Allotment/Veg patch

skyblueusername

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Jul 8, 2016
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Hi,
I noticed a few of you in another thread talking about growing your own in either an allotment plot or veg patch so have started a thread where you will hopefully pass on some advice as you all sounded quite knowledgeable.
I took over an abandoned allotment plot a couple of years ago, I've been round today repairing the greenhouse from the storm damage and am now looking to get some seeds started, any advice on what I should be doing at this time of year?
 

Houchens Head

Fairly well known member from Malvern
Jan 24, 2011
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I always find spuds are dead easy to grow, so are radishes and carrots. If you haven't been involved for some time, then these are the easiest to start with. I'm no gardener but anyone could grow these!
 
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skyblueusername

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I've got 3 different types of first early spuds chitted but not sure if it's the right time to plant them out yet.
 

OffenhamSkyBlue

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Depends what the soil is like at the moment. Mine went in yesterday, but i have relatively light soil, and the last couple of days of sun on it helped warm it up.
Spuds are really good at breaking the soil up for future use too.
Possibly a bit too cold/wet for carrots and parsnips, but probably not a million miles away. I also prepared the bed for my peas (i grow mange-tout as i prefer them and think peas are a bit of a waste of time unless you have space to grow quite a lot), and will probably sow them next week along with the broad beans - use a variety like Masterpiece Longpod (or The Sutton if your plot is a bit exposed to wind). You can sow broad beans in October/November for an early crop (best variety is Aquadulce Claudia) - mine are flowering now, but they got decimated by the wind and rain after Christmas, so i will get some of the spring-sown variety in too.
Think about sowing things like summer cabbage, green broccoli, etc. in pots or cells indoors (or in the greenhouse), depending on whether you want to grow your own or buy as many plants as you need from a nursery, B&Q, etc - if you have the space of an allotment, sow your own seed (!).

Hope this helps - ENJOY IT!!
 

skyblueusername

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Thanks offenham,
Most of the plot has been covered in ground sheets over the winter so the soil should be quite warm, I shall lift it today and start digging it over then have the spuds in the ground in the next couple of days.
Now I have the greenhouse repaired I will look for some of the seeds you mentioned and get them started.
Thanks for your advice, I usually get it from the old timers, some of whom have had a plot there for 30-40 years so know what grows best, but having not seen any around lately hopefully they are all safely at home.
 

skyblueindorset

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The only things that we put directly in the ground are potatoes and onion sets. Everything else we start in pots in the greenhouses. Peppers and tomatoes are 'chitted' on damp paper first. If you have the space on your plot, I recommend Alderman peas. They grow tall (up to 8' if you let them) so need plenty of support. They give a huge crop for the space they take. I start mine in 6' lengths of guttering and when ready slide them out into shallow trenches. Because of the very wet Winter, everything is going to be late this year, but stuff always catches up.
 
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OffenhamSkyBlue

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We were out walking today (observing social distancing to the tune of about 3 miles), and i noticed how poorly everything is growing in the fields. All the over-wintered crops, whether it is field beans, oilseed rape or winter wheat, have really suffered from being waterlogged all winter, and only cover about half of the fields. And lord knows when they'll get the spuds in - it is still really wet. It wouldn't surprise me if they talk of food shortages by the summer.
@skyblueindorset not heard of chitting chillies and tomatoes. Might give that a go - on a windowsill, or what?
 
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lifeskyblue

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Good advice from others on potatoes and onions...I have some earlies in (last week) in bags on patio (soil at allotment not quite warm enough). Also tomato and lettuce seeds in greenhouse...will be ready to pot up (toms) in a few weeks and later some of them outside....probably mid/late May. First lot of Lettuce seedlings will be in ground in a couple weeks or so. I sow lettuce seeds (now in greenhouse, later straight in ground) every week until mid June (approx) so that we have a continuous supply of lettuce.
Early peas (often rounded ones) can be started in pots shortly and planted out when ready. Wrinkled peas tend to be a month later. Like Dorset I like the tall peas (6-8 foot varieties) as you get a higher yield per plant. But you must secure as they can easily get damaged in high winds when the plants fully grown.

