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The all new good, bad and ugly of growing your own in 2020

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The all new good, bad and ugly of growing your own in 2020

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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Dizzy_DitzyDizzy_Ditzy
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Welcome to the new ups and downs of growing your own!

Everyone is welcome. Come and tell us about your growing shenanigans

What do you like to grow?

Are you going to try anything different this year?

Did you try anything different last year? Did you like it? Would you grow it again?

Do you have any tips for growing?

Do you make anything with what you grow?

How much does growing your own save you?


I'll use this post for links that folks might find useful. If you want something adding in, please just let me know

There's a fab Facebook group called "Allotment Club - Mind your peas and cues" I'm not affiliated to it in any way but it's a fab little group. It's a closed group but is worth looking up if you're on Facebook. Or there is a fab group called "The allotment shed"
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  • Dizzy_DitzyDizzy_Ditzy
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    Hello everyone and welcome to the shiny new growing your own for 2020 thread :D

    What's new with me this year? My plot is expanding :D before I took my new one on, it had been split into two but the person who had the bottom end of my plot has given it up so it's going back to what it was. Not entirely sure that makes sense but it does to me lol not sure what I'm planning on growing on that one yet as it was potatoes last year so I can't do that again although it would have been ideal.

    I've not been terribly active on my plot in the last six months because of what's been going on with my brother so I've got a lot of catching up to do - weeding, winter dig and manuring. I'll put cardboard down too and plastic sheeting over the more difficult parts. In the next week or so I'll start thinking about what's growing where.

    I'll use the next post to tell you about my successes and failures of 2019!
    I'm a board guide on Quick Grabbit while you can, Marriage, Relationships and Families, [URL="http:/http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=81"]Health & Beauty Moneysaving[/URL], Greenfingered Moneysaving, Praise, Vents and Warnings, Consumer Rights and Sports & Fitness Moneysaving boards.

    I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are purely my own and are not those of Moneysavingexpert.com. I am a board guide and not a moderator do not read every post. If you spot an iffy post please report it to [email protected]

  • Dizzy_DitzyDizzy_Ditzy
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    Successes of 2019 - beetroot was fantastic and we have enough jars to last us until probably about June or July! Potatoes - we are still using this years spuds so I think that counts as having done well. I think that may well be down to where we have been storing them though. Previous years we have been keeping them in the cupboard under the stairs but it's been too warm so we moved them to the "garage" where it's dry and cool. We had our own potatoes with Christmas dinner this year :D

    Carrots - still pulling them
    Onions and garlic - plenty to last for months
    Rhubarb - far more than we could cope with this year and a lot got wasted

    Failures - sprouts. 6 plants have produced the grand total of zero.
    Raspberries - 12 canes planted gave about 20 raspberries of 3 or 4 plants. Disappointing
    Strawberries - couldn't keep the woodlice off them
    Apples - only 3 Bramley apples but loads on the other
    Pears - one!
    Cherries - the birds got to them before I did!


    What were your best and worst bits of growing your own in 2019?
    I'm a board guide on Quick Grabbit while you can, Marriage, Relationships and Families, [URL="http:/http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=81"]Health & Beauty Moneysaving[/URL], Greenfingered Moneysaving, Praise, Vents and Warnings, Consumer Rights and Sports & Fitness Moneysaving boards.

    I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are purely my own and are not those of Moneysavingexpert.com. I am a board guide and not a moderator do not read every post. If you spot an iffy post please report it to [email protected]

  • unrecordingsunrecordings
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    Hope this isn’t going to be too much as I’m working from a text file due to my typing being so appalling these days…

    My year tends to start in earnest with tomato seedlings, as in greenhouses they’re a good crop for one with limited mobility. All my tomatoes are greenhouse grown due to the likelyhood of blight in this neck of the woods. I use growbags, with my principal crop (usually Ailsa Craig) in growpots. This year I used fresh Ailsa Craig seed from DT Brown (as last year my crop using Suttons’ was a little disappointing). These came out great this year, very few aberations & very little blossom end rot, but that could have been the weather. I had some DT Brown Christmas Grape which was badly out of date (Xmas 2015), which I thought had failed so I oversowed with some kale. When the tomatoes did germinate, I just cut the kale as baby leaf for my ramen. I also sowed some Nimbus F1 (DT Brown trial/sow by Dec 2018) which were also quite good. Then as I wasn’t going to go berzerk this year I bought three Gardeners Delight seedlings. I must say I’m not really a fan, they didn’t seem as fresh & zingy as say Christmas Grape.

    I grew a couple less plants this year opting to use the extra space in the greenhouses for more peppers & courgettes. Last year I was still ripening tomatoes in the kitchen into January, this year I used the last one in mid December I think.

