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in Fruit & veg
I only started gardening in the last few years and so far I have focused on growing flowers and shrubs.
I have recently moved to a new house with a large garden and feel I should/would like to try to grow some food next year.
Does anyone have any advice as to easy things to start with that don't take too much special know-how and that tolerate a bit of rough treatment? ( I work full time so can't always water twice a day in hot weather, have a kid who kicks ball around,that sort of thing) and any general advice for a newbie food growany would be fab too!
I have sunny areas I can use for this but I also have quite a lot of areas that only get the sun for a part of the day (is this what "partial shade means? I never know if that means "partial" as in part of the day or partial as in sort of dappled). So I would be particularly interested to know if there are any fruits or veggies that don't mind some shade or like shade (if such things exist????).
thank you to anyone who replies I think you are all so lovely to help people and each other like this. Hopefully as my skills grow I will be able to help others on here too.
Are you wanting to dig beds or have raised beds|?
Or fruit trees or bushes?
Just typed a long answer and the thing just disappeared and put up an answer from you, FB, that you put up 3 hrs ago. What is wrong with this, lately?
I'll give a shorter version now. In my first yr I had great success with carrots, beetroot, spuds, turnips, strawberries, lettuce leaves, peas and beans, cougettes, and radish just for the fun of them, as they grow so quickly (we don't like, them tho'!) This was all in raised beds, as we have very stony soil here.
Fruit trees and bushes are easy if you don't mind pruning and feeding now and again, and can cover them from birds, unless you don't mind sharing. But they take longer till you get fruit, so you need to be patient. 2 yrs at least, for most currants, longer for tree fruits. Raspberries are great if you have some space, don't need fantastic soil to give a decent crop, and the Autumn (primocane) ones will start to bear next July or so if you plant now. they could be good to put in around fences etc. I grew my first in large deep buckets with holes drilled in, and I got a great crop within a yr. Tied them in to a wigwam of canes. With feedingand top compost changed a few times they cropped in there for 3 yrs until i moved here and put them in the ground, where they've really gone mad. I'm getting a colander full every day at the moment.
You can grow most veg in any decent sized container, until you decide where and how to grow them in your garden. Even old compost bags turned inside out tohide the labelling will do, as lond as you stab plenty holes in the bottom and around the sides to around 3" high for drainage. (I've found if you only put the holes in the bottom, the bag settles around them and doesn't let the water out. Great in a dry summer, but rubbish in Scotland!)
And lots of the most common herbs grow easily anywhere. I find oregano thyme and chives to be the hardiest in the garden, along with mint( in containers only or it WILL take over), and my parsley keeps going in the harshest of weather, but is only biennial.
Hope this helps, any questions, don't hesitate to ask, we all had to start somewhere and we're always learning, or there wouldn't be a place for this forum, (apart from the AWFUL joke threads!)
I find that when I am working full time, watering pots is a pain, so low maintenance is key.
Blackcurrant and raspberry bushes will take a little while to get going, but will then give bog harvests for little input. They will also tolerate some shade.
Same with an apple tree, or conference pear. Takes a while to establish, but after that... easy.
Prune once a year, feed , pick produce. eat...
Leaky hosepipes (black recycled rubber stuff) are good laid amongst new fruit tress etc, you can plug in the hose and leave for a couple of hours , once a week until they are established.
Easy things to start veg with are runner beans grown up a wigwam, and courgettes. Plants of these will be readily available in garden centres in late may,unless you have a greenhouse to grow your own.
If you have lots of space and good fertile soil, a few early potatoes are pretty easy.
When my girls were small they had a playhouse and I made a window box which they could grow stuff in and I made some similar ones for the fence next to it and planted strawberries. They're easy to grow and don't take much looking after. Having them off the ground helps keep slugs etc away. Lettuce crops do well in containers of any type and actually do better not in full sun. Mange tout are easy and don't take up as much space as the bigger beans and peas. I used to grow them in amongst the ornamentals too.
My main bit of advice to you would be - don't grow anything that you don't actually enjoy eating!
You could add rubarb which is easy pessie and onions to the list already given by others. Chad is similar to spinach but easier to grow than spinach. Outdoor bush toms also do well in pots.
