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  • FIRST POST
    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 2nd Jan 18, 5:21 PM
    • 16,941Posts
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    Dizzy Ditzy
    The ups and downs and ins and outs of growing your own, 2018
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 5:21 PM
    The ups and downs and ins and outs of growing your own, 2018 2nd Jan 18 at 5:21 PM
    Hello folks and welcome to the 2018 grow your own thread! I'm a day late with this, sorry. You can blame the New Year's Day hangover!

    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?



    Happy new year, and happy growing!


    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 Life" 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 "Allotment Club - mind your peas and cues"
    Last edited by Dizzy Ditzy; 02-01-2018 at 5:25 PM.
    I'm a board guide on Quick Grabbit while you can, Marriage, Relationships and Families, Health & Beauty Moneysaving, 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 and as such do not read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post please report it to forum@moneysavingexpert.com


    I used to be a queen, now I'm just me...
Page 16
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 4th Jul 18, 7:47 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Wore a yellow t shirt in the garden today without thinking and wondered why I kept getting covered in little black flies. I was King Of The Nasturtiums
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 4th Jul 18, 9:27 PM
    • 611 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    stoozie1
    Dinner success.

    So I inherited a 5 kilo sack of onions a few months ago, that were going to be chucked out. About 15 of them had green shoots coming out of the top so I planted them just to see what would happen.

    I just harvested the half the shoots today at sort of baby leek diameter, wrapped in ham and baked in a cheese sauce. Awesome dinner, from a waste product

    Have also harvested enough broccoli, courgettes and dwarf french beans for 30 5 a day portions. So 3 more days for us 6.

    Need to rejuvenate my perpetual spinach which looks very bedraggled. But at least managed to get all the runner beans out and under 8 foot wigwams of bamboo.

    My top tip this year for securing the tops of them is those pale brown elastic bands the postie drops. They are the same colour as the bamboo, and less fiddly than raffia/wire/posh plastic connectors.
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- 560 April 2670
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 5th Jul 18, 11:29 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 7,606 Thanks
    tootallulah
    Wow Dizzy Ditzy I can see how excited you are, but what hard work.
    I have my plot at home and cultivated it successfully for quite a number of years but last year I did nothing as I had health probs so I know how much work is involved in getting it back into shape. Mine is 75% there but it had been a serious struggle and I too had to resort to weedkiller.

    Today:- weeded half of one of the unplanted beds - I plan to put my leeks in there next month. watered copiously especially the tunnels.
    I must start planning a large bed (5' x 25') in one of the tunnels as I want to overwinter some brassicas in there but it needs a serious amount of muck adding to it as the level has sunk quite a lot. Planted 4 more melons I just need to find space for the last two.

    Does anyone grow an apricot, I fancy a go and we live in the south. Also I came across a kiwiberry in the current magazine, has anyone tried to grow one of these. I'd be interested to know how easy/hard they are and what sort of crop do you get.

    Picked some more backcurrants and froze them, a few mangetout, a few purple beans, one yellow courgette, 4 gerkins (to be pickled) and a load of peas so all in all there was enough veg to have with tea for the 2 of us.
    Originally posted by zafiro1984
    I inherited an apricot tree on a south facing wall in the East Midlands - it is fantastic. Last year was a bumper year, this year hardly anything which does happen after a good year, they have a bit of a rest. The apricots make fantastic jam if this was a bumper year they would be sweet enough to eat raw after all this sun. If I moved I would plant another it is wonderful to walk down the garden and just pick apricots.
    Mortgage House 45,000, 26 January 2018, 17th September 2018 1,000.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 9th Jul 18, 6:01 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Cooled down a little bit and overcast for most of the day so I managed to get outdoors. Planted out the remainder of my peas, and gave the bed my onions were in a good hosing down with the flame gun. Picked some raspberries and a couple of tomatoes. Glad I'm able to water the tomatoes (in greenhouses) at a sensible time today instead of waiting until the sun is down behind the rooftops
    • Jazee
    • By Jazee 9th Jul 18, 6:26 PM
    • 4,756 Posts
    • 55,252 Thanks
    Jazee
    Broad beans now finished and the few peas I planted. Still harvesting soft fruits, courgettes and cucumbers.
    Spend less now, work less later.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 9th Jul 18, 9:34 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Blimey - my beans haven't even started yet (well they're flowering at least)
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jul 18, 2:54 AM
    • 2,158 Posts
    • 22,492 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Went to water the sweetcorn and all that is there is a block of little stumps. B****y rabbits!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Jazee
    • By Jazee 11th Jul 18, 9:48 AM
    • 4,756 Posts
    • 55,252 Thanks
    Jazee
    Just injured myself picking a courgette. Nice one right at the back of the plot next to greenhouse so I balanced myself between the courgettes and the cabbage bed, yanked hard and the veg fell into a gap next to greenhouse. This meant rearranging myself and holding on to the netting frame, which couldn't hold my weight obviously, so I fell into cabbage patch, catching my leg on wooden edging at the same time.