    Courgettes (Mr Fothergill’s Romanesco) in the greenhouse did surprisingly well for me. No courgette apocalypse, but I could have better placed them probably. I put three in pots & three in a growbag, the growbag ones also had collars made from the trays mushrooms are sold in (with the bottoms cut out) to create a well - like a growpot

    Other stuff I tried

    Welsh Onions: Only six germinated and they’re very small so they’re overwintering in the greenhouse. Shiso Purple: Only two/three germinated, and I think they’re annuals in the UK, so we’ll see what happens come the spring (they’re also in the greenhouse).

    Comfrey: Failed. They were sow by Xmas 2016, so it was a bit of a punt

    I sowed nasturtiums for the first time as they’re good for controlling blackfly, but also very ramen friendly. I think last year I just bought some plants. In the same bed were a handful of runner beans (Polestar), but they all got slugged as soon as they emerged

    The Poundshop bareroot apple trees planted just days before The Beast From The East are still with us, the Cox’s Orange Pippin even produced a couple of fruit. The Merryweather Damson which was prolific last year only managed a handful this year. The old apple tree that we thought had died in 2018 didn’t come back, so we cut it right back to the main trunk structure and planted ivy & clematis around it.

    Kale & broccoli sowed in 2018 is still going strong and the raised bed I loosely refer to as my potager still has some carrots & beetroot in it, potentially protected from frost by some massive weeds and a thick layer of leaves. The other raised bed is awash with hairy bittercress, which is handy as it’s a very tasty edible weed.

    July/August onwards was wrecked after a tangle with the ‘wrong’ antibiotics almost completely immobilised me. (I still have a problem with the stairs). So virtually nothing got done out there unless Mrs Un did it

    On to 2020. Given the mobility thing, we've changed two things in the garden:

    1) Less focus on traditional labour intensive crops like potatoes, onions & garlic. More focus on things that are easier to grow, and flowers

    2) I’ve gone a bit exotic, so have Thai Cayenne, Habanero, & a single Padron pepper overwintering in the house (the Padron is not supposed to overwinter in the UK, but it still looks fairly perky). I’ve also got stem ginger, Japanese ginger, Malabar spinach and Chinese mahogany in the house, with a Szechuan Pepper outside somewhere. Of the liquorice (Suttons) only three germinated out of two sowings - and the growing instructions are a little misleading, so they might take a while to evaluate. Workshop lock is still broken, so need some dry mild weather so I can get out there and fix it so we can get in there and start the new season
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  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass
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    Welcome to the new ups and downs of growing your own!

    Everyone is welcome. Come and tell us about your growing shenanigans
    1. What do you like to grow?
    2. Are you going to try anything different this year?
    3. Did you try anything different last year? Did you like it? Would you grow it again?
    4. Do you have any tips for growing?
    5. Do you make anything with what you grow?
    6. How much does growing your own save you?

    1. I like to grow courgettes, butternut squash, outdoor cucumbers, runner and borlotti beans, peas, dwarf french beans, onions, leeks, sweetcorn, carrots, beets, broccoli, spinach, kale and asparagus in the veg beds. Rhubarb, apples, crab-apples, plums, blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberries in the fruit beds. Tomatoes, chillies and peppers in the greenhouse and tomatoes, herbs and salad crops against the house walls in pots.

    2. We might move or replace our Bramley Apple and butcher our Russet and two giant un-named apple trees (from the former orchard) to kill or cure them. I give our greengage and redcurrant one more year. Have given up on the prospect of cherries as the birds always beat us to them. Different rabbit fencing is needed and I fancy trying some different crops in one of the beds (borlotti were our different crop a few years ago and we have grown them every year since).

    3. Any tips for growing - use more farmyard manure in the rhubarb bed. Very greedy and the crop really benefits - Oh yes, if you get any signs of potato blight, chop the tops off quick and expect nothing, but you might be lucky. Any signs of scabby bits and they won't keep but they are edible if you are quick. Autumn fruiting raspberries are a brilliant crop - not so sweet for jam as the summer varieties but they are huge and lovely and save us a fortune.

    4. I prep and freeze fruit for jams, jellies, breakfast fruit compote and desserts. I pickle onions, cucumbers and beets. I made passata with the glut and leftover crops of tomatoes. I also freeze my chillies for adding to savouries, chopped when frozen it stops the oil on your fingers thing!

    5. I'm not sure about money saving but as it stops me going to the shops because we eat what we have in season, we eat better and I buy less from the SM.

    Happy days everyone. Enjoy your seed catalogues.

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  • JazeeJazee
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    Morning all.

    I didn't pay as much attention as I should have to growing this year and intend to do better in 2020. However, we had good crops of gooseberries, strawberries, raspberries, cucumbers, broad beans......and that's about it.

    Main failure was Brussels sprouts which I planted in a raised bed which I think didn't work. Going to try again next year but in the ground.
    Spend less now, work less later.
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  • BetharooniBetharooni
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    Hi

    Can I join please? I have a little garden but am hopeful of getting some fruit and veg out of it in 2020.

