Author Topic: This may sound silly...  (Read 10580 times)

crickett1234

  • Not So New ...
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Someone born in a Tuxedo, just has to have class!
This may sound silly...
« on: February 23, 2004, 13:14:16 »
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
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Kind Regards,

Clare Rickett

Allotments 4 All

This may sound silly...
« on: February 23, 2004, 13:14:16 »

aquilegia

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,590
  • hello!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2004, 13:18:20 »
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!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
gone to pot :D

Sulis

  • Not So New ...
  • *
  • Posts: 19
  • 'Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2004, 14:21:09 »
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 :)

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Doris_Pinks

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,430
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2004, 14:26:24 »
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.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
We don't inherit the earth, we only borrow it from our children.
Blog: http://www.nonsuchgardening.blogspot.com/

Mrs Ava

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,743
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2004, 14:48:39 »
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
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

crickett1234

  • Not So New ...
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Someone born in a Tuxedo, just has to have class!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2004, 15:36:25 »
Thanks guys.   :)

I am pleased that I am not the only person to have suffered a glut of gardening advice!  

Thanks for your sage advice re gardening books too.  I do have a couple which I like already.  I am going to plant the seeds I have bought and will try and get them to germinate and start growing!

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Kind Regards,

Clare Rickett

aquilegia

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,590
  • hello!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2004, 15:58:52 »
Just being nosey here - what seeds do you have?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
gone to pot :D

crickett1234

  • Not So New ...
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Someone born in a Tuxedo, just has to have class!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2004, 16:16:32 »
Are you ready for this...? :o ;) :)

White beetroot, pink beetroot, round courgettes, gold courgettes, normal courgettes, purple beans, golden beans, red tomatoes, green grape tomatoes, black russian tomatoes, peas, sweetcorn, potatoes, carrots, squash, mini pumpkin, spinach, purple brussels, broccoli, three types of lettuce, celeriac, parsnips, turnips.... and some more, but I can't think of what!!

Okay, okay, I went hogwild when looking at a seed catalogue!!!  I don't think realistically I will be able to plant and grow all of this.... but I will have a darned good try!!

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Kind Regards,

Clare Rickett

aquilegia

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,590
  • hello!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2004, 16:28:04 »
:o good gawd. You're growing more than me and I thought I was growing a lot this (my third) year!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
gone to pot :D

crickett1234

  • Not So New ...
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Someone born in a Tuxedo, just has to have class!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2004, 17:10:15 »
Errrr.  Yeah!  However, I am not going to grow all of it at once, and I will not sow all the seeds at the same time.  I am trying to be as sensible as I can be.... after going a wee bit crazy! ;D

This is one of my biggest failings.  I go crazy and then when I step back I realise that I had gone way overboard and bit off more than I can chew!!  Oh dear!
Still, all that planting and stuff will keep me out of mischief won't it!! :)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Kind Regards,

Clare Rickett

Tenuse

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 459
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2004, 17:26:59 »
Keep the ones you don't get round to in the fridge, it will keep them from deteriorating quite so fast (except for parsnips and peas I think you have to buy fresh seed for these).

If it is any consolation my fridge is heaving with seeds, my cellar heaving with sets, my ears ringing with contradictory advice and my allotment - well my allotment is just full of weeds!

Ten x
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Young, dumb and full of come hither looks.

crickett1234

  • Not So New ...
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Someone born in a Tuxedo, just has to have class!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2004, 17:33:11 »
:) :) :) :) :)

Thanks Ten!  That makes me feel a lot better actually!

Next week I have a week off between jobs (end of a temporary one and beginning of a permanent one - hopefully!  Need to sort out the contract and the exact start date and so on!).  I am hoping that I will be able to go out to the allotment everyday, regardless of the weather and have a go at the plot.  The way I have planned it, I should be able to do two or three beds each day, and still get home in time to get the house looking spiffing and a meal on the table for hubby.  (Feminists, fear not!  He only gets that kind of treatment when I am not at work!  If I am at work then he fends for himself!!)