    It hurts.
    Spend less now, work less later.
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 11th Jul 18, 11:45 PM
    • 1,377 Posts
    • 10,764 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    I inherited an apricot tree on a south facing wall in the East Midlands - it is fantastic. Last year was a bumper year, this year hardly anything which does happen after a good year, they have a bit of a rest. The apricots make fantastic jam if this was a bumper year they would be sweet enough to eat raw after all this sun. If I moved I would plant another it is wonderful to walk down the garden and just pick apricots.
    Originally posted by tootallulah
    That's made my mind up - I'm going to get an apricot this Autumn and put it in the polytunnel as there's loads of space. I spend an absolute fortune on fruit so at the back end of this year I'm going to invest in more types and try to become self sufficient as far as possible. I already have apples, blackberries, blackcurrents, blueberries, crab apples, gooseberries, medlar, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, rosehips, hazelnuts, sweet chestnuts plus melons and passion fruit in the polytunnel. I know it sounds a lot but I will have to increase the amount of some of the fruit eg I've only 15 strawberry plants so I'll need more of those. I've made an ambitious list so depending on cost will be how much I buy. My argument to DH will be I've saved a lot already this year on veg so 'what's the problem'

    On the veg front, I've already harvested or I'm picking on a regular basis. New potatoes, dwarf beans, cucumbers, salad things, kohl rabi, baby turnips, rocket, basil, courgettes, shallots, onions, garlic, fennel, beetroot, gerkins, carrots, peas, mangetout, asparagus and celery, parsley. Loads more things to come and I'm already planning the winter stuff.

    Last weekend I did a complete home grown meal (well almost) roast turkey thigh (home grown turkey) carrots, potatoes, mangetout and the last picking of the asparagus followed by strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in a meringue nest (own eggs) I only needed to add sugar and cream. Not only has my food shopping dropped hugely but the temptation to spend has gone because I've not much need to visit the supermarkets.

    Somewhere on here I said about being ill last year. Pleased to say I had my four month check-up with the heart specialist last week. The 11hr op earlier this year was a complete success and I'm rapidly getting back to normal - growing veg etc has given me a focus and apparently it's one of the best exercises/hobby I could have.
    Last edited by zafiro1984; 11-07-2018 at 11:59 PM.
    November 2018 42.83/100
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 12th Jul 18, 9:17 AM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Well done !
    I recently went from three month scans to a four month schedule. Unfortunately the hot weather had me laid low (I can't handle much more than 20 degrees) but I've been able to get out in the last few days and tinker, move rocks, prune stuff, admire carrots etc etc. Last night I finished last year's Longor shallots and I'm looking forward to stringing up this year's crop. Got a lot of oak springing up in the garden, so I'll rescue them and pot them up along with any ferns that have sprung up in the wrong place
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 13th Jul 18, 10:26 AM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    RAIN !!!
    Nice gentle shower, not so heavy that it'll just bounce off the parched soil - so hopefully it'll soak into the ground quite nicely
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 13th Jul 18, 12:06 PM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 7,606 Thanks
    tootallulah
    That's made my mind up - I'm going to get an apricot this Autumn and put it in the polytunnel as there's loads of space. I spend an absolute fortune on fruit so at the back end of this year I'm going to invest in more types and try to become self sufficient as far as possible. I already have apples, blackberries, blackcurrents, blueberries, crab apples, gooseberries, medlar, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, rosehips, hazelnuts, sweet chestnuts plus melons and passion fruit in the polytunnel. I know it sounds a lot but I will have to increase the amount of some of the fruit eg I've only 15 strawberry plants so I'll need more of those. I've made an ambitious list so depending on cost will be how much I buy. My argument to DH will be I've saved a lot already this year on veg so 'what's the problem'

