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  • FIRST POST
    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 2nd Jan 18, 5:21 PM
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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 2
    • CAFCGirl
    • By CAFCGirl 10th Jan 18, 9:00 AM
    • 8,513 Posts
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    CAFCGirl
    Today is the day I will be sowing some seeds.
    The sun is out and everything

    I've got 5 types of tomatoes, aubergine, chilli peppers, some shallots and some leeks. Probably wont do all of them today but its nice to get something on the go.

    10 years and still don't have a clue what I'm doing
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 10th Jan 18, 5:13 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    unrecordings
    It wasn't so sunny here, but it was warm enough so I shredded the xmas tree and spread the bits around the woodlandy bit at the bottom of the garden - though I had to tidy up after the badgers first
    • Distiller72
    • By Distiller72 11th Jan 18, 4:57 AM
    • 14 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Distiller72
    I have a small greenhouse in my garden, 6ft×4ft tje last cpuple of years i have raised some tomato plants and some salad leaves mostly for the rabbit. 2018 i will try plan a bit better
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 18, 8:13 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
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    Suffolk lass
    I have a half plot allotment which is half a rood. I decided to go no dig with deep beds and have 20 16' x 4' beds and another half dozen 8' x 4' ones. I got set up last year and put weed suppressing material and wood chippings on the paths so that I don't get muddy shoes/boots.

    I like to grow veg that is more expensive in the shops and to that end I've got a greenhouse with lettuce in pots and beetroot in soil at present. When that's cropped there will be tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in there. I will grow first early potatoes but not main crop as they are so cheap (£5 a sack last year) here. I saved broad bean seed and have sowed a succession in autumn and I shall follow that up next month for more. I also saved runner bean and dwarf french bean seed too. I'll be growing beetroot, celery, celeriac, radishes, lettuce from seed. There's a chap on site who has access to brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, sprouting broccoli and leek plants so I will be getting those from him. I've got shallots and garlic in and will be planting plenty of onion sets in due course. On the soft fruit front, I have plenty of different strawberry varieties, rhubarb, raspberries and gooseberries plus a couple of blackberry plants. I have ordered a couple of "hanging blackberry" plants and will attach these to the shed.

    I will be trying some companion planting to try and avoid pest damage.

    My only tip is to get plenty of organic matter into the soil as it really does help with moisture retention and makes it easy to work.

    My wife makes soup from the veg but we tend to eat the majority of my crops.

    I have spent so much on setting up the shed, greenhouse, deep beds, cloches and cold frame that my veg and soft fruit is really expensive. That said, I reckon that in a few years it will be paying for itself. I am more concerned with the provenance of my food than expense, but, cost will come down and I will be getting some exercise & fresh air.
    Originally posted by NigeWick
    What a great post! I recognise some of the sentiments here. We probably have another 6 years before our beds pay for themselves but as you say, it is the provenance and also the taste! Carrots are more carroty, tomatoes more tomatoey, and strawberries and raspberries are to die for. I feel really excited about 2018.
    Just the one real problem here - weeds (two main culprits) deep rooted small-leaved, pink tinged convolvulus (bindweed), creeping bronze-leaved, yellow flowered popping seedpod wood sorrel (and some old nettles and periwinkle with ambitions beyond their patches) and suggestions gratefully received.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 - after May 45.81% £4,581.38/£10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent £1,021.80/£3,000 including stores so far 34.06% of my annual budget at the end of May
    My DFD is here
    • sazzlebgood?
    • By sazzlebgood? 12th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    sazzlebgood?
    trying to grow some early carrots in the greenhouse, (box with sandy soil and glass on the top) not sure if they'll grow but i like to experiment. Planted up winter lettuce in the greenhouse also and sunk slug traps near by. Put in daffodil bulbs into the blueberry bed. It was good to get up there today as not been up for a couple of weeks with Christamas and then been ill. Helped get rid of my headache. Had leek and pot soup for lunch made from produce from the lottie.
    • sazzlebgood?
    • By sazzlebgood? 13th Jan 18, 11:42 AM
    • 90 Posts
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    sazzlebgood?
    Really cold here today. Sowed chilli's, leeks and cherry toms in the propagators. Hoping the chilli's are not as hot as last year as they nearly blew your head off.
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 13th Jan 18, 5:34 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Overcast but dry and not too cold so I spent a couple of hours cutting back the savory, clearing up some leaves and re-locating a cheeky bramble that I'd missed. It had rooted in some leaf mulch under a rosemary so came up really easily rootlets and all. I planted it on my border with the woods. I also pruned the blackcurrants which should keep the pigeons happy
    • CAFCGirl
    • By CAFCGirl 14th Jan 18, 10:27 AM
    • 8,513 Posts
    • 17,692 Thanks
    CAFCGirl
    Chilly but made it up the plot yesterday for 4 hours.

