Completely new to veg growing

Hi all,

Didn't think it would happen..... imagebut will be having a go at veggies next year.image

The plot will be 10ft(L) and 6ft(W) in a really sunny spot. I want to grow something easy and generally low maintenance but most of all something that I can go out and get and then cook it

I love sugar snaps but i find they are a bit too much money to buy in the supermarkets. Onions, I use a lot of so think these would be good as well.

Are these easy vegs to start off with? Any advice about what seeds to get? There's so many different types/varieties



  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,776

    Do you like French beans - they're quite easy if you grow the dwarf ones. image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    Choose things that are expensive in supermarket. That's how I started. You could look at square foot gardening as well. i think there was a series in GW. carol Klein has something in her book as well.

    I found it easier to do 2 square foot gardening. 

    Dam can't find it at momentimage

    beetroot are good, lovely fresh and easy to grow

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Dove; I have always found that French Beans really like it hotimage. Whereas Runner Beans don't seem to be that fussed.

    Jackie frost; Lettuce, rocket, carrots (which are cheap to buy, but home grown are delish)

    If I had space I would grow globe artichokes - I did when I first moved here and one plant took up almost all the veg space, it was 6' tall and 6'wide at least. So it had to go. But one plant produces a lot. Also asparagus would be nice. Tomatoes are fun to grow if the summer is half way good.

  • Go for runner beans you get loads for your money and much better taste than shops polestar great variety, but ones with white flowers the bees go to first eaiser for them to see the flowers I gess.

    Try getting your seeds from somewhere like a potato festival if one near where you are or seed swap where they are not too much money. I went to a potato festival and they do half pint cups of seeds that you put in a plastic bag for just £2 a scoop which is quite a lot of seeds.

    Cucumbers are nice if you like them to grow and potatoes you can even grow them in bags as well as the ground, sweetcorn takes a while to grow but taste good.

    Pick veg you like to eat though if not wasted or sell to others

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,292

    Have consulted OH who will be creating this space, and have been informed that "Of course we will be growing runner beans"image- so thanks gardengirl and artjak  for the infoimage. Very useful. I have been informed that we will also be growing some tatties.

    Dove- I've not heard of French beans before, they look do look nice and tasty.The plot is one of the sunniest places in the garden (if the sun shone).

    Bjay(?)Tinkle- that's why I've been thinking about sugar snaps, I love them but there is no way I'm going to pay £1.50-£2 for just one fork full of themimage Square foot gardening is something I will be looking into.

    artjak- I've never eaten a globe artichoke and would struggle probably to name one if I saw itimageimage but it's size as you describe it would rule it out,now if that was Cosmos Purity plant.......

    unfortuneltly I do not like fresh tomatoes at allimage. There was a point in my life that I couldn't even bear them to be on my plate. Real shame as I think they are really easy to grow if there was some sun.

     I've only had a garden for 2 years and have only grown flowers, feels like I'm embarking on a whole new worldimage


  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Best of luck and don't forget soft fruit; gooseberries, black, red and white currents, raspberries, strawberries etc.

  • Blue Lake french beans are good climbing bean sometimes get more for money with climbing bean up a wigwam than a dwarf one especially as slugs got my dwarf ones - but dwarf ones come in yellow and purple as well as green.

    You should try purple podded peas - I tried them this year grew well and great for picking as stand out well - you need to sow lots of seeds of peas as you do not get as many as runner beans and put net or string up the wigwam for peas to grow as they are like sweet peas and cling on to the string/ net.

    Grow flowers near your veg to attract the bees to get the veg growing.


  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    I think as it is your first year you should choose more simple things. Spuds I find are best grown in bags or giant pots as they take up so much space in the ground.

    6 x 10 is not that large a space. Make a plot plan with planting distances

    There is a courgette called 'Venus' T&M that takes up very lttle space , is tasty and one of the things I grew when I had very littlespace. Runner beans I still grow over a decorative arch - looks good and if there are only 2/3 of you you really don't need huge quantities of pants eg  6 runner bean plants, still leaves plenty for freezing as well.

    Will talk to you some more tomorrow


    PS - It is a whole new worldimage, but same rules apply on the whole - water, warmth, feed, eatimage

  • imageGet a good gardening book to refer to and also refer to this handy site for information.Start with easy veg and fruit and before long you will be expert,The main thing is to enjoy what your doing and learn from your mistakes(you will make some) and ask those who garden locally to you to give you advice on the growing conditions of your area.(good way of making friends).and  of course always enjoy a hot cuppa while viewing your results.image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,776

    Remember that veg and flower growing isn't really that different.  

