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  • FIRST POST
    • orangecrush
    • By orangecrush 15th Oct 19, 2:15 PM
    • 76Posts
    • 76Thanks
    orangecrush
    If you could only grow ONE thing...
    • #1
    • 15th Oct 19, 2:15 PM
    If you could only grow ONE thing... 15th Oct 19 at 2:15 PM
    Hello all!

    After a fairly disasterous summer of growing (no)things, I've decided to narrow my focus for the next year. This years disasters include:
    • Brassicas were completely destroyed by caterpillars
    • Onions just didn't grow.
    • Courgettes got mildew and died.
    • Spinach and chard destroyed by slugs.
    • Blueberries... lord knows what happened but we got literally 5 berries and they were really sour.
    • Raspberries got beetle-d.
    • Morello cherries all split, then got eaten by wasps
    • Squash got slug-ed.
    • Potatoes were just pants.
    • I have 3 surviving leeks that may make it to adulthood
    On the plus side, we had a good blackcurrant harvest, and the raspberries we got to on time were tasty.

    I have little time to spare (working mum of a toddler) and I'm a bit fed up with it all - I scraped time here and there to grow stuff and its all been a failure.

    So! Onwards. I'm going to grow less variety, and try to just grow one (maybe two) things well.

    My question to you is: if you could only grow one crop, what would it be? (And is it idiot prood)
    Thank you moneysavers!
Page 1
    • RelievedSheff
    • By RelievedSheff 15th Oct 19, 3:05 PM
    • 688 Posts
    • 692 Thanks
    RelievedSheff
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 19, 3:05 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Oct 19, 3:05 PM
    Apples.

    You really can't go wrong with apples.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 15th Oct 19, 3:24 PM
    • 10,304 Posts
    • 36,303 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 19, 3:24 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Oct 19, 3:24 PM
    +1 for an apple tree.
    Not least as you already have the blackberries & in the glut years you can do a brisk trade with all happy jam makers (as apples are wonderful for pectin & getting jam to set)
    Also an excellent tree both to learn to climb on and to throw accurately. (Happy childhood memories!)

    My rhubarb is doing pretty well for an ignored most of the time plant, but the jostaberry is doing brilliantly too. Son inadvertently "took a cutting" with a trimmer, but the cutting took so I forgave him. More jam & crumble filling!
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 15th Oct 19, 4:00 PM
    • 1,457 Posts
    • 5,150 Thanks
    unrecordings
    • #4
    • 15th Oct 19, 4:00 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Oct 19, 4:00 PM
    On the basis that saying 'apple tree' is cheating (sorry peeps) I'd go for tomatoes. Grow indoors or outdoors, easy to go overboard or easy to be restrained, and many different ways to eat them
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 15th Oct 19, 4:28 PM
    • 11,065 Posts
    • 131,081 Thanks
    kazwookie
    • #5
    • 15th Oct 19, 4:28 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Oct 19, 4:28 PM
    Cucumber for me.


    Others

    Toms
    Peppers
    Lettuce
    Chard
    Sun, Sea

    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 15th Oct 19, 5:07 PM
    • 36,689 Posts
    • 47,358 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #6
    • 15th Oct 19, 5:07 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Oct 19, 5:07 PM
    Taties

    Really versatile

    Thank you for giving us a smile.

    Buy lots of netting

    Plastic bottles and aluminium pie cases on strings.
    Bunting

    Good luck for next year
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • orangecrush
    • By orangecrush 15th Oct 19, 9:06 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    orangecrush
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:06 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:06 PM
    Thank you all for your fabulous ideas!!

    Sadly some have reminded me of more failures that I had forgotten about 🙈 Cucumbers also got mildew and died, and lettuces were a slug banquet 😂

    I do zero pest control, which doesn’t help. We don’t have hedgehogs as its a stepped garden and apparently hedgehogs can’t do steps. Tempted to put in a ramp 🤔

    Winter plans include putting in a wildlife pond in the hope it attracts frogs that will maybe provide some predation on the pesky slugs and snails!

    I would love an apple tree, but we’ll be moving in the next few years. Wonder if it would live in a pot temporarily?

    Tomatoes and potatoes maybe for next year - we did get a potato harvest this year but I grew a different variety to usual and they just weren’t nice. Back on the pentland javelin for next year I think!

    Will start looking into tomatoes and putting pennies away for a mini greenhouse.

    Thank you everyone!
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 15th Oct 19, 9:16 PM
    • 4,752 Posts
    • 7,585 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:16 PM
    • #8
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:16 PM
    Chillies. 4 plants of 'Ring of Fire' give us enough fruits for a whole year (they freeze well) !
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 15-10-2019 at 9:24 PM.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 15th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
    • 10,304 Posts
    • 36,303 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
    • #9
    • 15th Oct 19, 9:31 PM
    You can get an apple tree for around a tenner from the supermarket about the same time as Christmas trees are being sold - although there are no guarantees it'll survive.
    Or you can buy online around now & get a "bareroot" tree of your choice of variant (ruddy ploughman, james grieve, allington pippin etc) which you dig a deep hole, add the growth hormone sachet they sting you extra for & it has more likelihood of surviving (as you'd hope at around £30.
    You then eventually sell the property with a viable tree & plan to buy with a tree, or plant a new one this time with bonus experience. Seriously - the apple tree is the busy mothers ideal plant as you really can dig it in & ignore it For Years. (Just have your toddler draw you pictures...)

