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Thread: New Grower here

  1. #1
    mrsnesbitt's Avatar
    mrsnesbitt is offline Germinator
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    Default New Grower here

    We are fortunate in having a large paddock. I want to start growing my own butdont want to bite off more than I can chew...any advice gratefully received.
    D

  2. #2
    dni_dave's Avatar
    dni_dave is offline Seedling
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    Default Blank canvas

    welcome to the 'vine mrsnesbitt

    the best advice to start from is to read the previous posts in this section as they contain a lot of useful information. You'll see advice from people all across the country so can chose what suits your area. There are lots of posts on weather/climate that will be useful. You'll have to determine on how exposed your site is going to be as one of the biggest enemies is wind. Protecting from that is a good start.

    How big an area you want to tackle will depend on what you want to grow and how many you want to feed. Some people on the vine have large allotments, while others harvest only their front gardens.

    There are a lot of very helpful people on the forum who will be more than helpful but you may have to be a bit more specific to get the best advice. There is no doubt though that this is one of the best places to come to ask questions though.

    Spend some time planning before you dig, but whatever you do you'll wish you had done something different. Get something easy in the ground (see other posts) to get the interest going. Then you'll be hooked as we all were.

    Good luck with the plot, hope it all goes well and you get as much out of it as we did this year (our first!!).

    dni_dave

  3. #3
    andrewo's Avatar
    andrewo is offline Cropper
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    Default Split it up

    I would advise do what you can and do it slowly, let the rest go fallow. As long as the beds are no wider the 3' (this will help if you choose the no dig method and you will never have to step on them). Create four beds and a rhubard patch, just dig up the turf and get going. You can use a large part of the paddock at an orchard (even graze sheep there) and fruit bushes, suggest that you do that first at this is the right time of year.

    In simplest terms, get a piece a paper, draw out your plan and do it bit by bit (heck if it's big enough keep chickens as well). All I can say is that I am green with jealousy that you have a large paddock...oh what I wouldn't give.

    If you need any help, do let me know the dimensions of the paddock. Orientation and whether it is flat or on a slope.

    Andrewo

  4. #4
    mrsnesbitt's Avatar
    mrsnesbitt is offline Germinator
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    Default

    Thanks ever so much for the comments above. Yes Andy we are very lucky...it is an ex-police house we live in. We have a goose on the paddock to keep the grass down. In the past we have kept chickens as well as ducks, but sadly our rescued german shepherd has voices in her head which tell her that such creatures are evil and must be destroyed so for the time being there will be no more. I have so much to do...there are other flower beds which need sorting too. I wondered about having an alium bed where i would grow onions, shallots, garlic etc as well as the flower variety????

  5. #5
    Looloobowers's Avatar
    Looloobowers is offline Seedling
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    Default Baby Steps

    Hi mrsnesbitt and welcome,

    My sister and I have just taken on our second allotment which is just grass. Like you it seems huge and maybe bigger than we can cope with. As we both have health issues we decided that everything would be done in baby steps i.e. a little at a time. We do not put ourselves under pressure we just dig a bit and plant a bit and so on. 3 years later we take on our second. Just dont plan too much too soon as this puts on the pressure and the last thing you want in a garden is stress. Take it slow and enjoy what you achieve. All the help in the world (apart from labour) is right here where you are.

    All the best
    Looloo

  6. #6
    andrewo's Avatar
    andrewo is offline Cropper
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    Default Aliums

    Flowering kind are best in a herb patch, four reasons:
    (1) They are unlike the common chive and won't be eaten
    (2) The bottom foliage dies back early as all the nutrients are put into the flower and this can look unsightly, but if you plant it near oregano it will cover this up.
    (3) Crop rotation, flowering aliums don't like being moved and you will have to do this if you grow with onions and shallots to prevent disease and cross contamination between species.
    (4) Watering, onions need alot of water and this may rot the ornamental variety who do not need lots of water.
    My advice is to grow ornamental with herbs or perennial flowers and to grow annuals with crops, such as parsley or cerinthe, which is beautful flower or cosmos or look at companion planting - lots of fun.

    Where is your paddock situated? North, South? Is it on a slope? Is the soil clay or chalk? All factors. Let me know and good luck.

    Andrewo

  7. #7
    Jaxom's Avatar
    Jaxom is offline Cropper
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    Default Think from the plate backwards

    For me this year will be my first with a proper vegetable raised bed to grow vegetables in. I only have a small garden so space is limited.
    Just because you have a big plot does not mean that you want tons of vegetables to grow unless you do intend to have your own stall at a growers market
    How much cabage does your family eat each week? will you need more than one head a week? The same question could be asked about each vegetable you wish to grow. When you have worked out what you want to eat and how much then you will know how much earth to dig over.
    A patch of earth measuring one foot x one foot will grow 16 full size carrots or 16 raddish. the same area could also grow four full size lettice or 16 cut and come again type leaf crops. Conversly the same area will only support one cabage.
    Some areas of the plot will be able to grow a number of different types of vegetables in one year if you rotate and use catch crops in spaces that are not full, early in the year but have the later crop slowly growing in the same area.
    The best thing to do is read as much information as you can find. There is a thread called recomended books that we started earlier in the year. perhaps some of these recomendations could be of help.
    While it is cold, sit by the fire and read, dream and plan your plot.
    Good Luck
    Jax

  8. #8
    WiZeR is offline Tuber
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    NW Kent
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    Default

    hi MRsN, I can't offer you much advice as I am just starting out myself. But I wish you all the luck and hope to hear all about your new plot.

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