Food Gardening Anyone ?

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Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:45 pm

Decided to go all in on some gardening this year after some success last year with some plants, whilst the wet weather really crushed and destroyed a lot of others.

Why, well firstly I want them edible, since the food we get in this country is limited to just 2% of the crop base we can eat, and secondly the Victorians used to eat better than we do these days.

I went to a show quite recently , The Edible Garden Show, and yes there was the usual very boring things like sprouts, cabbage, peas, carrots etc etc, but the main reason for going to the show was to look at both aquaponic and hydroponic systems along with the alternative plants we can actually grow in this country, and yet we know little about, due to the mundane and boring crap we get in the supermarkets. James Wong was on at the show giving a talk along with other people describing plants that we used to grow, but because of commercialisation, we have forgotten about.

When I have looked at some old recipes from Victorian England, I saw salads that were full of colour, and knowing nothing of plants at that time, thought it was decoration to brighten up what would be your boring old salad. These days we do get more varieties of leaf, but not the same as the Victorians, who included all the edible plants which gave a variety of colour and tastes. Many of these can be grown in window boxes or patio planters so there is no excuse for not growing your own.

Plants for your salad besides the lettuce :
Nasturtium
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Crisp
Tastes like Horseradish, Watercress, black pepper

Cornflower
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Petals edible along with many parts used in food and cosmetics industry, very rare in the UK, but can be grown easily.

Japanese Beefsteak plant
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perilla_frutescens
the oilseed crop, source of perilla oil and a common food ingredient in Korean cuisine, both as "wild sesame" in seed form, and as "sesame leaves"


Dahlia
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The tubers are edible just like a small potato, apparently not very tasty but have a flower like after taste, so maybe used with something else, or cooked and used in a salad after. :D

Electric Daisies
lol description of flower eating : Fizzy sherbet space dust & 9 Volt Battery, traditionally used for toothache, mouth ulcers & sore throats since it will numb an area of the mouth, lol

Anise - liquorice flavoured herb
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Salsify - creamy oyster flavoured root plus spring greens
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Sunflowers - all parts can be eaten and the new shoots just 3 inch long can be eaten like bean sprouts

Havn't got a garden, find somewhere to plant them lol most will grow in the wild, and were picked to near extinction by the Victorians, particularly sea kale, which is so rare now that it is protected.

Goji Berry, Dahlia Yams, Inca Berry

Tons more, some that will survive in temperatures so low you wouldn't think they would survive, and yet grow in Siberia, others like a variety of yam, that is common in Supermarkets in New Zealand; yams, originally from Peru, just like your lowly potato, but much tastier. Can be eaten raw as well as cooked. New Zealand yams look like ugly, gnarled big toes, but taste sweet and slightly tangy. http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food- ... sonal-yams

New Zealand Supermarket; alongside sweet potato and normal potato

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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby evil elmo on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:06 pm

I just got my james wong book through along with my 6 free packets of seeds i wanted to grow somethings that were out of the ordinary but still fun, even the kids are interested in them. i got asparagus pea which tastes like fresh asparagus and garden peas, and they have pretty scarlet flowers and will grow in a pot as they dont grow that big. i got microgreen herbs that tatse like oriental salad leaves just to try something new for salads, inca berries that can thrive on neglet they dont need support just stick them in a pot water them and let them do there thing, they taste like gooseberries, kiwi and orange and go right up to christmas and come in there own chinese lanterns.

Then i got radish rats tails that taste like mustard and radish not 2 sure about this one but will give it a go. electric daisies sounds fun to grow edible daisies that tastes like a jolt of electricity, fizzy sherbet and that weird volt battery taste when u stick your tongue on battery when u know u shouldnt. and finally i got wintergreen that has root beer flavoured berries and also taste of peppermint.

ive still got to get some cucamelons seeds as my youngest like the thought of having little grapesize melons that taste like cucumber and lime,and the cocktail kiwis i want to get as well.Im slowly starting off my veg patch this yr and seeing how it goes. Its amazing how many edible plants u can grow in a pot as long as u give them the right conditions why not try something different and out of the ordinary thats what im doing this yr. if u dont try u will never know.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:45 pm

Here are more, some considered power foods, like the ones Elmo has already said

Quinoa a power food along with inca and goji berries.
Bergamot, if you like earl grey tea you will like this, since it is an ingredient of the tea.
Brage - minty flavour
Callaloo - Spinach and Watercress, looks nice too :)
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Another one for Elmo is popcorn fiesta
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I get most of my seeds from here http://seeds.suttons.co.uk/search?w=james+wong&asug= but there are many places, and even Amazon does them.

btw Spinach will grow easily, and the young leaves are great in salad.

