Register with us or sign in
in Fruit & veg
Ive been out grafting in our new gardento get it ready from some growing, we have a Greenhouse ready to go pretty much and 2 raised beds (Both 1m by 2.5m). I need some advice on the best things to grow, and good, easy, starters for the beginner at this time of year.
Do i need to keep certain group of veg in the same bed?
Whats good for this time of year?
All advice and tips gratefully received.
Gosh, how long is a piece of string? Best thing I would say is grow things you like and try something different every year. Nothing is that difficult really although some veg take more looking after than others. Have a good look through this website and elsewhere and go for it!! Enjoy!!
Wes wrote (see)
Do I need to keep certain group of veg in the same bed?
No you don't need to, but it makes your life easier if you do - for crop rotation, feeding, pest control, etc.
If you have a whole bed for salads you'll be eating a lot of salads!!
You still have time to plant most things from seed. Lettuce, radish, peas, mangetout, carrots, turnips, spring onions (although I find these more miss than hit tbh) could be planted this weekend. Just don't plant too much at once - better to plant a row every other week. You will have to buy tomato plants for your greenhouse, also cucumber and chillis (we have a large Tesco's down the road who have 3 chilli plants for £1.50 at the moment. 3 plants should be more than enough). You might try some sweetcorn in the greenhouse too if you have room. This can be grown outside too, but takes up a lot of space.
Towards the end of the month buy a courgette plant - only one unless you really like them - and plant some french beans if it's gotten a bit warmer.
In mid June you should be able to buy some leeks and the best veg of all - purple sprouting broccoli - at the transplant stage. You could probably just about grow these from seed now but given your limited space I don't think it would be worthwhile. Also means that someone else has done the hard part.
It is very worthwhile setting a small area aside for herbs. You only really need one plant of each type, so you should buy adult plants from garden centres or supermarkets. I would suggest thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley and mint to start (please read up about how to control mint first as it is very invasive).
That should keep you going over the weekend!
No, plant them in rows across the bed (1m). A 2.5m row of anything ripening at the same time is too much unless you have a very big family! Don't forget to consider aspect and shading - you may want to place taller crops such as peas at the end of your bed so that they shade your path rather than other veg. . (I've done that before, lol). As you are using raised beds you can plant a little closer (20%) between rows than the recommended spacings.
Not sure whether sweetcorn in the greenhouse works btw as I don't have one and I can't remember how they fertilise - you need to check this!
Did I say basil - one plant wouldn't go very far, lol, I meant bay! You can grow basil from seed now in your greenhouse - goes well with toms. You should also get a sage plant. NB Only one. The woody herbs such as bay, sage and thyme can get quite big!
Wes, don't forget to look at 'What to do now' - 2nd tab along on this website - as that will give you ideas on what to plant when, Sweetcorn needs wind to pollinate, I think, so probably not good in greenhouse.I didn't even have much luck outdoors with mine.
It's also worth getting started with fruit bushes, like blackcurrants, gooseberries etc, if you want them as they'll take a couple of years to start producing properly.
I've been reading square foot gardening, in principle it makes quite a bit of sense. Might be worth picking up a copy at the library, I picked mine up off amazon for just short of a fiver.
It goes into the way you can interplant so stick in your raddish which shoot up quick while you're waiting for the spuds to come up! It also covers growing what you need instead of a whole pack of seeds and then thinning
I don't think I'll adopt all the advice but some of it seems sound and makes sense, might be worth a bed time read?
The only other thing is the guy who wrote it is based in the US so some of the plants might not be suitable.... worth a read to see what you think if nothing else!
Excitable Boy has given you lots of useful info. Buying a few plants rather than growing everything from seed this year will get you off to a good start (our Sainsbury's has started doing some veg plants at £1, I think).You could buy courgettes, cues, strawberries, tomatoes, lettuces, brassicas. French beans germinate very quickly and there's still time to start them from seed. Carrots, beets, rocket salad, can still be sown now too. Many herbs will spread from a single plant so they don't need to be grown from seed, except annuals like basil and parsley. Beware of rosemary and sage, which eventually become straggly bushes taking up quite a bit of space.
Yes, plant across the bed, so you can reach to the middle of a row from either side of the bed without interfering with the rows on either side. As you don't need to walk between rows, the rows can be closer than on open ground in some instances, but peas and beans tend to get fungal diseases if they're crowded.
If you keep certain groups of plants in defined areas, this will help next year so that you can set up some sort of crop rotation - make a chart to remind yourself what grows where, as you won't remember next year!
You can plan it all out on paper as you know the dimensions of your beds. You won't be able to grow everything, so stick to crops you enjoy eating, or ones that are never cheap to buy. And of course some things ( like carrots) always taste better than anything in the shops.