Starting a veg patch

Discussion in 'Gardening Discussions' started by Phil Clark, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Phil Clark

    Phil Clark Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi

    My earlier posts were as i moved into my new home, it has a long overgrown garden, I really cannot work out what it was like years gone by, but I know it had a greenhouse (I have built a shed on it's foundation) there were at least 6 trees (stumps still there) I imagine years gone by it was a lovely garden, I have poked around with a spade, and it seems to me that from the immediate rear of the house was a grassy section, it is not so pretty now, but you can feel the firmness, then the greenhouse heading down the garden, and after that the whole place is a covering of grass and weeds. I have cut everything down flat, but it isn't cute!! Then I prodded around and found the soil really soft, and when turned over is lush. So to begin I have marked out a strip down the L/H side, about a meter deep and 8 meters long, I have just applied 24 hr weed killer to this area, and I'm hoping in the next week to see results, then turn the strip over, and leave for the Winter. OK then am I doing the right thing ? and I am wishing to plant vegetables in this strip, I have never grown Veg since being 10 yrs old with my Dad, I'm 65 now, what do I do? and when and how do I plant, and furthermore what to plant. I will grow tomatoes and green beans elsewhere ( i'm good with those) but need help with root crop. Thanks Guys
     
  2. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi,

    No mention of any fruit ?

    Things like Raspberries, Strawberries, BlackBerries etc etc so easy to grow, needing little maintenance though out the year, yet providing loads of nice fruit, many which can be frozen when you have a glut.

    They can all be ordered and planted from now until around March and should provide some friut next summer.
    If that is your thing and you are starting with a clean sheet then planting them so its easy to cover them long term with a fruit cage /netting saves the birds getting a lot of them !
     
  3. Janet mahay

    Janet mahay Gardener

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    Root crops, such as potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, and turnips, are easy to grow if you have good soil, water, and proper spacing. The keys to growing great root crops are preparing the soil bed well and giving the plants room to grow. You also need to keep the crops clear of weeds and make sure they have enough water.

    My garden not very big so i planted some veg in containers i found onions ,beetroot , chard did well also planted minture rasberry and strawberry in containers too they also did well so try to plant some fruit in containers
     
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    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Total Gardener

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      Janet. I totally agree with you. For better or worse, today's world offers the gardener many aids. IMHO each may or may not be beneficial. Wowee! take a look at some of the tools and gadgets on offer. No more backache from digging, the ad might say. So the newbie buys an electric cultivator. OK, this can prove to be a boon for perhaps the older or infirm gardener to prepare a patch in the garden to sow a few seeds.

      Sorry but to grow root veg/crops, the soil needs to be dug deep and to have good vegative matter dug in. The answer/ solution lies in the title. Root veg. Full attention is required at providing for the root. The top/above ground growth is tomorrows compost.
       
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      • Selleri

        Selleri Super Gardener

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        Hi @Phil Clark ,
        it sounds like you have a very exiting project :dbgrtmb:

        I don't know about the weedkiller but as long as you follow the instructions on the pack of the product you used you should be fine. The important bit is, as @Mike Allen said, is preparing the soil. Dig, dig, dig (or bribe a young relative to digdigdig ;) ), add anything your soil might need, and you are half way there.

        When it comes to deciding what to grow, to me the deciding factor is- what do you like to eat? Especially eat fresh in season. It's pointless to dedicate a large area to parsnips if you really only have them at Christmas when you can buy perfectly good ones for pennies. The same goes for carrots, I'd only grow them for fresh eating during the summer and not bother storing them as Tesco provides me with perfect ones over the winter until the next fresh crop is ready.

        So it might be a good starting point to make a list "what do I want to eat" and "do I want to store it or only eat in the season".

        Many seeds stay just fine for years so whilst it's tempting to sow the full pack, it is often better to be sensible and just sow as many plants as you think to meet your needs (fresh eating + storing if any), plus spares for failures.

        Having said all that, I confess that I totally fail to follow my reasoning and end up with way too many things. :redface:

        I have a postage stamp of an urban garden so grow just for fun and delicacy- a washing up-bowlful of round mini carrots, another one of baby beetroots, a large container of raspberries of different timings, alpine strawberries and 4 baby plum tomato plants. Plus chillies. And a bucketful of spuds.

        If I had the soil space, I'd grow beetroots (my favourite from leaves in salad via new babies in summer to large ones in late autumn.... mmmm.... ) as they are hard to get and expensive. A row or two of early carrots for summer eating, some earliest potatoes, and for fun a row of Asparagus. And beans.

        Anyways, now is the time to prepare the soil, make the wish list, google the specific requirements of anything you decide to grow and before you know it, it's seed sowing time. Enjoy, and please keep us posted :)
         
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        • Mike Allen

          Mike Allen Total Gardener

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          Enjoyed your comment
          Selleri. Thinking back. Probably many of our forum friends have recollections of near postwar life. When even the smallest patch of soil, people with or without gardening experience would, have a go at growing veg. After all, veg of whatever variety is a very valuable food source. Now, at least for the present. Most of us have the chance to pop along to the shops and get our veg. TRUE. Home grown has that special flavour and growers have the satisfaction....I grew that. Today veg is reasonably cheap. I totally agree with you. Do we need to go through the hard work of digging, sowing harvesting so much more than I/we need.

