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 NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 10:20

It could be a long campaign. Luckily I've got a garden, though up to now I haven't gardened much.

Just walking on my mini woodland path (about 10 yards long) with its two trees - hawthorn and hazel, a dozen daffs and three clumps o' primroses picked me up and I decided it's time to grow some veg. Never have before so I wonder if someone can advise me. These are the veg me and my wife eat most or want to eat, but are they easy to grow? And which varieties?

beetroot
carrots
courgettes
peas
sweet peppers
tawties for baking
tommy-a-toes

I haven't got a greenhouse but I've got a small cold frame and a big sunny back window sill. Got a compost heap and water butt.

I've got a great big tub, a metal dustbin and I've prepared a 'NO DIG' raised bed about six feet square. I read that you can just mow a bit of lawn and put the soil straight on top, making sure it's more than six inches deep, so I did that.

Any suggestions folks before I go and buy seeds and compost?
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 10:22

You'll have to wait quite a bit before you go and buy seeds and compost.....

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 10:35

OK - that's just a wee set-back!😉

Does anyone know about buying seeds, plug plants, compost etc by mail or online?
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 10:51

Also, I've got lots of brambles against a high wooden fence. I usually leave 'em all for the birds but I'd like to crop them this year. They've never been pruned to maximise crop so I'm wondering, should I cut them back hard now?

'O come all ye gardeners,
joyful and triumphant
o come ye, o come ye
to dotnetOfftopicsforum '

Ye see that's the kind o' effect even just thinkin' aboot gettin' oot intae the gairden has. It's the muck and the sparraes in the birdbath . And I saw a ladybird on the compost heap yesterday. And discovered two old blackbird's nests behind the compost heap where the brambles are realy wild. What a great thought - something wild chose to come and live with us for a bit.



Post Edited (Tue 24 Mar 10:58)
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: moviescot  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:33

Quote:

onandupthepars, Tue 24 Mar 10:35

OK - that's just a wee set-back!😉

Does anyone know about buying seeds, plug plants, compost etc by mail or online?


Aren't b&q still open?
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:35

I'd already started this project as we clearly arent going on holiday and leaving our stuff untended for 2-3 weeks always put us off in previous years.

We have used suttons for seeds and they were delivered through the post.

I'd picked up some compost at homebase but have also got some delivered by Wickes in the past (they seem to be only lot who deliver 120litre packets).
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:44

Thanks guys. I'll check out your welcome suggestions. Right now I've been watching a video about pruning brambles and I'll have to go out and do it before I forget it all.

'How to prune blackberries for better harvests':

https://youtu.be/G91dtEA1fd8
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: LochgellyAlbert  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 11:56

Wowcher have Japanese Acers on offer this morning, way cheaper than the shops and garden centres.
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 14:23

If of any interest for the future, I used scaffolding direct for some raised beds. I've got some mdpe pipe and plan on building 4 lids for the 4 raised beds I've got.....we'll see how that works out!
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 16:54

Hi Ipswich

About raised beds: I've put on a thick mulch of stuff from the compost heap that's about 75% ready. I was going to use black plastic but chose not to because it might become a breeding ground for slugs?

You are going to make lids, does that make the beds like cold frames? And what's the mdpe pipe for?

Have you used scaffold boards. Rough cost please?

I'd like to make more raised beds but I don't have any spare soil. Did you buy some?
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: renegade master  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 17:13

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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 17:28

I've not yet sat down and worked out the total cost - so I'll probably be in tears by the end of this post! Given we'd budgeted for a big holliday this year I thought we had a bit to play with.

What I've bought....

- 8x (8ft x 4ft) raised beds from Scaffold Direct. These were about 35 quid each I think. They are 9inch depth so I bought 8 and have made 4 double height beds.

- We also got some wooden 2ft spikes but these wouldn't required for single height. The beds come with brackets for internal joining, but I also used some 50 mil screw for external joins for some extra strength.

- I also bought some hard wearing ground matting, and enough to use as curtains around the side (again with the double height, I was worried about soil seeping through the sides given the quality of my handywork, and although the boards are meant to be soil association approved I thought better safe than sorry).

- Thing to note with this supplier is that delivery is quite steep at 35 quid or so. So it's best to plan for one delivery. I found them to be really helpful.

In terms of soil
- I bought 2 ton of veg topsoil from Quality Garden Supplies. This was about £90 per ton. I also bought some additional compost form Wickes and Homebase. The first set came as expected and appeared to be of fantastic quality. I think that the second set was topsoil rather than veg topsoil which was a shame. The delivery drivers that they use were fantastically helpful.

For the tops
- I had a fair bit of spare 2.4m wood from a previous project. Just enough to build 4 "lids" as it happens. I've bought some mdpe pipe and some connectors from screwfix (I think)
- I bought a couple of rolls of 2m x 10m polythene sheeting from Elixir Garden Supplies (via Amazon).
I'm planning on cutting hoops and attaching them to wooden frames that I build with the hope that it both (a) keep the local wildlife off and (b) acts as a greenhouse. This will be a right "country job" as my father in law use to call it, it'll be a proper bodge.

