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Where do I start?!

Hiya.  My husband and I have recently bought our first house (yay!) and growing my own fruit and veg has always been something that I've been interested in but I just have no idea where to start?!  :#

Are there certain fruits/veg that are easier than others to grow? Are there any good books you recommend reading before I start? Are there certain things I should be aware of before starting?

Our veggie patch is roughly 1.5x3m, so it's not big - but then I've always been under the impression to start small with the view to expand if things go well!

Thanks for your time,
Emma 
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  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,582
    Welcome to the forum @emmajane.cook ! First thing, and it might seem obvious, is to grow things that you want to eat. Sometimes people get carried away and grow stuff that they decide they don't like and end up with loads of it. Is your patch in a very sunny spot, or does it get some shade?
    With regards to a good book, l would recommend Carol Klein's Grow your own vegetables.
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    Welcome @emmajane.cook. A good book is always handy but I have never found one that fits the situation all the time, if you have access to a library its a good place to browse and see which author is in tune with your type of gardening.

    Biggest thing when deciding what to grow is what you want to eat. Different people have different reasons for growing stuff and it almost never has to do with price but if you grow it and like eating it I promise you'll be hooked  :)

    Wonderful people on this forum with so much information and very generous sharing it but it would help to know what state your dirt is at present. Is it an open site, sheltered, raised beds?

    This time of year its all about next growing season so preparing the ground is a good start. Have fun 
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    snap @AnniD :)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • emmajane.cookemmajane.cook Posts: 4
    edited August 2018
    Thank you @AnniD and @herbaceous ! Here is a photo of our patch:



    It does get more sun than shade as our garden is North facing.  Like I said, it's not very big!  I haven't tested the pH of the soil yet, but the soil is quite stony - I've spent the majority of this morning/afternoon shovelling and raking and chucking the stones out the way.  The previous owners used this area as a rockery (hence the large amounts of rock at the far end!), so it's taken me a while to get rid of the roots - and the old bathtub, but we don't need to go there...

    Emma
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,037
    Get the Dr Hessayon book on growing veg. It is cheap and covers all the basics for a beginner. It is one of the 'expert' series. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,582
    Great minds think alike @herbaceous ! This is probably a good time of year to the prep ready for next year as herbaceous says. Off the top of my head, the only thing l can think of to overwinter is garlic (but that's because l love it). Whereabouts are you Emma, as this will also have a bearing on your growing season ?
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,881
    hogweed said:
    Get the Dr Hessayon book on growing veg. It is cheap and covers all the basics for a beginner. It is one of the 'expert' series. 
    I’d go with that one as well, good old fashioned learning.
    one thing to remember is how many of anything you will eat, no one can eat 100 lettuce in a week, so the secret is to sow a few each week, then you don’t get stuck with a load for the compost heap. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,052
    I only grow what is eaten from Spring. That includes Tomatoes, Early Potatoes, Radishes, Runner Beans, Parsley, Salad Lettuce and Strawberries.

    I don't grow anything that might give me a headache or a worry such as blight, so I doubt I would survive a Winter. Thank goodness for Grocers. 
    SW Scotland
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 576
    edited August 2018
    Strawberries are dead easy, they come in early mid season and late and "ever bearing" mix up varieties for a longer crop. Raspberries are good too but they can send out runners that could take over the whole bed. Tomatoes re also easy to grow, if you keep them watered. 
    There are lots more of course but these are useful starters
    Congrats on the house
  • Thanks for the recommendations for that book, I will look out for it! I am in Bath @AnniD, where abouts are you all from? I'm quite excited to start growing properly - I had a teeny go this year (we had heaps of strawberries, but no blueberries).  Some friends of ours in Oxford came to visit us and they are avid gardeners.  They spent the whole time thinking we were completely stupid because I was very much into the "just chuck it in and hope for the best" theory - we had a few broad beans but that was about it.  We decided to go to the Lake District for a week, so when we got back everything was dead (because of that beautiful sunshine!)

    Emma.
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