Advice on the forum....

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by beefpotnoodle, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. beefpotnoodle

    beefpotnoodle Gardener

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    @shiney can you help with watering recommendations. If it's rains I'm not watering, but when I am watering, I'm using upto gallon per 18sq feet. Is this okay? The soil gets a few seconds from a rose headed watering can. The soil seems to be moist, just don't want to water too much/little at this early stage
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      It all depends on what the plants are and how big they are. :noidea: So it's difficult to say, but a few seconds from a rose doesn't seem enough unless they are seedlings.
       
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      • beefpotnoodle

        beefpotnoodle Gardener

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        Yeah, everything just planted, no shoots yet
         
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        • beefpotnoodle

          beefpotnoodle Gardener

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          I've drafted out what I have used, and what I have left. I already realise that the strawberries I've planted will be upset when I come to remove my carrots

          Got lots of space left, so might just stagger more peas tomatoes and carrots
           

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          • Kristen

            Kristen Under gardener

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            My advice to a Newbie would be mostly around not doing things that might be disheartening and put you off for life!

            Only grow what you like to eat. Spending ages, possibly with setbacks, for something that you then don't like is pretty disheartening.

            Grow things that cost a lot, or are highly productive. I wouldn't bother with main Crop Spuds - they are cheap as chips (Sorry!) in the shops in the Winter and the Farmers have much better cool-storage facilities which will mean that shop Spuds are in better condition than your home-saved ones. New Potatoes ("First early" varieties of Potato) are a different story - very tasty if picked fresh

            Don't pick anything until you want to cook it (give or take a bit ...). The SUpermarket veg, amazing as it is, has spent a couple of days travelling and you then store in the fridge for up to a week until your next weekly shop. Picked fresh from the garden and cooked "immediately", will taste far better. Hopefully that will make you feel good about the effort you put in, and any mishaps.

            There are some things where the Sugars (in the harvested Veg) start turning to Starch the moment they are picked. For those you will never be able to get equivalent flavour from the shops. If you feel manic enough about it you could take the pan of boiling water TO the veg patch and then pick them :) (Some people do ... honestly! ... but straight-from-plot-to-pot is fine). New Potatoes and Sweet Corn would be top of my "sweet when fresh" list, and Carrots. (Sweet Corn needs to be planted in a block, not a row, and at least 9 plants, because it is wind-pollinated)

            Long-season and High Yielding (per unit area) / Shop-expensive would be Climbing beans, Courgettes. Tomatoes (but outside they are prone to Blight, and don't fruit until late in the season). Beetroot, Lettuce, and other short-season crops are worthwhile. Long season crops, and things that take up a lot of space, I would give a miss to (initially at least). Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage (cheap in shops), Cauliflower all need a lot of space.

            Keep a notebook. Note the date when you sowed, planted out (if relevant) and the First and Last harvest. That will be helpful in future years (To answer "Can I plant Y after X" you need to know when you finished harvesting X in previous year(s)). Also note the Variety you grew and whether the family liked it. I now have a list of varieties we like, some of which have terrible yield or the bugs eat half my harvest :) but they just taste so much better than shop-bought (consider: tip the veg out of a box onto the Supermarket shelf, so it needs a thick skin so it doesn't bruise; also need the highest yielding variety for maximum profit for farmer / lowest cost for consumer, and all the harvest has to come at same time for a (cheaper) one-pass harvest. "Flavour" is bottom of their list ... a nice thin skinned Tomato tastes far better than the leather-skinned ones in the Supermarket.)

            If you look at the Seed available to Amateurs the number of varieties is astounding. It is clearly worthwhile for the seed companies to provide that wide range so people must be buying and trying them :)

            For Spuds a lot comes down to personal preference, and your soil. There is absolutely no way that you can grow a "Jersey Royal" new potatoes in your garden. The variety ("International Kidney" - no I have no idea why it has that name ...) is readily available. Tastes terrible ... it needs the South facing slopes of Jersey, and a hundred years of dragging seaweed from the beach up onto the potato fields, to get the Jersey Royal flavour out of an International Kidney spud. I don't remember ever reading an Old Hand on any of the gardening forums who prefers it to other varieties they grow ... but Sarah Raven does "My number one early potato for late spring and summer eating, with an excellent taste and texture." She's good at marketing though ... Sorry, I've gone-off-on-one ....