    There are trees that can cope with container life but they're small & a bit fiddly, whereas a dig it in & let nature take its course bigger tree is much more robust.
    Best of luck!
    • Farway
    • By Farway 16th Oct 19, 10:12 AM
    • 7,770 Posts
    • 15,625 Thanks
    Farway
    On the basis that saying 'apple tree' is cheating (sorry peeps) I'd go for tomatoes. Grow indoors or outdoors, easy to go overboard or easy to be restrained, and many different ways to eat them
    Originally posted by unrecordings

    Given OP disasters I'd not be growing a blight prone subject like tomatoes, wait a few months, then see them die with blight would be just too much IMO


    + 1 for rhubarb, slugs could scoff it but if big enough it'll survive


    + 1 for apple, some fruits could get maggoty but even then fruit would be suitable for pies etc
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 16th Oct 19, 10:39 AM
    • 1,429 Posts
    • 2,216 Thanks
    Mnd
    Crikey,that's made me think...I can't imagine what 1 thing I would grow, or more to the point, what wouldn't I grow.

    In the end I would grow. .carrots..
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 16th Oct 19, 11:40 AM
    • 1,457 Posts
    • 5,150 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Given OP disasters I'd not be growing a blight prone subject like tomatoes, wait a few months, then see them die with blight would be just too much IMO
    Originally posted by Farway
    Definitely horses for courses I think - my tomato crop was the best yet this year. However I can never get radishes to work and my chard is very poor - both of which are supposed to be the easiest things in the world to grow
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • joannaber
    • By joannaber 16th Oct 19, 1:55 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    joannaber
    I would try either runner or dwarf beans, but start them of indoors and transplant when big enough.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 17th Oct 19, 9:38 AM
    • 29,802 Posts
    • 102,876 Thanks
    Davesnave
    Trees, and then more trees.
    Things are more like they are right now than they've ever been.




    • orangecrush
    • By orangecrush 17th Oct 19, 8:56 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    orangecrush
    Thank you everyone!!
    I think we're going to do... *drumroll*
    1. More potatoes - but a tried and tested variety
    2. Rhubarb
    3. Beans (because I've never tried them before... who knows, they may be me-proof)
    4. And the cheating apple tree!
    Rhubarb and the tree as an investment, potatoes so I don't feel like a complete failure and beans because experiments are fun.



    Thank you all so much for playing my thought game and giving me inspiration!
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 17th Oct 19, 9:36 PM
    • 1,457 Posts
    • 5,150 Thanks
    unrecordings
    For the potatoes, act soon - the best varieties tend to go out of stock quite quickly

    Rhubarb - if you've the space, put in a couple of varieties to spread the load (I've four plants/three varieties: Glaskins, Timperley and whatever was here before we moved in - but for some reason Victoria has always pegged it within a season, despite a few attempts)

    Runner Beans - Enorma for me - prolific & non stringy in my experience

    Apples - I got a couple of Poundland bareroots, Bramley & Cox Orange Pippin, You got to make sure they pair up so that they fertilise each other. Our bareroots went in the ground about a week or two before the beast from the east - both survived, The Cox is fruiting this year.
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 17th Oct 19, 9:41 PM
    • 1,457 Posts
    • 5,150 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Trees, and then more trees.
    Originally posted by Davesnave
    Agreed
    In the aftermath of the whole street trees thing here in Sheffield I've a couple of dozen oak seedlings potted up & ready to deploy

    Next year I've a small number of Chinese Mahogany to go outside, some potted, but one will be let loose
    Why am I in this handcart and where are we going ?
    • in my wellies
    • By in my wellies 17th Oct 19, 11:35 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 810 Thanks
    in my wellies
    I've cheated a bit

    One vegetable - runner beans, start off inside, plant out, never failed me yet
    One fruit - autumn raspberries, cut down to 10cm after fruiting is finished and feed in the spring, freeze well
    One herb - mint
    One tree - Bramley apple

    I always grow tomatoes but in the greenhouse they are a lot of work as they need regular watering, etc
    I'd forage for blackberries too
    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 18th Oct 19, 6:55 AM
    • 1,481 Posts
    • 1,250 Thanks
    Apodemus
    If it really is just one thing, i’d say Rocket. It grows well as a perennial. Even here in the north of Scotland it has survived five winters. My only problem was that when I planted it I assumed it was only going to be there for a short season, so it is in my veg bed and gets in the way of a decent “dig-out and replace the soil” exercise. It has big fleshy roots all the way through the raised bed. I also planted two full rows as I was thinking it would crop like romaine, whereas I now know that two “bushes” would suffice for our use - it’s best eaten when the growth is young and we can’t keep up with its growth rate, even though I am now down to five plants.

    I’ve moved some into the top of an old wall, along with my Mediterranean herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme), where it is doing ok, but not as well as in a deep bed.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 19th Oct 19, 3:04 PM
    • 6,058 Posts
    • 7,512 Thanks
    theoretica
    Blueberries - if you delay picking them long after they look ripe they get sweeter (or get eaten by birds, but the birds ignore mine). Do you have acid soil and more than one plant?

    Red currant is another one I would add to your list.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
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