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first time veg grower

coff Posts: 21 Forumite
hello all
im new to this site and love what i see so far.
im here to pick a few brains in the hope someone will pass on their knowledg
im hopeing to turn my garden over into growing my own fruit and veg
there are two things i would like to ask

firstly i have never grown fruit and veg in my life some im looking for ideas on easy to grow veg untill i find my feet

secondly because money it tight at the mo im having to do it on a shoe string
so any ideas of vrg growing on the cheap would be very greatfully recived

many thanx


  • meercatsunited
    borrow some books from the library to find out what you might prefer to grow and how to make a compost heap for next year, then buy the seeds from aldi/lidl where they are cheap
    :cool: Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age.
    Sometimes age just shows up all by itself ;)

    In the end, it's not the years in your life
    that count....it's the life in your years :D
  • gazza975526570
    First lesson - grow what you like to eat - no point spending time and effort growing things you dont like.

    Second lesson - grow what is expensive in the shops - rhubarb, runner beans, french beans, mangetout

    What is easy? Depends really - where are you growing? What is the soil like? How much time do you have.

    Onion sets are easy - stick em in, keep weed free and you will have an onion. Potatoes - fairly easy but you will need to read up on them a bit more and have more room or large bags to grow in.

    Your better deciding what you want and then ask the questions. To keep it free do a search for free seeds on here.

    Hope this helps
  • pandora205
    pandora205 Posts: 2,934 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I replied to a freecycle ad last year and was given lots of lovely tomato plants, which cropped really well. I found the best way to grow them cheaply was to use flower buckets (Morrisons sell them for about £1 for 10), make holes in the bottom and fill with compost. I make my own but top with better stuff, as mine is rather coarse.

    Other easy to grow veg are potatoes, lettuce and herbs. I've had mixed success with strawberries - They need a bit of attention and are prone to slugs and birds. Oh and I had lots of success with a small pepper plant I bought from Lidl. It had masses of very hot chillis, which I froze and have used when needed.
    somewhere between Heaven and Woolworth's
  • coff
    coff Posts: 21 Forumite
    hi all
    woohoo i have replies
    just to answere i few questions

    i have a large garden bigger than my neighbours as im an end house so have plenty of room for planting but i need to fence areas off first as i have two dogs and the sods like to dig holes and plants up so im looking for some cheap or free fence posts and meshing on freecycle ect so at the mo ive found all my pots out and planning on grow veg in there

    my soil is heavy clay rock hard in the summer and sticky as hell in the winter i do have some horse muck and home made compost to dig in and planning to do that soon

    as for choosing what i wont to grow i would like to grow some spuds first as we get through a lot at home
    i have 3 large black plastic dustbins im planning to grow spuds in and ive alread started sprouting some spuds off not sure if it will work but if i dont try i wont know
    i would also like to try onions and carrotts and some toms to see how they go

    i shop at aldis some regulary look at the gardening bargns there i also pop into wilkinsons because they sometimes have bargins in there

    im finding it all very over welming as i wont to start everything all at once but that just daft
    as for time i work ful time so can spend evenings now we are getting lighter nights and weekends

    thank you for your replys you have all been very helpfull
  • savingmummy
    savingmummy Posts: 2,915 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    I was a 1st timer last year having never had a garden i had no idea at all!

    I started off doing tomato plants in pots, and strawberry plants in pots.
    Then i done salad leaves in containers (so easy to do).
    By the end of last year i had doubled my strawberry plants, had a load of fruit which was amazingly yummy!

    Carrots/potatoes can be done in bags, pots (bucket size) even Tesco bags for life :D
    £land do some great growing bags too.

    I got most of my info from here, if in doubt post here and online sites have videos on how too!
    DebtFree FEB 2010!
    Slight blip in 2013 - Debtfree Aug 2014 :j

    Savings £132/£1000.
  • mcuk_2
    mcuk_2 Posts: 15 Forumite
    Enjoy the first year of experimenting. Potatoes should be easy, just make sure they are buried deep because the tubers rarely form downwards. Onions and carrots should be OK, they are quite vulnerable early on to slugs and birds, so keep an eye on them. Tomatoes require quite a bit of dedication, so don't be disappointed if something goes wrong with them.

    To keep costs down, I suggest planting some basics this year while doing some research. Towards the end of the year, the DIY and pound shops get rid of their seed stocks by slashing the prices, so that's the ideal time to buy whatever you like, especially the more unusual items.
  • LilMissEmmylou
    Another newbie here and one with a dog who likes to dig as well :D

    We have started our veg growing at the side of the house on the drive area (leaving the dog with the back garden and the kiddys can still play out in the front garden which is our biggest one) in pots and hanging baskets.

    So far we have planted strawberries, 2 different types of beans (with a 3rd due for planting in May), mung beans in the kitchen window and carrots in a seed tray out on the drive at the moment too.

    Still waiting on the seeds I ordered last Monday to arrive to get really stuck into growing lots more :)

    Good luck!
  • Leif
    Leif Posts: 3,727 Forumite
    I've done tomatoes (easy), courgettes (easy), chillis (requires care when young as not frost tolerant), carrots, rocket (very easy), and strawberries (easy). One lesson I learnt early on was not to plant too close together. You don't get more crop as the plants compete for resources, and do not grow well. I also found certain chillis (C. chinense for example) did not do well outdoors, and really require a greenhouse or windowsill.

    There is something called deep digging which I read about. I think the idea is that you did down deeper than usual, and that allows denser planting.
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
  • Farway
    Farway Posts: 13,317 Forumite
    Homepage Hero First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Leif wrote: »
    There is something called deep digging which I read about. I think the idea is that you did down deeper than usual, and that allows denser planting.

    On the OP heavy clay soil best hire a JCB for that:D

    OP, try runner beans [Wisley Magic is good, or White Lady if loads of birds around] and climbing French beans [Cobra variety is good]

    Both are expensive to buy and are dead easy to grow

    Got plenty of space? raspberries, always expensive but easy to grow, get the Autumn fruiting type, no problem or indecision with pruning, just cut down in December
    Eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cats preferred other peoples gardens
  • Leif
    Leif Posts: 3,727 Forumite
    Farway wrote: »
    On the OP heavy clay soil best hire a JCB for that:D

    Hiring a mechanical tiller would make sense, but it'll cost. This evening I dug a 2m by 1m bed in my front garden. I didn't go down that far, and below 6" it was fairly heavy clay, but I got down at least 12", to mix in 50L compost to improve the soil for shrubs. Perhaps the cost of compost is too much for the OP, though perhaps just digging would provide benefits.

    As an aside how much compost would be required to noticeably improve a 2m by 1m bed assuming a somewhat clayey soil? I'm not sure if 50L is enough.

    An odd thought popped into my head. Is there such a thing as soil shoes, c.f. snow shoes, to allow walking on tilled soil without compressing it?
    Warning: This forum may contain nuts.
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