    If you're growing something for it's fruit, flowers or seeds ( e.g.tomatoes, cauliflowers, peas) then you cultivate it as you would a flowering plant.

    If you're growing something for it's leaves or roots (e.g. lettuce, cabbage, beetroot etc) then just imagine it's a foliage plant. image

    Seemples (so they tell me) image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • I always go for climbing French beans (Cobra), as I think they're much nicer than runner beans, and easy to grow as long as you don't try to start them off too soon. I also grow mange-tout (similar to sugar peas), which are as easy as peas and there's less waste as you eat the whole pod. As you say, they're never cheap to buy, and it's lovely to have them really fresh. Norli are a good variety.

    Personally I think onions are a bit of a waste of space as they're generally cheap to buy and the ones you grow taste much the same as the ones you buy. Have you thought of shallots? They're also dead easy, and you end up with something that is not cheap in the shops. You just buy a bag of seed shallots, stick them in the ground, and each one turns into a little bunch of shallots.

  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,647

    Make sure you protect your veg as slugs like to eat it away before you get it I find using plasic large water bottles with the bottom cut off that helps keep slugs away from the small plants - keeping the lid on, the plants can then grow on a bit when they are still young, pop up netting is good from

    What is you best veg you like to eat?

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,292

    Thanks for all the repliesimage I've got loads of ideas to be going on with.

    Runner beans/ French beans, tatties in bag/pots, mange tout, shallots and maybe some courgettes. That I'm sure will be enought to be going on with.

    Going to grow stuff that I know that I will eat, hopefully easy to grow and those I wouldn't buy at supermarkets because of the cost. We are a small household and have a small plot to work with so thanks for the advice.

    Very interested in the courgettes, I always thought that you needed a greenhouse  to grow them. Had a look at the venus courgette from T&M

    Bear  with me.........I'm puzzled. It's described as an half hardy annual, sowing months  April May June and flowering peroid June, July Augustimage I take it that the courgettes themselves are the flowers? So will grow to harvest in about 3 months?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,776

    Well, almost right, the courgettes are the fruits that follow the flowers image but yes, once the plants get going, if they get the right weather just stand back and you can watch them grow image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,292

    image So do all fruit & veg have flowers before they grow into themselves and then you get to eat them? If that is the case do they all need pollinating insects?

    This might be a basic question but if you don't ask you don't know

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,776

    imagePeas and beans are the seed pods and seeds so they need to be pollenated by insects; the same with courgettes, marrows, squashes.  Because you want them to flower then produce seeds if you need to use fertilser you should use one which encourages flowering, eg one with potash in it. That was what I meant when I said that growing veg isn't that different from growing other plants, just work out whether you're growing flowers or foliage.

    Cabbages, sprouts, lettuces, leeks, broccoli, onions, etc you eat the leaves - you don't want them to flower at all - you want to encourage plenty of leaf growth so they don't need the potash, they need nitrogen - eg chicken manure pellets.  If this sort of veg is checked while growing, by a dry spell for instance, the plants might 'bolt' that is send up a flowering stem and 'run to seed' which you don't want to happen, so try to avoid letting the soil dry out completely.

    Root veg don't like freshly manured soil - it makes the roots fork and become deformed, so grow them in soil that was manured the previous year.

    Also,  I don't want to give the impression that you need to be giving veg loads of fertiliser all the time - a good manure/compost dug in iduring the autumn or early spring is usually all that is needed 

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,292

    Thanks Dove,  I'll have a think and will get back to youimage

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    Why don't you get a really basic book like the vegetable gardener in the dr. hessayn series. it explains simply about what to fertilise and crop rotatiion well as germination times, produce grown, etc.

  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,647

    Pop to your local library they would have books on gardening that you could get out and read sometimes even videos sometimes it help watching videos or you could even try youtube website, I like to watch claires allotment she does pretty well at making videos.

    Link below

  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,647

    Like the name hollie hock change to your other name festive name I guess. Holly hock the flower plant is really pretty only started to grow them my self this year.

    When I started growing veg I started with runner beans and found I liked them even more than shop brought ones much better taste, I like watching Gardeners World, good when Joe Swift got an allotment that was interesting and also on iplayer I watch Beechgrove Gardens the scottish gardening TV programme when back on I guess march time not much on TV on gardening at mo.

    Do you like watching these gardening programmes?

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