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  • FIRST POST
    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 2nd Jan 18, 5:21 PM
    • 16,799Posts
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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 18
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 27th Jul 18, 5:33 AM
    • 2,012 Posts
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    Suffolk lass
    Very happy to have found this thread. Love reading about what you are all growing and picking up tips.

    We've taken on a 5 pole allotment that is neatly divided into smaller beds, each about 2 x 4m. Inherited a rhubarb patch, damson tree, redcurrant, blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes, and 6 different rose bushes. Gooseberries and redcurrants have been great and delicious, and love having a couple of roses to cut every couple of days. Damson tree is starting to ripen and have no idea what to do with them - thinking wine?

    We have planted our own tomatoes, courgettes, sqaushes, aubergine - all established plants that are doing okay.

    Also planted carrots, beetroots, savoy cabbages, spinach, and various salad leaves and lettuce - all seedlings, and flipping rabbits have eaten nearly all them.

    So have spent the morning researching how to keep them off. Have a few net tunnels, but they won't keep them out. So probably going to have to fence each bed! cost a fortune.

    Ah well, I live and learn. have started some more seeds (I know its a bit late for some things) and will grow them on a bit further before planting them this time.

    Happy growing everyone.Jo.x
    Originally posted by joho
    You can make wine, gin or jam with Damsons in this house - all good. If you want to do gin for Christmas, it is 300g sugar, 300+g damsons and a 75cl bottle of (supermarket) gin in a bit glass jar (kilner-type) all in together after slitting or pricking the fruits (no need to stone) - then simply turn the jar upside-down then right way up each time you pass it. The sugar dissolves and the fruit leaches its colour and flavour. I bottle it in early December and often give it as gifts for Christmas. Works just as well with vodka.

    By the way, we cut down plastic bottles (4pt milk or water) and cloche the bean seedlings to protect them from bunnies here. Bit more of a faff but works and is cheap
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after June 55.17% 5,517.10/10,000
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    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 27th Jul 18, 9:28 PM
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    Dizzy Ditzy
    I hope you folks are getting some of the lovely rain I'm reading about

    We are not
    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...
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 27th Jul 18, 9:54 PM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Short bursts of it. Not really enough to do much on the parched soil. In the vegetable plots I've been watering it'll help for sure. But not enough to soak down. We're due more tomorrow, and if it's cool enough I might pre-water some things. But much too hot - anything over 25 degrees make my head hurt, add a thunderstorm and I'm picking up Radio 4 via the titanium plate in my skull...

    Erm in other news - picked our jostaberries last night and popped them into the freezer this morning
    Last edited by unrecordings; 27-07-2018 at 9:55 PM. Reason: poor typing again
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 27th Jul 18, 10:10 PM
    • 5,270 Posts
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    Kantankrus Mare
    Its thundering and lightening here in Lincs. Went to the allotment before it started and put my peppers and chillis back in the greenhouse in case of heavy winds.

    Think we have got rain all day tomorrow. We shall see.

    Making cherry tomato pizza topping tomorrow and will look out a recipe for courgette fritters. Oh and red onion marmalade with the onions I lifted. Love making things with home grown produce.
    Make 10 a day challenge 2018 Jan/163.14/Feb 116.10/March 5,060.77/April 160.28/May 124.83/Jun 236.71/July 183.73/Aug 178.81
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1780.35 miles
    Walk 2018 miles in 2018...1162.77 miles
    Mortgage...47,07046,09245,626.44,182
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 27th Jul 18, 10:33 PM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    I'm hoping to manage a couple of courgette farcies - I have three hopefuls ripening

    https://www.cuisineaz.com/recettes/courgettes-farcies-aux-lardons-jambon-et-fromage-76270.aspx

    I prefer the cheesy ones (sorry it's in French but you get the idea) but I believe it's a farcie whatever the filling
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 28th Jul 18, 7:54 AM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Lovely rain this morning. Periodic showers - not too heavy, not too light. Nice and cloudy, so a perfect start to rehabilitation of the garden


    Edited to add - then it started bouncing down with rain, so I decided to put some tubs out to see (more out of interest) how much water I could capture. Of course it's sunny now...
    Last edited by unrecordings; 28-07-2018 at 8:45 AM. Reason: weather update
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 30th Jul 18, 10:17 AM
    • 1,340 Posts
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    zafiro1984
    We've just been away for the last 4 days, needless to say the rain came tumbling down plus the winds.
    Got back last night but couldn't get the horsebox up the drive as a tree was down, so DH was chain sawing at 10pm last night.

    Had a look at the plot this AM,
    The barrier around my newly planted leeks was down and the rabbits had demolished them.

    Courgettes, cucumbers, beans, gherkins and weeds a plenty. I need inspiration on how best to use the surplus (not the weeds )
    Sweetcorn looks promising and a found the first melon developing on one of the plants.

