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Really interesting advice but I need BASIC help please! I'm just in the process of digging over a patch 8'x8' and then read that's too another couple of feet is being added. When I finally get the plot prepared, is it too late to plant potatoes? I read I have to chit them and that will take 6 weeks and then it all seems too late.I want to have some quick successes, so what do you experienced people think I should do? Cheers...for the advice.
In reply to Mike's question. There is a product from Evergreen called Mow it Less. It's a lawn feed that apparently greens up the lawn without additional mowing. I've not tried it myself though. Hope that helps.
In reply to Dotty. No, it's not too late to sow potatoes, as long as they are main crop. Yes, ideally they should be chitted, but you can plant them without and still get a perfectly good crop. Don't forget to earth up regularly as this increases the yield. I always grow Desiree on my allotment and haven't had a bad crop yet. They are a good all-rounder. Cheers R
Ann, did you grow your carrots in ground that was recently manured? If you did, that may well be why they grew oddly. They don't like fresh muck! If the ground hadn't been touched for a year or so, then I'm not sure what caused your corkscrew issue. :o)
Thanks for your advice Rascal. what else is good and easy to grow? Also, being fairly keen to get a quick win, how much preparation do I need to do to the soil? Great to have help from experienced hands! Thanks. D


I have two raised beds in my north facing garden that get sun for only afew hours each day. Everything I grew last year was small and pathetic. Am I doomed to do poorly because of these conditions or is moving house abit drastic? any advice to improve the harvest would be great, thanks.
Hi Dotty. You're most welcome. I wouldn't say I'm experienced, I learn all the time. Carrots are always a good starter and you can get some varieties that are quick to grow. I'd stay away from brassicas for the time being as they can be more troublesome. Onions are another good crop to start with and maybe some beans. I love dwarf French beans as you don't need fancy frames to grow them up and they don't take up much space if you only have limited room. As far as what to do with the soil, it does depend on what type you have and what it's recent history is. Most crops will benefit some kind of manure to enrich the soil, but not carrots. I keep a pile of horse muck on my allotment to use. Helps having customers with horses and they are more than happy to let me have what I need for free. Hope I've helped. R
Hi Rascal, many thanks for taking the time and information,will give it a go. regards Mike.
I have recently had 2 troughs built into my garden, 3ft x 6ft and 4 individual little containers planned for herbs. I have no idea where to begin even after reading about growing veggies. I would like to grow potatoes and carrots to begin with. Help! I know there are certain veggies which grow well together, if anyone has done so and had success I'd love to know. Also, the herbs I would like to do are coriander, lavander and basil. Any advice on this please? Are the herbs better being started on a windowsill then planting outside? This all sounded a good idea at the time but now am beginning to wonder. Any advice would be super, thankyou.
Glad I'm not the only one who made mistakes starting out! Dahlia Lover I find it reassuring that you made lots of mistakes as your tomato-growing advice was so good recently! Hope everyone's crops are coming on nicely. Kate
I bought some tomato bags and cut three squares in the bags per teh instructions. I had raised some tomatoes from seed. I have about 40 strong plants. I planted 5 plants in each square of the bag. Is this ok. I have watered them well. They are growing outside as I do not have a greenhouse. The remainder are in pots.
5 plants are way too many ,2 plants per grow bag is best maybe 3 at a push.toms need room to grow,overcrowding can also encourage pests and mould.i have a really good germination ratio on seeds and when they all come up i know you really dont want to sacrifice any.after giving away as many as pos i still had too many.i planted them in between my ornamentals and any space i had in the garden and they are all flowering well.thin your plants xx
I enjoy reading your post. I have tried almost 5 years and was unsuccessful for 3 years until last year. I'm quite happy with this year's harvest and still learning to grow in my balcony. How do u do the compost heap in yr balcony?
Hi Liz, thanks! Re the compost heap, I just used two 30cm diameter plant pots, one placed in the other. the bottom one had a bit of soil/multipurpose compost in and I added kitchen waste to the top one. A bit like a wormery (i think there may have been a couple of worms tho I've no idea where they came from). It wasn't very well thought out I'm afraid but it did the job! Kate


Dotty if its any help, I did not even buy seed potatoes last year, but used ones from supermarket not chitted. They were one of the best crops ever, space them 1ft apart if you want good sz, or closer gives you smaller potatoes, you will still get the same amount, give plenty of water & feed, earth up regulary.Doing it from seed this yr chitting to see the difference.
I have just bought a greenhouse and need to buy a heater as I live in Newcastle. what is the best and cheapest to run a parrafin or elactric thermostat one? Also do I need heat for busy lizzie and lobelia plug plants that I've have potted on? Regards jan

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