            So for New Spuds I would buy some "Seed Potatoes" in your local garden centre (next year) when they sell them loose. Just buy a couple of each variety, label them carefully, and decide which you like the flavour of.

            Strawberries are a very short season crop, and I think a bit of a luxury in a small plot. They will be happy in tall tower-pots, which might be an alternative (next year ... I'd leave them be for this year)

            Your planting plant looks fine. Ideally you will divide the area into at least 3 zones and "rotate" the crops around those zones. That allows things which have the same soil preparation and fertiliser requirements to be grouped together, and also means that bugs that invade that "type" of Veg won't find it in the same soil for at least another 3 years, so in general bugs that like to overwinter in the soil then die out
             
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            • beefpotnoodle

              beefpotnoodle Gardener

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              Some great advice thanks. I'm trying to keep a kind of diary about my endeavors.
              The project is about a few things;
              Showing my daughter where her food comes from and some kind of sense of responsibility . I intend on letting some of the veggies/fruits go back to wildlife to encourage birds etc. Again for my daughter's benefit.
              And lastly to learn / make mistakes now when I'm not too committed to a large plot. Start small, make my mistakes then go big!
               
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              • ARMANDII

                ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                A lot of us having been gardening for decades:old:, beefpotoodle, and we're still learning and making mistakes:dunno::heehee:
                 
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                • beefpotnoodle

                  beefpotnoodle Gardener

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                  Ha, I need to get a feel for everything planning, timing, watering etc! I'm pretty lucky in that I should be 'retiring' in about 10 years in my early 50's on a good pension. So I want to develop a few hobbies for the future, I'm happy to take it slowly over then next ten years, my main hobby being brewing beer. Which I'm not quite a master but make freelance beers that equal shop bought stuff.
                   
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                  • beefpotnoodle

                    beefpotnoodle Gardener

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                    I decided that I'd plant more onions instead of potatoes in the space originally for rhubarb. Think I've over done it now. 6' of seed onions and about 30 bulb onions planted! Can't they be stored long?
                     
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                    • beefpotnoodle

                      beefpotnoodle Gardener

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                      So after 11 days I'm glad to report I have what I'm hoping are the first shoots if potatoes,peas and carrots. I really hope they aren't weeds
                       
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                      • beefpotnoodle

                        beefpotnoodle Gardener

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                        Panicked a bit this morning, woke up at 5 and noticed about five sky rats marching over my lawn, luckily Mr magpie has been on guard since. Should I be using my bird netting yet? I thought this was more for when 'fruit' begins to show and have been a bit lazy waiting until all my soil is worked and things planted.
                         
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                          Last edited: May 15, 2020
                        • beefpotnoodle

                          beefpotnoodle Gardener

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                          So I netted my patch, but within 24 hrs caught two birds! Very distressing. I don't know what I was expecting, but do nets normally snare up a lot of birds, or were these pair dummies from Dudley? I think I might go the scarecrow route if it means hurting lots of birds
                           
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                          • ricky101

                            ricky101 Total Gardener

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                            Was the netting reasonably taught ?

                            Have a fruit cage and use some laid loose low down on the Strawberries and never had any birds caught on them.

                            Try hanging old CDs on the netting or similar shiney things.
                             
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                            • ARMANDII

                              ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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                              [​IMG]
                               
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                              • beefpotnoodle

                                beefpotnoodle Gardener

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                                It was more draped than taught. It's a long stretch so although a very good idea I don't think I'd have enough cd's or similar. I attached half at the top of the fence and the rest about 20" from the foot of the fence, never occurred to me about birds getting caught....basic mistake. Still it was interesting trying to free a fighting magpie, they are nasty
                                 
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