Any advice for a first time vegetable grower?

Michelle L asks: Any advice for a first time vegetable grower?
I am interested in growing some vegetables.

I have a garden in London and have never grown a vegetable in my life!

Any tips for easy veg to start off with, and whether is it better to use growbags or the soil?

The answer voted best is:

Answer by reynwater
Cheers and regards from the US. I’ve found vegies much prefer to be in the ground. Potting or bagging them limits their full growth potential.

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  1. easy things to grow are potatoes, carrots, onions, peas and runner beans although you have to give both of these canes to grow up, beetroot and lettuce all these like to be grown in the ground. if you want to grow something in gro bags then try some tomatoes, these also have to be tied into a cane, have fun

  2. I have grown tomaotes for several years and they were my first vegetable. They are pretty easy and you can do them in a container or in the ground. Peel off the bottom branches and bury it deep since all those little hairs on the stalk will become roots. Then put in full sun and water daily. You can add some compost or Fish Emulsion for fertilizer. FYI I wouldn’t try Zucchini, Watermelon, or Canetelope as your first one. They take up a LOT of room in your lawn and can be a little overwhelming as your first plant. Good luck!

  3. Start off with really good soil & improve it every year.

    Rotate you veggie groups each year. You can break them down to 4 groups or 6. eg legumes (peas, beans), brassica’s (cauli,broccoli, cabbage)

    Plant flowers & herbs like salvia’s, basil beforehand to encourage good natural predators of common garden pests.

    Keep it simple & small to start with, you are more likely to continue if you have success early.

  4. i started with tomato plants and ave grown them every year since. they are very easy.

    but its a bit late to start them from seed now.

    they are sold in any garden centre for about 50p. they can be grown in pots or the ground. and need a cane to grow up.

    you could also try herbs eg. basil, corriander.

    good luck!!!

  5. Use the native soil whenever possible, unless it’s really bad or full of stones and rubbish. Grow bags aren’t any use for most vegetables because of their limited size. Most veg puts down deep roots, growbags tend to be too shallow for most.
    If your soil is not that good, add some soil conditioner and / or well-rotted manure and compost to improve it. Also, feed the plants once every week or so to help them get the nutrients they need. Compost all the veg matter you can find and the soil will soon be in much better condition although it can take a couple of years to get it in top growing condition.

    Best vegetables to grow first time are potatoes. They are good at breaking up thick, heavy soil and are pretty easy to grow. Get some seed potatoes from your garden center / B&Q etc. and give them a try. Plant them 2~3 inches deep at about 12 inches spacing in rows. Rake up the sides of the rows as the shoots appear and keep doing that until it’s no longer possible or easy to do.

    Other veg that’s really easy – peas, dwarf french beans, onions, lettuces, radishes, Pak-Choi, carrots (in 12 inch pots), courgettes, marrows and beetroots.

    Some that’s harder – cabbages, climbing beans and sweet corn, cucumbers and tomatoes.

    Some that are really hard – parsnips and artichokes.

    Best thing to do is get some seeds and follow the instructions on the back. Oh, and get lots of slug pellets – slugs and snails are the biggest enemy to young vegetables – they’ll completely eat everything that puts it’s head out of the ground.

    The other big problem is pidgeons believe it or not ! They will completely strip peas and beans from the ground. Cover the peas and beans with loose nets until they’re tall enough to no longer interest the pidgeons (about 3~4 inches).

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