Going to try Chilean Guava Plant - KA-POW this year -
look like blueberries and taste like wild strawberries.


Here is a link to the one I was speaking of in the earlier post, which will grow in Siberia, down to -35 degrees.
Cocktail Kiwi Plant
http://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/Vege ... htm#239390
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby evil elmo on Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:12 pm

yeah i got my book and free seeds from suttons thats where i get all my seeds whether they are flowers or veg. i occasionally get plug plants from suttons especially if my greenhouse and cold frame are full which they are atm, waiting for this cold weather to bog off so i can get the front garden remodeled and replanted.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:08 pm

lol great minds think alike, just ordered up some more shelves for second greenhouse (polytunnel really). Fed up of this lousy weather, especially after last year :)

Second green house is for new hydroponics system and some higher level smaller plants ready to move outside, if the weather gets better. A company that uses the same hydroponics system I have, got into the Guinness book of records last year, with a fruiting Tomato plant at 168 feet long, it went on to grow to 175 feet lol

I am jealous, you have a cold frame :P

Front garden is going to be all edible plants, but none are going to be common varieties, still going to leave the Holly bush, roses tulips and snow drops, the rest can be edible. :D

P.S. I was asked quite recently about plants that could be grown on window sills (student). It is the mistaken belief that you cannot grow veg on the window sill and it is probably true for tuber type plants and a lot of the more traditional stuff, but many alternatives can be grown in window boxes and on a window sill quite successfully. Many believe that an extensive root system is required, which is untrue, The main issue is a medium to hold the plant steady during its growth with an adequate supply of Water, Nutrients and Oxygen.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Semaphia on Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:43 pm

Pretty awesome little thread :) Inspiring!

I've started doing the front garden for Spring, and will start work on the back end over the coming week. I'm gonna look into growing some tasties now :cheers: Will post my choices & results when the time comes.


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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:59 pm

Just wondered if anyone has had much joy with their crop.
I have had mixed results. with the ones that I have used already being summer crops to those that are growing OK, all though a bit retarded in growth due to the late spring this year. last frosts only finished in June so it is only a month worth of growth, but oh boy have some of them grown.
I put a load of planters outside, since I had plans for the garden, for those plants that need room to grow and spread.

I have what I call planters, but not all are commercial ones, just old drawers or cheap plastic boxes that have holes in the bottom for drainage. Anything will do that will hold earth and is deep enough for the veg type. :)

In Planters and had some already are the potatoes, these are easy to grow and if you choose just varieties of seed potato for varying times of the year, you can have some tasty spuds, and not be stuck with the common retail types in all the supermarkets. Mind you you will still have to supplement from those places, but at least you get the variety.
Planter : Carrots : Growing strong, loads of different varieties these days
Planter : Spinach (easy to grow in or out and tasty) planter is a plastic box that has split along the bottom.
Planter : Parsley, Thyme, Mints (Penny Royal, Pineapple mint, and just normal) old drawer :)

Self watering window propagators, these are bought but do a really good job.
Rocket and Lettuce at present, but going to try all sorts of other stuff, for year round.

Hydroponics
Aubergine (baby ones just coming)
Tomato (baby ones on there)
Sweet Bell Peppers (Flowering now)

Planted in the garden has Beans, Peas, Dahlia yams, NewZealand Yam, Tomatillo, Tomato, Onions, Chives, Leeks, broccoli, Corn all doing very well due to the weather we have had up to now, although I have had to water a lot, with some of them still dying off due to the heat intensity. Just hoping the weather doesn't go the opposite way and destroy the lot.

Goji berry plants have picked up, along with the cucamelons in the past week although still small. Cocktail Kiwi plant lost half its branches due to the heat, which dried out, although new shoots have grown since with plenty of tlc and water :) , now at 4 feet high.

