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Help needed with growing! (Newbie)

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Tomwhite87
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:45 pm

Help needed with growing! (Newbie)

Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:17 pm

Hi everyone!

I've just acquired an allotment and completely new to this exciting world of growing! So many websites say when I can grow certain veggies and fruits! And all say different times! Can someone please tell me when it's best to grow the following in raised beds:
* potatoes
* Onions
* Spring onions
* Garlic
* Spinach
* Rocket
* Lettuce
* Sweet corn
* Strawberries

Many thanks
P.S I live in south England

Tom



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Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Help needed with growing! (Newbie)

Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:02 pm

Tomwhite87 wrote:
Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:17 pm
Hi everyone!

I've just acquired an allotment and completely new to this exciting world of growing! So many websites say when I can grow certain veggies and fruits! And all say different times! Can someone please tell me when it's best to grow the following in raised beds:
* potatoes
* Onions
* Spring onions
* Garlic
* Spinach
* Rocket
* Lettuce
* Sweet corn
* Strawberries

Many thanks
P.S I live in south England

Tom



Posted with Growerflow mobile app
Hi Tom,

Welcome to Growerflow. 🤗

Lucky you to have a new allotment! You have so many wonderful days ahead! Everything from planning to sowing and harvesting is a great adventure!

If you start from scratch, a good thing to know is that you should rotate your crops every year. I recommend you to divide your plot in at least 4 different "blocks". The reason for doing this is that some vegetables like potatoes and cabbages not should grow in the same spot more often than every fourth year. Here's a link to a previous topic on crop rotation: Crop Rotation Plan.

When to start different vegetables is different depending on where you live. I'm in Scandinavia, so I guess that you are a few weeks ahead of us, with a bit warmer spring and a bit later frost. I will try to explain, and you can adjust a bit after your weather conditions. I split your wanted vegetables into blocks for rotation, if you don't plan on rotate just ignore that.

BLOCK 1 (Enriching)
* Sweet corn = I start my Sweet Corn indoors in may, and transplant them outdoors about 3-4 weeks after sowing (= as soon as frost risk is over). I guess you can start a bit earlier.
* If you want to grow beans or peas, add them here..

BLOCK 2 (Heavy Feeders)
* Rocket = Start almost any time. Choose a variety that don't run/start flowering to easy. I don't follow the instructions for Rocket always, and tend to start it pretty much any time. The worst thing that can happen is that they immediately run into flowering, but you can still pick the earliest leaves and they are delicious.
* Spinach = I start Spinach all the time. I start by winter sowing in january, and then keeps sowing all spring. I stop during summer months, and then start sowing again in august. Here's more information on how I do my Winter Sowing in Raised Beds
* If you want to grow cabbages, add them here..

BLOCK 3 (Needs less)
* Onions = Start them in the spring when the soil is starting to get warm. Try the soil with a shovel. If the soil sticks to the shovel (like mud), it's not ready. If it falls of, it's time to plant Onions (and much other things).
* Garlic = Start them in autumn, before frost comes. It's mid/late October for me. You don't want to start them to early before frost (they might start to show above ground and then freeze, mostly they do OK but if there is a super cold winter they can't handle it..). So check the weather forecast.


BLOCK 4 (Needs almost nothing)
* potatoes = I start chitting my potatoes in february. I move early potatoes outdoors in the end of may or beginning of june. I keep them covered with glass, plastic or fiber cloth until frost risk is over. Late potatoes I move outdoors in june. Then my frost risk is definitely over and I don't have to bother with covering. Potatoes is an important thing to rotate to avoid diseases. Here's a link on how I grow my potatoes: Growing Potatoes in raised beds

These things you can put in any block:
* Spring onions = I'm for some reason never successful with spring onions! Some one else will have to pitch in on this one!
* Lettuce = I start in january, winter sowing in the snow (like spinach above), and sometimes also during spring.
* Strawberries = It's a summer crop. Start seeds early in the season, or if you want strawberries during the first year - buy some plants in the spring and move them to your garden in may.

Here's a link to my garden plan for this year, each raised bed has dates on when I do what. Might help! Raised Bed Plans

Good luck, and don't hesitate to come back with questions and pictures on how it's going.
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Tomwhite87
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:45 pm

Re: Help needed with growing! (Newbie)

Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:35 am

You clearly know what you're talking about and thank you for taking your time to explain things to me! Can I ask what you fill in your raised beds with? I'm hearing a simple 50% compost and 50% top soil mixed together will be fine?


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Sanna
Site Admin
Posts: 755
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Help needed with growing! (Newbie)

Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:53 am

Tomwhite87 wrote:You clearly know what you're talking about and thank you for taking your time to explain things to me! Can I ask what you fill in your raised beds with? I'm hearing a simple 50% compost and 50% top soil mixed together will be fine?


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No problem! Image That's what we're here for!

The mix sounds fine to me. I have mine filled with the soil that was already on site, and continously add Compost, Grass Clippings, leaves and other organic material on top to keep improving and add nutrients.


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Ava R.
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:40 pm

Re: Help needed with growing! (Newbie)

Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:12 am

Sanna speaks the best advice. She is a very experienced gardener.


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