Advent-ures in the MSE Forum... Our Advent calendar is live, helping you discover a new corner of the community each day. Visit the homepage and scroll down

Where to start?

JennyPJennyP Forumite
1.1K Posts
Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
Just moved into a new house. Been living on a boat for a few years so completely out of the habit of gardening.

I don't think we live in the best area soilwise - certainly not like wherevi grew up in west lancs where my dad grew tons of produce in our back garden.

I would like to do some veg and fruit growing. Wondering where to start given it's as already almost April.

I have a tendency to start a new project eg gardening, go out and spend loads, get carried away digging veg patches, then find it's too much work. So I'd like to start small this time.

I do have an old packet of herb seeds that I thought I might plant but maybe they'll be too old to grow.


  • FarwayFarway Forumite
    11.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    You say "new house" Is this a newly built or new to you house?

    I'm asking because if newly built the garden is likely to be hard packed from lorries, cement mixers and bricks stacked on it. With a thin layer of "top soil" on top for appearances sake

    The herbs you could just try & sow in a seed tray or similar and see what happens while you ponder what to do next
  • You can grow herbs in pots. Mine are on a Cotswold stone bed with black plastic underneath so hopefully no weeding. I have a fruit area and spent quite a lot on dwarf trees with high yield. This area is also covered by black plastic sheeting. I got 6kg damsons from one tree and 4kg plums from another. I also have red and black currant bushes as well as a gooseberry bush. All have produced a good yield without any effort. You will need to prune the trees but keep them at 1.5meters and they will be easy to harvest. The fruit will just come every year. If you have a wall or fence you could also grow raspberries.

    I try to plant small amounts and only what I like otherwise you will have a huge glut and end up giving it all away. Also try and grow things that are freezable
  • JennyPJennyP Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    No, it's a new to me house, not a new house.

    I have planted herbs in pots. Bought a £30 plastic greenhouse in wilko yesterday but not decided what to put in it yet.

    I like the soft fruits idea and also we have room for an orchard so might try that in the autumn.
  • If you're planting trees - bareroot is best from late Nov (I think) to late Feb
    I'd recommend planning and pre-digging the holes over the summer if you're on clay soil (like most of Yorkshire it seems). It'll make the job a lot easier.

    If you are on clay soil, then raised beds are the way to go, using scaffolding boards which are dead cheap.

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • Linda32Linda32 Forumite
    4.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Where ever you put the greenhouse, make sure you can anchor it down well. They tend to blow away in a breeze. :D

    I had one bolted to the concrete path which worked.

    Exciting times though, in terms of what to plant, just think about what you like to eat. Sounds simple, I know. I don't grow herbs because I only cook to eat rather than cooking. Yet I have an allotment.

    Do you eat root veg all year for example, we only have hot dinner in the winter so I don't grow loads of veggies.

    Have a think about your meals and puddings in terms of fruit as puds.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Cheapest Christmas dinner

We've crunched the numbers to find the best prices

MSE News

Advent Competitions

The countdown is on

MSE Forum