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8 messages
23/01/2013 at 22:42

Hi

I am new to the forum, my daughter has recently moved to a farm in N Wales, her partner would like to start a veg plot and asked me for advice. Apparently there was a veg patch at one time and he would like to clear it and have a go. The question is where is a good place to get a planner and hints on what to grow? Any help would be much appreciated

24/01/2013 at 09:33

Right -first thing is they will not be growing ever vegetable-the thing to do is to decide what they like ,what can be grown economically- there is no point in growing things- especially as a novice- that are easily and cheaply obtainable in the shops.

Also veg growing can be quite labour intensive -how much time tending the plot do they have?

What is the size of plot?

Come back with a bit more info-and people on here will come up with some ideas-in the meantime the soil needs digging over and preparing- perhaps with some organic matter-but not if it is too wet at the moment

24/01/2013 at 15:18

call me old fashion but I believe 4rly rotation of crops ,remember that  at school, and good compost , as said above dont start of with difficult easy is what you need to do,find out from those who live near you what grows best for them,I gather being on a farm you might have access to a good manure supply.Being in Wales you are most likely exposed to the elements and so must consider that and defence from Rabbit and the like.Most of all enjoy what you do,there will be times you fail and a lot to learn.

24/01/2013 at 17:00

Thank you for the replies, have asked and the plot is 26x10 metres, that sounds quite a big plot to me. The site I think is quite exposed and at times is windy

24/01/2013 at 17:04

But what do they want to grow?

And what experience and time do they have?

24/01/2013 at 19:08

First thing I would suggest is to divide it into 4 equal sections for crop rotation.  I'd then plant spuds in the section which looked like it needed the most attention, digging-wise.  Peas, beans and other legumes in #2, cabbage and other brassicas in #3 and carrots, parsnips and other root crops in #4.

Doing all of that is going to be a lot of hard work though, especially on a plot of that size which has not been cultivated for a while, so if they are beginners, start small and consider covering the rest of the area with weed-suppressing membrane for a year, after which it will be much easier to cultivate.  See what grows well in the type of soil they have within that first year and what utterly fails (some things will!)  It's easy to try doing too much and getting disheartened.

24/01/2013 at 20:21

Also, grow what you like to eat!  It's no use planting lots of courgettes if you hate the things!!!

I'd start with things that are fairly expensive to buy in the shops (I love runner beans, but won't pay the extortionate prices demanded by supermarkets).  I find these will grow quite happily in my garden.

Is it worth buying a few fruit trees to try and shelter the plot, whilst at the same time giving (eventually) a crop, or is the plot too exposed for trees to thrive?

One bit of advice that I've found invaluable, is not to plant root crops in freshly manured plots.  If they grcan find the nutrients they need in the top level of soil, they won't grow decent sized tap roots.

A good book is also a good idea (especially at this time of year), I bought John Harrison's Veg Growing Month-by-Month, and it's been really useful.  You can buy it fairly cheaply on Amazon, and it's a great place to start, it has lots of ideas and do's and don'ts in there, brilliant for the first time veg grower.

24/01/2013 at 22:41

Having an area with stuff which once planted will fruit year after year is always a good idea and not so labour intensive. A row of Red, white and black currant bushes don't take up too much room along with a gooseberry bush.  Strawberries grow happily around them.

Rhubarb if you like it and once planted grows happily year after year with little attention.  

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