Forum Home» Greenfingered MoneySaving

The all new good, bad and ugly of growing your own in 2020 - Page 6

New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

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

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
744 replies 36.8K views
13468975

Replies

  • crv1963crv1963 Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    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"

    May I join in this year?

    I have a large garden mainly to lawn and flower borders, it is on a hill so steep slopes to two sides. We have a Hen Run 6x3 metres. We're doing lots of work to get the house ready for us to retire, we have had lots of work done last year and next week or the week after builders are coming to do a loft conversion to create Mrs CRV a Sewing Room. In the drawings are plans to demolish the Conservatory and build an extension, encouragingly labelled as a Sun Room.

    In 2019 the garden had lots of hard landscaping done- a couple of beech trees felled and a very large Douglas Pine felled- the former as they were blocking light to the back garden and were "juvenilles" so should never have been put in, the latter because it was too close to the house and also blocked the light from the garden and prospective loft conversion windows.

    We had an old brick built raised bed removed and a new patio laid with a Pergula at one end, new fencing to parts of the garden and new trellis to another part. I planted a Wisteria to grow over the Pergula, and on New Years Day I planted 6 mixed bare rooted Peonies on the slope, hopefully they'll all take.

    We had an old greenhouse demolished and as it was on a brick base the original plan of a straightforward new one didn't work as it was 7x5 feet and I couldn't find a suitable replacement. Long story short I had several tons of hardcore compacted- each one carried up 17 steps from curb level to garden level- and a new base laid, onto which I have a spanking new 8x10 foot greenhouse.

    I have got bench and a higher shelf along one side, a high shelf at the back and a potting bench. I have electricity run down there, so have a fan heater with thermostat set to 5 centigrade to keep it all frost free.

    In the greenhouse I currently have 180 winter onions growing in pots to go into the ground once I have it ready- March at the latest, also a collection of plants I didn't know where else to over winter.

    For Christmas I got a Vitopod, extendable by 3 layers to be quite high to accomodate larger plants as they grow, with lamps designed to provide Sun Light for the seedlings/ plants. I set it up New Years Day and set it at 20C sowing onions and leeks. Once they are through the plan is to move them to an unheated propagator in the greenhouse. Then sow Chillis, once they are through drop the temperature down sow Tomatoes and grow on until it warms enough to put them in the greenhouse.

    My main problem is watering- I work away 3-4 days per week, Mrs CRV isn't that good at remembering to water! To mitigate I've ordered a Quadgrow System for Tomatoes and a Chilligrow System for the Chillis. They should arrive this week. I've got some very large tubs and 10 inch pots so hopefully I can keep things alive!

    During last years landscaping we identified an area behind the Hen Run that is roughly 8 x 3.5 metres that was previously plunged into darkness by the Beech Trees to become my Veg Garden. Currently it is covered in wire, overgrown Privet and a Box ball that long ago stopped being a ball! Also several heaps of large rocks- possibly once a rock garden?

    I've bought a job lot of paving stones for the paths and intend to make raised beds, I have two "box" pallets which will have a dumpy bag placed in each and filled with soil- one for Potatoes and one for show onions.

    I've made some Cold Frames and have them near the Greenhouse, I have room there for two more- each 4x2 feet. I have enough materials to make a four so we'll see how we go. In the two I've made I have 60 Strawberry Plants I bought as bare rooted plants in the autumn growing on, and 14 large pots with Garlic growing- checked them yesterday and they are all through!

    What do you like to grow? Anything! I like the challenge of growing onions, and Mrs CRV loves Chillis. I also like flowers so will decide later what else we're going to try.

    Are you going to try anything different this year? Yes, with a useable Greenhouse, Heated Propagator and Cold Frames I'm going to try Tomatoes, Chillis and Onions from seed. I saw some You Tube posts about growing veg in pots so am going to give that a go as well.

    Did you try anything different last year? Did you like it? Would you grow it again? Yes lots of hard landscaping preparing the garden for retirement, rebuilt my shed- have it fully insulated and ready to turn into a workshop when we stop using it for storage when the loft is finished. Growing wise we've appeared to have been successful in overwintering our chilli plants.

    Do you have any tips for growing? Lots but mainly get the watering right, too much or too little is a disaster!

    Do you make anything with what you grow? Cook the garlic and chilli.

    How much does growing your own save you? Probably nothing especially as it is the first time with electricity to a greenhouse, I'm having to rein myself in and not do anything but set it as frost free and have the heated propagator with lights as my sole project at the moment!
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
  • unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Well done for getting that workshop door released - that has been stuck for ages, hasn't it! - If you achieved nothing else it was worth going out to liberate the workshop contents!
    ... and the xmas tree needs to go in there to be chipped. I've also got a mountain of empty pots drying, waiting to be brushed out. As far as the garden is concerned I've been pretty much out of action since July. Yesterday should have exhausted me for today but it hasn't so my strength is coming back, and hopefully that will improve my balance.

