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Suggestions for small veg plot

Hi, hoping to get some suggestions from some experienced veg growers. 

I've got a small veg patch that I created for the kids to grow some bits in last year. Decided to expand a little this year, so it will be about 3.5ft wide and about 16ft long, running along the fence at the bottom of the garden. The garden is north east facing, although the fence looks south south west and we have a bungalow so it gets sun from about 11am until almost sunset. Oh, and I'm in the south east.

Looking for suggestions on what and how much I can grow. Already planning a few indeterminate cherry toms, cucumbers up the fence on trellis, trying some jalapenos (not sure on these), rocket, lettuce, radish, garlic, onion, maybe beetroot. There are still some strawberries in there from last year and I've got raspberries in 2 pots which didn't do much either. Oh and going to try a couple of bags of potatoes next to the veg patch. 

Tried carrots last year, but seems a long time for not much reward, sweetcorn didn't work, french beans struggled, runner beans did well but turns I'm the only one that eats them.  

Anyone have any other suggestions on what I can grow? 
And any specific potato suggestions? 


  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,318
    edited March 2020
    It would be a shame not to have some spring onions to go with the lettuce and beetroot leaves, also peas for the shoots if not the peas themselves.  I struggled with climbing french beans and now grow the dwarf ones, if you can keep the slugs off at the beginning they are easy and prolific, also freeze well.

    Later on I add minicole cabbage and leeks and if you have some support why not try a squash? Crown Prince is much loved by my family although I prefer Waltham Butternut, both will grow up with some help.

    Edited to say: can't help with the tatties as I only ever grow King Edwards
    "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
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,496
    For the quoted size of your plot, I think you're doing exceptionally well already, but you may like to try Kestrel for spuds.  Listed as a second early it may enthuse the youngsters if they arrive quickly?  Crop 14 weeks from planting.
  • SkylarksSkylarks Posts: 379
    I find beetroot take longer than carrots. I have some dwarf mange tout which should grow quite quickly. Peas, sugar snaps are similar and like herbaceous says, you can eat the shoots as well. 

    Courgettes are heavy croppers but they do take up a lot of room. 

    Pak choi grow quite quick and you can take leaves off a few times.

  • enilorac2enilorac2 Posts: 75
    Courgette “Black Forest” climbing is excellent and takes up very little room.  I have grown it for 2 years and will do so again this year.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,823
    You only need 2-3 Kale plants to get good continuous cropping, the same with Swiss Chard and perpetual Spinach.  You can get some really pretty varieties of each, and they are quick to grow, which your kids will love.  Kohlrabi don't take much space, but they take a while to reach full size.  
  • Thanks for the replies.

    Liking the idea of spring onions, peas (or maybe sugar snap), french beans, chard and spinach - so much to fit in!

    @Skylarks, hadn't thought about the beetroot taking so long, good point. 

    We tried courgette last year, but it was a disaster, but maybe I'll give it another go with something climbing, will fill the back row against the fence.

    Been looking at square foot gardening to see how much I can cram in, it recommends 2 cucumbers per sq ft, seems a little tight to me - is this realistic? The are growing vertically I guess. 

    Also, with things like spinach, chard, do they need a bit of shade? Could I plant behind my peppers? or is that too much shade? (just trying to work out how how to arrange things in the limited space)

    Thanks again. 
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,669
    Lots of good ideads on here, thats not a small plot 16 feet long.  You ideally need to make sections in it so you can rotate crops, because of pests.  Spuds frankly take up a lot of room, for the harvest. Spinach, and chard will do fine in the sun, as long as you remember to water them, (early morning ,evening) if it gets dry or hot so they dont bolt.I have found lettuce prefers a bit of shade
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,721
    edited March 2020
    Cucumbers will get as tall as you let them so 2m minimum and you'll need to keep them under control a bit. no idea on climbing courgettes.

    If you want to do potatoes do some really early ones, like international kidney or solist they will be out by mid June and you can plant beans or your courgette were they were. Jalapenos need a lot of heat, I had some in the greenhouse this year and they produced a huge amount of fruit, but they wern't hot, they tasted like normal peppers, That wouldn't have been an issue except for the one in 10 or 20 fruit which took your head off!
    If you feel a bit short on space, french beans come in climbing types as well as bush so you could replace the runners only you would eat with some of them. Turnips are fast if you like them.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,474
    2 cucumbers per square foot seems ridiculously tight, even if they are climbing. Mine are planted 45cm apart/approx 1 and a half foot. The roots below ground of one plant will spread at least a foot and they will be fighting for water and nutrients. One plant grown well will give you more cucumbers than two too closely planted. Same with courgettes, which get enormous!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Ok, so went a little crazy with the seed buying... 

    @nick615bagged some Kestrel spuds for the bags, sound just right. 

    @Nanny Beach spuds will be in 4 bags sat beside the veg patch, just felt like giving them a go and my son loves spuds.

    @Skandi yeah, I wasn't sure about jalapeños doing that well, but I've got 3 inside and 3 out, well see what happens. 

    @Nolliethat's exectly what I thought. I was just reading up in the square foot gardening method because I like the idea of cramming a lot in. They also recommend 1 courgette per sqft as well! Anyway, I am going to use it as inspiration, but space things a bit more sensibly. 

    So I've gone for
    3 types of cherry tomatoes
    Courgettes (black forest) 
    Cucumbers (la diva) 
    Cucamelon (just looked interesting)
    French beans (safari) 
    Sugar snap (sugar Ann) 
    2 types of beetroot
    Swiss chard
    Strawberries (left in from last year) 

    The the spuds separate on one side and blackberries and raspberries separate on the other side (again, left from last year) 

    I know that's a lot in a small area, but it's just a bit of each, more for fun than the expectation of sustaining ourselves. 

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