As before, I used Suttons for seeds. I'm not sure if they are the cheapest but they appear to be popular so they must be reasonably good. They have a rush on just now according to an email they sent me last night.

So all in (excluding seeds), I reckon I've spent about £600 and also used some spare wood. So it better provide enough stuff! But that was for 8 beds. It has already given us some lovely memories with hopefully a lot more to come.
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 20:20

Excellent Renegade and Ipswich. Every day's a fun day. I hadn't thought of raising the polythene from the soil like in the photos RM, I think that should be pretty much slug-free.

I think it's good to share our ideas and creative efforts. You've both done proper nice jobs, which might encourage others to do some garden DIY, get fit and have fun all at the same time. I was a joiner so I like the challenge of making something from what's lying around. I had an old staircase and used the boards from it, pegging them in place with some 2x1 stakes using my trusty lump hammer.

I've been pruning back 5 years growth of brambles and got them under control now. My arm muscles are aching and I'm plumb tuckered out for the day, but I got my exercise without having to avoid anybody. I said to my wife when we go out we should take a sweeping brush so as to keep folk the right distance away. D'ye think it might catch on?
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 20:26

See if this works....

Post Edited (Tue 24 Mar 22:43)
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: renegade master  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 20:34

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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 21:50

Sorry Ipswich, I can't see your picture on the laptop.

I like the idea of kids in charge RM. Think you might be tempted to do a wee bit of secret improving, if necessary, to ensure they're all winners?

Now there's plenty of ideas for folk to grow their own veg.

Am I right in thinking I once saw somebody grow tawties in a plastic sack?

Ideas! ideas! where will it all end?

This seems simple and about the cheapest way:

'How to grow potatoes in a bin bag'

https://theplantguide.net/2017/10/03/grow-potatoes-trash-bag/



As far as I can tell, it's not just one plant in a sack - you start growing near the bottom of the sack then add more compost, covering the leaves, and more spuds and so on till you get to the top. Seems you end up with a sack full o' spuds !

Has anyone tried it?



Post Edited (Tue 24 Mar 22:01)
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: renegade master  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 22:18

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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Tue 24 Mar 23:22

I've grown potatoes in a soil bag. Worked fairly well. You'll need a few bags to get a decent crop though...and some compost! The likes of Aldi may have a special on.

Alternatively, an IKEA bag filled with soil from the garden should work.
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 05:22

Have you tried growing other things in bags as well Jake?

Courgettes

Here's a couple o' comments I found from googling:

'I'm growing my courgettes in 12" pots... or you can grow them 2 to a grow bag...The variety is Gold Rush, noted for being early.' (Started in a greenhouse)

'I've grown mine in builders buckets before and in grow bags, both do well but the soil gets spent quickly as they are greedy feeders - I now grow mine in an old metal wash tub.'

Seems folk often start their courgettes in a greenhouse. I haven't got one so -

'Make a mini greenhouse using a clear plastic bin':
(Needs holes drilled in it for drainage and ventilation - increases humidity, faster germination)

https://youtu.be/Y35PVCHVQcM

Any other good ideas for DIY greenhouse?
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: ipswichpar  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 07:04

Can't show image. Hopefully this link works....http://ibb.co/HNS1kbd
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 07:33

Only ever potatoes. I once did peas in a couple of simple plastic plant pots. They need support as the grow like mad. Bit of trellis or plunk against a wall.
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 09:41

Ref: ipswichpar
Wed 25 Mar 07:04

<<< Can't show image. Hopefully this link works...>>>

O yes! Splendid. They've got the wow factor. I look forward to live updates .

Hi Jake
Are peas worth the effort d'you think? I'm tempted because fresh peas and the pods (mangey towt as I call it) taste great.



This article is quite persuasive in favour of mangy towt:

'Why I'm growing mangetout instead of peas':

http://www.realmensow.co.uk/?p=3942

He says 'they outcrop peas. Given the same space as peas they give much more bang for the buck.'
''Mangetout are a type of pea, but they’re the little flat pea pods, which you eat whole, before the peas swell.' Includes info about recommended varieties.


Makes sense, with frozen peas being pretty cheap.

I only have auld geezer energy levels (about 3 - 4 hours in the garden and I'm done) so the more bang for the buck the better.



Post Edited (Wed 25 Mar 10:28)
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 Re: NO DIG for victory
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 25 Mar 09:55

Potatoes

Googled: 'which potates to grow for baking'

This is a handy guide for all types whether you want to do chips, mash, baked etc:


https://www.thompson-morgan.com/potato-selector-guide



Post Edited (Wed 25 Mar 10:05)
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