    Does anyone have hazels and if so how do you keep the squirrels off?
    I need to go and have a look at the blackberries but I have seen a load of rose hips and I'm wondering what to do with them. I've found a recipe for rosehip marmalade - sounds interesting.

    I'm going to spend the next few days weeding and sorting out what to sow to take us to the end of the year and into next year.
    I got to this stage last year and then failed to sow anything in the late Summer for this this year. I really resented having to buy so much from the supermarkets this Spring. After listening to the news today it looks like fruit and veg prices will horrendous over the winter but fortunately its not too late to do some sowing.
    May Grocery challenge 117.37/150 only got 32.63 left
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 3rd Aug 18, 10:06 PM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Hope everyone is okay. Too hot for me, so I guess some of you are the same. In recent news, got some honey from a neighbour (whose bees forage in my garden, which is nice). The last lot I had with some slightly tart blackcurrants & rhubarb - you could measure the food miles in inches. Brambles are producing daily, peas and beans starting to crop heavily. And I think I have a carrot or two. Water butts were full again after the recent rain, but things in the ground are drying out again already. Saw a slug this evening. I greeted it with the traditional 'eyup slug' then let it continue on its way...
    • VintageHistorian
    • By VintageHistorian 4th Aug 18, 11:43 AM
    • 374 Posts
    • 2,372 Thanks
    VintageHistorian
    I've been harvesting cherry tomatoes for DH, although one of the tomato plants got blown over multiple times during the wet and windy weather last weekend and it's lost a few arms as a result The other one has grown wide rather than tall so it was fine. The corn plants also got knocked over repeatedly and in the end I had to leave them lying down for two days until the winds had died down. They still look okay though.

    Cucumbers are still growing and are getting quite large. I'm worried I might have left them a bit too long though so I'm going to harvest one tonight for DH to try. Peppers are still growing and are still green. Strawberry plant is growing a second lot of strawberries, and I need to plant some more radish seeds for a second cropping.

    One thing I have learned is that next year tomatoes and corn are going to be grown in grow bags rather than pots. Our garden is a bit uneven, including the concrete path and patio, and they're just not stable enough for pots once plants get a few feet high! At some point me and DH will do a little remodel of the garden, which will include space for a veg bed, but we don't have the money for that at the moment. Too many things to sort out indoors.
    "You won't bloom until you're planted" - Graffiti spotted in Newcastle.

    Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind - Doctor Who

    Overpayments in 2018 - 594.33 | Lose 1 stone - 0/14lbs |
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 5th Aug 18, 8:20 PM
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    tootallulah
    Tomatoes are going very well I am picking about 1lb a day and I look to have enough to see me through for quite a few weeks. I am roasting most and freezing them, even I can't eat as many as I grow. I have made 5 litres of tomato soup and 5 litres of tomato pasta sauce. I am now completely out of freezer space. So my next effort will be dried tomatoes stored in olive oil. Not much else has grown, plenty of flowers but v few runner beans. The rest of the garden is a desert, some shrubs are really struggling - I cannot water non-food stuff it feels the wrong thing to do.
    Mortgage House 45,000, 26 January 2018, 4th August 2018 13,000.
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 5th Aug 18, 11:49 PM
    • 1,340 Posts
    • 10,554 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    Tomatoes are going very well I am picking about 1lb a day and I look to have enough to see me through for quite a few weeks. I am roasting most and freezing them, even I can't eat as many as I grow. I have made 5 litres of tomato soup and 5 litres of tomato pasta sauce. I am now completely out of freezer space. So my next effort will be dried tomatoes stored in olive oil.
    Originally posted by tootallulah
    I'm impressed with the tomato sauce and soup. My tomatoes have not started to turn red yet but I was very late in starting them.
    Something has attacked the climbing beans, I suspect rabbits as the stems have been bitten through. I'm left with about 6 climbing french and 4 runner beans. Hopefully there will be enough for the two of us but none to freeze.

    I'm just about holding my own with what is ready to harvest. I can pick enough for tea but the only things I've managed to freeze are cucumbers, gherkins and cucumbers. They'll all get turned into soup later. I've managed to store away enough onions, garlic and shallots to last until next year, plus I'm working my way through early potatoes and waiting for the main crop to start.

    Waiting in the sideline but not yet ready to pick are sweetcorn, leeks, carrots, aubergines, cannelloni beans, baby turnips, squash, melons, peppers, mangetout, sugarsnap, basil and various salad leaves but I must now concentrate on the winter stuff otherwise I'll be visiting the supermarkets over the winter and I expect prices will go up a great deal after this drought.