I am probably going to be in one of the health groups strongly advised not to leave the house. Wife nagging me to take advice seriously...and I will if I get the letter. Therefore will grow lot less this year (only at home) and ask my allotment neighbour to use my plot to grow what they want/need if they can.


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Alan Dugdales Moustache

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Runner beans are dead easy but, like spuds, need loads of water if we go through a hot summer.
 
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skyblueusername

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We were out walking today (observing social distancing to the tune of about 3 miles), and i noticed how poorly everything is growing in the fields. All the over-wintered crops, whether it is field beans, oilseed rape or winter wheat, have really suffered from being waterlogged all winter, and only cover about half of the fields. And lord knows when they'll get the spuds in - it is still really wet. It wouldn't surprise me if they talk of food shortages by the summer.
@skyblueindorset not heard of chitting chillies and tomatoes. Might give that a go - on a windowsill, or what?
As a lorry driver I have noticed this on my travels, some areas look like driving through the Everglades!
 

skyblueindorset

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Mar 21, 2011
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We were out walking today (observing social distancing to the tune of about 3 miles), and i noticed how poorly everything is growing in the fields. All the over-wintered crops, whether it is field beans, oilseed rape or winter wheat, have really suffered from being waterlogged all winter, and only cover about half of the fields. And lord knows when they'll get the spuds in - it is still really wet. It wouldn't surprise me if they talk of food shortages by the summer.
@skyblueindorset not heard of chitting chillies and tomatoes. Might give that a go - on a windowsill, or what?
We chit them on damp paper in a small takeaway container. The container sits on a shelf above a radiator. As soon as the roots start to show, we put them in small pots with seed compost.
 
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skyblueindorset

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Mar 21, 2011
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We were out walking today (observing social distancing to the tune of about 3 miles), and i noticed how poorly everything is growing in the fields. All the over-wintered crops, whether it is field beans, oilseed rape or winter wheat, have really suffered from being waterlogged all winter, and only cover about half of the fields. And lord knows when they'll get the spuds in - it is still really wet. It wouldn't surprise me if they talk of food shortages by the summer.
@skyblueindorset not heard of chitting chillies and tomatoes. Might give that a go - on a windowsill, or what?
I also chit parsnip seed on damp paper because germination can be unpredictable.
 

1nilandwe...

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Mar 23, 2012
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I could do with some advice on this front actually.
I am a very very green shoot (pun intended) at this so please be gentle.
I've seen all those videos floating around social media on growing veg from scraps and decided to give it a go.
I saved the bottoms of some leeks and propped them up in some water in my kitchen.
As if by magic, they started developing roots at the bottom and growing new greenery at the top. Amazing
Now I've popped one of them in the earth and hoped for the best, but I've no real clue whether it's going to work or not.
Will it work?
It doesn't seem to be growing much at the moment.
What can I do to help it work?
When can I expect to be able to pull a fully grown leek out of the ground?

I've also done this with a couple of garlic cloves with similar results.
 

skyblueindorset

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Mar 21, 2011
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North Dorset
I could do with some advice on this front actually.
I am a very very green shoot (pun intended) at this so please be gentle.
I've seen all those videos floating around social media on growing veg from scraps and decided to give it a go.
I saved the bottoms of some leeks and propped them up in some water in my kitchen.
As if by magic, they started developing roots at the bottom and growing new greenery at the top. Amazing
Now I've popped one of them in the earth and hoped for the best, but I've no real clue whether it's going to work or not.
Will it work?
It doesn't seem to be growing much at the moment.
What can I do to help it work?
When can I expect to be able to pull a fully grown leek out of the ground?

