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This may sound silly...

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I am new to gardening generally (only one year so far) and allotmenting in particular (new this year!), and I am currently suffering from a severe lack of confidence.

I really want to grow lots of veggies from the plot, and I am really keen to make it very productive and what not, but I am really concerned that nothing is going to grow. :(

It doesn't help that everyone who has ever eaten a vegetable, let alone grown one, is offering advice from every quarter. :o  I am so overwhelmed.... and I don't know what advice to take and what to ignore.

Has anyone else felt like this?  ??? Which advice do you take? :-/

Thanks in advance

Oh constantly overwhelmed! I try to take on board as much advice as a. I can remember, and b. I can be bothered to do. (Some things sound far too time consuming/complicated/expensive!)

I've also done a lot of experimenting - so I use all (or as much as I can) of the advice, keeps records of what I did and then see which did best. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and you'll find yours in a few years!

Keep it simple for your first year. Consider growing a selection of veg rather than everything all at once. You may find it easier to keep tabs on how things are if you've only got four or five types of veg growing. By the next year, you'll have learnt a lot and will feel confident to progress.

I used to keep a small diary, noting down when I sowed seed into the ground (& the weather at the time), the time of sowing, when I transplanted new plants, when I harvested and any problems you encountered (diseases, pests, etc). As the growing year drew to a close I looked back on my notes and found I could remedy some mistakes for next year. It's not suitable for everyone, but it may be worth a go. You don't need masses of notes, just something like: 'March - weather mild for two weeks, sowed and transplanted A, B and C, ground seemed to be warming up.'

Advice is important, naturally, but you'll learn from your mistakes too. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and everyone starts somewhere :) You'll also find within a short space of time that you may do things differently to other people. If you're happy with the results, then why not?

My first year of allotment gardening was a mixed bag. Cabbages, carrots and salad crops were fine, but the potatoes, leeks and onions were a bit disappointing.

Whatever you do, don't give up or say that you can't 'grow' anything. Just persevere, read about the veg, fruit & flowers you want to grow, talk to people and, as aquilegia says, you'll be wondering what all the fuss is about in a couple of years!

The very best of luck to you :)

Always overwhelmed! A lot of my planning goes awry, and I am hopeless at keeping records :-)
I take all advice, then do what feels right for me!! We all get disasters, but it is part of the great learning curve of life!!
Veges are remarkably resilient things, and you will be amazed when they grow having done nothing much except bung some seeds in the ground! (seedlings from your local garden center are a good option too, as you can see where they are going!)
I would advise getting a good basic Veg growing book, you can't go too far wrong if you follow it in your first year, then make amendments the 2nd! The great thing about gardening is you are always learning, and changing ideas,
Good luck, and enjoy your (i'm sure) bountiful harvest :-) Dottie P.

Mrs Ava:
Not silly at all.  People are always keen to pass on advise, we all feel that we wanna help.  I had the same thing when I had my daughter - she was quite poorly from birth and we were absolutely bombarded with advice, then something Ava's auntie said struck a cord and we have stuck by it ever since.  You listen to the advice, learn what you can, but at the end of the day, you are in charge so you do what suits you.

As everyone before me has said, you will learn by your mistakes, hell, we all make mistakes, you can't tell me the God Monty Don doesn't thingy up on a regular basis, but that is how we all learn.  Grow what you like to eat, don't bother growing anything that noone likes - sounds obvious, but people still do it.  Like Doris, I am cr*p at keeping notes, but this will be my first full growing year on my own lottie so I have taken lots of notes and photos and will try (I did say try) to note down what grows well and what doesn't so I can avoid those next year.  There are lots and lots of veggie and gardening books out there, browse until you find one that suits your way of reading and learning.  Right, bored you rigid now, so I shall say, good luck, happy digging, just enjoy it - that is the most important, it is not a chore, it is meant to be fun, and I am over the moon if from all of my strawb plants I only get to pick one fruit - actually, I don't get to pick the fruit, my daughter scoffs it before I get a look in.   ;D


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