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Spill the beans... on tricks for cheaply growing fruit & veg

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  • donnysan
    donnysan Posts: 37 Forumite
    There's just no comparison to growing veggies yourself and getting them from the market. I haven't grown my own carrots, but the ones from the market don't taste very good. Veggies always taste so much better if you grow them yourself, and they're a lot healthier. I absolutely know this to be true with tomatoes. I ate some cherry tomatoes from the garden and they were delicious! The ones from the store usually do not taste very good at all.
    Sounds like we will never convince you. One taste of a fresh carrot or anything else for that matter will convince you though. Even veg from the market is not as fresh as picking it out of your garden and eating it. They are delicious and worth the effort.
    Donny. Extreme Money Saving. E$S.
  • A._Badger
    A._Badger Posts: 5,850 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Sounds like we will never convince you. One taste of a fresh carrot or anything else for that matter will convince you though. Even veg from the market is not as fresh as picking it out of your garden and eating it. They are delicious and worth the effort.

    You really haven't read a word that I've written, have you?
  • kitcat80
    kitcat80 Posts: 20 Forumite
    I have just started growing a few things over the past couple of years or so and, despite some disappointments this year (mainly due to the weather) think that there are some ratings which can be made.... But only if you don't count your time - it seems to fly past in the garden. Like others, I agree that lettuce is a lot cheaper to grow - we eat quite a lot of it in our house and have eaten loads this summer from 2 packs of seed.

    One thing I'd be interested in is peoples' views of whether fruit trees are a good investment? I've bought a couple this year (apple, pear etc.) And, though a longer term investment, hope that they'll pay for themselves in the future.

    As others have said, though, the real benefits to my mind are lovely fresh and tasty veg, relaxing time pottering around and a real sense of satisfaction when something grows!
  • BAGGY
    BAGGY Posts: 522 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have raspberries, goosberries and currants in my gaden. Had a dodgy back this year sos didnt do much but have learnt from the past that anything you can eat all of is a winner. Broad beans you can sitrfry the leaves when small and you can eat pea shoots in salads. I killed my rhubarb but will get another piece as this goes on and on. French bean bushes work better for me as runners can go stringy really easily and i have frozen frenchies without blanching. I think they make a better curry too. and they dont need tying up.
    I dont plant anything that needs too much care and attention. Wont do normal toms anymore as local TFC turkish shop does 5KG box of beef toms for about £2 when in season. Did intend to do cherry toms but never got round to it. Anything cheap in the Turkish shop/aldi is not worth doing in my opinion. Not enough space to warrant the room for pots etc.
  • I use vegetables & herbs where the seeds are are bought as food e.g. dried peas, coriander seeds etc to grow plants from them. You may not get as good germination but it sure is a cheap way to get plants.
    Also things like avocado stones make great houseplants. Take the stone and put toothpicks in just far enough so that it can be suspended over a jar of water with the 'fat' end in the water. Keep it topped up with water until roots and shoot appears, then plant it in compost.

    If you are keeping seeds fresh in the vedge drawer in a fridge, you also need to make sure they are kept dry - use a plastic box with a clip on lid (even better add a pack of Silica Gel, this is often included in electrical packaging to keep it dry and I reuse it). This is my homemade version of the kits they sell at Wisley where the Millenium Seedbank is sited.
  • kitcat80 wrote: »
    I have just started growing a few things over the past couple of years or so and, despite some disappointments this year (mainly due to the weather) think that there are some ratings which can be made.... But only if you don't count your time - it seems to fly past in the garden. Like others, I agree that lettuce is a lot cheaper to grow - we eat quite a lot of it in our house and have eaten loads this summer from 2 packs of seed.

    One thing I'd be interested in is peoples' views of whether fruit trees are a good investment? I've bought a couple this year (apple, pear etc.) And, though a longer term investment, hope that they'll pay for themselves in the future.

    As others have said, though, the real benefits to my mind are lovely fresh and tasty veg, relaxing time pottering around and a real sense of satisfaction when something grows!
    If you are planting fruit trees you need to make sure they will either self pollinate or that there are other trees nearby that can pollinate them. It should tell you on the label, or any good garden centre/supplier should be able to advise. I have a Victoria Plum (it self pollinates) that I planted 10-15 years ago and I get more plums than I can eat or use - friends & relatives love me this time of the year!)
  • My tips for growing fruit and veg would be

    1) Put fruit trees in as early as possible when you get a new garden - don't wait until it looks perfect as they take time to mature.
    2) Squeeze in as much as you can - take up half the lawn for the veg and put gooseberry bushes in the borders. Pots of salad can be grown on a patio or path.
    3) Grow a variety of veg. Some will do better than others due to weather conditions and you will always have something coming through.
    4) If space is limited, grow crops such as beetroot that are simple and completely edible, rather than peas that take up a lot of space and produce only a small amount to eat.
    5) Consider quick-growing varieties for the garden that are recommended for pots and containers. That way, if the weather is bad, they may still have time to mature.
    6) Keep on top of it - twenty minutes after work every day is sometimes better than two hours at the weekend: problems can be dealt with at once rather than waiting and becoming more serious.

    Hope this helps. PQ
  • Although I am not an expert allotment holder, money will only be saved if minimum cash expenditure is made. ie save seeds from previous crops, share seeds/plants with others, share crops, make your own compost. I compost all my financial documents rather than shredding - its so much easier.
  • rsharp
    rsharp Posts: 17 Forumite
    I bought a single raspberry cane from Lidl a few years ago for £1.99. It looked a bit pathetic to begin with but turned into about 20-30 canes all with tons of fruit. :T

    I am moving tomorrow and am taking some of the canes with me. Other canes have been given to friends and family, so loads of people will benefit from the £1.99 upfront cost! :D

    And the best bit of all is that you don't really have to do much to get them to grow. Shame I'm the only one in my household that eats them though. :(
    MSIQ = 158 :j
  • s_glover
    s_glover Posts: 653 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    rsharp wrote: »
    I bought a single raspberry cane from Lidl a few years ago for £1.99. It looked a bit pathetic to begin with but turned into about 20-30 canes all with tons of fruit. :T

    I am moving tomorrow and am taking some of the canes with me. Other canes have been given to friends and family, so loads of people will benefit from the £1.99 upfront cost! :D

    And the best bit of all is that you don't really have to do much to get them to grow. Shame I'm the only one in my household that eats them though. :(

    Possibly a silly question but how do you turn one cane into many, do you need to take cuttings?

    I bought a couple of rapsberry and blueberry canes in Lidl earlieer this year and would love to get more from these.
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