Suggestions for growing vegetables

Hello my gardening friends!

I planted a number of seeds back in April to grow Shallots, Beets, Carrots, Onions and turnips.  I life in Fife, Scotland and much to my disappointment hardly anything has grown.  There are a few small signs of carrots coming through, but nothing else.  Does anyone have any tips and suggestions of how to get vegetables growing? 

I put the seeds in a bed we have had covered up for 4 years to stop the weeds taking over and until I had a bit more time to attend to growing vegetables.  Could this be part of the problem?  We didn't do anything with the ground, apart from cut a small trench to sow the seeds. I later had the bright idea to put some ashes on top of the soil because I heard somewhere that this was suppose to be good for vegetables?!  Should I have dug over the soil, mixed the ash in with it along with some manure before sowing the seeds?  The earth where these seeds have been planted is rock hard, even after watering every evening because it has been unusually dry here!

I would be grateful for any advice as to what works well for you.  I'm not looking to get award winning vegetables out of it, I would just like to learn how to grown a good harvest for our family to enjoy!

I put some onion seeds in a pot and it is growing really nicely!  The difference here is I used seedling soil.  I hope I haven't killed it by putting it in a larger terracotta pot with dill and kale.

Best wishes,
Peggy

Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,014
    My veg seeds have struggled this year too Peggy.
    I've sown over 100 dwarf French beans and only got 4 plants so far.
    Soon as my carrots and spring onions germinated the slugs nibbled the tops off, so I'm on my 3rd sowing of them, and reluctantly using pellets this time.
    Kale has been good and plenty of lettuce - I started both in pots and planted out when big enough. Runner beans are doing well.
    Spinach/chard and beetroot are doing ok - just
    We've had next to no rain here for the last couple of months so it's all struggling this year.
    Wood ash is best stored for 6-12 months before using - I've no idea where I learned this but it was a very long time ago, so possibly a myth.
    I always water the drill thoroughly before sowing.

    If possible, water first thing in the morning. Watering in the evening is good, but it makes it nice and damp for the slugs/snails so they can dine on your plants while you're sleeping
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Peggy7Peggy7 Posts: 34
    Hi Pete,

    Thank you very much for the advice.  The thought had occurred to me when watering one evening!

    Do you do anything special to the soil, apart from watering the drill before sowing?  I thought my soil might be starving for nutrients?!

    I bought a trough at the garden centre because last year the slugs decided to dine on my kale and broccoli.  I've kept this indoors and have noticed the colour to these two plants is a very pale green.  Yet the kale I am growing outside in a pot is a beautiful purple!  Why is this?  Yet the lettuce is really loving it in there!  Growing vegetables is like a science in itself!  So fascinating!  

    Best wishes,
    Peggy
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,014
    I dig the soil over roughly when the plot is clear in the autumn and apply rotted manure - about 3-4" except where I'll (try) and grow carrots as the manure will cause them for fork.
    When I'm ready to sow in Spring I use an electric tiller I've had 30yrs to get a fine tilth, I throw over a few handfuls of seaweed meal  then make the drill with my finger, give it a good soak, then sow the seed and lightly cover and gently pat the surface.

    Your Kale and broccoli is yellowing as it's probably running low on some nutrients (you could use miracle-grow as a fertilizer) and possibly not getting enough good sun. Is there enough room for the roots in your though? they'd be better outdoors this time of year.
    They're really tough plants and once they're a decent size a little nibble here and there is of no concern

    Good luck
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Peggy7Peggy7 Posts: 34
    Hi Pete,

    My goodness, it sounds like you have preparing your veggie beds to a fine art!  I will try this next year!  

    Thanks for the tips about my veg in the trough.  They are in a relatively sunny spot, but could do with moving to somewhere that has complete direct sunlight and an added nutrient boost!

    Best wishes,
    Peggy
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