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    crv1963 wrote: »
    May I join in this year?

    Welcome !
    I love your description. Something similar to what I hoped to eventually achieve, but I'm still in the bodge it & fix it before it falls down phase, and I cherish large rocks almost to an obsession

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • crv1963crv1963 Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    Welcome !
    I love your description. Something similar to what I hoped to eventually achieve, but I'm still in the bodge it & fix it before it falls down phase, and I cherish large rocks almost to an obsession

    My problem was while we were having the landscaping done I had to work more shifts to finance it, so less time to garden. Whilst I nominally have free rein in the garden the new patio and pergula along with a new fence were agreed by Mrs CRV and the landscapers.

    The costs did over run but I have discovered that I am quite handy with a saw and screwdriver so I'm going to develop raised beds in my new veg garden. I need to find a use for the large rocks- probably a new rockery on the way to the greenhouse as we had to have a retaining wall put there as we cut space into the hill to accomdate the larger greenhouse base.

    We had an unexpected problem with rats- they built a nest under the summerhouse and burrowed into the hen pen, took several weeks but gone now, so vigilant about any return!

    Looked today- my onion seeds have begun to show through in the heated propagator :)
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
  • miss_empty_piggymiss_empty_piggy Forumite
    721 posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭
    I have a question about chickens.

    We have an allotment where we are not allowed to keep chickens which is fair enough. We were thinking about taking the chickens up there while we're working as a 'day out' like others do with their dogs, but also so they can help us get rid of slugs. We'll need to get permission obviously but wondered what others thought? TIA
  • K.MackK.Mack Forumite
    31 posts
    Hi everyone,

    Could I join in please?

    I have a very small garden. I never realised how much I wanted a garden until I bought this house a few years ago, then regretted not looking for something with a bigger garden and more sunlight.

    I've already got a couple of raised beds. Last year I grew lettuce and a type of broccoli (although one of the plants got eaten by cabbage fly :( ) I also have a bramble bush. 2019 was it's second year and it did ok so hopefully this year I will get an abundance now it's more established. I adore my lavender plant. It brings all the bees in and tastes great as a garnish to my gin :D
    I have garlic and onions overwintering at the moment for an early crop.
    I had a bit of a seed buying craze and have quite a few :o
    My main goals this year are potatoes and carrots. I thought if I can get the basics right it gives me confidence to keep going.


    I've been watching youtube videos and never realised how little space you need to grow veg, so no excuses now. I do however need to make sure the pots are not attractive peeing posts for my male labrador :rotfl::rotfl:
  • unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    I have a question about chickens.

    We have an allotment where we are not allowed to keep chickens which is fair enough. We were thinking about taking the chickens up there while we're working as a 'day out' like others do with their dogs, but also so they can help us get rid of slugs. We'll need to get permission obviously but wondered what others thought? TIA

    On the face of it a great idea, but I see there might be resistance. Maybe a pen to avoid problems with other allotmenteer's dogs ?

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    K.Mack wrote: »
    Hi everyone,

    Could I join in please?

    Welcome !
    I grow all kinds of stuff, but still can't manage the stuff that's supposed to be easy. I'm a big fan of lavender, it has so many uses. For a couple of years our local Waitrose sold big pots of Lavender two for £5, so we must have a couple of dozen dotted around feeding the local bees (mason, solitary, tree, good old bumble and honey bees from two doors down)

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • unrecordingsunrecordings Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    crv1963 wrote: »
    I need to find a use for the large rocks- probably a new rockery on the way to the greenhouse as we had to have a retaining wall put there as we cut space into the hill to accomdate the larger greenhouse base.

    We had an unexpected problem with rats- they built a nest under the summerhouse and burrowed into the hen pen, took several weeks but gone now, so vigilant about any return!

    Pergolas are perfect for hops (or so I hear) :beer:

    A rockery for alpines or mediterranean herbs could be a winner.

    As for rats, our cat needs to get back into training too...

    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
  • s_glovers_glover Forumite
    653 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts
    ✭✭
    Not very MSE, but if you can get them cheaply enough, chimney pots are great for growing herbs.
    Kinga wrote: »
    Ooooh, I'd love to have one of those veg trugs, they look lovely and useful for herbs!!! I keep an eye on the prices, maybe I will surprise myself with one....

    Would love a trug too.
    Where did you purchase yours from?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support