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  • Thanks to everyone for the advice.

    I'm attempting to chit garlic (having never chit anything in my life). They were from the supermarket but I've only realised that they're from China. Should I chuck away or continue? Mixed interpretations about whether they're okay to grow or not.

    Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
    I wouldn't bother with aubergines/eggplant and okra outdoors. They're difficult enough in a GH.
    Wife loves them hence an attempt. I'll skip them out.

    Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
    Don't know whether you mean summer heading broccoli (calabrese) or sprouting broccoli that's picked early in the year. Both are large plants - especially the sprouting ones.
    Choose your varieties of all veg carefully if you're growing in a small space/square foot.
    Thinking Calabrese. They normally end up in stirfry anyway.

    Originally posted by Jungle Jane View Post
    I don't think you're trying to do to much,it's quite easy sowing the seeds & planting out,planning takes longer.
    Yeah I've been planning for a while and reckon I'll still be at it by the start of the new year! I'm slowly making my own notes on what to do and when for what things.

    Originally posted by lolie View Post
    Grow what you eat. Not everything will work out but you can't predict in advance what particular gardening problems are going to pop up in any given year. You don't want to end up with a bumper crop of stuff you don't really use.
    I've tried to base it on what will get eaten (based on what we buy from the supermarket!).

    Originally posted by lolie View Post
    One thing I didn't think about when I first started was how much single plants produce on average. And that information wasn't in any of the gardening guides.
    I do find it surprising how varied the amount of info there is. Sometimes it feels like if I just pop some seeds in the ground and wait, everything will come out fine. Whereas I know it's not this easy.

    I didn't know that the variety of watermelon I was planning on growing only produces a 2-3 fruit per vine and had I not found that out I would have thought I'd had a poor result. The first year I grew zucchini/courgettes, I had pollination problems and only ended up getting a few fruit per plant instead of a dozen or more. I was disappointed in my sprouting broccoli harvest but later found out it was entirely normal and I should have planted a lot more given the amount I use (I'm only growing broccoli as microgreens this year because I have some seed left).[/QUOTE]

    Originally posted by Lumpy View Post
    You are doing really well MB. I agree with VC and choose your varieties carefully. Also, I would recommend looking at alternatives for things such as 'normal' calabrese etc. Some of the oriental stuff is very similar except it tends to grow quicker and in many cases are smaller plants (height wise).
    Thanks, and thank you for the tip on oriental calabrese - we normally use it in stirfries so this would go down well.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by monkeyboy View Post

      I do find it surprising how varied the amount of info there is. Sometimes it feels like if I just pop some seeds in the ground and wait, everything will come out fine. Whereas I know it's not this easy.
      Sometimes it is (almost) that easy. That's what makes the years when nothing turns out right so frustrating - you can do exactly the same thing but get different results from one season to the next, depending on what random things mother nature decides to throw your way.

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      • I've had another think. I'm still struggling with layout and what should go with what but I've re-read the past few pages and I've come up with this:



        I'm gonna go for smaller aubergines and courgettes. I've already planted the garlic in column six, bed 1. The other garlic will be chitted and planted in a few weeks. I've tried to lump together the brassicas but don't know if radishes will sit well there.

        Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

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        • Don't overthink it! Decide what you want to grow, find out how many to plant per square and bung 'em in to whatever square is convenient. That's what i did when I SFG'd. (I don't now as I found a square was too restrictive and moved towards 2' squares without a grid).

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          • Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
            Don't overthink it!
            Thanks but very hard for me to do. Part of the reason I want to plan is so that I can create an idiot-proof calendar for me to follow eg what am I doing today/this week? It avoids the entire "when did I do xyz? So when should I do abc?".

            Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
            (I don't now as I found a square was too restrictive and moved towards 2' squares without a grid).
            Before I even knew about SFG, I was considering growing 2-3 veg per bed. The reason I'm chosing SFG is to get an idea of how to grow different things, learn about them, about what works and doesn't work, and to maximise success rates (I don't expect everything to fail though I know it's a possibility).

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            • Originally posted by monkeyboy View Post
              Thanks but very hard for me to do. Part of the reason I want to plan is so that I can create an idiot-proof calendar for me to follow eg what am I doing today/this week? It avoids the entire "when did I do xyz? So when should I do abc?".
              You can't really create an idiot-proof calendar at planting time. Mother nature doesn't give a toss about averages, so some of your plants are going to grow faster than average and some will grow slower. When you'll need to do most stuff will be determined by looking at your plants rather than the calendar.

              One thing which is worth doing mostly by the calendar is amending your soil. Although the SFG theory is that you plant into perfect soil and amend it after harvest and before reusing the square, few of us use perfect soil. I quickly lose track of when I last fertilised so I need to start writing it down.

              First year out, I'd definitely write down any pests/diseases which cause problems. Even though these can vary from one year to the next, your own specific area will be more prone to some than others and it's helpful to start each planting season with whatever you need to combat them already on hand so you can act ASAP (some can destroy a crop in a day).

