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Thread: Growing your own

  1. #1
    Heavenly Creature Roamer's Avatar
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    Growing your own

    I went today to the co op & bought one of those grow bags.
    I want to grow some lettuce & salad leaves so I thought I'd buy one of them, but I'm going to just take a few handfuls & put them in little pots. Is that okay
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    I cant keep it as a big long grow bag coz I did that last year & my fatcat thought what a lovely cat tray ta very much mum I'll crap in that
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    I'm on a budget & I dont need these huge great heavy 2 for 1 big things. Its only me & I only want a bit of fresh homegrown salad through spring & summer.

    Do I not need any soil then? Or just this stuff?

    How often do I water?
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    It's all going to live in the conservatory for now. It's still a bit chilly. I dont want to cook the poor things the first sign of sun though. I just want a nice bit of healthy salad.

    Any top tips gratefully received.


  2. #2
    Heavenly Creature Roamer's Avatar
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    Why do they even sell these grow bags anyway
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    Surely it's just the same stuff. Everybody has pots
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    even if its just an ice cream tub.

    Why were grow bags even invented?

  3. #3
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    Sow small amounts at 1 week intervals, salad leaves grow fast, radishes are the easiest things in the world to grow and good in stir-fry. You can grow in a length of plastic gutter hanging if cats are a problem, keeps snails off too. This also works with strawberries as the fruits hang over the edges and slugs can't get them.

    I've grown all sorts in gro-bags, but if you are emptying into pots try to mix 50/50 with topsoil, it stops them drying out so quickly.
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  4. #4
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Grow rocket and mizuno , their more tasty than lettuce and even easier than lettuce to grow, let a couple of plants flower and go to seed , and you never need to buy seeds for them again , in a cono , they will crop all year round too.
    Lettuce and radish seeds are only 29 p in lidl at the moment , and they have several types of lettuce.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by Boaty McBoatface
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    Sow small amounts at 1 week intervals, salad leaves grow fast, radishes are the easiest things in the world to grow and good in stir-fry. You can grow in a length of plastic gutter hanging if cats are a problem, keeps snails off too. This also works with strawberries as the fruits hang over the edges and slugs can't get them.

    I've grown all sorts in gro-bags, but if you are emptying into pots try to mix 50/50 with topsoil, it stops them drying out so quickly.
    1 week intervals but is that in different pots? How big do my pots need to be? I cant find my seeds from last year
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    I know I kept them specially. I forget the distance between each little seed now when you are sowing them.

    I've only got incy pots. I dont have much space here & I'm trying to be frugal & I'm getting into the whole recycling & reusing style of life. Well...
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    thats my aim. I've got marge tubs & other plastic containers like 4pt milk containers chopped in half. Is that any good?
    When you say soil is it best to buy the soil? My garden is just heavy mud at the mo
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    I have a nice lawn but the edges are just mud.

  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Grow rocket and mizuno , their more tasty than lettuce and even easier than lettuce to grow, let a couple of plants flower and go to seed , and you never need to buy seeds for them again , in a cono , they will crop all year round too.
    Lettuce and radish seeds are only 29 p in lidl at the moment , and they have several types of lettuce.
    I'm going to Lidl with my girl tomorrow
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    I will buy some.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Grow rocket and mizuno , their more tasty than lettuce and even easier than lettuce to grow, let a couple of plants flower and go to seed , and you never need to buy seeds for them again , in a cono , they will crop all year round too.
    Lettuce and radish seeds are only 29 p in lidl at the moment , and they have several types of lettuce.
    When they have gone to seed how do you know? Do you store them for the following year then?

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    Heavenly Creature parrotandcrow's Avatar
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    Marge tubs and the milk containers are fine. I rarely have "proper" planters unless my sister buys potted plants, as she throws the post out, so I take them.
    If men bore wings and had black feathers, few would be intelligent enough to be crows.
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    Heavenly Creature parrotandcrow's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Roamer
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    When they have gone to seed how do you know? Do you store them for the following year then?
    If they throw up a flower stalk, nip or cut it out. That's preparation for them seeding.
    If men bore wings and had black feathers, few would be intelligent enough to be crows.
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    Originally Posted by parrotandcrow
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    If they throw up a flower stalk, nip or cut it out. That's preparation for them seeding.
    So they wont seed without a flower then? What do I do with the flower & seeds? Is it like herbs where you dry them out?

    I love gardening but it can be a different language sometimes. I've only ever had results from pure luck but I've never been able to work out what I did right.
    If I butcher something in a garden that annoys me it will grow back a beauty
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    If I love it & start from scratch it either bolts or dies
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    I am determined to have success this year & I will post pics in honour.

  11. #11
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Lettuce you do not want to flower , it will make the lettuce bitter , rocket and mizuno , it doesnt matter so much , , they will become tall and rocket has white flowers mizuno yellow , nip off the flowers on all but a couple it will make the plants bushy , but if you want to collect the seeds , let them flower , the flowers will wither and they will be replaced by a seed pod like a little pea pod about inch and half long , leave them on the plant till they go from green to a bit yellowy , then remove the pods and let dry out , when they have dried you can split open and harvest the tiny black/brown seeds , they will keep for a couple of years .
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Lettuce you do not want to flower , it will make the lettuce bitter , rocket and mizuno , it doesnt matter so much , , they will become tall and rocket has white flowers mizuno yellow , nip off the flowers on all but a couple it will make the plants bushy , but if you want to collect the seeds , let them flower , the flowers will wither and they will be replaced by a seed pod like a little pea pod about inch and half long , leave them on the plant till they go from green to a bit yellowy , then remove the pods and let dry out , when they have dried you can split open and harvest the tiny black/brown seeds , they will keep for a couple of years .
    Thank you ma.

