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Spunko's growing food from seed thread


spunko
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There is no point in panic-buying veg IMO. Bagged salads like spinach last for a week max. Better to grow your own - it takes very little effort, and tastes better. I would recommend buying seeds now before the pensioners buy up the stocks if they are forced to stay home.

Once Spain stops all exports say goodbye to out of season spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. But all of these can be grown from seed within a few weeks, and the time to sow them as seeds is quickly approaching. :Old:

Window boxes:

You can sow all of these now, the cost for a packet of seeds from Wilko is 99p each but you'll get 1000s of seeds.

  • Spring onions
  • Lettuces
  • Radishes
  • Endives (yuck)
  • Cress
  • Herbs (don't bother with coriander IMO, it's a real ballache)
  • Strawberries (better to grow from existing plants)

 

Raised beds / garden

  • Spinach (perennial is best IMO)
  • Tomatoes (seeds are quite dear but you only need 1 per bush)
  • Kale and brassicas, if you can be bothered with butterfly + slug protection
  • Potatoes
  • Sweetcorn
  • Melons, cucumbers, courgettes, butternut squash, etc
  • Onions
  • Garlic

There is IMO no point in worrying about growing most fruit. Bananas cannot easily be grown in the UK obviously, but we do grow a lot of the most commonly consumed ones. Apples, pears, cherries depending on where you live can easily be pinched from an orchard.  I have a peach tree in a large pot, if you are in the SE you can just about grow (some varieties of) grapes as well.

 

 

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I add peas, prolific, easy to germinate, get the right varieties and can be taken for peas shoots, snap peas and pod peas, with plenty of left over for next year sowing.  

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Virgil Caine

I have grown peaches on the south coast of England in a sheltered spot. The tree actually did better than the plum tree I planted.

If you have a greenhouse or cold frame cucumbers are really easy to grow. I have found two or three pots of them will produce more than enough over a summer. They fruit surprisingly frequently.

Edited by Virgil Caine
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I'm up for this.

The bigger one of my local Lidls has/had seeds mid last week. at 49p and 29p [Do I get a dosbodder star for that?]

Trouble is they don't say how long to harvest.

For 50p I bought runner beans, chinese cabbage, mangetout [am guessing this is the quickest to get to when I can eat it]

For 30p I bought raddish [long white ones, aka daikon ] and basil - thai type.

Other trouble is my super hot south facing terrace will probably help me but my likely repeated absences will give a watering problem. Any recommendation for a web watering and cam setup to watch them from afar?

Curiously here in centralish N london there's also a big snail problem.

I spent a while dumping all my veg waste in plastic on said terrace 2 years ago which now resembles compost. Prep early ... :)

 

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Lightly Toasted

I've come within a whisker of growing tomatoes in an outdoor raised bed but, the weather turned just when they were beginning to ripen. The plant was a heroic volunteer from the mulch out of my wormery; I didn't have the heart to kill it. The green fruit looked as if they'd have been fantastic too. Another week of sunshine and I'd have had a crop.

The other time I tried was with a specific outdoor variety but that bombed too. I reckon there's a knack to it.

Anyway, for beginners I'd suggest either a greenhouse or a sunny window sill.

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1 hour ago, BWW said:

I'm up for this.

The bigger one of my local Lidls has/had seeds mid last week. at 49p and 29p [Do I get a dosbodder star for that?]

Trouble is they don't say how long to harvest.

For 50p I bought runner beans, chinese cabbage, mangetout [am guessing this is the quickest to get to when I can eat it]

For 30p I bought raddish [long white ones, aka daikon ] and basil - thai type.

Other trouble is my super hot south facing terrace will probably help me but my likely repeated absences will give a watering problem. Any recommendation for a web watering and cam setup to watch them from afar?

Curiously here in centralish N london there's also a big snail problem.

I spent a while dumping all my veg waste in plastic on said terrace 2 years ago which now resembles compost. Prep early ... :)

 

Automatic watering system like a hozelock one or cheap copy from eBay with a timer valve

https://www.garden4less.co.uk/shop-for/Timers

add your irrigation pipework and away you go.

how long you away for?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, This Time said:

Thanks for this thread. How long will the spring onions take to be harvestable?

If you start them now under glass/on a windowsill then they will be ready by mid May. :Beer:

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Just now, Heart's Ease said:

And mustard. Takes me back to Brownies.

I have a big bag of Indian mustard seeds.

Need cress just for its instant nature. Will see what else I need tomorrow assuming I feel like emptying the seeds box.

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Heart's Ease
1 minute ago, sarahbell said:

I have a big bag of Indian mustard seeds.

Need cress just for its instant nature. Will see what else I need tomorrow assuming I feel like emptying the seeds box.

All window ledges are taken with seed trays. Wishing the good weather here! I will take a snap of my tomato seedlings tomorrow. 

