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Revisited! Great 'Grow Your Own' Hunt: share your top tips on home cultivation

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  • nodwah
    nodwah Posts: 1,742 Forumite
    My Question:- I have always grown onions successfully until last year. They ran to seed, despite being good sets. The same happened this year although I have picked the flower heads off immediately they appeared to ensure a reasonable crop. I think that the manure was too fresh and the possible cause. Does anyone know?[/QUOTE]


    My onions ran to seed last year and this year too - I thought maybe it was so cold and wet that they thought it was blimmin winter!!:confused:
    Just call me Nodwah the thread killer
  • clairzee
    clairzee Posts: 9 Forumite
    edited 19 May 2011 at 11:05AM
    i have a 5 year old and wanted him involved in our allotment so i gave him his own area and a few onion sets. he's now obsessed with his plot (except for the weeding!!) i gave him radish seeds as they only take about 4 weeks to grow so he didn't get 'bored' with waiting for his first crop. he planted a pumpkin seed which grew out of nowhere, his sprouts are larger than ours and he now eats more veg than before which is an excellent thing. having is own plot means he leaves mine alone. although i often catch him digging up my potatoes. it's my first year having an allotment and i have learnt by trial and error. had amazing cauliflowers this year, devoloped a liking for spinach and cant wait for my sweetcorn to harvest. growing your own is so satisfying and tastes so much better than supermarket veg (never realised that radish could be so hot and carrots so sweet) slugs can be an issue but found raised beds and removing them by hand works well, also my hairdresser recommended hair around the plants as it acts like glass to slugs so they steer clear of it, tho i haven't tried it. also carrot fly can only reach 31" high so i've grown mine in tubs 32" high and so far so good. just started using comfrey as a natural fertilizer and my courgettes and pumpkins literally grew over night. not having much luck with my tomatoes or peppers but think thats the weather. tho will keep trying. garden centres usually mark down 'dying' veg plants but with a little tlc i managed to get 12 red cabbages for 49p which are thriving (ate one earlier... delicious). this is my first post but hoped it has helped. chicken poo pellets also make a great fertiliser
  • kprice580
    kprice580 Posts: 269 Forumite
    Morning all,

    Try ans see if you can get hold of yesterdays SUN newspaper, they were giving away £17 pounds worth of seeds, for only £1.99 P+P included was: lettuce, wild rocket, parsley, radish, carrots, sprouting broccoli, spring onion, spinach, dwarf beans & cress. ONLY ONE PER HOUSEHOLD! I sent off mine this morning as I didn't get to read it yesterday!! I am going to try and see if any one else has the paper so I can get some sent to my family too.
    Good looking for it.

    P.S I planted some potatoes that had grown some shoots, My first thing to plant!!!


    Katy x x
    If you dont ask you dont get to know....
    Sealed pot no277
  • Larumbelle
    Larumbelle Posts: 2,140 Forumite
    There are a few of these around at the moment. I think there was one in The Times last week. They are pretty good for the money, I guess ;)

    There has been a few mentions on here about the aminopyralid contamination in manure. There is now a petition on the Number 10 website asking that aminopyralid be withdrawn from use. Sorry for the slightly spammy link to this, but if if it worries you at all this is the most practical way to do something about it:

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Aminopyralid/
  • rojomymojo
    rojomymojo Posts: 17 Forumite
    Well, with food shopping prices spiralling out of control, I have this year started to grow my own! Our previously redundant garden is now a hive of activity! My elderly neighbour is great for veg growing tips, however, my recently deceased grandad once told me that onions, leeks and spring onions LOVE soot and ash. After every barbecue we now save the white ash and give all of the above a good sprinkling with it. Water a little so that it doesnt all blow away! So far so good!
  • kprice580
    kprice580 Posts: 269 Forumite
    There are a few of these around at the moment. I think there was one in The Times last week. They are pretty good for the money, I guess ;)

    There has been a few mentions on here about the aminopyralid contamination in manure. There is now a petition on the Number 10 website asking that aminopyralid be withdrawn from use. Sorry for the slightly spammy link to this, but if if it worries you at all this is the most practical way to do something about it:

    http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Aminopyralid/


    I've signed it honey
    Katy x x
    If you dont ask you dont get to know....
    Sealed pot no277
  • rojomymojo
    rojomymojo Posts: 17 Forumite
    With regards to slugs. I find that the best thing to do is pick them up by hand and "dispose" of them. A bucket or highly salted water does the trick. By killing them off reduces the slug population from growing!
  • Really easy peasy. If you have a small patch of ground you can start now by getting a packet of lettuce/raddish seeds and sprinkling them around add a slight covering of soil or compost and leave them to grow. When the young tender shoots come up they may need to be netted to prevent the wood pigeons eating them. If you haven't a garden what about doing the same thing in a window box or any container. You can literally grow crops from now - corriander/ mustard & cress/raddichio/any lettuce/ chinese leaves/pak choi. You may be lucky enough to get 1/2 price seeds as most of the garden centres will be selling them off now. Don't be worried about how excited you will be when you see the shoots coming up - give it a go what have you got to lose? Maybe 30pence.:T
  • Decide what you like to eat (or pick if you like cut flowers), work out what you pay the most for or just doesn't taste/smell the way it used to do, and that sets your priorities for the year. Read stuff, think about what you want to do, whether you can spend hours or minutes doing it, and just get stuck in. You don't need many things, secondhand tools are fine (and if you start very small with herbs and salad leaves in pots on a windowsill, a tablesoon, fork and sharp knife will serve you well, along with a few containers with holes punched for drainage and charity shop saucers to catch overspill from watering). Oh yes, and you'll need a ball of string, a pencil and some lollysticks for labelling.

    Don't be lured into having the most expensive stuff in the garden centre - it might look great, but isn't often necessary - and tempting though instant massively growing plants might look, you probably don't need chemicals.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
    colinw wrote: »
    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll :D
  • You don't need a huge garden or allottment to grow anything either - I have a balcony and in a space roughly 3' by 2' by 6' high, I have a forest of tomatoes, petit pois scrambling their way up through them and chilli peppers peeking out underneath, a hanging basket with strawberries, 3 assorted long tubs lashed to the railings filled with sage, nasturtiums, nigella, thyme, rosemary, lavender,mint (in its own tub as it has the recuperative powers of dragon's teeth), runner beans on their way scrambling scarlet flowers over the roof and still managed to squeeze in some inedibles in their own pots (such as sweet peas, peace lily, surfinia, campanula, ivy, cornflower, pot marigold, begonia, pelargonium and something that looks like a dinosaur would much on). I just followed nature's example and chucked something in every gap. Most of the plants were grown from free seed, cuttings or seemingly dead plants chucked away by others!

    As you can guess, the weeds don't get a chance because the whole place is a sea of plantlife already! My balcony regularly gets cold and tired bees resting on it, who then seem to tell their sisters to visit over the next few days and even though it's facing due east and only gets sunshine until about 11 am, everything seems very happy there. I know I am - even if I haven't got anywhere to sit!

    It's fun and inexpensive and some of my neighbours are also growing things now , so we've started an informal exchange system for plants now. I've finally been able to find homes for the 27 aloe vera plants my own plant decided to produce, the 13 spider plants, African Violets and everything that just seems to grow whatever I do.

    And yes, I am bragging a bit, because I feel so pleased with my lovely plants and flowers - nature is so wonderful sometimes (and suprisingly cheap!)

    For something so simple, the rewards can be enormous! Go for it - and enjoy your growing!
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.
    colinw wrote: »
    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll :D
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