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Help planning fruit/veg garden - Don't know where to start!!

Hello, I had some wonderful help on here a little while ago for some fruit trees and other things shortly after moving to a new house so thought I'd come back and see if anyone can help with the next step. We've sorted out a scrap bit of land at the back of our house and I'm now trying to make a plan for growing some food next year.

At the moment we've got 2 mature apple trees, a cherry tree, two container blueberry bushes and the rest is just lawn and a few shrubs. What I'd like to do is grow a good quantity of berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and anything else that tastes nice to eat) as I spend a fortune buying organic berries every week. I'd also like to grow some veg that we either eat a lot of or again buy organic at a high cost (potatoes, carrots, broccoli, green beans, peas, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes - to name a few). I don't really want to spend a lot of time and effort growing things that are slow to grow or don't grow very much as i'd rather just buy these and spend more time and space growing something else. 

I don't really know where to start with it as hubby wants to keep the lawn as mostly 'lawn' but said he's happy to have some raised beds/planters etc round the edges. I've got many containers full of strawberries and tomatoes currently which we always seem to do well with but I'm just trying to find a better way to grow them all together somehow now that we have a good space. It's a south facing bit of land so always sunny and we're in Devon so it's quite mild but a bit windy. I should also mention that hubby is very practical and is able to basically just build anything I give him a photo of so if anyone has any good photos or ideas for best ways of growing things that would be great. I've never really grown any veg before, only really strawberries/tomatoes but always in containers so any advice for a newby is very welcome :) 

Only other thing to mention is that whilst digging up the 'land' we found a whole load of rubbish/old carpet and all sorts of nasty stuff buried.... so not keen on the idea of growing stuff in the earth that is there now! 


  • I’ve not read this myself, but this seems like a useful read...

    Currently free for Amazon kindle, if you have an device you can download the app to. 

    Having started my first veg bed this year, biggest bit of advice would be grow what you enjoy eating, and throw in some stuff that will give you a quick return while you wait for everything else to grow. We love radishes, so planted those to have while waiting for the tomatoes, beetroot, and carrots. 

    Have fun!
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,245
    Welcome to the wonderful world of veg growing. 😀 Your choices are wide with that amount of space to use. 
    Black/red currants really need to be in the ground, as do raspberries,  but that doesn't mean you can't build a low raised bed to put them in to keep them neat. With those fences they are ideal to grow things up. They will deal with any soil issues with a bit of help when planted ( soil enrichment)

    The rest I would suggest a few beds so you have the opportunity to rotate crops , always helpful, and start with the things you eat the most of. Also you will be restricted by if you have a greenhouse or cold frame or not. Growing things too early to go outside is something most people do ( guilty as charged😀) and running out of room inside to pot on seedlings happens alot. 
    Remember that veg beds need not be just veg, adding a few flowers like marigolds protects some plants from bugs and adds colour.
    As for a picture to give hubby ideas this is what my hubby made me last year ( the area was previously a shed and he used the good wood from said shed to build the beds) I have tall beds as I can't kneel , but they can be any height you need or want. They were filled with a mix if top soil, compost and manure ( no manure for root veg)

    Hope this helps @Emily36 and come back and ask more questions as needed.😁
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,498
    That looks a good sized area to get to grips with. I'm jealous! As well as raised beds, I'd be putting in requests for a greenhouse/cold frames and planters. As mentioned by others a good variety and rotating crops should ensure some success but an awful lot of it will be trial and error. The advice available from the proper gardeners (certainly not me!) on here is invaluable though!
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    edited July 2020
    Really not helpful at all, but I can't help looking at that lawn and remembering ours. OH was overruled  :D

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