marley Farley

    Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    30,592
    Occupation:
    Grandmother Gardener Councillor Homemaker
    Location:
    Under the Edge Zone 8b
    Ratings:
    +14,096
    :thumb: Hi Barry & Welcome to GC.. Plenty of people here for advice, but this might help you...;)
    Just because you have a Town or City Garden and do not have acres of space to create a vegetable plot, does not mean that you cannot enjoy lovely fresh vegetables and fruit all year round. Containers and planters can be used to grow a wide variety of seasonal vegetables and fruit and its very easy to go down the organic route. Getting started is easy. All you need are some pots or containers. Big ones are better for larger crops. Large containers such as terracotta pots, or wooden barrells are ideal as you can plant together crops such as tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines. Smaller containers can be used for lettuce and carrot and hot chilli peppers. By sowing at intervals you can ensure a long season of fresh produce for very little cost. Fruits such as strawberries and blackberries can also be grown in containers.
    Of course the when you are thinking about growing vegetables in containers the two key things which you have to consider are drainage and the soil. Each container must have holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage. I used multi purpose compost as garden soil may contain diseases and may also not be of a type suitable for free drainage. Because you are using a container you will also have to be prepared to be diligent when it comes to making sure your vegetables and fruit are kept well water. And don't forget to use fertiliser on a two weekly basis if you feel its appropriate.
    Creating a container vegetable garden allows you to plant combinations that are both good to look at and to eat. You could try creating a Salad container with different varieties (and colours) of cut and come again lettuce combined with. Add in a dwarf tomato (such as Tiny Tim) and you have a wonderful Salad container.
    Alternatively you could create a container with all the ingredients you need for a perfect pasta sauce. Again a tomato plant, surrounded by onion sets, and garlic bulbs and topped of with a few herbs such as basil and oregano.
    Adding a wigwam of canes or a plant support frame to the pot allows you to include climbers, too, such as French and runner beans.
    For the more serious traditional gardener who is keen to grow root crops for warming winter fare a larger pot or container is ideal. You will need something which is at least one foot deep but in that you can grow carrots, potatoes or parsnips. I have an old dustbin for potatoes & you can grow in Growbags cut in half & stood up on end for crops that want more depth..:)

    :thumb: So I hope that helps & Good Luck..!! Let us know how you get on..:thumb:
     
  4. moyra

    moyra A knackered Veteran Gardener

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Messages:
    6,379
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    South East Essex
    Ratings:
    +8,777
    Welcome barryp. I think Marley Farley has pretty well covered everything there. I too didn't have a vegetable garden and very little room but with a bit of clearing of ivy and other ground cover plants. I have managed to clear enough space to lay grow bags down. I also have half compost sacks full of potatoes and large pots of cucumber, peppers, tomatoes etc. So it is amazing what you can do with very little space. I wish you luck but don't worry about coming back regularly with questions as you progress. We are a friendly bunch on here and always willing to help.:D
     
  5. BigBaddad

    BigBaddad Gardener

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Ratings:
    +0
    Just had a look in my local supermarket....browsed the gardening mags, saw on the front of one a bit about growing veg in small areas and even hanging baskets?

    Just a note that when growing in clay pots you may find that the unglazed ones will absorb moisture from your composts and eveporate it on the outsides. You could line these with old carrier bags but remember to make some drianage holes in them.
     
  6. barryp

    barryp Apprentice Gardener

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for all the advice so far, will probably take a look around the garden centre this afternoon and decide what to start with then.
     
  7. Claire75

    Claire75 Gardener

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    308
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Barry,
    If you're going for tomatoes I'd recommend getting plants at the garden centre, rather than seeds, at this stage in the season. You can also get lettuce seedlings but I find these germinate easily from seed so it never seems worth the extra money - although a few can get you started more quickly while you wait for the magic moment when your own seeds germinate! Seed packets will tell you when to sow, and if there's anything you really want to grow but it's too far past the sowing time, have a look around for young plants.
    I think you're too late for onions this year but spring onions would be OK (i've never tried using them in place of onions for cooking, imagine the taste would be milder but could be quite nice in a tomato sauce). I'd leave garlic til the autumn, for harvesting next year.
    There's a lot to be said for growing in pots and growbags actually although you will have to do a fair bit of watering - probably every night if we have a warm summer - so bare that in mind before getting over-excited in terms of numbers! Also if you can afford it and think they're likely to be a problem, you might want to get hold of some slug proofing measures - I am of the organic-as-possible persuasion so i don't use slug pellets but copper tape is supposed to be good (and ideal for pots) but quite expensive. Personally I do regular slug patrols and (look away now if you're squeamish) when I find them I stamp on them (but make sure you're wearing old shoes!).
    Finally, the BBC gardening website has loads of advice on growing veg in pots, so have a search around there for further ideas and advice.
    Good luck, have fun, and I predict you'll be signing up for an allotment before you know what's happened :D
     
  8. Veg-and-flower-man

    Veg-and-flower-man Gardener

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Messages:
    64
    Ratings:
    +0
    You would be suprised how many things you can grow at this time of year. I just planted some of my last french beans today!!

    back to you. You can buy plastic troughs very cheaply from the garden superstore(type into google).

    i use loads of these to grow loads in.

    In one trough grow some cut and come agin lettuce. I use this one from suttons: http://www.suttons.co.uk/pd_184445_Leaf_Salad_Lettuce_Mix_Speedy_Seeds.htm

    In another you can grow some parmex carrots, which are very small, squat carrots which are ideal for patios (unwins/suttons.com or a shop!).

    You could also try spring onions. 'White Lisbon' are best to start with.

    Also, other salads like rocket, spinch etc.

    Oh and grow bag tomatoes and strawberries!! Even peas if you feel adventurous....?
     
  9. martandmichelle

    martandmichelle Gardener

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Barry
    I too am an Absolute beginner and the only advice I can give at this time is, to do some homework to try and help identify what does eventually grow on your patio. Take it from me you'll feel a right charlie when your pride n joy turns out to be a weed.:D:D

    Martin
     
  10. barryp

    barryp Apprentice Gardener

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Ratings:
    +0
    ok, thanks for all the advice so far, i've been out today and bought various containers in different shapes and sizes, some multi purpose compost and a few gardening tools so im ready to go now, from the advice above i went for the speedy seeds lettuce suggested by veg-and-flower-man, got some spring onions, chilli, and a few different herbs, i also bought a tomato seed kit with propagator tray.
    going to make a start soon and we will see how it all turns out, i assume its just a case of regularly watering to start off with, will i need to think about using fertiliser or any reppelents of any sort at some point?
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice