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Thread: Growing your own food?

  1. #1

    Growing your own food?

    Hi all,
    I've recently moved to a new house, which along with serveral other improvements over my old place, has a garden. I've "inherited" a 3x3 foot planter box thing to sit on the patio and I have space for a few more (probably 4 in total).
    Now I'm sure somebody on here knows the answer to my questions: Can I grow veg in them? What types? How much?
    Is everything seasonal or is it possible to plant/harvest some things on a kind of rolling basis?
    I'm not expecting to go all The Good Life here, but it would be fun and satisfying to have on demand free food. When answering, please assume I know nothing about growing food/gardening other than the ability to identify the produce!
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  2. #2
    I have an allotment mate and there are quite a few things you can grow in planters or raised beds. Your best bet is to search out a book on the subject there must be one out there.

    To start with the best thing to ask yourself is what you like to eat and what stuff is more expensive to buy in the shops. Things like peas take up a lot of space and although it's nice to pod them you can buy a bag of frozen for pence! Patio style carrots can be grown in pots, lettuces (types you grow and snip the leaves off so they keep coming), radish (quick growing), rocket, chilli's, tomato's (although a bit late unless you get hold of established plants) courgette (bush variety), climbing and dwarf french beans, runner beans (quick growing)........ the list goes on!!

    Also you can grow tumbling tomato's in hanging baskets and some called 100's and 1000's that are like eating grapes on a vine!!

    It is great fun though for sure mate and gets the kids involved too!!


    Showing off now but here's what even a gardening div like me can achieve!!

    Last edited by stratts; 12-06-2014 at 15:05.
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  3. #3
    Last edited by stratts; 12-06-2014 at 15:06.
    Follow my stalking journey & SD sponsored DSC1 progress blog here

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  4. #4
    Great stuff, thanks. I'll give that book a whirl. I did try Google for info, of course, but it was one of those where potentially too many pages come back.
    I'm dead keen on the idea of hanging basket tomatoes!

    Very jealous of your allotment, there are some just over that road from me, folk have chickens and all sorts, but I'd be in my 80s by the time the waiting list got to me.
    See my blog for - My kindly sponsored DSC1 course and chart my progress from deer virgin to stalking veteran
    AND my new puppy progress DIARY

  5. #5
    As Stratts says, there's loads of stuff you can grow in tubs / planters / pots etc.
    Just don't waste time and space growing stuff you don't like! Concentrate on the high value stuff that's best eaten fresh (e.g., it would be a waste of time to grow spuds in that space, as they're cheap to buy and ok from storage, but garden peas or strawberries would be well worth growing). Also plenty of salads would be good.
    With careful planning you could have something fresh to eat from the garden every day of the year.

  6. #6
    My youngest grows beer in his raised beds, well not exactly beer but herbs which he swaps with his local

  7. #7
    Yes I grow lots of stuff in plant grow bags Wilco sell lots of different types. As stated grow high value stuff. I have been eating spuds for ages but i planted them in the greenhouse in Feb. Raddish, lettuce, spring onions all easy. Obviously tomatoes if you can find a shelted warm spot. cucumbers/cuurgettes are also good. Lots of designs for elevated growing troughs/tables, go to a big garden shop for ideas and build your own.

    This year I completed a 3x3 m raised bed, cost about 100 but is v posh, currently have beetroot, radish, parsnips, spuds, and peas. Peas are for kids and never get to the kitchen.

    Plastic recycling bos are very good to grow stuff in and are aesily portable. I have pink fir apple salad potatoes in them and they crop well.

    If you can find an old water header tank they are great for shallow rooted parsnips and good as you can place a cover over them and protect the young plants.


  8. #8
    Simon, spring onions, and lettuce will give you a quick return. a tad late for tomatoes but worth a try if you find some good strong plants. You can get dwarf fruit trees (cherry, peach, as well as apple) which will grow in pots on the patio.
    By the way, we are up in your part of the woods tomorrow, to look at a Highland bull calf for the next generation from our Dexters.

  9. #9
    Simon. I would fully agree with what has been said regards grow what you like. We have a small garden with a veg patch that is about 10 foot square including a greenhouse. We have grown over ten differant crops in one year so theres plenty of potential.
    With containers its worth remembering you may have to change the soil or add plenty of manure to keep plenty of food in there for the plants.
    Our garden is quite narrow only about 12 foot with a five foot high fence which shades the left side until the evening for most of the year. So all our "production" happens down the right side so bearin mind shading from fences houses trees etc.
    if your into cooking than can i suggest growing herbs. I love rosemary and although the shop bought dried stuff is ok home grown stuff is in a differant league. Oh and roe liver with shredded sage leaves is out of this world.
    I am no expert and by looking at stratts photo my efforts are dismal but keep the questions coming and im sure between us all we will get you growing all sorts.
    Regards pete

  10. #10
    Don't waste the planters on Herbs ................................. those can grow in pots easily. What veggies the planter can grow depends a lot on how deep it is. Mother prefers carrots small so they would do well, she claims they have more taste. Most fairly shallow growing vegetables could be grown aside for things like Runner Beans that require tall supports.

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