I've also done this with a couple of garlic cloves with similar results.
That seems to be OK as a novelty, but leeks need a long growing period. We sow leek seed in spring into a large pot of seed compost; the leek seedlings are then transplanted into the garden in June/July. The leeks are ready in Winter.
 

rob9872

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Mar 21, 2011
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I remember digging trenches for Grandads runner beans and lines for his potatoes. Massive overkill, really easy now to grow beans in a pot and potatoes in a pyramid of growbags - if I can do it anyone can! completely effortless.
 

1nilandwe...

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Mar 23, 2012
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We sow leek seed in spring into a large pot of seed compost; the leek seedlings are then transplanted into the garden in June/July.
I'm afraid that you're going to have to dumb this down further for me.
Do you sow the leek seed inside or outside?
And then how do I make sure that they don't die?

More pertinently, are my scrap leeks or garlic cloves likely to grow at all into anything usable?
 

skyblueusername

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Jul 8, 2016
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I could do with some advice on this front actually.
I am a very very green shoot (pun intended) at this so please be gentle.
I've seen all those videos floating around social media on growing veg from scraps and decided to give it a go.
I saved the bottoms of some leeks and propped them up in some water in my kitchen.
As if by magic, they started developing roots at the bottom and growing new greenery at the top. Amazing
Now I've popped one of them in the earth and hoped for the best, but I've no real clue whether it's going to work or not.
Will it work?
It doesn't seem to be growing much at the moment.
What can I do to help it work?
When can I expect to be able to pull a fully grown leek out of the ground?

I've also done this with a couple of garlic cloves with similar results.
Leeks seem to grow at an incredibly slow rate, I think children grow quicker!
 

skyblueindorset

Well-Known Member
Mar 21, 2011
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I'm afraid that you're going to have to dumb this down further for me.
Do you sow the leek seed inside or outside?
And then how do I make sure that they don't die?

More pertinently, are my scrap leeks or garlic cloves likely to grow at all into anything usable?
The leek seed is in pots in a greenhouse until they are ready to be planted out in the garden. If you keep the compost moist, the leeks won't die. I don't know about your experimental lee and garlic, I've never used the method that you have. If the garlic has come from a shop, it may be a variety which won't enjoy the UK climate.
 

Gazolba

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Jan 26, 2013
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BBC says 'outside the UK'
Don't bother planting any berries. Birds will eat them all.
I'd second the advice on growing carrots and potatoes.
Peas are also great
When you grow your own food, its a revelation how good it tastes compared to shop-bought food.
I'm sure there's tons of good advice online on seed varieties, when to plant and how to care for plants.
 

skyblueindorset

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Mar 21, 2011
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Not if you net them properly. When i had an allotment a few years back, the raspberries were fantastic. I never netted them - just let the birds have their fill and there were still far too many left for us to consume!
I only grow Autumn raspberries; the birds leave them alone - I don't know why.
 

skyblueindorset

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Mar 21, 2011
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skyblueusername

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Jul 8, 2016
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Well I've now got 4 varieties of first earlies and 1 of second planted in the ground and have started off a few seeds in propagaters in the greenhouse:
Sweetcorn, cauliflower, cabbages, runner beans, peppers and tomatoes.
I'm fully expecting the beast from the east to arrive next week and dump 3 feet of snow on it.
 

lifeskyblue

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May 22, 2015
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For anyone without much ground but want to grow a few things with the kids (if they are bored).
Try growing pea shoots for salads.
Get some dried peas (if supermarkets still have any)... take out a dozen...soak them overnight. Next day plant them (3 or 4 in a pot) in smallish pots (in compost) and place on a south facing windowsill. They will start to shoot in a week or so and a week after that start picking and enjoying. As soon as you finish one pot, soak a few more dried peas and start again. Fresh salad throughout the year.


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Marty

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Mar 20, 2011
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Spent a bit of money this week, picked up a few pots and a couple of blueberries. I've only managed to find one small bag of ericaceous soil and that doesn't fill the pots the blueberries are going in.

The 2 sky blue/turquoise ones feel very Mediterranean to me, so I popped some jalapenos in them (yes, I'm fully aware that jalapenos are Mexican).