              Comment


              • Can I join in the fun? Iíve got a new fruit and veg garden and Iím using the SFG method. Hereís my current plan, subject to some tweaks (maybe swapping the parsnips and chard around):

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                Iím just using a spreadsheet (Numbers on my Mac and iPad) to track what needs growing when. I tried a few apps but found them all a bit of a faff. My plan looks a bit like this, if anyone wants to copy the format:

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                The colour coding helps me see what needs sowing when, indoors or outdoors, and when to harvest. Itís not an exact science but it gives me a good idea of what will be in each square when and when there will be some space for intercropping and succession planting.

                Of course itís early days as thereís not much to plant yet. Iíve got my strawberry bare roots in and have planted out my garlic (Messidrome) and have three different onion sets and some broad bean (aquadulce claudia) seeds to sow this weekend.

                Iím not using ďmelís mixĒ. I first heard about SFG on the QuickCrop website which is where I bought my beds and soil mix. Itís a 50/50 mix of sandy screened topsoil and a good compost. It seems pretty well draining. Because it settled in the beds I topped each bed off with a bag of Miracle Gro vegetable compost and Iím using blood fish and bone as a general purpose slow release fertiliser for anything that needs it.

                Iíll add a few scoops of good quality compost to each square whenever I replant. Iím tempted by the Enivirogrind compost that QuickCrop sell, remains to be seen if itís worth the price (£12 for a 60l bag - twice the price of most composts).

                The first year for me is about experimenting and seeing what works and what doesnít. Iíve had some success with chilli growing so Iím hoping I will get good results outside with the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers if I choose a good variety. Iíd planned to add trellis to the front of the beds to support the tomatoes and cukes but Iím now thinking a thick bamboo cane would be simpler.

                Iím looking forward to seeing how it all goes and buying seeds early next year. Iíd love to hear which varieties people have had success with using the tighter spacing of SFG. Iíve chosen Flamenco strawberries as Iíve heard everbearing varieties work better in a tight space.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by TheCyclingProgrammer View Post
                  Can I join in the fun? I’ve got a new fruit and veg garden and I’m using the SFG method. Here’s my current plan, subject to some tweaks (maybe swapping the parsnips and chard around):

                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]77420[/ATTACH]

                  I’m just using a spreadsheet (Numbers on my Mac and iPad) to track what needs growing when. I tried a few apps but found them all a bit of a faff. My plan looks a bit like this, if anyone wants to copy the format:

                  [ATTACH=CONFIG]77421[/ATTACH]

                  The colour coding helps me see what needs sowing when, indoors or outdoors, and when to harvest. It’s not an exact science but it gives me a good idea of what will be in each square when and when there will be some space for intercropping and succession planting.
                  I think one of the keys to being happy with SFG is being willing to pull plants when they're starting to wane and before they're fully spent. You want as much of your patch at peak production as possible at any given time.

                  Making sure that there's always something ready to go in the ground whenever you pull something also helps.

                  Varieties don't matter a whole lot with some stuff, but they matter with things like cabbage and cauliflower - even the dwarf varieties take up a lot of space so you need to ask yourself whether it's worth tying up a square for a prolonged period of time for not much payoff.

                  The best type of support will depend on what type of tomato you're growing. A determinate which produces large fruit will require something fairly heavy duty. I find that my pepper plants grow to over a metre tall and that I need to give them some support as well.

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                  • Originally posted by TheCyclingProgrammer View Post
                    Can I join in the fun?
                    I recognise that username from MSE!

                    Originally posted by TheCyclingProgrammer View Post
                    The colour coding helps me see what needs sowing when, indoors or outdoors, and when to harvest.
                    Love the chart idea and it's much better than my plan of marking calendars.

                    Comment


                    • Well the onions seem to be doing okay. I planted one square with little gem lettuce and added a plastic cloche.

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                      • I've got a 12in square planter that has had a pound shop solid trellis (cut down a bit as it was too wide) then stapled some old pea netting on it.

                        I'll be growing my purple mange tout up both sides - across the corners diagonally and be able to move them around if needs be.

                        SFG also applies to pots in my garden.
                        Last edited by Lumpy; 05-04-2018, 11:56 AM.
                        I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison

                        Outreach co-ordinator for the Gnome, Pixie and Fairy groups within the Nutters Club.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Lumpy View Post
                          I'll be growing my purple mange tout up both sides - across the corners diagonally and be able to move them around if needs be.
                          I've got some mangetout that I put in seedling pots to start growing before transplanting them out. Hadn't thought that far ahead about pea netting or support. Great idea.

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                          • Here you go MB - this is what I've done.
                            As I've lost one of my wall baskets (the one thats left is up for my sugar snaps) I've had to rething again my tiny and, yes I mean tiny growing space.
                            If it works great if not Hey Ho!

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                            Last edited by Lumpy; 05-04-2018, 02:55 PM.
                            I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Thomas A. Edison

                            Outreach co-ordinator for the Gnome, Pixie and Fairy groups within the Nutters Club.

                            Comment


                            • My mangetout has germinated and growing well. Probably a bit too early to transplant outdoors.

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                              • Originally posted by monkeyboy View Post
                                Well the onions seem to be doing okay. I planted one square with little gem lettuce and added a plastic cloche.
                                I have no idea if my onions are doing ok. Foliage looks healthy, but the sets still seem quite small and loose in the soil. Is this normal? When do they start to swell and grow?

                                Comment

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