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Vegetable plot ideas

Hi all,

We have some disused space at the back of our garden that I'd like to turn into a vegetable plot - at the moment it's just dead space where we have bonfires, keep rubbish and let the weeds grow wild. I've finally decided that this is the year I'm going to tackle it and turn it into a more useful/pleasant space.

The only thing is - I'm a complete novice when it comes to any form of gardening/vegetable planting so I really have no idea where to begin. I've got some photos of the space below so you can see what I'm working with - I don't have a lot of money for this project, so need ideas on a budget as well :smile:.

For background - the plot is at the very back of our garden and is right next to the fields - we do have problems with rabbits in our garden and digging holes, and there are rabbit holes around this area too. It gets a fair bit of sun during the day and is south facing - although the hedging/sheds offer a little bit of shade. Weeds are an absolute nightmare and nettles seem to take over, no matter how much weedkiller we put down.

So I guess my questions are:
  1. How can I effectively clear the area of weeds, so they won't take over the vegetable garden?
  2. Is there a way I can keep rabbits out?
  3. Would raised beds be/look better or should I just map out my growing area on the ground?
  4. What do I tackle first - weeds, rabbits, or rubbish? Or all at once??
As you can probably tell, I have no idea where or how to begin, so just looking for some friendly advice/ideas to get going!



  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,065
    Rubbish, weeds then rabbits in that order.

    Weeds will need hard labour to clear properly, roots need removing as well as top growth. Nettle roots are like yellow spaghetti and shouldn't be too deep. Other weeds may have roots which go all the way to Australia and might need chemical warfare.

    For rabbits,  find the entry points and protect with chicken wire some buried at least a foot down to prevent burrowing under.
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    its quite shady so it will limit what you can grow, you can grow soft fruit in the shadiest places as things like gooseberries and raspberries are woodland plants in the past.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,219
    Yes - rubbish, weeds and rabbits in that order.   Clear the ground then just use wooden stakes to mark out beds with access paths between, wide enough to push a wheelbarrow.   No need to go to the expense of raised beds yet.  You can use any cardboard you have to cover the beds as soon as you've cleared them.   Remove any staples and tape then bung some well-rotted garden compost, spent planting compost or well-rotted manure on it to hold it down.

    The nettles indicate the soil is fertile and are easy enough to pull out when the soil is not baked dry.   Any other weeds like thistles, dock, and bindweed need uprooting and leaving in the sun to dry out - especially bindweed - before you put it on a compost heap.

    You can put chicken wire around the beds once planted - stretch it between the stakes used to mark out the beds - and that will deter rabbits.   Serious rabbit fencing needs burying up to 30cm/1' below ground to stop them digging their way in and the bit above ground needs to be tall enough to stop them jumping over so try a simple system first to see how well it works.

    Have a read of these sites for guides to growing veg:-

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 3,984
    Maybe something like mine would be an idea. 

    Using decking boards it has height ( less chance for the bunnies to munch it) and as you can see mine is surrounded so height gets the plants into the light. Can be done a bit at a time to spread the costs. Hope this helps @r.pattinson 
  • RedSquirrelAbroadRedSquirrelAbroad Brussels Posts: 74
    We put in a raised veg bed very cheaply using just wooden boards held in place with stakes. I find it easier to control the weeds in raised beds - it is very clear when there are any intruders and they don’t spread from nearby patches as easily.

    I would definitely avoid “chemical warfare” unless you want to be eating pesticides and herbicides in your veg. Grow some flowers from seed around the edges: calendula, nasturtiums, borage are good choices. These attract beneficial predators that eat pests and also attract pollinating bees. They look great too and are all edible.

    Also start with easy veg such as radish, rocket (likes a bit of shade), chard, maybe a courgette or two (these get big and are prolific!). As treehugger says, currant bushes do well in a bit of shade: I grow redcurrants and black currents in the shadier areas of my garden (but they do need some sun too). I have found veg growing one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, good luck with getting started! 
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,787
    Just some questions for you to consider.

    I have a plot on an allotment site and we see some people "come and go " very quickly only lasting a few months before their plot is handed to another person

    All of the advice above is from very knowledgeable and experienced gardeners.

    However you are embarking on at least a 5 year project to smash this are into a veg producing piece of land.

    ? Why do you want to change it now.

    If you just want to have an area that is pleasant to look at or easily managed and somewhere to sit then grass it

    I would pay some lads cash to clear all the rubbiosh away into a skip or a lorry and then you can see "The Rabbits  !!"

    What you need is patience and ebergy to start and keep going.

    ? What will the photos look like that you send us when you have finished.

    Good luck.

    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
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