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I have some spare ground beside a garage wall facing North. Divided up into 5 raised beds. What would be suitable veg to grow. It is a shady spot and spuds grew ok there last year.

ceris hughes

Reg,  the only way i've found to get the upper hand with couch grass is to use the fork gently underneath it and loosen quite large sections before pulling it out by hand. dont tug if there 's any resistance and go back to forking. if you leave just a piece in the ground it will start all over again. it's backbreaking but really rewarding.

I just wanted to say hello to all.  I have grown some fruit and veg over the years such as tomatoes, green beans and strawberries.  But this year I want to really go for it.  I think my problem will be reigning in my enthusiasm.  I want to try and grow everything!  I think I would need to be retired to have the time to devote to my veg patch.  But I am rarring to go and look forward to seeking advise and perhaps being able to supply a little here too.  Best wishes.

re couch grass - I agree the only way to get rid is patient forking out of the white roots.  If you wait another 2 weeks or so you will be able to see the green shoots which makes it easier to spot.  On my allotment I forked over the ground 3 - 4 times and it did pay off.  Good luck!

Hi, With my three small raised beds and small lean to greenhouse at the side of my bungalow, I have for the last four years grown Carrots, Onions, cabbage, cauliflower, runner beans, broad beans, beetroot, tomatoes, ect, I also have  strawberry and raspberry bushes.With this small area i won six trophys this year and two years ago i won the banksian medal at our local garden show.You do not need a big garden to grow some nice veg.


Hello everyone and a happy new gardening year!!

Can anyone help me with a grapevine it must be 23 years old but for the last 8-9 years hasn't had any fruit but has grown so much that I have had to prune it back several times a year. At the moment I have cut it back to old stems to see if that will make any difference.

What am I doing wrong??

Hi KasAnkers - my suggestion is runner & climbing French beans - lots of lovely beans to eat and plenty to put in the freezer for the winter. I grown mine 6 - 8 plants in 15 inch pots with 8 foot canes. Water every morning and feed with tomato fertilizer and seaweed once or twice a week - I can't pick them fast enough! For runners, I suggest Armstrong from Mr Fothergills. My late husband said it was the best bean he had ever tasted and he was right!

Hi Campbell McKee

I too had trouble with root veg till I tried an "old timers" method.  In March make a line of tapered holes, wiggling a broken handle of a spade/fork 30cms down.  Fill hole with compost mixed with fine soil, water and firm, plant 2 FRESH parsnip seeds and cover with mix.  Once germinated remove weakest seedling.  For carrots make a V drill about 15cms deep, fill with similar mix as for parsnips, water, plant seeds such as "FLYAWAY", cover and thin as usual.  I have also had success with carrots planted in a 45cm high tub.  The flies skim the ground apparently!

Good Luck.


I was new to veg gardening 2 years ago, I grew broad beans and runner beans in my small walled cottage garden, and carrots and peas in large tubs and troughs, mainly so my little grandsons could see where vegetables come from, and pick them for their tea.  This spring my son built me 2  three foot high raised beds with old pallets, we had carrots, french beans, lettuce, american land cress, which is still growing, I grew pak choi, but slugs or snails destroyed them. I ve grown purple sprouting and brussel plants in the garden, and they re doing really well. I m keeping a gardeing diary, so I can see what I ve done and when each year. I can t wait to start again 


I had an enjoyable hour yesterday reading my seed packets, and writing when and where to sow them, outdoors or indoors, I think I can sow leeks and tomatoes indoors this month. We will be having our first ever home grown brussel sprouts this weekend

hi i have got a new allotment well moved to it has got lots fruit jostaberrirs i cant find anything in books on pruning these things they are taking over theg grow very well like overgrown spiders legs HELP


I have just cut back my jostaberries by half ( you can make cuttings from the bits you cut off).  Like a gooseberry bush you should try to keep the middle open, cut away any branches that are rubbibg as well.  They are a lovely fruit packed with vit.C and easy to care for and get a good crop.

Chard is good for first timers as no matter what you do to it it keeps growing! For carrots, mine in the veg plot where massacred  by root fly but the ones I planted in some old potato bags were brilliant. I am going to plant more in bags this year and none in the veg patch.

i live on the n border of portugal in spain and this is going to be my first go at veges. i have a quarter of an acre!!! first the tractor then weeding and now the rotavator. i have planted some seeds in mini greenhouses in a mixture of household waste, good soil and a little sand. i have taken note that by putting basil near carrots keeps flies away. and on planting the seeds on a base of sand and newspaper encourages then to grow long and straight. also leeks should not be pressed in - just fill with water. would appreciate any advice

Hello All, this is my first post and first time growing Fruit & Veg.

I purchased a 2m VegTrug and have now planted a selection of veg, herbs and salads. I also have tomatoes and strawberries in hanging baskets with potatoes in a potato's planter.

Looking forward to my first produce in 10 weeks approx.




Good luck, I have grown tumbling tomatoes in hanging baskets and strawberries.  I grow potatoes in the ground, as I am lucky enough to have an allotment.  I would recommend to everyone the joys of having an allotment.  What fun and hard work it is, and I like the satisfaction of it.  But I do, as Stewart does, still like growing things in tubs and baskets in the garden too.  I am trying globe artichokes this year (all advice appreciated here!!).  And have one asparagus plant in a pot at present - really need to pop it onto the allotment I think.

Hi to everyone just joined i've just had a bad time with over wintered garlic put it in as described and at the right time with some onion sets, nearly all the onions have come up but not one of the garlic thought it was a good winter to do garlic any ideas cheers Martin

Hello to everyone. This is my first post so I hope I get it right! I retired about two years ago and since then have been using Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening" technique, as featured in this month's Gardeners' World magazine. The reults have been very good indeed and hopefully will be even better once I've mastered successional sowing. Are many other people using the SFG technique?

Hello Spodlandman. Excellent! Its proving to be an incredibly efficient and productive method of growing veg or whatever takes your fancy. Have a look at the website ''. They have a web-based programme with the facility to plan a Square Foot Garden and its brilliant. This is now my second full year of having two 4x4 SFGs and the quality and quantity of crops I'm getting out of it are absolutely amazing. Where possible I raise my plants in the greenhouse but the real art is making sure that you always have something ready to plant in a vacant square. I'm still trying to master that bit!

Hi Spotlandman, You'll have to get a shorter name than that, my typing is pretty much a one-finger exercise! I'm growing my plants in Rootrainers this year rather than as plugs and so far the results are proving to be very good. Have to be careful with the watering though because they do tend to dry out very quickly. Had some delicious fresh radishes and spring onions from the SFG for lunch yesterday and today plus for our Sunday roast we had fresh cabbage and frozen parsnip that I dug earlier this year, again from our two little 4' x 4' beds.