I have had a number of plants not even germinate, or just showed signs of life then disappear. These include Sea Kale, Japanese beefsteak and Salsify. a number of herbs have not shown any sign of life at all, but given these seeds are cheep enough I can keep trying with them. It is when the seeds are more expensive and there is nothing to show for them that gets me.


I was wondering if anyone else had any joy and which if any had failed
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby evil elmo on Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:45 pm

My inca berries i planted cant make there mind up atm , they started coming up then due to the heat died back and looked like they died, but i think there is hope for them yet.

I havent had much chance to grow anything else new due to limited space in the greenhouse but i have my peas in there as well and they are doing great along with my peppers. the electric daisies i planted havent emerged yet so still waiting to see if they will arrive this yr:(.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Who Am I? on Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:36 pm

I wish I had a greenhouse and a garden, I would go nuts and plant everything. Right now, all I have is an apartment, so the only success I've had is with tomatoes :) I've grown a couple of Avocado plants from the seeds of ones that other's ate (don't like them myself). If you happen to buy an avocado, keep the seed and clean it, then put it in half water. Suspend it over the water with toothpicks and wait :) It's very cool once you succeed. Read a guide though, as there is a little bit more to it.

I've managed to grow only the plants from seeds of other things I've eaten: † scarlet runner bean (beautiful climbing plants),  † honeydew (melon),  † watermelon, † Peppers (DAMN YOU APHIDS, DAMN YOU!), chili, habanero, physalis (Gooseberry), lemon and orange.

I started off with the avocados as a fun project and after waiting 4 weeks for the roots to break out of that seed - it was rewarding :) I liked the feeling of taking the remains of something you eat and then regenerate it.

I then carried on with Carnivorous plants (I realize it's not food gardening though), which are amazing to see in action. I bought them basically fully grown though. Here a picture, not mine though:
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A venus fly trap, I've fed mine wasps and such as well :) It's evil but it's awesome. I also had these ones, the kind of died though, I lack discipline.
Drosera Capensis (a type of sundew):
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Nepenthes (not sure which kind I had):
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Sarracenia (mine is kind of alive but sort of not hehe):
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They require a certain amount of upkeep, for example I run out in the rain to get water for them, although ideally you would give them distilled water, they will die if you give them tap water because of the minerals and such (They should get their nutrients from insects).

Cool with the Hydroponics LD, I've read about that a while back. Could you show us a picture of what it looks like, if you have one? I need to live vicariously through people with green houses..
Electric daisies, that sounds like something I want to try to grow, just to prank people.
Inca berries and Cocktail Kiwi on the to-do list. Love Quinoa too, never would've thought of growing that myself.

Elmo and LD, you are lucky with your gardens! How has everything turned out btw? Now that summer is basically over.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby MrsRapidByte on Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:46 pm

oooh fellow food gardeners :cheers:

We harvested the remaining crop of red onions yesterday, they aren't as big this year but have loads will see how they taste once they have had a chance to dry. Next week we will be harvesting the first crop of garlic - really excited about this, it's our first time growing garlic.

As usual the herb garden has done fantastic this year, it will soon be time to cut off the excess herbs and mix them with butter to be kept in the freezer so we have fresh herbs over the winter :) We have loads of excess chocolate mint this year so will need to come up with a way to store some. In the herb garden we have purple sage, golden sage, rosemary, chocolate mint, spear mint, parsley, Greek basil, marjoram, celery (who doesn't love celery salt), chives, lemon thyme, coriander, dill, horseradish, 6 types of Lavender, lemon verbena, oregano, and thyme. The lavender fresh buds are really nice in vanilla cake or to use in cake decoration.

For the first time in 6 years we have finally managed to successfully grow tomatoes :cheers: I don;t know what it is with us and tomatoes but they never seem to fully fruit but this year have 3 bumper crops of them. We grew 3 varieties - golden cherry, chocolate cherry and cherry snowball. I think over the next 3 weeks all the tomatoes will ripen if the sun would just come out a little more.

We had a good crop of new potatoes over the summer however the blue dander potatoes didn't amount to anything, I think it's been too hot for them :( and the NZ yams sadly died due to neglect one week during the hot weather :oops: how did your yams turn out LD?

