The ups and downs and ins and outs of growing your own, 2018

edited 2 January 2018 at 6:25PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
426 replies 65.8K views


  • It wasn't so sunny here, but it was warm enough so I shredded the xmas tree and spread the bits around the woodlandy bit at the bottom of the garden - though I had to tidy up after the badgers first

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • I have a small greenhouse in my garden, 6ft×4ft tje last cpuple of years i have raised some tomato plants and some salad leaves mostly for the rabbit. 2018 i will try plan a bit better
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    NigeWick wrote: »
    I have a half plot allotment which is half a rood. I decided to go no dig with deep beds and have 20 16' x 4' beds and another half dozen 8' x 4' ones. I got set up last year and put weed suppressing material and wood chippings on the paths so that I don't get muddy shoes/boots.

    I like to grow veg that is more expensive in the shops and to that end I've got a greenhouse with lettuce in pots and beetroot in soil at present. When that's cropped there will be tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in there. I will grow first early potatoes but not main crop as they are so cheap (£5 a sack last year) here. I saved broad bean seed and have sowed a succession in autumn and I shall follow that up next month for more. I also saved runner bean and dwarf french bean seed too. I'll be growing beetroot, celery, celeriac, radishes, lettuce from seed. There's a chap on site who has access to brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, sprouting broccoli and leek plants so I will be getting those from him. I've got shallots and garlic in and will be planting plenty of onion sets in due course. On the soft fruit front, I have plenty of different strawberry varieties, rhubarb, raspberries and gooseberries plus a couple of blackberry plants. I have ordered a couple of "hanging blackberry" plants and will attach these to the shed.

    I will be trying some companion planting to try and avoid pest damage.

    My only tip is to get plenty of organic matter into the soil as it really does help with moisture retention and makes it easy to work.

    My wife makes soup from the veg but we tend to eat the majority of my crops.

    I have spent so much on setting up the shed, greenhouse, deep beds, cloches and cold frame that my veg and soft fruit is really expensive. That said, I reckon that in a few years it will be paying for itself. I am more concerned with the provenance of my food than expense, but, cost will come down and I will be getting some exercise & fresh air.

    What a great post! :T:T I recognise some of the sentiments here. We probably have another 6 years before our beds pay for themselves but as you say, it is the provenance and also the taste! Carrots are more carroty, tomatoes more tomatoey, and strawberries and raspberries are to die for. I feel really excited about 2018.
    Just the one real problem here - weeds (two main culprits) deep rooted small-leaved, pink tinged convolvulus (bindweed), creeping bronze-leaved, yellow flowered popping seedpod wood sorrel (and some old nettles and periwinkle with ambitions beyond their patches) and suggestions gratefully received.

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  • sazzlebgood?sazzlebgood? Forumite
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    trying to grow some early carrots in the greenhouse, (box with sandy soil and glass on the top) not sure if they'll grow but i like to experiment. Planted up winter lettuce in the greenhouse also and sunk slug traps near by. Put in daffodil bulbs into the blueberry bed. It was good to get up there today as not been up for a couple of weeks with Christamas and then been ill. Helped get rid of my headache. Had leek and pot soup for lunch made from produce from the lottie.
  • sazzlebgood?sazzlebgood? Forumite
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    Really cold here today. Sowed chilli's, leeks and cherry toms in the propagators. Hoping the chilli's are not as hot as last year as they nearly blew your head off.
  • Overcast but dry and not too cold so I spent a couple of hours cutting back the savory, clearing up some leaves and re-locating a cheeky bramble that I'd missed. It had rooted in some leaf mulch under a rosemary so came up really easily rootlets and all. I planted it on my border with the woods. I also pruned the blackcurrants which should keep the pigeons happy

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • CAFCGirlCAFCGirl Forumite
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    Chilly but made it up the plot yesterday for 4 hours.

    I now have a more stable floor in the tin shed, its made from old decking boards - saves me falling through the holes in the pallet that the shed is sat on.

    My wheelbarrow gave up the ghost. Lovely old school metal one. The wheel was buckled beyond repair, holes appearing etc. So it has now been repurposed next to my seating area. I planted it up with some random sprouted bulbs I found in a pot of spent compost and geraniums from last year (10p) that I failed to pot up at home. I plan to scatter some nasturium seeds in the rest of the space later in the year. I'm mighty impressed with how it looks.

    Also managed to dig and install another layered bed (1mx1m). I'm toying with putting copper tape around it and having it as a salad leaf bed, or trying out some broad beans in there. Choices choices.

    One thing that made a huge difference was chopping back 4 rubble sacks full of brambles - its made such a difference to how the plot is looking. I need to restring the cordon for them this year. Last year it gave up and picking them was a nightmare!

    Hope everyone else is doing well, and maybe starting off some seeds this week :)
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  • Managed another couple of hours emptying growbags and while it was dry, collecting sticks for my next bonfire. I read somewhere that keeping your compost wet dissuades rats from taking residence, so I gave the pile a good turn then thoroughly soaked it. Picked some Japanese spinach, some oca and a little bittercress to go with tonight's ramen.

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • Hi all

    Bit late to the party but earlier than last year :)

    Well, I have the seeds, I have the compost, cold frame, raised beds, propagator, greenhouse on order....that's about as far as I have got!

    The seeds need sowing, the cold frame needs building, the area where the greenhouse and raised beds are going needs levelling, I feel like I am way behind already!

    I'm sure a couple of weekends with a few hours thrown at things here and there will help that.

    Great to see you lot off and running already!

    This year I am going for variety (ie more different crops rather than varieties of one type IYKWIM) so less potatoes and tomatoes, more of everything else. I have nearly 50 seed packets, not sure I will grow every one but there will sure be a good spread.

    Good luck all this year, fingers crossed for a good growing season!

    Let's get ready to bumble! :rotfl:
  • nannygladysnannygladys Forumite
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    Hi everyone, hope I can join in. I have a small allotment but its plenty big enough for me (I think its a half one).I have bought my seeds and sorted out some sort of plan but not sowing anything yet. I usually start seeds off at home in the greenhouse and transplant then onto the plot. I have a fruit area with raspberries (summer and autumn), blackcurrants, red currants and white currants, a few rhubarb plants, gooseberry bushes and an apple tree.
    I have brussels still growing outside, PSB and cabbage and in the poly tunnel I have kale and lettuce ready. The rest of the plot is more or less dug although each year I change a few bits, like this year I'm acquiring more tyres and planters for carrots and parsnips and going to grow a few flowers as well.
    A couple of weeks before Xmas the site was broken into and quite a lot people had stuff stolen out of their sheds, when they got to mine they broke the lock but managed to squash the metal of the plate and couldn't get in, but I still cant get in so I have that to sort as well!! I don't keep anything of value in the shed its a bit of a girly sitting area (all painted, curtains and bunting LOL) and my spades etc were in the poly tunnel!!!
    Anyway enough rambling, happy sowing everyone, when I looked in my journal to see when I started last year it was the beginning of March!!!!
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