Thursday, July 17, 2014

Growing vegetables in a small garden

This year I have spent a lot of time trying to grow vegetables. I think it's so important for kids to grow things, spend loads of time outdoors and learn about where food comes from. At nearly three Mostyn has been really keen to help and learn - he knows about seeds and picking fruit and veg, digging, sunshine and of course... watering... he is an expert waterer!

I like to think that it's a past time (I hesitate to describe my attempts as 'skill') he will never forget, that may be necessary in an uncertain future of rising food prices. Yes I am a doom monger. My dreams have been fulfilled as Mostyn LOVES eating stuff we grow, even if it's things he wouldn't touch in a normal supermarket food from fridge type situation. He eats tomatoes straight from the bush, gobbles chopped raw runner beans like they were chocolate buttons and has been digging for potatoes like a champ.

I haven't got much space so mostly I've been growing things in containers. This has worked really well and I highly recommend it! I have no money either so the compost is the cheapest I could find (not peat free unfortunately).

We've grown (or attempted to grow) runner beans, tomatoes, courgettes, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries, sunflowers and some herbs. My strawberries were a total disaster but here's a few pictorial records of my other plants!:

Runner beans
These were so fun to do. I got some grow bags from Wilko because they are cheaper than pots, some sticks and a pack of runner bean seedlings for £1.50 and went for it. The results are spectacular!

My first home grown runner bean dinner!
Yesterday. I have nearly run out of fence!


I bought three heritage plants from the garden centre and they are coming along really well - I kept them in my conservatory for a long time to grow strong and now they are outside along a sunny wall, tied with string to the drain pipe! They are in some big pots I got cheap last year from my garden centre membership.

I love the interesting stripey turban shaped ones.

Cucumber and Gherkin 
I got the tiny gherkin plant for free, it was in box at the side of the road near my street saying 'please take one!' and I got the cucumber plant for £1 outside a second hand shop in town. Both have a tiny fruit growing!


I love courgettes and have never had much luck growing them - I am particularly emotionally attached to them this year because I managed to grow my current plants from seed.  If I had tonnes of space I would be ok but I've only got a small raised bed next to my raspberries. One plant has been decimated by slugs but the other one has finally got a couple of actual courgettes!
My plants I grew from seed!!!
Not sure if we'll get to eat these..... I'm doing my best again the slug onslaught without pellets
Miscellaneous plants

I've also got some beetroot that I had from some seedlings my colleague gave me. I'm not sure how big to let them grow so I'm just ignoring them for the time being.

Sunflowers from a friend! We grew these from seed!

I LOVE growing potatoes - they are so easy and satisfying. Last year I had one bag and this year I've done three. I stupidly forgot what varieties I picked up from the garden centre. Next year I will definitely write it down. I hoped I'd got new potatoes but these ones, whatever they are, are pretty much only good for roasting and mashing - I'm not complaining because they are still delicious. You literally just throw them in the bottom of a bag (I did three to each bag) and pile compost over them as the shoots grow up. Then they turn until triffids and then die down again, when the leaves go yellow you can start digging - Mostyn and I have dug up a whole bag and we've left two to get a bit bigger. The excitement of digging and uncovering potatoes is pretty unbeatable!!

They grew in a bag!! a bag!

Mostyn eating the results of our hard work!

1 comment:

  1. This puts me to shame. We have loads of space and I keep saying we'll grow things but I never get round to it. You're quite glorious crops have given me a kick up the bum!


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