    On the veg front, I've already harvested or I'm picking on a regular basis. New potatoes, dwarf beans, cucumbers, salad things, kohl rabi, baby turnips, rocket, basil, courgettes, shallots, onions, garlic, fennel, beetroot, gerkins, carrots, peas, mangetout, asparagus and celery, parsley. Loads more things to come and I'm already planning the winter stuff.

    Last weekend I did a complete home grown meal (well almost) roast turkey thigh (home grown turkey) carrots, potatoes, mangetout and the last picking of the asparagus followed by strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in a meringue nest (own eggs) I only needed to add sugar and cream. Not only has my food shopping dropped hugely but the temptation to spend has gone because I've not much need to visit the supermarkets.

    Somewhere on here I said about being ill last year. Pleased to say I had my four month check-up with the heart specialist last week. The 11hr op earlier this year was a complete success and I'm rapidly getting back to normal - growing veg etc has given me a focus and apparently it's one of the best exercises/hobby I could have.
    Originally posted by zafiro1984
    Fantastic health news, onwards and upwards. I have been freezing fruit and making compote (also frozen) for the last two weeks. I usually get enough to see me through November to April. Nothing is better than stewed fruit and custard in February it is the smell of summer. Even this year I have made 10 bags of stewed apricots. My absolute favourite is raspberry and redcurrant - delicious.
    Mortgage House 45,000, 26 January 2018, 17th September 2018 1,000.
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 14th Jul 18, 1:01 AM
    • 1,377 Posts
    • 10,764 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    I have been freezing fruit and making compote (also frozen) for the last two weeks. I usually get enough to see me through November to April. Nothing is better than stewed fruit and custard in February it is the smell of summer. Even this year I have made 10 bags of stewed apricots. My absolute favourite is raspberry and redcurrant - delicious.
    Originally posted by tootallulah
    redcurrents are on my list, do you grow whitecurrents as I quite fancy them?

    Finished picking the blackcurrents, I've frozen 12lb which hopefully is enough and I've another 6lb in the fridge which I want to use for jam/jelly There are loads left on the bushes but quite a lot are starting to shrivel because of the lack of rain. I've taken the netting off them so the birds and deer can enjoy the remainder.

    Has anyone pickled gherkins? I've got two plants outside and they are very prolific and seeing as I love pickled gherkins I thought I'd give it a go. Recipes say to salt them first but I stay away from salt. I pick the gherkins when they are small and still hard so I wondered if it would work if I just put them in pickling vinegar - help.
    November 2018 42.83/100
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 14th Jul 18, 9:19 AM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    I netted my blackcurrants this this and got a bumper crop. We tried to dry a batch, but after nearly a week in the dryer, they were nowhere near, so they went in some scones (which turned out fantastic). I'd just try the vinegar route, I think salting is used to draw out moisture
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 14th Jul 18, 1:48 PM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 7,606 Thanks
    tootallulah
    redcurrents are on my list, do you grow whitecurrents as I quite fancy them?

    Finished picking the blackcurrents, I've frozen 12lb which hopefully is enough and I've another 6lb in the fridge which I want to use for jam/jelly There are loads left on the bushes but quite a lot are starting to shrivel because of the lack of rain. I've taken the netting off them so the birds and deer can enjoy the remainder.