          Perhaps a friendly and I hope wise word for all new gardeners. Please try and harness your enthusiasm. Yes it would be nice to grow every plant under the sun. Think ahead. The more you sow, the more to reap. Now what are you going to do.
          Sincere good wishes to all gardening folk. Enjoy what you are doing. Please don't overdo it.
           
        • Phil Clark

          Phil Clark Apprentice Gardener

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          Hi and thanks for the comments, I have sat in the garden now for around an hour each non rainy day, and I think my plan is this. from the rear of the house to the shed I will lay some turf (not all the way) then at the side of the shed there is a gap of 48 inches to the neighbours fence, i'm thinking of building a trellis there to grow things up, is it trellis or a fancy new name? then from the shed side i am thinking of making a small paved area of about 3m x 3m and starting a fence to the other neighbours side, only a low one ! and i will use this as my private area because i get all the sun from the South. Then from there on down I am going to hire a rotorvator, and turn the lot over, the soil beneath the weed is so lush and black ( a spade just sinks into it, years ago this was a lovely garden so i have been told) once turned over I am thinking of making a path of stone chippings all the way to the bottom of the garden, on the right I will grow shrubs and flowering items, on the left will be some fruit bushes and a large veg patch. Does this sound reasonable, does anyone have pictures of similar ? Thanks
          PS Pictures added, rubbish at this.
           
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            Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
          • Phil Clark

            Phil Clark Apprentice Gardener

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            20191110_133546.jpg [​IMG][/url][/IMG]

            From one end
             

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            Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
          • ricky101

            ricky101 Total Gardener

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            Probably best if you sketch out your ideas onto paper so you can see how it looks, plus if you post it up, show which way is south so we can see which areas get the most sun.

            Think you should have a flagged or similar patio type area just outside the house before the lawn starts as well as your 'private' area.

            Looks like you will have to chat to your neighbour about taming those common hedges, always better to mention it, as its an area that can easily upset folk, even if the bushes are not really theres, they can feel its an intrusion.
             
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            • Selleri

              Selleri Super Gardener

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              Hi @Phil Clark , you are doing the best kind of gardening IMHO, sitting in the garden, looking around and planning. :dbgrtmb: You have a brilliant bit of land to turn into your dream garden.

              Is the photo from your house looking at the opposite house, or is the house in the photo yours?

              Such a long garden is great when divided up and it has been so suggested by the shed. Your idea to have a passage by the shed to grow something up sounds just right to me, it would make a transition from "public" area by the house to your own space. An evergreen honeysuckle (Henryi?) as a base plant with whatever you like (roses, Clematis, Sweet peas...) would look good.

              The area by the conifer hedge will be bone dry and nothing will grow there well. Would a paved area next to the house fit there? It all depends on how the sun goes, but if you want a patio, that would be a good place rather than trying to grow anything lush there.

              Can you fit a small pond or water feature in the Your area behind the shed? Perhaps with a solar powered fountain to give the sound of moving water? Even a tiny pond is a treat with all the wildlife buzzing around. :)

              Long, narrow gardens can look amazing with curved features. A square lawn is fine, but a round one might be more pleasing to the eye.

              Very exiting times ahead @Phil Clark , perhaps you could open your own thread in Garden projects to keep us updated on your progress? It's very inspiring to read those threads and see the transformation :) You'll need to master the posting of the photos though, I fully agree it's a struggle if you are not the generation who habitually posts photos every two minutes. My phone has a camera but no internet, so I rely on borrowing the Teenager's Ipad and sending the photos to my gmail, saving on my laptop, then uploading... :redface:
               
            • Loofah

              Loofah Well used member

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              Easiest ways to post pics is
              from web - copy (ctrl+c) and paste (ctrl+v) or
              from pc - drag and drop.

              But back to the veg... Dig down 2 spits (a spade blade length is a spit) and as big an area as you like. The turf removed at the outset can be bunged in the bottm of the hole and ideally layer soil/compost/soil/compost as you refill the hole. By compost I mean either garden compost or manure.
              You can have raised beds if you like but maybe think on that and complete in a couple of years.

              The very most important thing is simply to buy some seeds and get them going. You only really get educated through doing :) You have plenty of space there to grow whatever takes your fancy and you'll soon figure out what you like growing and what's a waste of your time.
               
            • Phil Clark

              Phil Clark Apprentice Gardener

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              [​IMG][/url][/IMG] [​IMG][/url][/IMG] [​IMG][/url][/IMG] [​IMG][/url][/IMG]


              I hope these latest pictures appear, I have started at the back of the house, and decided on a small paved area, the rain has stopped me 3 times, but we are moving along, I am thinking of making the area from the house down to the shed as patio, lawn (I hope) and a border on the fence side, because there is evidence of one prior to my coming. I am putting a few stepping stones as a walk through by the shed, and a wooden arch to grow something up, thanks Selleri and Loofah for comments, and yes the picture is looking at the rear of the back to front house.
               
            • Phil Clark

              Phil Clark Apprentice Gardener

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              Sorry I can't seem to get this posting pics to work on here
               
            • ricky101

              ricky101 Total Gardener

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              Perhaps an Admin might take a look and see whats wrong ..

              You could try taking screen shots of them on your PC and just uploading the Jpegs instead ...?
               
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