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Hi all,As a complete novice to the garden Im after some advice.I preety much planted a few "fire and forget" crops this year.but didnt do too well,although the parsnips are still in(are they really suposed to be in for this long,seeded on 11/3/12). In the sales I got 2 pop up green houses 8ft x 6ft to help me next year. I supose im after some friendly pointers on what to put in them and how to look after them. I was thinking in 1.tomatoes,peppers,chillis and cucumber as i seem to think from reading that they can all be grown at the same time and looked after in the same way ie use tomatoe feed for all of them. house no2 im not so sure off, was thinking along the lines of beans and peas.

Im open to advice sugestions and anything that can help.





  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,743

    It's been a pretty rotten season., so don't be discouraged.  We're lucky that we're on free-draining soil and the wet wasn't too bad for us, but low temperatures and low light levels have all contributed to a poor harvest,  

    Parsnips traditionally need a frost to make them sweet, so yours should be ready to lift soon.  You can leave them in the ground until you want to use them.

    Tomatoes, peppers and chillis are a good idea for one greenhouse.  I'd use the other for starting off seeds in trays and pots in the spring to get a good headstart, then plant them out into the garden  when the chance of frost has gone.

    You can start runner and french beans, peas, mange tout and sugar snap etc .and you can start lettuces off in trays in the greenhouse too  but none of them need to stay in the greenhouse all summer - plant them out whens they're big enough and the weather is milder - be aware that slugs and snails will find their way in so keep an eye open for them hiding under and between pots and trays, cheeky little critters will hide there in the daytime and come out and eat your plants while you're tucked up in bed if you don't evict them image

    You can also grow frost- tender herbs, particularly basil, in your greenhouse - it'll go well with those tasty tomatoes you're going to grow.

    That's just a few suggestions for you to think about - I'm sure the others will come up with lots more image


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,967

    I was going to answer, then I read Dove's answer, which was just what I was going to say, but probably put better.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,743

    image Don't do that to me Busy-Lizzie - I'll come over all unnecessary and forget how to type image

    As I said, I'm sure the rest of you've got lots more suggestions and encouragement to give - it's just that I get up early and it's too dark to go out into the garden at that time in the morning at this time of year, so I just witter on a bit .............

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks for the replies,I really do need some help and advice on this so everything is welcome. Im lucky to have been given some Mr F seeds.tomatoes are money maker and there are a few more packets that I cant recall of hand. I was wondering if its better to grow straight in the ground,or in raised beds.And yes that is under the green house.


  • Hay I'm a Paul too who recently got a greenhouse can I ask if you can suggest any varieties of tomatoes that taste good and are blight resistant. Also I was thinking of growing some sweet potatoes indoors this year has anyone ever done this??
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,743

    Complete Novice Paul - that depends a lot on what the soil under the greenhouse is like?  But if it's not too good you've got plenty of time to dig it over and dig some compost and well-rotted manure in to improve it. If you've got the space to grow your toms in the ground, that would be my preferred option if the soil is at all reasonable.

    PaulK - I don't think there's really any such plant as a blight-resistant tomato image However, the cherry tomato Red Alert performed very well for me in pots in the garden this summer, when surrounded by other plants showing signs of blight.

    I like to grow varieties of tomato that are difficult to find in the shops, like Marmande (a big ribbed beefsteak tom) as the flavours are so much better than commercial varieties although the crops may not be as heavy.  I grew 6 plants of Marmande this year in large pots outside (started them off inside).  Three of them showed signs of Late Blight, but I moved them away from other plants, then checked them 2 or 3 times a day and removed and burnt any and every leaflet with a patch of blight.  The 3 blighted plants survived and performed almost as well as the 3 unblghted ones, so I'm very pleased with them.  The tomatoes are lovely, with a good flavour and nice and meaty - great sliced with mozzarella, and grilled in a bacon bap image

    Hopefully Italophile will see this thread - he's the tomato star!!!

    I've no experience of growing sweet potatoes.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks Dave I'm salavating at the thought of mozzarella and those Tom's will try those. Got limited space so really want anything that I grow to be packed with flavor !!! Thanks again.
  • Excellent answer from Dove.  Use the winter to do some reading.  Enter the competition to win the Alan Titchmarsh books.  The Kitchen Garden book is my favourite.

  • Hi, I suggest you start with the easy stuff and then move onto the "exotic" as it were.Sweet potato belong to this group. I tried them thrice then gave up. Unfortunately suppliers make this gardening lark sound so easy (that's why forums like this are a God sent.) Wish we had them when I started gardening. Gardeners are such generous people and happy to encourage new gardeners. To produce sweet potatoes you need many hours of baking sunshine and well drained, good  soil. Mine failed even in the greenhouse! But if you still want to have a go, put them in large pots as the foliage is very attractive and some retailers sell them as house plants. This is my experience and I do not wish to put you off. Good luck and welcome to a very pleasureable pass time!!



  • PretzelPretzel Posts: 15
    As above, this year was bad for everyone so take heart! Start EASY. Toms, peppers and chilies = good, but the latter take a while to get going so remember to start them early on an indoor windowsill. I also find I start my tomatoes earlier and earlier each year - and fewer! A few good healthy plants get planted into the soil in the greenhouse, then as I pinch out I pot up the pinchings and get next crop from those - some in greenhouse, those there isn't room for outdoors.

    I've never yet managed a full-size ripe pepper (but we eat them anyway, tho' small)

    Cucumbers are a bit harder I think; several things to go wrong. Also don't bother with aubergines (if you were thinking of it!) - you cannot grow them cheaper or better than you can buy them in Lidl.

    But DO also use your greenhouse (no. 2) for starting off Courgettes, Peas, and Beans (though this ultra-wet year I finally got a crop of peas by starting them off on the kitchen windowsill where no slugs or snails could get at them). Also put troughs and pots inside and succession sow with spinach, rocket and radish; and, come early spring, lettuce, spring onions, a few carrots, and above all, cut and come again salad stuff
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