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Great “Easy Lucrative Garden Crops” Hunt: What costly foods can you grow with ease?

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  • mummy_dumpling
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    Courgettes, tomato, red pepper, garlic, All easy to grow!

    Add onions to make a ratatouille, put into kilner jars, cover the jars with cold water bring to the boil, simmer for 1.5 hrs, and store your own fresh cooked garden veg for months and months. Makes a wonderful base for soups, stews, pasta sauce, over frozen fish and bake in oven, add curry paste for a rich delicious curry, or just on its own. Make more than you think you will need, because it is so versatile and delicious.

    Hope I haven't gone off topic too much. and hope it helps someone.
    xxxx

    please could you explain this in a bit more simple (idiots guide) as I would love to try this!

    thanks :D
    Mum of 7 (aged 14y to 1y)
    loving SW - 5st off and counting! :j
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,626 Forumite
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    smartiepants - I too would love my memory refreshed on how to preserve and bottle vegetables. I last bottled tomatoes when I was 15 for my Girl Guides badge, after watching my mother do them during the war, so you can tell how many years ago that was. It's also becoming a lost art we need to preserve as we all rely on our freezers these days, but was would happen if there was a lasting electricity failure or if our normal power resources dry up?
  • rosie383
    rosie383 Posts: 4,981 Forumite
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    I have been out in the garden having a lovely time, as has my 2 year old!!!!
    I have put in runner beans, spring onions, baby salad leaves, perpetual spinach, and one tomato plant, a chilli and a sweet pepper plant.
    I have also planted peas, courgette seeds, and I did put in the lettuce seeds to see if they come up.
    Now all I need is fruit trees.
    B&Q have a Breaburn apple tree for £9.98 and I may go for that. I am on the lookout for a cherry tree, and some raspberry canes too.
    Lidl have (from Thurs this week), 6 strawberry plants for 2.99 which seems ok, so I'll be there first thing thurs. Do I need a proper strawberry pot, or do I just put them straight in the ground or pots.
    And does anyone know of a cheap place to get my fruit trees? I am in Luton.
    Father Ted: Now concentrate this time, Dougal. These
    (he points to some plastic cows on the table) are very small; those (pointing at some cows out of the window) are far away...
    :D:D:D
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,626 Forumite
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    Rosie - your strawberry plants can go either in ordinary pots of sufficient depth (minimum 8 inches depth) or straight into the ground but if they're in pots may need more regular watering as you can't afford to let them dry out, especially when the fruit is forming. However, mixing in water retention crystals in the compost if you're using pots will help. I'd be tempted to avoid any cheap raspberry canes you see in Wilkinsons. Most of them have been very badly neglected and will probably end up dying and being a huge disappointment.
  • angelavdavis
    angelavdavis Posts: 4,714 Forumite
    Mortgage-free Glee!
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    rosie383 wrote: »
    I have been out in the garden having a lovely time, as has my 2 year old!!!!

    How lovely, I love gardening with children of any age!
    rosie383 wrote: »
    B&Q have a Breaburn apple tree for £9.98 and I may go for that. I am on the lookout for a cherry tree, and some raspberry canes too.
    Lidl have (from Thurs this week), 6 strawberry plants for 2.99 which seems ok, so I'll be there first thing thurs. Do I need a proper strawberry pot, or do I just put them straight in the ground or pots.
    And does anyone know of a cheap place to get my fruit trees? I am in Luton.

    Check that the Braeburn doesn't need a pollinator (I googled and saw that it needs something like a EGREMONT RUSSETT apple as a pollinator - do any of your neighbours have apples?), also ensure if you opt for a cherry tree that you go for a self-fertile Stella or something similar. You are really only going to find pot grown fruit trees now which do tend to be a bit dearer. I would check out local garden centres as well as the DIY sheds as they may have been better looked after. Provided that the plants have some healthy shoots on them and no sign of disease (I would also cheekily knock the plant out of the pot to check there are no beetles or ants in the plant as they may have been sitting around for a bit in the shop), they should be OK. Discount shops (pound shops, lidl, etc) had the fruit trees earlier in the year, but these would have either been sold or ditched as they don't have a good shelf-life instore.

    As for strawberries, I recommend Nodwah's strawberry tower idea - made of stacked pots filled with soil (I put a cane through the middle of all three pots to stablise it - which it sounds like might be apt for your two year old green fingered one). Here is Nodwah's picture, my pictures aren't quite ready to share yet (I bought bare-rooted strawberries which are taking their time to bush up). I am sure Nodwah won't mind me plugging their idea again and using their photo. Keeps the strawberries off the soil and away from the slugs and puts them at 2 year old height of course!
    :D Thanks to MSE, I am mortgage free!:D
  • rosie383
    rosie383 Posts: 4,981 Forumite
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    That strawberry tower seems like a really good idea. I will go and check out a garden centre and see if I can get raspberry canes there. I think you are right about the braeburn and none of my neighbours have apple trees as far as i know. I will have to look out for a self fertile one, and for the cherry too.
    I have been keeping an eye out on ebay, and I see raspberry canes on there for about £8 inc P&P. Is that reasonable? I would prefer just one from someones own private garden, rather than a big warehouse somewhere.
    Father Ted: Now concentrate this time, Dougal. These
    (he points to some plastic cows on the table) are very small; those (pointing at some cows out of the window) are far away...
    :D:D:D
  • rosie383
    rosie383 Posts: 4,981 Forumite
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    I have just been offered a couple of sweetcorn and cucumber plants through freecycle, and also some compost. Someone also told me I can get free manure from the local riding stables. Do I just bring a shovel and strong bags? And she mentioned not to put it direct on the soil as it's too strong..... do I mix it with compost or topsoil first ? Any ideas?
    Father Ted: Now concentrate this time, Dougal. These
    (he points to some plastic cows on the table) are very small; those (pointing at some cows out of the window) are far away...
    :D:D:D
  • Kantankrus_Mare
    Kantankrus_Mare Posts: 6,107 Forumite
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    As far as I am aware...fresh manure should be left to rot down for a year. It can burn plants apparently? :confused:
    Make £10 a Day Feb .....£75.... March... £65......April...£90.....May £20.....June £35.......July £60
  • Slim4Summer
    Slim4Summer Posts: 98 Forumite
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    I got some from the stables nearby - they had a mountain of the stuff, and most of it was ancient and well rotted. Fabulous. They told me to tell everyone I knew to come and help themselves! They are keen to get rid of it.
    Incredible to see the same stuff in bags in Homebase for about a fiver a bag!
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,626 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
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    rosie - yes, manure needs to rot down for a year before it can be put on soil where plants are growing as the wee and other concentrates in it are too strong when fresh and it will kill your plants, Ideally it should be left in a pile and turned occasionally, but if you shovel it into bags and have to keep it in them, leave them open to the elements, punch a few holes in the bottom and try to give it a stir as much as is practical. If you have some spare ground in the autumn once you plants have been pulled up you can transfer it there in a heap during winter months.
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