8)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Kind Regards,

Clare Rickett

The gardener

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 378
  • In gardening-Effort in generally equals effort out
    • The Gardeners Almanac
Re: This may sound silly...on my website
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2004, 18:07:53 »
We have all been there cricket so don't worry too much it is surprising how resilient plants can be.

A few of the members have advised you to keep notes I wholeheartedly agree with this, so much so I put all my notes on my website for all to share .

So if it is a week by week programme you want you could look in there.

My sowing dates will be similar to yours considering I garden just a little north of you in Yorkshire.

« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:02 by -1 »


The Gardener

aquilegia

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,590
  • hello!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2004, 18:09:49 »
Clare - what is it they say about aiming for the stars? With all that lot, you should be able to get at least a decent crop off most of it, if not all! I've always found with gardening that enthusiasm makes up a lot for what I lack in knowledge and it sounds like you're goign the same way.

Don't worry about the timings - they will need sowing, potting up, planting out, etc at different times anyway. If they all say to sow at similar times on the packet, just pick a few different veg to sow that week/day. (At least that's what I've done!)

I'm growing (well, you know, hopefully!) five different tomatoes, five different potatoes, peppers, courgettes, runner beans, broad beans, sweetcorn, parsnip, carrots, leeks, garlic, fennel, radishes, herbs, strawberries, apples, and probably something else I've forgotten. Plus some lettuce, when I find the right seeds. We'll have to compare notes at the end of the season!
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
gone to pot :D

tim

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,607
  • Just like the old days!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2004, 18:37:03 »
The one thing about these boards, surely, is that you get a wide variety of views - whereas, in most books - you get only the author's .

Then, when 2 or more people on the board agree, you are close to getting a workable idea?

No one method is the 'right-for-everyone-one. = Tim
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Ceri

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 680
  • I love Allotments 4 All
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2004, 18:38:43 »
seed catalogues are gardener's porn!  Some of us just can't get enough (seed catalogues that is!)

The lottie holder next to mine has had a lottie since he was 10!  His only 3 bits of advice -

1. do a little, and often.  
2. get one bit right before you move on.  And
3. Seeds want to grow, they are programmed to grow, you are just helping the process a bit.
(He is last year's leek show winner, with four plots, racing pigeons, chickens and registered blind bloke I've mentioned before)
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

tim

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,607
  • Just like the old days!
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2004, 19:49:07 »
Nice one! = Tim
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

ina

  • Hectare
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,945
    • My Homepage
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2004, 20:40:11 »
Keeping notes! I never have, tried to and forgot again. What I do have and regard as my lottie bible is an address book.

Yes, you read correctly, an address book and when I learned something about carrots for example I write it under C for carrots. Things like time to sow, manure or fertilize or not, what are good companion plants, can the thinned out seedlings be transplanted (no for carrots) and anything that might be useful for a particular crop.

I keep the book in my 'lottie bag' so I always have it with me in the lottie for a quick reference and at home for when I read something useful on this board or found on internet. For me this works very, very well.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

Tenuse

  • Acre
  • ****
  • Posts: 459
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2004, 01:07:57 »
Good idea Ina! I have something similar that I made this winter, lots of A5 pages with the week of the year (1 - 52) at the top, a section for "things to do" and a section for "jobs done". Like a perpetual diary. Then some blank pages at the back to make notes about particular things e.g. a page for each apple tree. Made me feel better when I could not go out and dig this winter!

Crickett if you are like me you think "oh it will only take a few hours and I'll have done 2 or 3 beds", if your allotment is anything like mine it takes a few hours to do 2 or 3 FEET!!!

Ten x
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »
Young, dumb and full of come hither looks.

Hugh_Jones

  • Guest
Re: This may sound silly...
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2004, 02:28:33 »
But Tenuse, why bother with all that paper (which usually gets dog eared or lost) when you have a computer?  All you need is a separate page on Notepad for each plant or variety and you can log everything, from which bed (for rotation), soil treatment, sowing date, crop returns, whose seeds you used, what date you pruned your gooseberries, or whatever, and simply stuff them all in a folder called Garden
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 by 1077926400 »

 

anything