Author Topic: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own  (Read 731 times)

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Offline phatbeetle

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Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« on: March 10, 2017, 03:18:18 PM »
We've had a few old threads about gardening, but haven't had any in a wee while. 

Anyone here into gardening?

I have both a small allotment and a well kitted out home garden with soon to have 12 (currently have 10) raised beds, a greenhouse, compost bins (traditional and bokashi), fruit trees and chickens.  I am planning on making flower bed in the front and side of the house and all along the fence for climbers, which will all need to be done this year (house was built in 2015, so we're making lots of progress)  I've got barrels for flowers as well.  Also planning on making a womery soon.     

Allotment currently has the last brussels and flower sprouts ready and spring cabbages and kale are coming into their own now. 

I have potatoes chitting on the countertop and onions and garlic very happily growing in trays in the greenhouse for transplanting soon.  Getting ready for more seed sowing as well. Electric propagators and grow lights are fabulous things.   

We've not actually had luck with kitchen windowsill herbs (think its the light in the kitchen) but we are going to keep on trying, as we use loads. 

I also have houseplants. 

Who has a green thumb?
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Offline TravelingFrog

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2017, 05:24:22 PM »
I don't know why I missed this post earlier but I'm glad I found it now!

DH and I love to garden, but we'll be getting a late start this year. We just got back from 6 months in Europe and the US and we'd given up our flat before leaving, so we'll be look for a new one, hopefully with a garden!

In past years, we've grown peas, cherry tomatoes, sunflowers, round courgettes and basil. I like taking cuttings of plants and have had a few very successful fuchsias.

The last bit of our trip was in the Black Forest and the weather was amazing - around or just over 20C each day. When we arrived in mid-March, most people were getting their garden on already. It was inspiring but reminded us that we might not get that this year, depending on what kind of flat we rent.

Even if it's just pots on the windowsill, we'll be growing something, I'm sure!
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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2017, 05:41:00 PM »
The last bit of our trip was in the Black Forest and the weather was amazing - around or just over 20C each day. When we arrived in mid-March, most people were getting their garden on already. It was inspiring but reminded us that we might not get that this year, depending on what kind of flat we rent.

Even if it's just pots on the windowsill, we'll be growing something, I'm sure!

How very cool!!

It's amazing what you can grow in pots on the windowsill! 
Yay for growing stuff  :D
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Online KFdancer

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2017, 06:18:51 PM »
We have cleared the beds in front of our house and DESPERATE need advice on what to plant.  I'll post some photos later.  I would LOVE some ideas.

Offline TravelingFrog

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2017, 07:07:13 PM »
We have cleared the beds in front of our house and DESPERATE need advice on what to plant.  I'll post some photos later.  I would LOVE some ideas.

One of my fave flowers to grow are snapdragons. Easy, colourful and fun for kids.

Peas are great for healthy snacks and fun for kids to pick themselves. Most do require a trellis and it's easy to make kid-friendly with no pokey bits. We use a netting trellis on bamboo (no kids, but it's pretty kid-friendly).

Tomatoes are fun, too. We grow cherry tomatoes and last year we got quite few, but so did the slugs. :-\\\\
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Online larrabee

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 07:49:46 PM »
One of my fave flowers to grow are snapdragons. Easy, colourful and fun for kids.


Love snapdragons, especially the deep red ones and the smell is delicious!  :)

KFd, sweet peas (which are flowers, not peas for eating) are fun and easy too. They have a lovely scent and the more you pick the more you get. You'll have little poseys all over the house.  :) They are annuals though.
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Offline Karlee

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 08:52:24 PM »
I like pansies, primroses, impatiens, lavender (smells wonderful as well). I planted dahlias last year and while they looked nice, the petals were very delicate and seemed to all fall off at the slightest gust of wind.

We have a couple potted palms in our yard too, and I'm surprised at how hardy they've been. Gives the place a little tropical vibe  :)

We have rosemary growing in our kitchen windowsill. The trick is not to overwater it! We planted tomatoes and potatoes in our mini greenhouse last year, but no luck. It was our first venture into planting vegetables, and we really underestimated how much room for growth they needed.
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Online KFdancer

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 09:19:15 PM »
So my thoughts are small bushes or tall grasses at the back.  And maybe some annual flowering things at the front?  I have NO IDEA how to make things interesting though.  I want to plan it right so that it looks good all four seasons!  HELP!!  My husband and I SUCK at this.

We just went through the pain of clearing the existing weeds, vines, and bushes.  We've left the climbing roses and pink things on the right.

Today the front stoop was raised and replaced with black limestone.  Next few days the front path is being replaced with black limestone as well.  We've got the hardscape down.  We just don't know plants!!