The strawberries have been great this summer just need to keep the silly snails away :roll: The raspberries fared really well this summer, had a big bowl of them every few days to keep us going :D We also got golden raspberry canes this year so hopefully they will fruit next year. We also got a strawberry tree for the back garden which comes the end of this month so will have to get clearing the back corner ready for it :shock: the blueberry bushes are still maturing and it will be a few years yet before we get any fruit from them.

Hoping to have a strawberry tree full of fuzzy little strawberries for jam making next year:
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The fruit trees have done okay this year as well especially the cooking apple tree come the end of this month will have loads of apples ready to pick so you know what that means - Apple pie and apple sauce :cheers: The two peach trees out the front have grown loads the trunks are much sturdier so I don't have to worry about the wind as much :P next year they should fruit as they will be 4 years old. The only fruit tree that failed this year was the plum tree :cry: I don't know what went wrong but the fruit just didn't grow, maybe next year will get a bumper crop if not might have to move it to another location.

This year we got 3 rhubarb plants - Strawberry Surprise, Champagne and Raspberry Red for a longer season of harvesting. Hopefully next year we can cut a few stems off for eating. Though the rhubarb has taken the space we usually grow carrots in so next year will have to get some large planter to grow some purple haze and cortina carrots.

Over the summer edible flowers was the goal, they are great for adding to salads and to use in cake decoration. Plus they have the added bonus of encouraging bees into the garden which helps the fruit and veg. Wild pansy's are great, hollyhock flowers are wonderful and bees love them and for early spring husky variety of primulas are great in salads and on top of cupcakes.

Here's an idea of how good the flowers look:
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In October I'm hoping the back garden will be sorted enough to get the greenhouse put up as I really want to grow peppers, chilies, sugar snap peas, mangetout and runner beans again, as they taste so much better out the garden, not to mention it will be much better growing on seedlings in the greenhouse than on the window sill, my youngest cat is a real trouble maker and likes nothing more than chewing plants or knocking them over :roll:

I would really like to try to get some asparagus pea to grow in a container in the front garden, it sounds lovely. How did your's turn out Elmo?

I really want to try and get a compact thornless edible rose, as I love rose petals mixed in icing on a croissant for breakfast! Anyone got any ideas?


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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:23 pm

Wow they look really good, you have been busy and done some good stuff. Just wish I had a big garden.

I had planned to do the front garden this year, but it really needs a good top dressing in autumn to actually be able to grow anything properly. As it is I have some corn, that has never got over 2 feet high :( some dahlia which seem to be hiding amidst the roses and weeds, which have thrived this year, and a centre piece of Sunflower and cornflowers,which do look nice, allbeit nothing over 4 feet high :) Roses bloomed nicely Red in late spring, and pink in full bloom now.
My Raspberry plants have done crap, despite me going to the woods not too far away, and there being tons of them. Blackberry and Elderberry look like there will be a good harvest from the wild, so never mind :)

Spring was a month late this year, so plants that were either not started indoors or in a green house have not really flourished. The very hot dry spell straight after late frosts has not helped many plants either, however I have had quite a few potatoes about 6kg up to now, a mixture of Pentland Javelin, an early potato which is great for fluffy mash, and a load of charlotte which are great in salads. Have had loads of lettuce and rocket to go with them and still have 2 large salad planters on the go.

Here is a quick run down
This was an experiment on what I had read at the time, about companion planting.
These are Sun Flowers, as you may see, but the interesting part is that growing up then, are beans and peas.
I later found that they used to be grown alongside corn as well, Corn grows quite high, the sunflowers get supported by the Corn and grow higher, and the runner beans and peas climb these plants to get the ,most of the sun. It doesn't stop there however, peas and beans fix nitrogen into the soil which helps the other plants to grow. :)


Like I said an experiment for this year

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Corn planted in isolation, if only I had know about the sunflowers before planting them all :)


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Tomattillo : These have fruit growing and you should be able to see a few


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A mixture
Starting from the front, the obligatory spider plant, playing outside for the summer, and the weedy looking things behind them are Goji berry planted from seed in July. Behind those are the ever tasty Yellow Electric Daisy, also know as the toothache plant, for obvious reasons. :)


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Left to right Tomato, Kiwi, Tomato. Tomato, These are planted in a hydroponic setup that automatically feeds water to the plant pots. The base of the pots are flooded, and the water is shut off, until the plants have taken all the water from the reservoir, at which point water flows back into the reservoir, and the whole process repeats. A loan ambassador begonia to the right. All these were grown from seed, the 2 on the right being from a tomato last year, the one on the left being gardeners delight, which is why the leaves have a different colour.