    I now have a more stable floor in the tin shed, its made from old decking boards - saves me falling through the holes in the pallet that the shed is sat on.

    My wheelbarrow gave up the ghost. Lovely old school metal one. The wheel was buckled beyond repair, holes appearing etc. So it has now been repurposed next to my seating area. I planted it up with some random sprouted bulbs I found in a pot of spent compost and geraniums from last year (10p) that I failed to pot up at home. I plan to scatter some nasturium seeds in the rest of the space later in the year. I'm mighty impressed with how it looks.

    Also managed to dig and install another layered bed (1mx1m). I'm toying with putting copper tape around it and having it as a salad leaf bed, or trying out some broad beans in there. Choices choices.

    One thing that made a huge difference was chopping back 4 rubble sacks full of brambles - its made such a difference to how the plot is looking. I need to restring the cordon for them this year. Last year it gave up and picking them was a nightmare!

    Hope everyone else is doing well, and maybe starting off some seeds this week

    10 years and still don't have a clue what I'm doing
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 14th Jan 18, 5:58 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Managed another couple of hours emptying growbags and while it was dry, collecting sticks for my next bonfire. I read somewhere that keeping your compost wet dissuades rats from taking residence, so I gave the pile a good turn then thoroughly soaked it. Picked some Japanese spinach, some oca and a little bittercress to go with tonight's ramen.
    • smeeinnit
    • By smeeinnit 15th Jan 18, 8:40 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 907 Thanks
    smeeinnit
    Hi all

    Bit late to the party but earlier than last year

    Well, I have the seeds, I have the compost, cold frame, raised beds, propagator, greenhouse on order....that's about as far as I have got!

    The seeds need sowing, the cold frame needs building, the area where the greenhouse and raised beds are going needs levelling, I feel like I am way behind already!

    I'm sure a couple of weekends with a few hours thrown at things here and there will help that.

    Great to see you lot off and running already!

    This year I am going for variety (ie more different crops rather than varieties of one type IYKWIM) so less potatoes and tomatoes, more of everything else. I have nearly 50 seed packets, not sure I will grow every one but there will sure be a good spread.

    Good luck all this year, fingers crossed for a good growing season!

    x
    Let's get ready to bumble!
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 16th Jan 18, 1:07 AM
    • 1,173 Posts
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    nannygladys
    Hi everyone, hope I can join in. I have a small allotment but its plenty big enough for me (I think its a half one).I have bought my seeds and sorted out some sort of plan but not sowing anything yet. I usually start seeds off at home in the greenhouse and transplant then onto the plot. I have a fruit area with raspberries (summer and autumn), blackcurrants, red currants and white currants, a few rhubarb plants, gooseberry bushes and an apple tree.
    I have brussels still growing outside, PSB and cabbage and in the poly tunnel I have kale and lettuce ready. The rest of the plot is more or less dug although each year I change a few bits, like this year I'm acquiring more tyres and planters for carrots and parsnips and going to grow a few flowers as well.
    A couple of weeks before Xmas the site was broken into and quite a lot people had stuff stolen out of their sheds, when they got to mine they broke the lock but managed to squash the metal of the plate and couldn't get in, but I still cant get in so I have that to sort as well!! I don't keep anything of value in the shed its a bit of a girly sitting area (all painted, curtains and bunting LOL) and my spades etc were in the poly tunnel!!!
    Anyway enough rambling, happy sowing everyone, when I looked in my journal to see when I started last year it was the beginning of March!!!!
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • tibawo
    • By tibawo 20th Jan 18, 11:26 AM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 9,658 Thanks
    tibawo
    So Saturday morning kitchen had an allotment on today... it was only their second summer and the plot was overflowing with produce. I am so glad you guys help me keep my feet firmly on the ground and be realistic as if you didn't I would be feeling a complete failure.