Had a few good harvests of some potatoes already too. Taking them one pot at a time but I've had some real success with my spuds this year.

Hows everybody else getting on with there veg?
 

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skyblueindorset

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Mar 21, 2011
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It's going quite badly this year. I was late getting everything sown/planted. The germination of peas was awful and I should have replaced the strawberry plants but forgot, so the strawberries are poor. There is time for most things to catch up, but I'm not happy with the garden this year.
 

lifeskyblue

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May 22, 2015
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Garden flowering plants growing well...hopefully a riot of colour on a few weeks.
Veg in garden: slugs, pigeons and squirrels have pecked or taken a lot of the brassicas. But tomatoes on patio doing well...but heavy rain flattened couple plants.
Potatoes on patio really going well...expecting high yields.
In conservatory the cacti doing great and the carnivorous plants...some have flowered already.

At allotment the squashes doing well as are the peas (a little slower than normal). The French and runner beans also ok...the weather over last week has slowed everything down. The brassicas better than at home but still disappointing.
Apple tree...not much on it...late frost damaged them.
Strawberries ...had a couple of meals...lot more to come.
Raspberries...not doing much
Goosberries...birds have had lot...forgot to cover them.


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OffenhamSkyBlue

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Hi Guys
All the veg on our dinner plate last night came out of the garden - spuds, sugar-snap peas and courgettes!
Courgettes, squashes, marrows and sweetcorn all doing very well outdoors (the soaker hose was really helpful during the dry weather).
Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes all coming along nicely in the greenhouse.
Brassicas late going in, but coming on ok at last.
Beans have been problematic. Broadies got really early blackfly infestation (probably due to warm winter and warm, dry spring), so are struggling, though we've had a few meals off them. French beans just won't get started (also affected by blackfly) - don't know if my soil is deficient in some way. Carrots and parsnips an unmitigated disaster!

So, swings and roundabouts!
Flowering stuff that Mrs OSB deals with have been lovely - her baskets are a thing of beauty, and it has definitely been a good year for the roses, as Elvis Costello would say.
 

Marty

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Hi Guys
All the veg on our dinner plate last night came out of the garden - spuds, sugar-snap peas and courgettes!
Courgettes, squashes, marrows and sweetcorn all doing very well outdoors (the soaker hose was really helpful during the dry weather).
Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes all coming along nicely in the greenhouse.
Brassicas late going in, but coming on ok at last.
Beans have been problematic. Broadies got really early blackfly infestation (probably due to warm winter and warm, dry spring), so are struggling, though we've had a few meals off them. French beans just won't get started (also affected by blackfly) - don't know if my soil is deficient in some way. Carrots and parsnips an unmitigated disaster!

So, swings and roundabouts!
Flowering stuff that Mrs OSB deals with have been lovely - her baskets are a thing of beauty, and it has definitely been a good year for the roses, as Elvis Costello would say.
Sounds like you're doing a great job, are you going any unusual varieties? I'm trying purple haze carrots for a change.
 
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Marty

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Has anybody grown a dwarf cherry tree in a container? Just saw and now I'm so tempted to get one. I really need a bigger garden
 

OffenhamSkyBlue

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Sounds like you're doing a great job, are you going any unusual varieties? I'm trying purple haze carrots for a change.
My sugar snap peas are described as the first purple variety, called Purple Magnolia. They are soooo sweet! Quite attractive in the plot too, as they have pink and purple flowers, so look a bit like sweet-peas. The other good thing about them is that they retain the purple colour when you cook them (as they only need about a minute). French beans go grey after a few minutes' boiling!
I'm trying to grow some unusual French beans for drying and use in casseroles, etc - borlotti are a red-and-white flecked bean, and yin-yang are black and white. But as i said before, they are struggling a bit.
I've got some purple kohl rabi on the go too.

I know you can grow apple trees in planters, so i'd have thought a cherry would work too, provided you get one with a dwarfing root stock. There is a new root stock called Gisela 5 which allows fruiting cherries to grow in tubs (about 6 feet tall).
 
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