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New Vegetable Garden - Help needed

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jessie15
jessie15 Posts: 275 Forumite
Hi,

I am in a lucky position that my family own some farm land and I have decided to take over a little piece of it to become my vegetable garden, its perfect for me as its only a 10mins walk from where I live.

I have in the past couple of years had a go at growing lettuce, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers spring onions, peas, runner beans and onions, but I am very much a learner.

My question is, how big a piece of land should I take on? I want to take it slowly and see how I take to it, I can always extend at a later date. What would be manageable do you think?

Also, what do I need to do to begin with? its just part of a field, do I just take off the grass and dig it? if so how deep do I need to dig? do I need to edge the borders?

Sorry for all of the silly questions and any advice would be very much appreciated!

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  • sirbrainy
    sirbrainy Posts: 2,749 Forumite
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    First if you can spray it to kill off everything. Wait until it goes brown.

    Then I'd be rotavating it once nice & deep, going across everything about 4 or 5 times. Then leave it but in the meantime make yourself busy by spreading a load of muck and /or compost on top in a layer. Then 10 days later do the rotavating. Then 7 days later yet again.

    Should subdue most of the weeds. Then get planting.

    In the meantime (right at the beginning now we're in March) you could have started off everything except root veg in pots.

    Size - up to you, start small but don't delay rotavating/ spreading muck on next year's addition, it will be better prepared and you can rotavate it 5 or 6 times before next spring.

    What? - up to you, a bit of everything is good fun and educational in year 1 - spuds break up the ground nicely.
  • ERICS_MUM
    ERICS_MUM Posts: 3,579 Forumite
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    as sirbrainy says, spuds are good for breaking up the soil. Beans and peas add nitrogen to the soil which is good nutrition for growing leafy veg after the beans/peas have finished (leave their roots in the soil so the nitrogen can continue to break down). I particularly like french beans as they grow to about a foot, don't need tying up as runners/peas do and you get a goodish crop. If the soil is stony I don't recommend carrots as they can split and end up a funny shape if they hit a stone.

    I love home grown tomatoes as they taste better than any shop-bought.

    Don't make the beds too wide because you'll find it difficult to get to the middle without treading on your other crops !

    This article might start you off:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/3345387/Plotting-a-new-vegetable-patch.html
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,328 Forumite
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    sirbrainy wrote: »
    spuds break up the ground nicely.

    Only because you have to dig trenches to plant them, then earth them up, then dig them up to harvest them

    Spuds do not break up the ground, you do whilst growing them :D
    Eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred other peoples gardens
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