Posted: 10/12/2013 at 11:51
Hello, I'm rather new to gardening but seem to have picked up the bug this year. I'd started out on some indoor chillis that I'd planted late in the year previous and haven't stopped producing fruit at any point in the following year and a half. I was concerned that starting the seeds in late August might not have been the best move but I digress.
Since then I took a slightly chaotic approach to planting whatever seeds I bought cheap or was given without planning accordingly. I had some reasonable success with lemon cucumbers, a lot of courgettes allowing for a couple to be picked per day for a few weeks at one point, tomatoes tumbling from baskets and not so successfully with some of the varieties of chillis I grew.
Due to the haphazard approach there was lots growing in individual pots, certainly the chillis that were clustered together in larger containers did better than individuals that were more isolated. Sadly some of my perpetual spinach, beetroot, radishes and carrots got demolished by the sparrows and pigeons.
Our garden is mostly paved but we've set about lifting a rectangle of the slabs and turning them on their side to form walls to make a raised bed. This was the plan at least but after laying down some dead leaves and emptying this year's used grow bags into the area we've noticed the slabs have cracked. This is quite possibly due to the age more than anything else. Those slabs had been down for at least 30 years.
We're now tempted to put a pre cut wooden kit in there like these http://www.woodblocx.co.uk/blocxbox2475x1500x450mm-p-1609.html that said we may be able to use some of the old slabs to make walls for a smaller bed, even if at only half the height we'd originally planned.
Regarding the plants I want to grow, would I be ok growing the likes of kale, perpetual spinach, carrots, peas, broad beans and chillis all within the same beds? Assuming adequate spacing is left. With nets more securely placed would the crops do better being more closely placed than they have been in individual pots? We did put nets over the plants once we realised the sparrows were causing damage but they still found their way in and had developed quite a taste for beet leaves.