    Was hoping to go up this weekend and clear some more but the weather is not playing ball!
    After years of debt and living on the breadline feeling nothing but negative about my finances, I am finally feeling that 2018 might be the year I open a savings account and actually use it!
    • Dizzy Ditzy
    • By Dizzy Ditzy 21st Jan 18, 10:43 AM
    • 16,724 Posts
    • 281,732 Thanks
    Dizzy Ditzy
    I hate this time of year - when I'm at work the weather is perfect for allotmenting and when I'm not at work, the weather is perfect for being at work lol

    I'm still waiting for news from the council about swapping plots. The one I want specifically is right next to the chickens. The bloke who has it now hasn't done a thing to it for about two years so I'm desperately hoping that he's had his invoice and just decided to give up! No one is telling me anything though and it's frustrating. Every time I walk past it I'm making plans in my head for it

    The only good thing about allotmenting for me at the mo is that my freeloading hens are laying again after a three month hiatus
    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...
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 21st Jan 18, 5:08 PM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 20,918 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Loathsome weather this weekend with lots of icy wind and rain all day yesterday, followed by snow all day today. It has stopped now it is dark outside, on cue for a lovely week while I am in the office, no doubt.

    We bought most of the seeds yesterday - just need to buy Wisley Magic Runners, Speedy Dwarf French Beans and seed potatoes. We will wait another week before starting seeds indoors.

    Ooh yes, seed compost and planting plugs needed too.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 - after May 45.81% £4,581.38/£10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent £1,021.80/£3,000 including stores so far 34.06% of my annual budget at the end of May
    My DFD is here
    • CAFCGirl
    • By CAFCGirl 22nd Jan 18, 9:26 AM
    • 8,513 Posts
    • 17,692 Thanks
    CAFCGirl
    Wet, Wet, Wet!
    No my idea of fun.

    I've been trying to placate myself with sowing seeds at home and yesterday did broad beans, thai basil, sweet basil, coriander and garlic chives.

    My tomatoes and cauliflowers have germinated, and an aubergine and chilli have made an appearance. Still waiting on the leeks.
    This year I'm planning on keeping the tomatoes in the garden at home - for ease of watering really. Last year I think my infrequent watering is what led to them doing that weird splitting thing. I plan on getting a couple of those small tomato growhouses for on the deck (bright sun all day - when its sunny!). Hopefully that will improve my odds

    10 years and still don't have a clue what I'm doing
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 23rd Jan 18, 7:59 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
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    nannygladys
    Hi everyone, I'm getting really fed up with all the rain. Ive still not been down to the plot as the soil if really heavy and gets waterlogged so not ideal for digging this time of year. I'm still not planting seeds yet but I think I will start at the beginning of February with some of them inside. I cant wait to get started and keep changing my plans for the lottie!!! I must remember to get some new seed compost this week and bring it inside to warm it up a bit. Its nice to just have a wander around the gardening sections in the shops for ideas, I'm after a solar light for inside the shed this year but haven't seen any suitable ones yet as I want the solar panel to be fixed to the outside, Ive seen one on youtube but cant seem to find it in shops or online. Anyway Ill stop my waffling on
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 23rd Jan 18, 11:21 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Warm enough but raining on and off today. Ratty was back so I emptied a couple of gallons of water into the compost bin and went off to find some 1mm steel sheet to armour plate the back of the bin where they get in (it's one of those beehive bins). I then thought better of it and resolved to gather up all the half bricks that are hanging around and brick up the back of the bin instead. Otherwise it's quiet around here...

    ...oh yes, still got some of last year's tomatoes left, the last ones are just ripening...
    • sazzlebgood?
    • By sazzlebgood? 24th Jan 18, 10:17 AM
    • 90 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    sazzlebgood?
    Went up to the allotment yesterday and harvested some winter lettuce and kale. Path ways were very slippy. Really missing been up there but its just too wet to do much really. FIL is constructing another cold frame and we're planning where to site our new shed and greenhouse that we are getting from a friend. Chilli's toms and leeks have all germinated. All my bulbs seem to have taken in the cut flower bed.
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 24th Jan 18, 11:12 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 12,644 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone, still not been to the lottie, but I must make the effort tomorrow and make sure that the poly tunnel is still standing, well the structure will be standing but the cover may have moved. Anyway whilst I'm there (even if it rains!) I can grab another cabbage and some lettuce (latter from tunnel) and have a little dreamtime!!!!!
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • unrecordings
    • By unrecordings 25th Jan 18, 9:34 PM
    • 298 Posts
    • 390 Thanks
    unrecordings
    Finally got a nice bonfire day so got that going then set about pruning the gooseberries and cutting back the brambles. Then I set about bricking up the back of the compost bin so that if ratty wants to get in, he'll/she'll have to do it in public. I read something interesting recently that domesticated cats don't really like to tackle rats, whereas feral cats learn the knack from an early age. Our Eccles surprised us last summer with a dead rat - and she usually finds mice a little too feisty. She's ex feral...
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