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A mixture of flowers, Petunia, Salvia firecrackers, Gazania must attract insects to the gartden :)


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Have a number of others in hanging baskets and planters, along with spring onions, carrots (very tasty) Cucamelon and asparagus peas.
Had loads of potato's and still have 5 or 6 planters full, some ready to harvest others for October November and December.
Begonia


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Greenhouse has Pineapple mint, Pennyroyal and Anise Hysop
along with Sea Kale and Peppers.
Also in there is this, which I will explain.
In front are 2 pots which are auto watered and have a mixture of coconut coir and clay pebbles as a base. In these are to the right a pepper plant and the left a small chillian Guava.
Behind the 2 pots is the hydroponics system, which contains to the right A tomato plant, just behind that an Aubergine plant, and to the left a sweet bell Pepper plant. No peppers as yet, but there are aubergines and a few toms.
Below this is a picture of the root system. No soil is used and the plants are suspended for support from string tied to the green cage structure.

Each of the plants are around 6 feet high and I have only just pinched them out



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To give you more of an idea as to what this looks like http://www.greenhousesensation.co.uk/vi ... w-nft.html

This is all pretty new to me on this scale, so it is all experimental. I can remember a bit of this from when I was a kid, because my Dad was a keen gardener. I think that stems from him being in a war torn country where fresh veg was scarce and then many years where quite a bit of veg was hard to come by. :)
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby evil elmo on Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:39 pm

my asparagus peas didnt make it this yr i think it was just 2 hot for them, and i had a few days where i wasnt feeling well so couldnt get out to open up the greenhouse and they got baked. But i will be trying again next yr, along with my sweet peas.

my sage in my container has done really well i grew it from 4 seeds and it completly fills the pot. By the back door if the wind is right you get a very strong smell of sage, which ive got next to my tomatoes, which are still growing. Im going to plant the sweet peas and the normal peas next to each other next yr and hope they will do better then this yr. I must have 6 different packets of seeds for my sweet peas so i got lots to choose from, and im hoping by planting them next to each other they will help each other out.

Ive had more success flower wise in the front garden i planted a wildflower mix down the side and got loads of cornflowers which look great next to my french lavender, although im allergic to lavender i still grow it, so i can make my kids some sleep pillows to go inside there pillowcases, just have to make sure i got a long sleeved top on. My honeysuckle in the front garden has done really well this yr, during the winter that part of the garden is completly covered in shade where it is planted so is protected from the wind but during the summer it gets a lot of sun and now it has little red berries on it and is growing up a support.

this is 2 parts of my front garden i started from scratch with this planting so plse forgive me if it dosent look excellent, im still learning, And havent quite figured out where the best place is for things so im testing this yr and seeing what works and what dosent. These photos were taken a couple of weeks into june so they were still small , they are a lot bigger now.

http://images.ukcs.net/13120/IMAG0016.jpg

http://images.ukcs.net/13120/IMAG0015.jpg

http://images.ukcs.net/13120/IMAG0014.jpg


The back garden was a bit meh this yr, as my garden is stepped so i have a lower garden and a upper garden, i brought a white jasmine for my south facing wall and nursed it back to health as it was a bit wilty when i brought it and put it in agaisnt the wall, and then the sun baked it to pieces but now its cooler its starting to recover slowly. its a investement as they do take ages to grow, but for £1,99 im not going to complain, but i like the thought of that wall smothered in white flowers. And i do have a insect house just above the jasmine for the ladybugs and lacewings and solitary bees to go. Along with my roses that are there and in the spring i have crocus's and mini daffodils that come through, along with the bluebells that no matter how many bulbs i remove my back garden by the bay windows get completly smothered in bluebells, much to my youngest daughters delight.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:52 am

