Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 23 replies

Hi all,As a complete novice to the garden Im after some advice.I preety much planted a few "fire and forget" crops this year.but didnt do too well,although the parsnips are still in(are they really suposed to be in for this long,seeded on 11/3/12). In the sales I got 2 pop up green houses 8ft x 6ft to help me next year. I supose im after some friendly pointers on what to put in them and how to look after them. I was thinking in 1.tomatoes,peppers,chillis and cucumber as i seem to think from reading that they can all be grown at the same time and looked after in the same way ie use tomatoe feed for all of them. house no2 im not so sure off, was thinking along the lines of beans and peas.

Im open to advice sugestions and anything that can help.




It's been a pretty rotten season., so don't be discouraged.  We're lucky that we're on free-draining soil and the wet wasn't too bad for us, but low temperatures and low light levels have all contributed to a poor harvest,  

Parsnips traditionally need a frost to make them sweet, so yours should be ready to lift soon.  You can leave them in the ground until you want to use them.

Tomatoes, peppers and chillis are a good idea for one greenhouse.  I'd use the other for starting off seeds in trays and pots in the spring to get a good headstart, then plant them out into the garden  when the chance of frost has gone.

You can start runner and french beans, peas, mange tout and sugar snap etc .and you can start lettuces off in trays in the greenhouse too  but none of them need to stay in the greenhouse all summer - plant them out whens they're big enough and the weather is milder - be aware that slugs and snails will find their way in so keep an eye open for them hiding under and between pots and trays, cheeky little critters will hide there in the daytime and come out and eat your plants while you're tucked up in bed if you don't evict them 

You can also grow frost- tender herbs, particularly basil, in your greenhouse - it'll go well with those tasty tomatoes you're going to grow.

That's just a few suggestions for you to think about - I'm sure the others will come up with lots more 



I was going to answer, then I read Dove's answer, which was just what I was going to say, but probably put better.


 Don't do that to me Busy-Lizzie - I'll come over all unnecessary and forget how to type 

As I said, I'm sure the rest of you've got lots more suggestions and encouragement to give - it's just that I get up early and it's too dark to go out into the garden at that time in the morning at this time of year, so I just witter on a bit .............

Thanks for the replies,I really do need some help and advice on this so everything is welcome. Im lucky to have been given some Mr F seeds.tomatoes are money maker and there are a few more packets that I cant recall of hand. I was wondering if its better to grow straight in the ground,or in raised beds.And yes that is under the green house.



Hay I'm a Paul too who recently got a greenhouse can I ask if you can suggest any varieties of tomatoes that taste good and are blight resistant. Also I was thinking of growing some sweet potatoes indoors this year has anyone ever done this??

Complete Novice Paul - that depends a lot on what the soil under the greenhouse is like?  But if it's not too good you've got plenty of time to dig it over and dig some compost and well-rotted manure in to improve it. If you've got the space to grow your toms in the ground, that would be my preferred option if the soil is at all reasonable.

PaulK - I don't think there's really any such plant as a blight-resistant tomato  However, the cherry tomato Red Alert performed very well for me in pots in the garden this summer, when surrounded by other plants showing signs of blight.

I like to grow varieties of tomato that are difficult to find in the shops, like Marmande (a big ribbed beefsteak tom) as the flavours are so much better than commercial varieties although the crops may not be as heavy.  I grew 6 plants of Marmande this year in large pots outside (started them off inside).  Three of them showed signs of Late Blight, but I moved them away from other plants, then checked them 2 or 3 times a day and removed and burnt any and every leaflet with a patch of blight.  The 3 blighted plants survived and performed almost as well as the 3 unblghted ones, so I'm very pleased with them.  The tomatoes are lovely, with a good flavour and nice and meaty - great sliced with mozzarella, and grilled in a bacon bap 

Hopefully Italophile will see this thread - he's the tomato star!!!

I've no experience of growing sweet potatoes.

Thanks Dave I'm salavating at the thought of mozzarella and those Tom's will try those. Got limited space so really want anything that I grow to be packed with flavor !!! Thanks again.

Excellent answer from Dove.  Use the winter to do some reading.  Enter the competition to win the Alan Titchmarsh books.  The Kitchen Garden book is my favourite.


