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polo71

My veg garden and Allotment by an idiot

17 posts in this topic

Right here we go sorry the first post is going to be a bit long winded,

 

Decided I wanted to venture into the world of growing veg and maybe some fruit, reasons are fairly simple sick of buying veg that I don't know where it comes from and tastes of nothing plus costs a fortune also each year I spend a small fortune on bedding plants only to bin them at the end of the season. What I decide to do was build some raised beds so the first part of my ongoing story is mainly about me setting out how I am going about it rightly or wrongly.

The allotment bit will hopefully start within the few months I am number 4 on the waiting list and 3 are coming vacant shortly so fingers crossed.

 

I would however like to say a massive thanks to @ratdog for pointing me in the direction of Charles Dowding and his no dig videos (hoping in a year or so this is the way I will be growing)  and the advice he has given me not to mention letting me post in his Allotment thread, I would also thank @oldtimer1 for his advice, tips and encouragement to do a diary on this adventure.

 

large_rb0.jpgthis is a how the garden was may / June last large_rb1.jpglarge_rb3.jpglarge_rb4.jpglarge_rb5.jpglarge_rb7.jpglarge_rb8.jpglarge_rb9.jpglarge_rb10.jpg

 

First of all I have as you can see replaced the fencing, then built my raised beds the beds are built out of 9" x 3" Way over kill I know , the level of the garden has been raised by about 6" had issues with the soil in the borders not drying out. where the box is only one high I have cleared the hardcore and matting but not dug the soil underneath no waterlogging issues at that end its in sun most of the day, I have had to buy in 2 bulk bags of topsoil and lightly compacted it, I have then filled the boxes to the level you see with JAB compost and mixed in some sharp sand (not a lot 1 25kg bag per bed) the wire mesh on the bed is to stop a cat jumping of the fence and crapping in the beds the yellow marks is where I am going to make another two half sized beds sometime in the next month or so. you may also notice I have built a small single height box between the two I am hopping to put a apple tree there that I can train up the fence never knew buying a tree was so complicated (M this M that )  

The rest of the hardcore will either be paved or gravelled and the path will be re-decked in the spring when I redo all the other decking (that you cant see)

 

I will be putting in some Autumn seeds, sets very soon so will post what, where, when and how as I do it. Please feel free to ask / post anything you want or if you see me making a massive bollock tell me so its going to be a massive learning curve for me.

 

Jobs still left to do! finish the fencing, install the new shed (today) pull old shed down, build a carport type thing (so I can work outside when raining) build a new 8 x 4 lean to greenhouse, redo all the decking, keep her happy and on and on the list goes.

Cheers

 

ETA: @Saddam sorry for the grammar and spelling mistakes:bangin: I am trying

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Good stuff. You could stuff some strawberry plants into pots or bags now with your greenhouse, and have them established for next year. 

 

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43 minutes ago, Michael Luchóg said:

Good stuff. You could stuff some strawberry plants into pots or bags now with your greenhouse, and have them established for next year. 

 

Greenhouse not built yet mate that's on the to build list 3 weeks maybe.

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@polo71 Anyone who can construct beds like you have is not an idiot, just lacking a little knowledge, learning to grow is like putting together a jigsaw, as you learn each piece  of information about growing as start putting them together you start getting more and more of the picture and it gets easier and easier as you fill in the holes.

 

Glad you liked the Dowding link about growing onions, I was not sure if you would look as you said you were fed up with youtube gardening videos, Charles channel has taught me new tricks and given me ideas and I've been gardening for over 60 years.

 

Final thing I think its a shame you couldn't get some organic compost for topping off your beds, the JAB has a soluble chemical salt base fertiliser that only last a few weeks, rather than something like spent mushroom or composted  manure or municipal compost, the difference is that these have plant based nutrients in their makeup and will slowly break down into humus over two or three years and only release nutrients to plant roots as they want them, the JAB MP is made of peat and wood fibre, I suppose it will eventually break down I don't know how much is peat but peat holds virtually no nutrients in its makeup, is sterile, carries no microbial activity, but will contribute some humus. Sorry for blahing on, but the nutrients held by decaying vegetation such as good garden compost are very under estimated by chemical growers.