I have been lucky with the asparagus peas, and of course I have not only been on hand to water the garden regularly, I had mine in grow bags on a shaded portion of the driveway, as are a number of plants. Never use the back half of the drive anyway :)
I also have an automated watering system set up on a timer and fed from a water butt. Something I learned from my Dad, with his greenhouse, the only difference is that I have extended the system all around the back garden. £15 off ebay micro irrigation system, + a timer (£34) and of course a water butt. It will also run from a single outdoor tap as well. This feeds a lot of the permanent pots, but as yet I have to extend this to doing the rest and the grow bags. Hard to decide on what to do, since many are going to be temporary. Thats the beauty of pots and grow bags, they can be moved around. Experimental gardening, you can move a plant into or out of shade, hopefully next year they will be in the right positions, we shall see. :P

It just goes to show, women are far better at gardening than men, both yours and mrsRapidbyte's look brilliant, and I do love your front garden Elmo. :)
Mine is just, what can only be considered as, a veritable bed of grass and weeds with some nice plants growing amidst it all :)
As for the rest of the garden, it is just a collection of pots and grow bags, with a very small garden plot. I do like a bit of lawn at the back and that is nice enough.

I think its the second picture above that you can see the winter Jasmine against the fence ( Seeing that picture reminds me the back left hand corner needs doing for the winter veg. :) ), this comes out into flower around December and does give a wall of flowers, which does brighten up the winter garden. I also have a cornus sanguina, a variety of dog wood, called 'Midwinter Fire', which I first saw in Savill Gardens in November. Its stems turn bright red in Autumn and in spring changes colour. http://www.plantify.co.uk/Cornus-sanguinea-Midwinter-Fire/plant-5695 Scroll down the page to see the different colours.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby evil elmo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:52 am

thanks ld im still learning as i said, been here for 4 yrs and still not got the garden how i want, we had a little visitor to our back garden the other month, he comes in and collects the dropped seeds the birds knock out from the seed trays. You can see the size of my back garden and believe me its massive, you can also see the step part where the lower garden and upper garden are seperated. The 1st picture shows what the garden looked like when i 1st moved in so it has changed a lot.

http://images.ukcs.net/13120/DSCF0191.JPG

http://images.ukcs.net/13120/IMAG0012.jpg

http://images.ukcs.net/13120/IMAG0009.jpg
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby MrRapidByte on Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:59 pm

As the wife said, we have done quite well this time around, sadly, the cherry trees did not give us anything this time :(

Cleared some space for putting up the greenhouse today, so should aim to get that thing built soon enough for some better growing conditions for some things :D

We dont have a big garden, but we have planned it out quite well I would say and planted things with some logic to them.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:26 pm

Therein lies my problem no planning. :P
My cherry tree has just gone from wilting to picking up when watered, and back again, Not a single solitary cherry :(

I will have to start planning for next year, starting with the soil in late autumn. I picked up a decent book that goes through a number of things you can do to prepare and shows how to have a weed free garden.
Like you say planning is the key, sadly I only had a rough idea, and what I did was not good. The soil in my garden although being pH neutral also lacked any of the nutrients needed to grow plants well and so has only been suitable for certain types that thrive well in a well drained drier soil.

and the NZ yams sadly died due to neglect one week during the hot weather :oops: how did your yams turn out LD?

They are still going OK, but tbh not as I expected, but we shall see. Harvest time is around October / November.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby MrsRapidByte on Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:44 pm

Corn the best way is to block plant with bee attracting flowers around them as the key to getting a good crop and growth is pollination and when young you really need to keep the plants warm and use a paintbrush the first sign of flowers once planted out the bees and wind can take over :P its also a good idea to put down some black plastic to cover their roots as it traps heat in the soil for overnight. We grow corn a few years ago but found it to be more hassle than its worth, I don't think corn was meant to be grown in Scotland :P

We have also found that planting marigolds next to tomato plants keeps away pests and has really helps with pollination. We grew the tomato plants outdoors this year, wasn't expecting much tomatoes but they have done quite well.
Some of our tomato plants:
Image Image

The only time we got a really good crop of cherries from the trees was when our cat was buried between the two of them :( might need to give them loads and loads of bonemeal.