    Has anyone pickled gherkins? I've got two plants outside and they are very prolific and seeing as I love pickled gherkins I thought I'd give it a go. Recipes say to salt them first but I stay away from salt. I pick the gherkins when they are small and still hard so I wondered if it would work if I just put them in pickling vinegar - help.
    Originally posted by zafiro1984
    I have more white currants than anything else I don't think the birds can see them. They work really well with strawberries. I do like them and would always grow at least one bush but I have got to the point where I have too many red and white currants and almost no black currants and nothing is better than them so in the autumn I am grubbing out all except one red and one white and planting 3 black currants. have never pickled gherkins but I do like the idea.
    Mortgage House 45,000, 26 January 2018, 17th September 2018 1,000.
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 15th Jul 18, 12:26 AM
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    • 10,764 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    I've five rows of black currents I'm sure they are Ben Connan, far too many, so like you this Autumn I'm grubbing up 3 rows (or rather DH with mini digger is doing the job) I'm going to plant red and white currents plus blueberries and gooseberries. They will all be together so easy to net.

    Spent the morning on the plot as it was a bit cooler, finished weeding the last bed so I can put the rest of the leeks out tomorrow. Started to prune the raspberries that had finished and to tie in the new growth for next year, the Autumn raspberries are looking OK but we do need some rain. I was looking online and Alan Titchmarch suggested a lazy way was not to cut down the Autumn raspberries when they had finished but to leave them to form a hedge about a foot wide. apparently you get a small Summer crop followed by a much larger Autumn crop. I'm going to give it a go as I'm all for doing less.

    Picked a couple of cucumbers, and courgettes, some rogue potatoes from the weeded bed, and I've enough beans picked yesterday so they were all used at lunch and teatime -happy days and I didn't do any food shopping this week
    November 2018 42.83/100
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 15th Jul 18, 8:17 AM
    • 2,158 Posts
    • 22,492 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    So many gooseberries and blackcurrants this year! My third freezer is already stuffed and apples are months away.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 15th Jul 18, 3:40 PM
    • 16,941 Posts
    • 283,065 Thanks
    Dizzy Ditzy
    Something, or someone has had most of our gooseberries this year they've been netted but we are wondering if something has managed to get through anyway. Has happened to all the gooseberry bushes on the site so it's not just us

    Plot 3 is coming along nicely - we have been digging and yesterday got some winter cabbages in, under blue pipe and black netting. I'm so excited just to have planted something we started digging at the bottom of the plot as that was the least troubled by bindweed and as we are moving up the plot, we are finding bindweed roots in the surface underneath the thick black plastic so hopefully we won't have too much trouble as we get further and further up.

    Harvesting nicely from plot 2 - beetroot, onions, potatoes, garlic and green beans. We have some rhubarb chard too which will be shared with the chickens

    We had some very good rain on Friday yet still had to water today

    The courgettes aren't plentiful in number but my goodness they're plentiful in size! 616 and 761g our biggest so far. That'll make a cake or two
    I'm a board guide on Quick Grabbit while you can, Marriage, Relationships and Families, Health & Beauty Moneysaving, 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 and as such do not read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post please report it to forum@moneysavingexpert.com


    I used to be a queen, now I'm just me...
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 16th Jul 18, 12:04 AM
    • 1,377 Posts
    • 10,764 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    We have some rhubarb chard too which will be shared with the chickens
    Originally posted by Dizzy Ditzy
    Dizzy Ditzy, I've grown some chard this year but find it tasteless and it goes sloppy when I cook it. What am I doing wrong, how do you cook it?

    Such good intentions for today but did absolutely nothing, didn't even water. I'll pay the price tomorrow
    November 2018 42.83/100
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 16th Jul 18, 4:22 PM
    • 412 Posts
    • 479 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Still too hot for me outdoors, though rain is promised later. I've made do with stringing up some shallots & onions
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