ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Gardening to 'grow your own food' from square foot to half an acre !!
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kitla
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ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by kitla »

DH is thinking of growing a few extra veg in his late dad's garden (house is to be let), but he will only be able to visit once a week at most. We though of potatoes, can anyone think of anything else that could cope with being neglected?
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by Freeranger »

Cut and come again things? - like kale, spinach, herbs, lettuces.

Most things I've tried to grow didn't get much more attention than once a week, and everything except carrots have been fine - all our problems are weather and soil related. I guess being more south than us it would be watering that would be a problem.

You could always smother out weeds and keep in moisture with a weed proof membrane and grow through slits cut in it, or mulch once the plants are big enough.
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lancashire lass
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by lancashire lass »

kitla wrote:DH is thinking of growing a few extra veg in his late dad's garden (house is to be let), but he will only be able to visit once a week at most. We though of potatoes, can anyone think of anything else that could cope with being neglected?


... when I had an allotment plot, I usually only ever went once a week except for spring sowing / planting and if the weather was exceptionally dry and hot and plants needed watering ... so to answer your question, I would say most things can be left to grow themselves.

The problem with once a week visit is that weeds can take over very quickly and even knock the growth of the veg and even smother it. For example, once onion sets are planted, they just get on with growing but tall weeds will (1) cast shade and onions are very much a full sun crop and (2) because onion roots are fairly shallow, the weeds will take out water from the soil. In this case,

Freeranger wrote:You could always smother out weeds and keep in moisture with a weed proof membrane and grow through slits cut in it


would be a very good idea.

Most crops can be grown through weed suppressant membrane but take care with say potatoes - the membrane can make an ideal hide away for slugs and snails not to mention ant nests (something I discovered to my cost when growing potatoes through membrane) A good one for using membrane are the winter squashes - it helps to warm up the soil, the vines can meander to their hearts content and the fruits won't be sitting on damp soil and risk of rot. Winter squashes are thirsty plants so be sure to make sure the soil is well wetted (heavily water it, even put a mulch down as well just in case of another possible hot / dry year) before putting the membrane down, and create a moat round each plant so they can be heavily watered once a week (and the moat ideally placed so that spreading roots get maximum access to water) and you don't water the crown and risk it rotting.

I wouldn't advise courgettes unless you don't mind regularly harvesting baby marrows. Peas are another - if you don't regularly pick the pods, the plants usually only do one crop and then "go to seed". But most root veg should be fine (even carrots) Cabbage / sprouts / swede - do erect a frame and cover with fine mesh to keep out mainly the cabbage white butterfly and they are usually fine. Calabrese/broccoli are flowering plants so sometimes you go one week and they are not quite ready to be picked but in the blink of an eye, they have turned to blossom so maybe not one to use.

I think a lot comes down to giving it a try and see how it goes )t'
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kitla
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by kitla »

I have just remembered that rabbits often visit the garden, Grandad sometimes resorted to shooting them to stop them eating the veggies! So that rules out alot of things. Potatoes should be ok, perhaps onions too, but anything salad like will probably disappear between visits! oh well.
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by Freeranger »

Nets would stop that, Kitla
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kitla
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by kitla »

dont they just dig underneath?
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by Dorrens daughter »

courgettes it would take a nuclear bomb to stop them growing, its the plant that gives and gives well at least on my allotment.
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kitla
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Re: ideas for veg that can grow themselves

Post by kitla »

I agree, I love courgettes & always grow one in our garden. I like to eat them mini sized so need to have them close by as they quickly grow into marrow size!
We're thinking of trying leeks too at grandads patch, hoping the rabbits wont like those.
"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."
--Immanuel Kant
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