 

Anyhow I will follow your progress with interest, well done a great start.

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Looks ace mate, well constructed, and it`s not over kill imo as I`ve used thinner wood (free pallets) to construct my beds over the years and they only last a few years. Top job :yep:

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More boxes ! just a few more photos of the progress I am making although that will start and slow down as I am going back to work after taking 18 months off (traveling to Manchester every day got the better of me)

 

Finished all the raised beds I am planning and got some 40mm slate down, have used the bigger slate because I am hoping it will deter the cats around here. I have topped some of the boxes off with 5" of organic manure it's from levingtons best I could get at the moment not sure how good it is but I am sure someone will know. The plan for the boxes is

Front big box Elephant garlic , Japanese onion (going to try this method of planting clusters of onions) seeds germinating now

Front small boxes Lettice , and small salad stuff

Back left side big box Herbs of all kinds

Back small box apple tree (trained up the fence)

Back right side box Electric onions (sets in now) Peas , broad beans (growing in seed trays now)

 

Decided to go with a 8 x 4 or 8 x 6 free standing greenhouse but its going to have to wait a few months before I can sort that as I still have a car port type thing to build from the house to just over the new shed (so I have a dry place to work) and all the sub decking to build ready for the new deck in March.

 

Do have a few questions if anyone knows. Are the plastic composting bins any good?

I think I have found a source for horse manure do I need the stuff with straw in it ? and would it work in say a 330l plastic composting bin

Finally can I plant into manure straight away or do I have to wait once its down each year and best month to put it on the beds.large_rb17.jpglarge_rb16.jpglarge_rb13.jpglarge_rb14.jpglarge_rb18.jpglarge_rb12.jpglarge_rb11.jpg         

 

Last of this years toms (about 10 days ago)  and the only pumpkin that I managed to grow (harvested now)

 

Cheers 

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3 minutes ago, polo71 said:

Do have a few questions if anyone knows. Are the plastic composting bins any good?

I think I have found a source for horse manure do I need the stuff with straw in it ? and would it work in say a 330l plastic composting bin

Finally can I plant into manure straight away or do I have to wait once its down each year and best month to put it on the beds

 

 

I have used the plastic bins for a few years, they will do the job but I`ve ditched mine in favour of bays made of old pallets, I can turn the compost without all the ball ache of making a mess and control things much better, and they are quite small really in comparison.

All horse manure will have straw in mate and straw is fine for the garden.

How old is the manure? it needs to be at least 9-12 months old, then it`s good to go, I`m lucky enough to get three yo stuff. If it`s aged you can plant with it, if not it will probably burn your seedlings.

I usually spread mine in January/February but there`s no hard and fast rule, but it`s best to get it down so the worms can drag it down to root level, don`t dig it in, just spread on top, same for compost.

 

I was going to suggest a couple more beds but you`ve done it any way, top job :yep:

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Cheers mate, Manure is two years old they said (free if I bag it £1 a bag if they bag it) was thinking of getting one of them bins until I can get may hands on the allotment plot hoping and praying it will be some time late winter, If so I am going to build something similar to what you have done that looks just the ticket mate.

 

Cheers  

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A small tip for your peas,If you can find a peice of old guttering cut it to the length of your row fill with mud and sow into that,no need for drainage holes,just a peice of gaffer tape on each end to stop the compost washing out.When ready to plant out trowl a trench the same length width and depth as the gutter and slide the lot carefully out as one into the trench,firm down,water in,job done.Its a lot quicker than messing about with individual plants sown in trays,also Beans prefer a deeper container try root trainers or bog roll tubes(free).

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Respect to all your efforts my friend, good job. Ratdog has given the best advice... he learned from me lol.. My advice would be get the horse muck on the top of those beds NOW pile as much as you can even " dome " it up on the top cause you will see it break down.

You could plant some stuff now but use one bed, grow the Chinese winter greens Pack choy and stuff. Bit of plastic over the top.

