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Talkback: Starting a veg patch

shame on them - five healthy young people who are students who should of all people know how to research a subject, not able to turn that tiny garden into a veritable store of fresh vegetables to keep their expenses down and eat healthily! I think the important giveaway in your blog, James, was the word "fag". At least they were getting some fresh air when they were digging! I do hope they will remember the fun times and ,next time, try a bit harder with their research. And I am sure they now appreciate people who do manage to grow good crops and the craft of gardening.


  • We all make mistakes when we first start gardening. Mine was not putting any slug pellets around some Asters. My dad was in hospital at the time and asked me to put them in, which i did but forgot the slug pellets. Next morning all I had left were stalks and nothing else, my dad just laughed when I told him. My dad didn't come home so I was thrown in at the deep end. I still make mistakes but that is the joy of gardening and its how you learn. It never ceases to amaze me and the excitement I feel when tiny seeds grow into lovely plants.
  • I have a black hollyhock, grown against a North facing wall, that currently measures 10 feet 4 inches and is dwarfing my sunflowers. Should hollyhocks grow this tall?
  • Despair not....therefore but for the grace of horticultural expertise go you and I.... we all have to start somewhere!!!
  • I share Archie's disappointment and frustration. With me it wasn't until year two that I could boast more than a 50% survival rate. Now things I'm planting are actually growing - yesterday I ate my first ever cucumber, that looked and tasted like a cucumber, it might sound simple, but the sense of achievement is rather good.

    If he does move to a gardenless flat, perhaps he could start again with herb pots, cut 'n cum lettuces, tomatoes, peppers and strawberries and build on these little successes.
  • I have 2 aubergine plants in the greenhouse, they come into flower open up then stay for a couple of days and then drop off, but no sign of any fruit, what am I doing wrong.
  • Oh crikey, I do sympathise with that beginner's error of planting way too much of the same thing. On our new allotment last year I planted gadzillions of turnips, which all came up, and the result is that now I never want to taste one of the mother hubbards ever again.
  • I have two raised bed and I am not sure of things to grow in them. At the moment I have potatoes in one place, italian tomatoes near the potatoes and carrots, near the tomatoes. Everything seems to be ok!!!! Second raised bed has carrots and one chard. Can I cram a lot of vegies together? I confess the carrots and chard was from garden centre.
  • I've only got a small raised bed crammmed with onion, carrots, green beans, tomatos, cucumber, leeks, cauliflowers and cabbages they seem tobe doing very well especially the tomatos and cumber.
  • Hooray Archie, full marks for trying!!!

    You will look back on this experience in about 10/15 year time and become an avid gardener...........your future family will listen to your stories and you will produce wonderful crops for them

    Good Luck and keep trying...Dad obviously knows his onions...listen hard
  • Hindsight is a wonderful thing. When I moved into my new house, I thought about what bugged me about my old patch and could I fix it? Well, it was watering - theraputic sometimes, but time-consuming when pressure is on at work. Anyway, I invested in a Drip Irrigation Kit. Great investment, I would recomend to all, especially students who may have other things on their minds....
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