The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: PipKelpy on May 07, 2019, 11:27:24 pm

Title: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: PipKelpy on May 07, 2019, 11:27:24 pm
I always have in my mind what my veg garden will look like. Trust me, never does!! I have my Charlottes growing at the end of a 20ft x 6ft bed. Now, in my mind, once i have my whopping harvest that ground will be reused for something that will grow fabulously!!


Can anyone tell me the easiest thing to grow fabulously? Spuds, winter squash/courgettes (as long as the mice dont get them), runner/french beans, bolted lettuces etc i can grow. Aren't they the staples? But i already have these growing elsewhere.

Am looking for ideas otherwise, once the spuds are pulled, i will have a good section of veg bed doing nowt! Asking now, as that will give me chance to sow.

Please dont suggest cabbages/broccoli etc. Bought some plug plants many years ago, made frames, bought netting etc. Loved them, talked to them, watered them, nurtured them!! Carried Tuppence and her clutch of chicks onto the garden so they could decimate the caterpillar population. I took great pleasure in that!
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: cambee on May 08, 2019, 11:30:10 am
I’m the same as you, desperately trying to grow my own vege on 2 raised beds for the last 3 years and failing miserably. Successes have been potatoes, green beans and cos lettuces. Failures so far, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts ( all eaten away by caterpillars and insects), cucumber and courgettes (grew like triffids and turned into bitter marrows overnight), leeks (tiny) and beetroot (all died). I’m not sure what I do wrong so I’ll be pleased to hear of any other ‘easy to grow’ too!
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: Dan on May 08, 2019, 11:36:38 am
How about a green manure? Won't give you a crop, but it might give the bees a crop and will improve soil health.

Where you are, and since you're growing Charlotte (lifting August?), you'll probably get buckwheat to a reasonable size before you need to dig it in. Or overwinter grazing rye (harder to dig in), phacelia or a clover.
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: chrismahon on May 08, 2019, 01:50:58 pm
We intend to follow our potatoes with parsnips, because the ground will be soft and deep and I do like parsnip chips. I have given all our beds a good dose of potash, because my ancient gardening book says it is essential for growing greens. With a woodturning fire we have potash in abundance over Winter, which is when it is spread to wash in.
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: PipKelpy on May 08, 2019, 03:04:12 pm
Get yourself a brew and take a deep breath! - When i started the garden due to it being wonky (the whole property is) i thought "Raised beds". Looking back, i should have bit the bullet and started digging, however, the garden is alot of sand, this i know for a fact as we had an extension built onto it back in 98 and it was lots of sand and clay that came out! First beds went in, spuds for several years and a few runner beans. Beds, filled with muck off the pile, bags of compost, shove in a tuber and hay presto, theres my veg! Well, those beds rotted after a few years, so then the fun started. Original plan was a few beds. Over 3 years, ALL 2ft deep, i put 3, 6ft X 4ft beds in, 8, 4ft square beds, an IBC cut in half, an old bath, and 8ft by 2ft bed to fill a space (its 2ft 5 at the other end (garden wonky!)) and several belfast sinks that we've inherited over the years. reclaimed slabs (off a pile where they were all shoved on my field), blue bricks, blue tiles, lethal red quarry tiles used for edging (little buggers to walk on) and several buckets and mineralised lick tubs for extra planting. NOTHING ORGANISED AND TIDY HERE!! With lambing in December, i have plenty of muck, so beds, once all cleared of everything and weeded, muck straight from the shed, shoved on. I dont rotate the veg, i rotate the soil. I know it sounds like hard work (it is) but i know what grows best and where, so as the compost has rotted down, i make a trench, fill with muck, toss on from the next row and keep going around. ITS WORKED LIKE THIS FOR SEVERAL YEARS!!

However, the last few years, the beds have been slightly rotting (think raw hot muck cooking away all winter waiting for the spring sowing!) Last year, i had to bite the bullet and replace ALL the wooden beds. When i bought them originally, it cost me £250 for all the boards. It would have cost me £750 this year and i dont have it so i had to merge. The 6ft beds are now one long 21ft bed by 6ft wide.  I have been practising, i can stretch, just about to reach the middle. The 4fts are now also 21ft long as they are in front of the previous bed, but we have dug down and lowered this bed as since i have lost my paths in between the beds, the wheel barrow now has one  access, straight down between them.

My alone 4ft beds are now slightly smaller. I was offered a type of concrete panel that is around 3.5ft long by 3ft deep, so we got enough to make 3 beds. These have also been dug down into the ground to lower them down. My 8ft bed is the last original wooded bed left, but that was also the last one to be put in, so i am hoping he has a few years left.

I had help doing all this, thankfully and he has shifted alot of soil, however, there wasnt as much as i thought that there would be as the beds were pretty low, so i have purchased compost, and the big bed has been filled with muck as described earlier on. However, i have done this differently by layering it. A wheel barrow of muck a day, then layer with compost, then repeat up until i got about 6 inches from the top. The cattle were also in so i had plenty of muck! My Charlottes are in this bed and they fill a space about 6 ft x 8ft (i'm guessing the length). I am also trying this year Rudolphs. Discovered them in Tescos last year and loved them so have bought some sets and giving them a go. They are not on muck.