    I live with my mum and brother. My mum loves gardening but she is unable to do much due to worsening mobility problems and my brother doesn’t really like gardening, so I am the only one that can really do the garden, and I work in London and leave at the crack of dawn and get back around 6.30ish so am restricted mainly to weekends, annual leave and evenings in the summer. The garden has largely been left to its own devices over the last few years so will require a lot of work to get it back to its former glory.

    We recently bought some dwarf variety fruit trees that can go in pots on the patio so am hoping that with plenty of TLC I might get a tiny harvest from that next year. We try to grow potatoes in bags every year-plan to do that again but aim to get a better harvest than previous years. Am also aiming to grow tomatoes, courgettes and comfrey, and possibly other little things if I can. Need to get out in the garden soon and get clearing it and finalising my plans for next year. Want to sit down and order any seeds I want in the next couple of weeks.
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  • PablosmummyPablosmummy
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    Hello, not even 2020 and I'm itching to start planting again.
    I just have a small, rental new build garden so everything is in pots, and last year you may remember me moaning about hailmageddon ( wiped out most of my growing plants in five minutes) but I did ok in the end.
    Raspberries were amazing, got loads off those, surviving strawberries were also good, Pak choi, lettuce, tomatoes were fine, just alot less than normal, and I got two lovely pumpkins grown in buckets!
    This year my lovely husband bought me the greenhouse cover for my vegtrug! It also came with the insect mesh cover which might save my salad crops from caterpillars this year.
    Also going to do a few tomatoes, cucumber, there a squash I found seeds for in the cupboard...uchiki kuri? Something like that. Then I've got the raspberries, dwarf apple and cherry trees( which are for show really not for cherry's, the birds will get them).
    Oooh also have two sprout plants which should be ready soon and my psb is looking ok aswell.
    So basically, I'm doing the same as last year and hoping for no hail!
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  • JazeeJazee
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    I managed to start tidying the greenhouse yesterday. Got rid of all dead stuff. Have three surviving strawberry runners in there.
    Spend less now, work less later.
    Savings thread #104 Feb £200.00/total £297.22/£3600
  • KingaKinga
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    Hello,
    I'm a complete newbie, I started gardening last year (we bought a house with a garden). I had 2 raised beds and a couple of pots,but I hope to expand in 2020, I'd like to build 2 or 3 more raised beds and I'd really love to have a greenhouse as well.
    What am I going to grow? Everything :-) Hopefully...
    I've already sown onion seeds, they are in the windowsill at the moment, I wonder what's going to happen with them, I'm not very optimistic tbh...
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  • zafiro1984zafiro1984
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    1)What do you like to grow?
    2)Are you going to try anything different this year?
    3)Did you try anything different last year? Did you like it? Would you grow it again?
    4)Do you have any tips for growing?
    5)Do you make anything with what you grow?
    6)How much does growing your own save you?

    1) What do you grow What I like to grow and what I can grow are different. We are on acid sand so all brassicas are a definite no no. This year hopefully I will learn and stop trying to grow them. I have a go at growing most things -carrots, beans, leeks, squash, sweetcorn, tomatoes, peppers, peas, chillies, and most fruit.

    2) Growing anything different? No I don't think so, but I haven't scoured the catalogues yet, something may catch my eye.

    3) Anything different last year?I tried sweet potatoes in the polytunnel, The tuber I tried was large and tasty but the rest disappeared, something had dug them up before I got to them.

    4) Tips for growing - Only grow what you enjoy and eat. I've lost count of the number of times I've tried something different only to find no one really enjoyed it. (Asparagus Pea - good looking plant but no taste, Oca - fabulous lemony taste but such a poor crop. Another tip - be realistic about how much/many to grow: courgettes come racing to mind; my DH once said do we really need 10 plants. I managed this year with just two plants and even then I had enough to make courgette and ginger jam.

    5) Making things from what's been grown I try to use everything, I freeze loads of veg in fact I have a large upright freezer solely for uncooked fruit and veg. If I have time I make jams, pickles, cider, perry, I use the currents to make sorbets and also use the puree in icecream. As well as growing on the veg plot I also try to pick/gather and use things that are growing around this place. This year I actually managed to harvest some hazelnuts before the squirrels got them, I collected sweet chestnuts, rosehips (they make an interesting marmalade with oranges), brambles, sloes, and for the first time ever I tapped a birch tree for its sap in March/April - we have yet to taste the wine from it.

    6) saving money? I'm with Suffolk Lass on this one. I too visit the supermarket less often and that in itself saves money (no impulse buys). We eat better/healthier, the fruit and veg may not be perfect but I know how it's been grown. It's a hobby - I enjoy doing it.

    Thanks Dizzy Ditzy for the new thread.
    I'm quietly enthusiastic this year and keen to get started. I had some good news the Friday before Christmas, I had x-rays and saw my surgeon, he suggested cancelling my op in January. I've spent the last four Januarys in hosp and it's become such a routine that I refer to it as my 'annual holiday'

    The catalogues have been dropping through the letter box the last few days so it's time to take stock and plan.
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