    Birthday next month and I'm going to ask my DH for fruit bushes/trees as I'm spending an awful lot at the moment on fruit in this hot weather. We have the space to grow enough to be self sufficient in fruit so it seems stupid not to try. I've already got a few bits and pieces but not enough of any one sort except blackcurrants (20+ bushes) My fault as I got carried away with propagating my single bush one year - and I don't care much for blackcurrants they're too tart.
    Last edited by zafiro1984; 06-08-2018 at 12:09 AM.
    May Grocery challenge 117.37/150 only got 32.63 left
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 6th Aug 18, 9:41 AM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    We have a smoothie fan in this house, so a lot of small berries get frozen. I must remember to put a generous portion of peas & beans in the freezer for xmas dinner. On the tomato front, I've not yet reached the glut stage, but it's too hot to leave them out in a basket in the kitchen (like I've done in previous years). Curry tonight with fresh tomatoes. Might consider some little portions of tomato sauce if a glut develops.
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 6th Aug 18, 11:04 AM
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    stoozie1
    Gardening fail today

    I've composted a huge amount of bananas and I think the wasps have got drunk on them. While I was trying to turn the pile, one flew in my T-Shirt and tried to sting his way out.

    It smells quite sweet and boozy and not like compost should.

    Any thoughts?
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- 560 April 2670
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 6th Aug 18, 11:06 AM
    • 584 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    stoozie1
    Tomatoes are going very well I am picking about 1lb a day and I look to have enough to see me through for quite a few weeks.
    Originally posted by tootallulah
    How many plants and which variety are giving you these yields?

    Jealous!
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- 560 April 2670
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 7th Aug 18, 9:52 PM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Bananas are banned from 'my' compost bin - they're not pleasant (not that a compost bin is meant to be pleasant). My excuse is they attract rats (which could be something I just made up). In other news, the runner bean glut has started, so tomorrow I'll blanch a load and freeze them for xmas dinner, along with a batch of peas which I'll shell and freeze on a tray without blanching. Assuming any survive the podding tax. It was surprisingly cool this evening so myself and Dearly Beloved watered various bits of the garden. I've some Red Duke Of York potatoes to harvest, but it's too hot for that kind of milarky. They can stay in there for a while longer. Aubergines are looking really good (I hate aubergine) anyone know how to tell when they're ripe ?
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 8th Aug 18, 8:40 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
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    tootallulah
    How many plants and which variety are giving you these yields?

    Jealous!
    Originally posted by stoozie1
    20 outdoors and 14 in the greenhouse but I am quite a chaotic gardener so that is just 2 plants planted in 17 big tubs with canes to tie them up. I use new slow release nutrient compost but I don't feed or anything except water every two days. All of the pots are in drip trays and I water them from the bottom.

    This year I am growing Tigerella, Marmande, Black Russian, Floridity, Balcony Yellow, Chocolate, Tomato berry, and some unidentified red mini tom. Together with four neighbours we all grow different types and then swap. I like Floridity the best so I have grown a lot of those. Most of what I grow are the small types so they ripen quickly - although this year everything is ready at pretty much the same time.

    The ones outdoors are doing the best, they are against a south facing wall so they do get a lot of heat.
    Mortgage House 45,000, 26 January 2018, 4th August 2018 13,000.
    • stoozie1
    • By stoozie1 9th Aug 18, 4:19 PM
    • 584 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    stoozie1
    20 outdoors and 14 in the greenhouse but I am quite a chaotic gardener
    Originally posted by tootallulah
    me too! That's given me hope now

    so that is just 2 plants planted in 17 big tubs with canes to tie them up. I use new slow release nutrient compost but I don't feed or anything except water every two days. All of the pots are in drip trays and I water them from the bottom.

    This year I am growing Tigerella, Marmande, Black Russian, Floridity, Balcony Yellow, Chocolate, Tomato berry, and some unidentified red mini tom. Together with four neighbours we all grow different types and then swap. I like Floridity the best so I have grown a lot of those. Most of what I grow are the small types so they ripen quickly - although this year everything is ready at pretty much the same time.

    The ones outdoors are doing the best, they are against a south facing wall so they do get a lot of heat.
    Originally posted by tootallulah
    Thanks, I've noted this for next year.

    Whilst I'm on:

    seed purchases
    Where do you all buy from? Do you rate Wilko? Ebay?
    Save 12 k in 2018 challenge member #79
    Target 2018: 24k Jan 2018- 560 April 2670
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 9th Aug 18, 4:48 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
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    tootallulah
    Often Wilko, but my Floridity came from Suttons.
    Mortgage House 45,000, 26 January 2018, 4th August 2018 13,000.
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 9th Aug 18, 9:26 PM
    • 1,310 Posts
    • 8,490 Thanks
    Living proof
    How many plants and which variety are giving you these yields?

    Jealous!
    Originally posted by stoozie1
    I am picking 200 cherry tomatoes from tumblers now, also some gardeners delight starting and I haven't even considered the allotment where there are about 10 plants assorted.
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    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 10th Aug 18, 3:55 PM
    • 383 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Wonderful rain today, so I blanched a batch of runner beans for xmas. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get out in the garden again.
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