There were problems here with mum and that bed, 21ft x 4ft has had no muck on it. I do realise i might not get a good crop of spuds on this bed, am prepared for that, so have got some compost in to help. I'm hoping that my courgettes, winter squash and i'm trying sweet corn, will be fine on that bed as well, (i have images in my head of how i hope my garden will look, which of course NEVER matches how it does look!)

Sorry for the long essay, trying to explain why and what etc.

We have couple of multifuel stoves and have some logs, but mainly burn smokeless so cant spread the ashes.

Brassicas, i love them but nothing worse than seeing butterflies inside the netting, wondering how they got there, even worse, finding catterpillars but no butterflies, wondering how they got there!! Love leeks, have never managed to get them bigger than a spring onion! Carrots never go bigger than my little finger. When the mice dont eat them, mangetout NEVER make it to the house. Sweet mangetout? waste of time steaming, pop it in your mouth raw. Lovely! Love broad beans, can grow them too! Got suttons in at the moment in one of the IBC halves with a few spuds as i'm sure i read somewhere that Broad Beans grown with spuds is good.

I knew that this 6ft bed would be ockered to get at due to its size but i was limited with what i could do due to how the garden is. Tilts several directions at the same time. You stand behind this big bed and you're very much aware that you're standing at least a 6 inches higher than the bottom of it!

The only advantage about the garden is that its south facing but i have a holly hedge all round and when the sun is out you can see where there are shady areas. Mum planted 2 conker trees on it, won't let them be cut down, a whopping great yew tree, 2 lime trees, plum tree that i have threatened to chop his head off unless he gives me plums (he has obliged the last few years) and 2 apple trees. We have alot on a little space.

Also, my patch!! My beloved patch!! This is 6ft square, the sunniest, brightest spot in the garden, originally where a greenhouse was, that we gave away due to never using it!! Potatoes, success! Runner beans, MAJOR success. Lots of muck on it one winter, result, fabulous courgettes!! THEN! "Oh, where can i put this?" Mum plants 3 conkers!! Fast forward several years, the biggest is now about 12 ft tall and towers over my patch and casts shade onto my 6ft bed. The other 2 were "accidentally decapitated" last year! So i have dedicated this patch to wildlife. Lavender on it at the moment with some marigolds and borage coming through. The decapitated trees have grown back HOW??????? Extra watering for me. Mum also planted a conker on a bank behind a breezeblock wall holding the garden up. That too has shot up about 12ft high, we get conkers off that one.

So, if you've managed to reach the end, 6ft x 8ft after spuds?

Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: Terry T on May 08, 2019, 05:44:46 pm
Hi there,
 I find the best crop to grow in a bed after potatoes is overwintering onions which I buy as sets. Potatoes out by end of August which reduces blight. Onions in in Sept/Oct which I harvest in June the following year, I then sow carrots into this but a lot of other crops would work too if you added some food for them.
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: Mad Goatwoman of Madeley on May 08, 2019, 09:06:26 pm
My newest beds were lined with thick plastic sheeting before the manure went in. That carpenter who built them is a friend so did mate's rates but the wood was pricey. The carpenter is a great guy who recycles stuff whenever he can. (He's just repaired my garden fence panels rather than throw them out.) The plastic came from another job he'd done. His garden looks like a builders' yards but he often says, "I'm sure I've got one of those." when he's telling me what we need to buy.
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: PipKelpy on May 09, 2019, 05:00:20 am
 His garden looks like a builders' yards but he often says, "I'm sure I've got one of those." when he's telling me what we need to buy.

The guy who helps, does the same. "Got that at home" he goes on about.
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: cloddopper on May 10, 2019, 10:19:17 am
Things depend on what type of spuds you are growing  early main or late because that will determine when the beds are able to be emptied , also if you irrigate the spuds  which can bring on a crop by a few weeks .

One of my handy planner sheets indicate that generally earlies can be lifted in early June  second early july main crop August  & lates Sept to \Oct .

 So depending on the type of seeds once you have cleared the earlies by mid June lets you put in pre growns in  plants of :- Marrows/courgettes , cucumber ,French beans, lettuce, peas, capsicum  peppers , radish & beetroot & carrots as direct sown seed  ,rocket spinach , spring onions sweet corn & tomatoes all year round cauli
 As you can see the list is not exhaustive .

 You're best actually looking at seed packets for the sowing times  , taking a line from Birmingham  to Boston across the country as the usual time being referred to on the packets .. above that line for every 100 miles north  bring the end sowing date forward by a day and below it for every 75 miles south you ought to be able to add an extra day to the sowing season . ..some new hybrids have quite a long growing season .
Title: Re: Easy Veg FOLLOWING spuds
Post by: vfr400boy on May 28, 2019, 08:55:54 am
After my new spuds I always fallow with leeks I get plug plants because the soil is vey soft after the potato’s you can use a bar and make a hole 2ft deep and drop one leek plant in full with water and leave it ,
At Christmas when you come to pull them they Have about a ft of White below the ground