Then you got to work out what to grow, you have to think about vertical and ground plants and also what plants are worth more to grow, just my opinion that.

I would have a look at some of the heritage varieties you may have to pay a pound to join the club, but you can grow peas that are 6 foot tall.

 

Good luck

JOM

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Popped into Wilko's today all seed on offer all the "own" 10p a pack all others 30p per pack so bought a few, might not use them but there is a few in there that will get used.large_rb20.jpg

 

Also ordered my new greenhouse 8ft x 6ft it will be here on the 4th of next month apart from some Peppers , Chillies , Cucumber and the bedding plants for the front garden (hers) don't really have a plan yet so all suggestions welcome (apart from strawberry's no strawberry's)

large_rb19.jpg   

 

On a good note all the fencing is done at last 50m in all front, back and drive, got son in law coming to do the framing for the outside carport type thing tomorrow so hoping by weekend I will have a outside undercover working area but time is running out back to work next week I think witch will be a massive shock after 18 months off.lol

 

cheers

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Greenhouse arrived last week and is finally up !! what a pain in the arse cutting all the bead to size. As you will see from the pic's below there is sill the floor to fit in it, I am hoping to get that done tomorrow managed to some 18mm ply as a favour for free. Planning on getting another mate to come and cover it in Commercial Grade Rubber 8mm so the floor will be watertight and easy to clean may even put a drain hole in there (was going to tile it but this is way cheaper) Glad after tomorrow all the big building work is done until I renew all the decking in the spring as I have even managed to get the outside canopy built

 

Also have bought two of Charles Dowding's books How to grow winter vegetables and Veg journal mainly just for reference saves me having to be at the laptop for information and I much rather have paper then a screen to read from.   

 

large_rb21.jpglarge_rb22.jpglarge_rb23.jpglarge_rb24.jpg 

 

On a growing note the Elephant garlic has just shown it's head this week (well happy about that) the douce provence peas as you can see from the pic are about 6" high think I planted them too soon but if they fail I will plant more in the spring (going to cover them with fleece in next 10 days or so) I also have some onions in and will post a few pic's next week some time when I get time.

 

cheers

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Hi mate, top work so far. You're handy with your tools. :yep:  All you need now is some curves lol  only joking, the plants will soon add some funk to your garden.

 

I've just aquired a bit of land. The area out the front is crying out for raised beds, so i'll keep an eye on what your upto if you dont mind. Like people have said, get some shite in there.

 

Those plank's aren't overkill, they will last for years. Much better than having to replace crappy boards and planks.

 

I reckon you'll soon fill that greenhouse.  Maybe a cold frame off the side will give you extra room for seedlings, and overwintering stuff :yep:

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Looking awesome there Polo, I would love to have a greenhouse like that.

 

as for the peas, I had some self sow one year before the snow (2006/7) and they were only 4-6 inches tall and survived quite happily under 6" of snow for a week and grew out fine.

 

 

Edited by ratdog
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Last few building pic's hopefully for the next 3 months anyway (I am going to build 1 more small box fancy a plumb tree!) managed to get the first fix of the floor in today had to patch it but it was free so cant complain and there will be either rubber or tiles to go on top. Never knew I had so many pots and stuff. The plants you can see in the tray are Lupins for my front garden for next year sick of paying £4 a pop for them.

large_rb25.jpglarge_rb26.jpg 

 

The canopy is cos my shed is only 7ft x 7ft so it gives me more space to work outside if I need to when the weather is bad and I can store wood and stuff under it I don't want soaking, Just need to get a sparky to get some permeant power into the shed and a double outside socket put in.

 

Will post some pic's of what I have growing over winter in some of the boxes next week., Need to spend some time reading Charles's books and get to grips with what and when to start sowing things.

 

Big thanks for all the replies I do try and take on board the advice given. Any on what type of heater would suit ? was looking at a paraffin burner but not sure about fumes.

Hopefully before winters out I get a email about the allotment but not hold out too much hope.

 

cheers   

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