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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I know you have a gardening section but I am not into gardening per se, but over the last few months have started getting quite passionate about growing my own organic vegetables - now as I am not a keen gardener I am really total novice so thought with everyones tips, etc on this I could pick up so veg growing lessons for free  ;D
 

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Nikki - most of the gardening chat seems to be veggie orientated. So check it out!

I teach gardening (veggie and otherwise) so ask away!

Cathy
 

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Good Idea for a veg thread Nikki ! 

This is my 3rd year growing veg, the first was just in the borders of my small garden.  last year I had a large patch in the new garden but found it really hard to keep weeded.  This year I have some raised beds with more planned for next year !  My greenhouse is full of goodies too !  My neighbour has a fab veg garden and puts me to shame really ;D

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What would be the best thing to start off with if you've never grown anything in your life? 

Jennifer I know you said in a past thread this is the wrong time of the year to start - is it different times of the year for different veg?  Sorry may be a stupid question!
 

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Hi Nikki,

i 'll tell you what you could try now if you're itching to get going!

If you start off some potatoes and carrots in pots you could have them for Christmas Day!

You need to chit some potatoes. Use a few new pots from the shops. Leave them on a cool windowsill for about 4 weeks until they start to sprout and then put them in a really big pot - as deep as you can find. Cover the potatoes with about 3 inches compost. As they start to grow through the compost, every so often add a bit more compost to bury the leaves. You'll need to protect the pot from frost. If you don't have a greenhouse/conservatory a south facing wall and a piece of horti fleece should do (unless you live in the north of Scotland or something!) by Christmas you should have a little crop of potatoes.

With the carrots, just buy a packet of early carrots (Amsterdam Forcing or Early Nantes are best) and sprinkle the seed over another deep pot. If you do have a greenhouse etc they'll grow better, but the way our weather is, you'll find they do OK outside. Protect them just like the potatoes.

You could also do a quick crop of lettuce and radishes now. Radish only take about 6 weeks to mature so no probs and they're childs play!

Spend the winter deciding what you want to grow and ordering seeds (you can do it online) Most things are started off in spring and it always seems that May is really busy. This time of year is mostly harvesting, but you can grow things like lettuce most of the year if you use cloches etc.

Hope that helps,

Cathy
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Cathy, thats great advice, how amazing will it be to have veg on the Xmas table I've grown.

How about chilli plants?  Sorry if thats the wrong wording for them - I love chilli's.

Can you recommend any good veg planting books?

Also herbs - are they best to grow outside in our weather?
 

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Nikki - I am not sure where you live but I have some spare Chilli plants !  They are a bit big to post but if you are not too far away I would be happy to get some to you somehow !!!

There is a great magazine out monthly called Kitchen Garden.  It gives you a planting guide each month so you know what to put in.  I have had a subscription now for 2 years and it has taught me all i know !

Also, I grow my Christmas new potatoes in buckets with a couple of holes in the bottom.  More recently i have bought plastic storage boxes from B&Q (about £4 for 5) and use them in the greenhouse for tomatoes, peppers, aubergines etc as they make better use of space than buckets !  I put my spuds in this morning and am doing carrots this afternoon.

Today i harvested a couple of courgettes (i got some in my organic veg box from the local farm too so i have tonnes now !), a few tomatoes, red, green and unusual black peppers, some french beans and lettuce !!!  Every time i get food from the garden i run in proudly showing it all off to my dp and the boys squealing WOW LOOK !!!  Saddo ;D

Once you get the bug Nikki you will be the same ;D

Don't forget "The Real Good Life" on sunday teatime on ITV !  They are a weird bunch but i am really addicted to that programme !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jennifer thats really really sweet of you but I am Nottingham so I think (bad at geography) you are quite far away aren't you - I may be wrong!

The Real Goodlife - I cannot wait to see it again, enjoyed it so much last week - couldn't believe that richer family with the 2 teenage boys - the dad was, well  ^bigbad^, all he was bothered was about making booze!

Thanks for the mag tip, going into town on Sunday so will have a nose in WH Smiths.

I was waffling to DH this morning about the veg and he just just huffed, think because he is the gardener in the family he see me as stealing his garden!
 

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I know what you mean about that bloke in Goring on Thames (I used to live in the next village, Streatley !)  He is such an ^shake^  AND THEIR KIDS ARE SOOOOO LAZY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They'd get a slap if they lived in my house !  Can't wait to see it tomorrow !

I am lucky coz I am in charge of the garden so I can do what I like, as long as he is allowed to keep a lawn to mow ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can't wait either, but especially because they will be having the veg growing problems I wil have as a newbie to it all.

When can you start the chilli plant from seed?
 

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Normally you'd start chillies off in about March to put outside but you could try some on a windowsill now . The warmth and light of a windowsill might be OK for them and if you pick a small variety like Bell Boy they shouldn't get too big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DH put a no no on any veg being planted at the mo, he had a bit of a hump about it when we were looking round B&Q  :-\  Willl have to work on involving him or something I think!
 

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I think its March.  Most things can be started off March/April.  The garden centres still have their seeds in so you could go and buy some and study the labels if you are desperate to get started !!!

In Sept Issue of Kitchen Garden they have some starter plants of spring veg like PSB (purple sprouting brocolli), cabbage and kale and onions which you can order now for delivery end Aug, beg Sept. Harvesting from early spring.  Also, The Fruit and Vegetable Company have put a brochure in there and have New Potatoes which can be planted out now for harvest in 8/10 weeks time :)  I have orderd a load of starter plants and onion sets which I am sharing with a friend.

Jennifer xx

ps - apparently you can plant chard now or even in Sept and the crops will stand well over winter !
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll get that and leave it around for DH to flick through, at least he might feel involved a bit. 

Are those mini poly tunnel greenhouses worth getting (we donn't have green house)?
 

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Definately, you will be able to start things off outside a bit earlier next year.  I had one to start with (our local pub landlord uses it now !)  My friend got one this year as its her first year growing veggies !  She is addicted now too !!!

If you get one, try to site it on a south facing wall for maximum benefit.
 

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Nikki - Gardeners World Special tonight - vegetable growing !!!  8.30 bbc2
 

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best check time, might be 8 - mind has gone blank !
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Only lasted half way through it as was more on the background of the veg than the growing - although, the Welsh gentleman's veg were very impressive - his chilli's - OMG how amazing did they look - guarantee my first chilli's are not going to look like that!
 

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My Dh was never interested in gardening but then he tasted his first 'real' new potatoes and was hooked. He likes all the destructive stuff - digging, pruning, strimming, burning but hes not interested in planting etc! Each to their own!
 
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