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Alifelessbinary

I’ve been growing veg on and off for about 10 years now with mixed results.

The things that I’ve found easiest to grow for beginners are;

Runner beans

Broad beans (these always taste so much better than shop brought)

Courgette (just protect when they are young)

strawberries 

Tomatoes (I find these easiest to plant in the ground, as they are fussy about water and grow bags are hard to regulate)

Lettuce, spring onions, onions, garlic, pak choi

Curly Kale

Tomatoes

Due to the effort involved, I tend to try and grow more expensive varieties. One year I spent months cultivating a small patch of spinach which when cooked equated to about 50p worth! 

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Chilies, peppers, courgettes and tomatoes all grown really well in outdoor pots on my deck here in summer. Over winter everything freezes rock solid though so it’s very much an annual arrangement.

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9 minutes ago, Wight Flight said:

Anything us renters can guarantee to be able to harvest if we are on two month eviction terms?

Mustard and cress on blotting paper is probably your best option.

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Lightly Toasted
17 minutes ago, Wight Flight said:

Anything us renters can guarantee to be able to harvest if we are on two month eviction terms?

You could grow leafy things like rocket, spinach or spring onions in pots or small tubs. Quite easy to transport if you have a vehicle.

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5 hours ago, Wight Flight said:

Anything us renters can guarantee to be able to harvest if we are on two month eviction terms?

Anything you like. Just refuse to leave. Can't see any eviction orders being upheld for the foreseeable future.

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5 hours ago, Wight Flight said:

Anything us renters can guarantee to be able to harvest if we are on two month eviction terms?

Look into microgreens and seed sprouting. You can get sprouts within a week and microgreens within two weeks.

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1 hour ago, This Time said:

Look into microgreens and seed sprouting. You can get sprouts within a week and microgreens within two weeks.

You got me all exited there for about a second. I love brussel sprouts although if there WERE growable within a week I suspect frankenstein food might be a sensible view of them.

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11 hours ago, Poseidon said:

Automatic watering system like a hozelock one or cheap copy from eBay with a timer valve

https://www.garden4less.co.uk/shop-for/Timers

add your irrigation pipework and away you go.

how long you away for?

 

 

 

I'm planning on flip flopping between 2 locations [one of which has a few acres if I actually get to complete on it, am eyeing financial system nervously as the date approaches] so would be ongoing with two sets of plants changing location every few weeks. Also a question if that will be allowed the next months. On the good side the 6 hour drive could become an easier 4.5 with a thermos and snacks and a piss bottle in the car so no virus visits to services on the way.

Thanks for the link but timers don't really do it for my situation. I definitely want something web connected and controllable from afar. Am going to have to look at apps. The best would be a mobile phone app that can switch power on and off plus a powered valve. Must be able to stitch together standard and cheap consumer items to do this.

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45 minutes ago, BWW said:

I'm planning on flip flopping between 2 locations [one of which has a few acres if I actually get to complete on it, am eyeing financial system nervously as the date approaches] so would be ongoing with two sets of plants changing location every few weeks. Also a question if that will be allowed the next months. On the good side the 6 hour drive could become an easier 4.5 with a thermos and snacks and a piss bottle in the car so no virus visits to services on the way.

Thanks for the link but timers don't really do it for my situation. I definitely want something web connected and controllable from afar. Am going to have to look at apps. The best would be a mobile phone app that can switch power on and off plus a powered valve. Must be able to stitch together standard and cheap consumer items to do this.

I'd suggest a wifi-smart-socket connected to a plug-in12v power supply that then controls a 12v solenoid valve to control the watering supply.  Should be doable for £25 per site.

The only 'complication' is that you'd probably* have to set up port-forwarding on your router in order to control it from outside the local wifi.

[* 'probably' because you could set up a Google Home / Amazon Echo to do it without port forwarding, but that would require additional expenditure without any obvious benefit (beyond having Google/Amazon listen to everything you say.]

 

 

 

 

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Another suggestion if you have the space - get some chickens. You don't need much space, remember that battery / enriched chickens have about a shoebox each to live in for 18 months. And they are very cheap to own (after the initial setup costs of the coop etc). I have a glut of eggs even though the shops are selling out, and they cost fuck all... £1.50 for 6 eggs is daylight robbery.

Costs are:

  • Food, about £1 a month per chicken I'd say if bought in bulk.
  • Buying the chickens, about £5 each for rescue or £15 if you want fancy ones.
  • No need to worry about vets bills, just wring its neck if things go awry, it's a clean and instant death.
  • Setting up the coop - probably about £100 - £300 including electric fencing.

An ex-battery hen should live for ~2  years after you get it at 18 months old.

Edited by spunko
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Kurt Barlow

I got Spinach and Kale sprouting already.

Butter beans in pots

Early next month tomatoes, courgettes, butternut squash. 

Will also start sticking spouting potatoes in the flower beds. 

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