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Online larrabee

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2017, 09:36:41 PM »
So my thoughts are small bushes or tall grasses at the back.  And maybe some annual flowering things at the front?  I have NO IDEA how to make things interesting though.  I want to plan it right so that it looks good all four seasons!  HELP!!  My husband and I SUCK at this.

We just went through the pain of clearing the existing weeds, vines, and bushes.  We've left the climbing roses and pink things on the right.

Today the front stoop was raised and replaced with black limestone.  Next few days the front path is being replaced with black limestone as well.  We've got the hardscape down.  We just don't know plants!!




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Beautiful home!   :D

With the grasses idea. I'd be careful to stay away from pampas grass...  ;)
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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2017, 11:19:53 AM »
What kind of budget do you have KFDancer? That will dictate a lot of what you can plant.
Annuals and bedding plants can be great to add colour right away. You're not too late to sow seeds and these can be cheaper.  You can also buy small plug plants that you need to pot on from somewhere like Thompson & Morgan that are a bit cheaper than full on plants.

Perennials offer much more bang for your buck and will last for a long time. They're hungry though, so make sure you really dig in a lot of good compost and rotting matter. 

I know you're having a baby soon so your time will be very limited, so how about a ready chosen border from somewhere like garden on a roll or crocus

KFd, sweet peas (which are flowers, not peas for eating) are fun and easy too. They have a lovely scent and the more you pick the more you get. You'll have little poseys all over the house.  :) They are annuals though.


There are perennial sweet peas, which are lovely. But they don't have the same gorgeous scent as the annual ones. 
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Online KFdancer

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2017, 07:31:36 PM »
Hmmm, really good question about the budget.  Already seems out of control!  We found someone to raise the front step for £150 plus materials.  Next thing you know we were not only selecting natural stone but also ordering enough to replace the front path.  And slate chipping for the borders (all of which is ready to go on our driveway!), and we are looking at edging too...  which my husband wants to put around the trees too.  So our £150 project is easily approaching £1,000 already!  And I want to get new lights, as I think lighting makes all the difference between a ho-hum exterior and a great exterior.

Baby or not, we are not gardeners so need minimal fuss ideally.  We love love love to mow the lawn (practically argue over who gets to do it).  Weeding, not so much!

Do you think £200 for plants is realistic?  While keeping the cost low is ideal, more than anything we just want to get it right.  But I really would be pained to spend more than £500.  And I'd only go there if the plants are pretty idiot proof.  I don't want to immediately kill my investment!

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 08:49:58 AM »
I think you can create an amazing look for £200.

If you don't like weeding, mulching is your friend. Once you get your plants all in, mulching will really help you out. 

The RHS website is a good place to start for what works. 

A few things to work out is the plot sunny, wet, dry?  What kind of soil?  Heavy, clay, sandy? 

Do you have a local nursery/garden centre?  Definitely worth having a chat with the folks there, because they will know your area very well, your climate, your soil, etc and can help suggest plants for your garden as well. 
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Offline sonofasailor

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 10:55:01 AM »
Looks easy to mow. I'd leave it like it is.
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Offline Mary13760

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2017, 01:03:10 PM »
I'm glad to find this thread! We love gardening and keep trying to improve our front area. We live in a rural village but don't own, so we don't overdo the investment in big plants. I wish I could get some apple trees started!

I had a farm with lots of yard when I lived outside Buffalo NY....I had some animals and lots of chickens. Gardens that I put in myself, loved raised beds.

Here we found that if we dig any deeper than 5" it's all gravel! We're on top of an old school yard and they just dumped the soil on for grass. Horrible. I want to look for containers to start doing some raised beds, then if we move the improved organic soil can come too I hope! I love watching Youtube videos about gardening indoors and out. I'm also into sprouting seeds etc to eat. That's easy enough!

My husband loves flowers and really never thinks of growing veg. I like both and really want to start growing more we can eat so it's healthier (and cheaper!).  We're up in Northern Northumberland so it's very chilly, folks around here say you have to have a green house or polytunnel. Well we can't afford one yet and the backyard doesn't get enough light or we might invest in one. The back yard is just an area of gravel where the oil tank is and we hang washing, not much space. But I did tuck one of those cheap tall greenhouses against the back wall, it gets partial sun.

The past two years I've been here I've started seed trays indoors in our front windows. Then planted out but the timing is always iffy with the weather. I guess I better start my sunflowers and other things if I'm going to do it. I thought I'd try planting some seeds out in the greenhouse too, but I might not have time to mess around.

It'll be nice to hear and see what others are doing in their gardens here!
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Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Green thumbed folks, gardeners and grow your own
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 04:39:33 PM »
I wish I could get some apple trees started!

How about patio sized apple trees in containers? They'd be easy enough to move and still give you bunches of apples. 
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