Here's our cooking apple tree have already harvested over 20 apples this week before the birds decide to help themselves.
Image Image

Like Mr. Rapid said we have a small front garden - we have three raised bed - one for veg, one for flowers and one for raspberries, sage and strawberries. we also have pots for lavender, herbs and the window boxes for bulbs for cutting flowers as our daughter loves fresh cut flowers in her room. The bed have been mainly cleared out ready for next year as the leaves are already falling off the trees here.
Image Image

So jealous of the squirrel I always wanted to set up a squirrel obstacle course in the garden but we have too many cats and dogs in the area for squirrels to even dare adventure here :( the most exciting thing we have in the garden are the swallows who come to visit and our resident magpies.

I am hoping to get a couple of chickens later this year and house them in the back garden :D free range eggs and free chicken manure for the plants what could be better! Which reminds me a fail safe way to ensure you get raspberries is to give them chicken manure in march and again first week in may and plenty of water and in October its time to cut the canes down ready for new growth next year! We've done this for 6 years now and always get loads of big juicy raspberries.


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MrsRapidByte
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Who Am I? on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:28 am

Oh my, so much to read here :) this will take me all evening to read through, but it's interesting to see your work people. I fill up with envy though :( how much time do you "have to" spend in your gardens each day, on average?

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I also have a passion flower plant (grown from a fruit I ate). It grows insanely fast in my opinion and it's leaves are huge compared to my other plants. I grow it on my window sill, so it could probably get a lot more growth in a greenhouse or something instead :) It grows like a vine so i made some sort of cradle with sticks for it and I have to cut it regularly or it will reach the roof in a few days! No fruit though, didn't expect any either.

EDIT: that strawberry tree looks like Lychee/Litchi, didn't seem to be the same thing though, what does it taste like?
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby Little_Devil on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:19 pm

Not seen a strawberry tree :P top picture on MrsRapidByte post is Tomato. Mine look like that now I have pruned off some of the leaves :)
Next ones down are apple trees if I am not mistaken, Mine has a few apples on it, but that's ok, my friend has that many apples he doesn't know what to do with them, so I get loads free. :) and the plant in front of the door looks like Lavender.

The raised beds look good, although I would prefer to not have gravel, and would probably opt for something like chamomile. Don't get me wrong I do have gravel borders around my garden with weed barrier under it, to stop the weeds, but I like to have more greenery around, but that is the great thing about gardening, it is all down to personal preference and individuality when it comes to layout.
Mind you MrsRapidByte's looks a hell of a lot better than the great expanses on nearly everyone's front gardens where I live, with maybe a spattering of some pots of flowers to offset the blanket of grey.
I like the idea of raised beds for a number of reasons, and one of those reasons is displayed above, a cloche frame, which can be used in a number of ways. This coupled with a fleece over a frame gives a good environment for plant growth. Later in the season the fleece over the frame, can be exchanged for plastic, so you get a coldframe. I have already gone out and bought fleece and netting for next year, along with fleece and bubble wrap for the greenhouse, so I can start things earlier next year. I do have a frame for the garden, but due to false economy the netting I bought was pretty useless. Cabbage white butterflies had a veritable feast off my Cabbage and Broccoli :(
This year I have gone straight to Agralan ( http://www.agralan.co.uk/gardening-information/ ) since I found them to be cheaper than buying from some of the vendors on both Amazon and ebay, who are selling Agralan products.
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Re: Food Gardening Anyone ?

Postby MrsRapidByte on Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:00 pm

Who Am I? wrote:I have to cut it regularly or it will reach the roof in a few days! No fruit though, didn't expect any either.

EDIT: that strawberry tree looks like Lychee/Litchi, didn't seem to be the same thing though, what does it taste like?


Your passion vine does it flower? if so you need to use a paintbrush and pollinate it yourself since the bees cant do it for you on your windowsill :P and secondly give it a feed boost to either flower and then again while flowering and hopefully you should get some fruit.

The fruit from strawberry trees is not the best raw its bitter and has an aftertaste however if you cook it in jams or even with some apples for a slightly more bitter apple sauce its good - though it takes a full year to get ripe fruit from the trees.

The mini tree by the front door is a rosemary tree :D it smells lovely by the door and makes for easy clipping.

I can't recommend link-a-bord raised beds enough they are super easy to put together, very durable,easy to clean and with some slate round the edges of them it cuts down on slugs and snails. I also got some polythene and netting tunnels from argos which were in my opinion a bargin and are great qualitiy so you can continue growing through winter and protect small plants from birds when first planting out.


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