You are likely to get some successes and some failures, each year most growers do. I grew small amounts of a lot of different vegs in my first and second year of growing to see what would grow and the successes out weighed the failures so I was encouraged to keep growing.
'Scuse me folks - just need to test my ability to access this thread To evaluate one the forum problems we are still experiencing.
Easy fruit...gooseberries, blackcurramts, red currants, dwarf apples and pears. And rhubarb.
Veg......runner beans, onions, Beetroot, lettuce, spring onions and radishes. I grow carrots easily without problems but many find it to be a difficult crop so maybe leave this for a year. sweet corn is worth a try if you have a warm garden
Chives, parsley, sage and rosemary are worth growing and easy too.
Hey, gardenjeannie.....wot u mean, those AWFUL joke threads? I started the original, which of course is the best. I agree the others,,those copies, are baaaaaad! Ha ha. ( no, not really. Jokes are great as lomg as they are not too rude,,offensive or hurtful)
I started this year and tried to plant stuff I like and always buy from the supermarket without any real consideration of how hard they are to grow, but then added a couple of others that I like but never think to buy.
I used raised beds - I only have a spade of topsoil over what looks like industrial slag! Being all compost the soil has held moisture well - I check it before watering and have never found it dry, on days when it rains I haven't needed any extra watering and if it has been cool and the soil still feels damp I have sometimes skipped watering if I have been short on time. I have never watered more than once a day. Mind you, I am in Scotland....
I started late in the season and not everything is ready yet!
My main crops of frequent buy stuff are peas and carrots, apart from outgrowing the supports the peas have been easy to grow and nearly twice the height on the packet. I have loads of flowers turning to pods now so as long as the frost stays away I should get a good crop.
Carrots are a bit trickier, I didn't spread them very well and have had to thin a couple of times, I was aiming to use my dads trick of waiting until they are baby sized and then pulling alternate ones for the pot leaving others to mature but I was finding 2 or 3 basically growing together so had to thin them out. Also best to water often to prevent roots cracking. Mine are just getting to baby size, some haven't filled out at all so I may not do very well this year.
Spinach is something I like but never buy, I eat it cooked or instead of lettuce. Seedlings come up quick and then grow very slowly for a while before suddenly bulking out. Had several pickings of the larger leaves leaving the small ones so the plants continue to grow, more than packet suggests! Very easy crop if you like it!
Radishes take about 4 weeks from sowing to picking so can grow between rows and have them eaten before main crop needs the space/light - I think they are a bit marmite, love them or hate them, but if you like them they are another very easy crop. I think some varieties of radish and spinach can still be sown for another week or so if you have a bare patch amongst your flowers.
I also like strawberries, and knew they send out runners after cropping so bought a discounted plant that had cropped, put it in a pot (half whiskey barrel) and have potted up 7 or 8 runners already (there are more nearly ready to pot) - so next year I will have 10-12 strawberry plants. Definitelty easy to grow, the trick is keeping the fruit off the ground so it doesn't rot, traditionally straw was put under them hence the name but it looks like fleece from a garden centre is an easier modern alternative. I will have to build another raised bed and it will be filled with just strawberries looking at the spacing they need.
My final buy was a raspberry which I also like but tend to find they are often ruined from the supermarket. I knew least about these so bought it at completely the wrong time! It has however survived (planting depth is critical) in the same half barrel as the strawberry (it will get it to itself next year), there are only 2 canes but they have grown tall and finally started to flower last weekend (it is an autumn variety) - since the brambles around here are still going I have renewed hope of a few raspberries off it yet. It seems that once established strawberries and raspberries will spread easily and need little maintenance, but for raspberries the planting out is critical (I must have been lucky, although I did read up first so was aware of the depth issue).
Since I started my own growing patch I have paid more attention to the brambles that grow over the top of the wall all down one side of my garden - I have had a couple of kilos off them already and it looks like there is another kilo or 2 ready to
I had 16 lb of blackcurrants this year,(2 bushes, one was a cutting off the first) and made a lot of jars of jam. Some has been given away. Amazing how many people declare it to be their favourite. Dead easy. Plant, prune once a year, feed, pick, add equal weight of sugar , boil, bottle. Little beads of sunshine to add to winter porridge.
grew leeks for the first time from seed and then transplanted when big enough, v.easy
make a pasta sauce with some with ham, tastes yummy!!