    I will buy some new seeds tomorrow & see how I go.

    I will make you all proud
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  13. #13
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    Ma, we went to my girls Lidl yesterday & they didnt have any seeds at all in
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    It was all bedding & tools & house stuff.

    No gardening stuff at all. Maybe its next week at our branch
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    I went to Yorkshire trading but they were silly expensive so I got in a strop & walked out & went to Boyes & they were 89p each but they didnt have what I wanted
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    If I can find last years seeds will they still be okay? I'm going to go through my boxes & my little shed & hunt them down. I know I kept them when I moved, I'm sure I did!

    I might have a pootle round the pound shop later & have a looksy at what they've got.


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  14. #14
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    Thats a shame !

    Last years seeds should be fine , maybe a slightly lower germination rate , depends how they were stored .


    Are you sure you looked properly , did you ask , they have them on a big upright display thingy ?
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    Originally Posted by ma bungo
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    Thats a shame !

    Last years seeds should be fine , maybe a slightly lower germination rate , depends how they were stored .


    Are you sure you looked properly , did you ask , they have them on a big upright display thingy ?
    I walked round twice inside and out
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    Its only a tiny Lidl & its nothing like my nice big well stocked one in Devon was.

    They had a few trays of half dead pansies outside
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    My daughter bought a houseplant for her room.

    My old Lidl was great. They had rows & rows of healthy looking garden stuff outside most of the whole year round.

    I will have a mooch round town & see what they've got. It's nearly march so surely everyone will be stocking up now. It's very mild aswell. I think the last of the frost is gone now.

  16. #16
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    Not pansies
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    I forget what they are called ...

  17. #17
    Heavenly Creature parrotandcrow's Avatar
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    Don't worry Roamer. It is still very early to plant out. Some veg and flowers, I don't put in till late May/June. We have such long summers now that they do perfectly well.

    Garden centres and the like put out trays and trays of seedlings from now on, knowing that they will be mostly killed off by wet/cold whatever; but they can sell the same plants right through the spring.
    If men bore wings and had black feathers, few would be intelligent enough to be crows.
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  18. #18
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    Yep! Plant out too early and you plants out twice, at twice the cost!

    I got to speak with plenty of plant sellers on markets, years ago. They all said they did a nice bit o' trade off the 'early birds', the people who planted out their stuff too early and got them frosted, or killed off in long periods of cold and wet. Then came back and complained to the trader, who would say something like:
    ' Planted 'em out, didya? Too early for that my dear; I thought you were puttin' 'em in a greenhouse awhile, see. Like most folks who buys early. Never mind, 'tis a bit milder now, I can do you a bit of a deal on these over here, see...'
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  19. #19
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    There are a ton of really good books out there. DR D G Hessayon does really good books that are specific to whatever e.g. the house plant expert, the veg and herb exp. There is a book in this series for whatever you want to grow, from the most basic to the down right weird. your library should carry at least the most popular of them.
    Keith is right, do your homework about the area you live in. Different parts of the UK have different temperatures on average therefore different growing seasons. The best bit of advice being offered here is plant little and often ensuring a supply right through the summer.
    Good luck!
    Because you are alive, everything is posible - Thich Nhat Hanh
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  20. #20
    Heavenly Creature Roamer's Avatar
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    I was forgetting it was half term
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    jesus my nerves are shattered & I was only in town hour & half.

    Yeah I think I will take your advice & wait a few weeks, I didn't have much luck finding what I wanted at the right price.
    I did get a few bits in the pound shop though
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    I got this cute little sign that says "Homegrown tastes better". They had one saying "Trespassers will be composted"
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    They had seed packets 3 for a 1 so I got some gem lettuce, spring onion & spinach.
    I got some cool bendy green buckets too.

    I will start everything off in the conservatory. I hope it grows this year
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    my cat destroys it every year so I will put it all up high & then no slugs either
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    that was a top tip from boaty.

  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by etherea
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    There are a ton of really good books out there. DR D G Hessayon does really good books that are specific to whatever e.g. the house plant expert, the veg and herb exp. There is a book in this series for whatever you want to grow, from the most basic to the down right weird. your library should carry at least the most popular of them.
    Keith is right, do your homework about the area you live in. Different parts of the UK have different temperatures on average therefore different growing seasons. The best bit of advice being offered here is plant little and often ensuring a supply right through the summer.
    Good luck!
    Little & often.

    I will remember that this year. I think thats where I have gone wrong in previous years.
    I just have a mad weekend in the sun & bung it all in everywhere & expect a mass harvest at the end of all
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    I do try but I am a bit useless really.

    I am determined this year to get it right.

  22. #22
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    Etherea is right about the Doc Hessayon series, they are very good, with plenty of helpful little diagrams and pictures.

    I never follow his advice about spraying chemicals, mind, we do alright without that. (He is - or used to be - the head of a big garden chemical company, so he likes to advertise his own stuff in his books).

    But in the main, his advice on planting and growing is good, with easy-to-follow advice on how deep to plant, how far apart, etc.
    All this seems straight-forward enough to us who have been doing it for years, but often it can be puzzling if you are just getting started.

  23. #23
    Walking back to happiness ma bungo's Avatar
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    This is where I go for advice as I am modern
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  24. #24
    Heavenly Creature etherea's Avatar
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    Arse
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    Because you are alive, everything is posible - Thich Nhat Hanh

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