Hi, I suggest you start with the easy stuff and then move onto the "exotic" as it were.Sweet potato belong to this group. I tried them thrice then gave up. Unfortunately suppliers make this gardening lark sound so easy (that's why forums like this are a God sent.) Wish we had them when I started gardening. Gardeners are such generous people and happy to encourage new gardeners. To produce sweet potatoes you need many hours of baking sunshine and well drained, good  soil. Mine failed even in the greenhouse! But if you still want to have a go, put them in large pots as the foliage is very attractive and some retailers sell them as house plants. This is my experience and I do not wish to put you off. Good luck and welcome to a very pleasureable pass time!!



As above, this year was bad for everyone so take heart! Start EASY. Toms, peppers and chilies = good, but the latter take a while to get going so remember to start them early on an indoor windowsill. I also find I start my tomatoes earlier and earlier each year - and fewer! A few good healthy plants get planted into the soil in the greenhouse, then as I pinch out I pot up the pinchings and get next crop from those - some in greenhouse, those there isn't room for outdoors.

I've never yet managed a full-size ripe pepper (but we eat them anyway, tho' small)

Cucumbers are a bit harder I think; several things to go wrong. Also don't bother with aubergines (if you were thinking of it!) - you cannot grow them cheaper or better than you can buy them in Lidl.

But DO also use your greenhouse (no. 2) for starting off Courgettes, Peas, and Beans (though this ultra-wet year I finally got a crop of peas by starting them off on the kitchen windowsill where no slugs or snails could get at them). Also put troughs and pots inside and succession sow with spinach, rocket and radish; and, come early spring, lettuce, spring onions, a few carrots, and above all, cut and come again salad stuff

Hi all and thanks for the replies.

Still undicided on greenhouse 2. I think I should consider getting some tables in it to grow things on first,ill keep you all up to date .

Greenhouse 1 will be dug into the ground about 6 inchs down.The earth will be turned over and i hope to get some kind of fertilizer in it.Even if its just pellets.I'll put in some slabs  down the middle for something to stand on. So, whats left, right and front will be where i do the growing.Tomatoes,chillis and peppers are are on list for keeps.


I'll look into the rest and fire up some ideas



I grew some early lovely dwarf french beans in my polytunnel this year- the slugs and snails had most of my outdoor ones. I also put some late courgettes in and they are doing really well still now.I started the beans and the courgettes off in pots in my greenhouse, the beans in about March and the courgettes not until May, so i had some outdoor ones to start with.


Good answers from previous. It may be a bit obvious but grow what you like to eat or at least what you would like to try! Home grown always taste best as it is so fresh. I agree for greenhouse 2 use it to start off crops if you have pots use them but root trainers are v good for starting peas beans etc in as they give plants a flying start. Remember to harden off (ventilate or bring out in day gradually till you can leave out) 10-14 days before you plant out fully otherwise if you put straight out to exposed site, tender leaves will scorch in wind.

Iain R

Just to keep the children entertained, I have dicided to use some of my garden for planting. I will dig a 3m x 4m patch and line it with wood planks so I can put walk boards on itto help watering duties. In here will go Garlic, Red  and white onions, Leaks, Sring Onions, Carrots and Parsnips. (yes i have just returned from the garden center) I have some Radish and Beetroot seeds for quick growing between rows too. What else could/should I be looking at to grow?




Go UP- Peas & climbing beans french or runner. My grandchilderen ask when it's time to sow seeds. The seeds are big and easy for them to handle, nice big plants and peans or beans to pick & eat! The purple french type Bluhilde long purple pods that go dark green whn cooked. The children think they are really cool!


Strange you say that. I did see on the TV ages ago a 3 bean salad that looked easy to make so I thought Id grow some beans and copy it. Thinking of doing a couple of courgette plants too as from pretzel's suggestion.

Im thinking on the idea of organic as best I can so I want to protect main crops by growing some pungent attractants,so to speak.


As another idea, is there a way I can attach pictures to this post so I can display whats going on in the garden?




And thanks for all the ideas,dare I say it,food for thought..!!


complete novice wrote (see)


As another idea, is there a way I can attach pictures to this post so I can display whats going on in the garden?




You can post pictures by clicking on the oaktree icon next to ABC on the message-bar



Many thanks.Ill be using that soon ish.




Not many pests like beans and courgettes Paul, once they're past the seedling stage, so you shouldn't have to worry too much about protecting them from marauders