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a good thing to start with...
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tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44056
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 6:40 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

nettie wrote:
a permanent asparagus bed


On an allotment? It takes 3 years to crop doesn't it?

Agree about Swiss Chard. I suppose i'd grow a lot more onions and potatoes if I had the room.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41835
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
nettie wrote:
a permanent asparagus bed


On an allotment? It takes 3 years to crop doesn't it?.


You can buy the crowns at different ages, which is a good idea if you're setting one up anyway, you get a crop faster and they don't all need replacing at once.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yep but you can buy year old crowns to save you a year. You can take a mini crop the year after planting them, just to have a taste. Soooo worth it!

Snowball
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 6183
Location: swindon
PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 05 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Welcome on board.
Give perpetual spinach a try, it just keeps on going.
For your garden, try vegetables in containers, but most of all herbs.
We are trying at least six types of basil this year, but probably no tomatoes to go with them.

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've found that a lot of the oriental greens (mustard, mizuna, pak choi, etc) are really easy to grow, keep cropping for ages, and taste great. The easiest out-door salad type plant I've encountered is celtuce, which is pretty much a lettuce but which gives an edible flower stem (peel it and slice it for stir frying), so even when it goes to seed it's useful.

sugarplumhalle



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 50
Location: E. Yorkshire
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

thanks, lots of great idea's there. Definetly going to try spinach as it is one of my favorite vegetables of all time and I eat it four times a week so... guess i should have thought of spinach automatically!

Will definetly try some kind of berries and rubarb, i love rubarb. appreciate all the help..

Halle

Bugs



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 10744

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
Carrots (if you like saag you can use the tops too)


Well, you learn something every day . I'd always wondered if you could eat them. Then I think of parsnips, and how their leaves are meant to make you sensitive to the sun, and then I think, hmm, not putting that down my throat.

Do they have a strong taste? If you say "carrotty" I'll turn violent.


Orach...where do you get your seeds from? I don't really want to place any more orders this year but OH fancies having a go at this. I'm hoping Wisley's huge seed stock will come up trumps though.

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bugs wrote:
Do they have a strong taste? If you say "carrotty" I'll turn violent.


Definitely not carroty - more like a bland parsley. I went to a restaurant once where carrot tops were used as a garnish. No one at our table guessed what they were!

Blacksmith



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5025
Location: Berkshire
PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 05 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi Halle, I called in at a secondhand book shop in our town last week and picked up "Harry Dodsons Kitchen Garden" and a couple of 1950's gardening books for under a fiver.
I planted chilli and sweet pepper seeds last week, in a small propogator, kept in my conservatory, hoping to aquire a greenhouse in the near future to increase production !
Best of luck with your allotment.
Dave

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44056
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Judith wrote:
Definitely not carroty - more like a bland parsley.


I'd go with that, they add a herby note to your greens

Behemoth



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 19007
Location: Leeds
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Highsugar plum - we're not too far away - try this website for info on planting - it's leeds based so the timings will be similar

http://www.keirg.freeserve.co.uk/diary/default.html

there's loads of useful info on it.

I tried chillies outside last year and they didn't thrive. Eventually the whole plant including the chillis was eaten by slugs

Potatoes are good easy crop for the first year and they're good for breaking up the soil as well.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Suggest you start with things that are "easy" (ie tolerant of a wide variety of conditions, pests, and occasional neglect). Also things that are going to give a reasonably quick return - and thus provide encouragement.
Also suggest that you look to unusual-ish varieties, rather than the sort of thing you can easily find in the shops or at the market.

Grow some tomatoes in a couple of grow bags. But avoid the common variety "Moneymaker." Try a cherry type and a beefsteak.

Courgettes are supremely "easy" - but again do have a couple of different varieties. And don't plant too many - they can provide embarrassingly heavy crops.

Concentrate your soil prep on a herb garden. This needs to be in a very sunny spot and with light, well drained soil.
Even after you have an allotment, you will want herbs close at hand, so this is going to last - take trouble in preparation!

A few peas (mangetout?) and beans (fine or broad?) would be worthwhile.
You'll probably grow potatoes when you get the allotment, but you can grow them in a tub. (Again go for a "special" variety like Charlottes or Pink Fir Apple, or...)
And if only to have the experience of fighting off the slugs, try a patch of mixed lettuces, for a "cut and come again" salad garden.

Choosing what to do is part of the enjoyment!

moogie



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 525
Location: Near Bridgend
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Welcome Halle. If you are going to try herbs (which are great inside in pots) then don't bother with the ones from the supermarket in the veg section. They'll die about ten minutes after you get them home. Go to a good garden centre instead in a couple of months time and they'll have a great range there - not just the usual suspects.

sugarplumhalle



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Posts: 50
Location: E. Yorkshire
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I havent had chance to go to the garden centre yet so still my major goal for the week is cress in egg shells... (its sprouting though so i'm happy)

I completely agree with growing unusual varieties, thats definetly what i wanted to do rather than just by the normal bog standard stuff I can buy at the local fruit shop. Will make me more enthusiastic aswell I think...

thanks for all the tips, popped in a couple of charity shops on the way to work this morning looking for gardening books but couldnt find anything.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 05 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Does anybody else use those 'Vegetable Expert' type books? I know they're not organic, but have basic easy advice and don't cost a large amount (may be able to pick up second hand).

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