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First attempt at herbs and veg in the U.K. Toplef10First attempt at herbs and veg in the U.K. 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

First attempt at herbs and veg in the U.K. I22gcj10First attempt at herbs and veg in the U.K. 14dhcg10

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First attempt at herbs and veg in the U.K.

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Scorpio Rising
AtlantaMarie
Hathor
learner01
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Post  learner01 7/8/2020, 10:15 am

Hi. I have built 3 beds for growing our first ever herbs and veg. As it is now July, are we too late to start growing things or is there still an opportunity.

Thank you

Mick
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Post  Hathor 7/9/2020, 11:09 am

Hi Mick, and welcome. I too am new to SFG, and to gardening in general, really. We're still constructing our whole garden, having been involved in a major house renovation - the garden has come last! I've turned our whole patch over to SFG, and have had table-height raised beds built so it will be a no bending, no digging garden from the start, but there's only a bit of it in use at the moment. I'm in Southport, by the way, so not too far from you, with a similar climate. You can still sow french beans, carrots, salad crops, radish, spring onions, turnips, chard, spring cabbage, fennel or oriental veg and if you can get herbs in pots, or seedlings of winter cabbage or cauliflower from garden centres or supermarkets, they could go in too. The salad stuff you will be harvesting in a few weeks, and for the rest, think of it as getting ahead for winter veg, rather than beat yourself up for missing the spring. Good luck
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Post  learner01 7/10/2020, 1:55 am

Thank you very much Hathor
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Post  AtlantaMarie 7/10/2020, 5:49 am

Hi Learner01 AND Hathor. Welcome from the SE USA! Glad you've joined us.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/10/2020, 8:44 pm

Hey!!!!  First attempt at herbs and veg in the U.K. 3170584802  Welcome Hathor and learner01!!!!

Glad you are all here!  Yes, sounds like you have time for a Fall planting!  

I am not so good at fall planting; but I have successfully done it a time or 2.   Honestly, really quick crops are radsh, spinach, some lettuces, kohlrabi, turnips (I really like the Asian varieties—very crunchy, smaller, like Tokyo cross or Hakurai).

glad you\'re here
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Post  sanderson 7/17/2020, 4:50 am

Learner01 and Hathor, Welcome to the Forum from California, western U.S. glad you\'re here

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Post  Hathor 7/17/2020, 6:12 am

Learner01, sorry, I meant to raise this the other day, but it slipped my mind at the time (senior moment!)

What with the lockdown & everything else, did you have trouble sourcing vermiculite for your SFG?

Having been horrified at the price from horticultural suppliers, I then looked at builder's merchants, but even with best terms from my builder, they quoted me £35 + VAT for 100 litres. I eventually paid around £15.50 from Kite Packaging, which really made a difference, as I needed a lot. Delivery was very quick, too.
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Post  learner01 7/17/2020, 8:55 am

Hi Hathor. So far, all I have sourced is good Vege grow compost. Haven't planted anything yet as I have mostly missed the boat this year. But it looks as if I can still start with Raddish, spinach, mature herb plants, etc. Do you think I will also need vermiculite
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Post  Hathor 7/18/2020, 3:06 am

Hi Learner01. I'm just referring to Mel's Mix, the recommended ideal growing medium for Square Foot Gardening. In essence, it's designed to provide the essential nutrients for your plants while remaining friable, so it's easy to work with and retaining moisture. The 3 components: peat (or substitute, I've used composted bark), compost and coarse vermiculite cover all the requirements. The vermiculite pieces act as little sponges, taking in water and any liquid feed you might apply, then releasing it back to the roots on demand so that as the "soil" around them begins to dry after being wetted by rain or watering, the vermiculite mini-reservoirs provide the further moisture they have stored for the plants to continue being happy. At least, that's my understanding of Mel's book!

When I set up my SFG bed a few months ago, I used a third each of the composted bark (in place of peat), mixed compost, and coarse vermiculite. I admit, it was a bit of a faff, but you only do it once, and it's really easy to plant in - "looser" than soil, if you get what I mean - plus the veggies come out "cleaner", which is an added bonus!

I'm sure the more experienced Square Footers on here will be able to explain. Like you, I'm just a beginner. I haven't had a huge variety from my efforts yet, but my husband said the radishes were far superior to any shop-bought ones he'd had (I don't like them, so can't comment) and the carrots were the carrotiest-tasting carrots (it's a word, honest Embarassed ) I've ever eaten! I've even enjoyed the roasted beetroot and I've never tried that before. It's a whole new world of culinary excitement you have before you...
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Post  learner01 7/18/2020, 4:07 am

I have been told that home grown tastes much better than shop bought so looking forward 😁. It will improve my diet. I don't do raddish but I am going to grow and then try. Tastes do change. 😄
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Post  plantoid 7/18/2020, 12:30 pm

You should start sowing your overwintering cauli and spring cabbage in  a small six inch run any time now , when they get to about 120 mm tall  carefully lift the out in clumps tease them apart then transplant at 500 mm apart & puddle them in ( use lots of gentle water as soon as they have been transplanted) & perhaps put in a broken up a shop purchased bulb of garlic @ one clove every 150 mm apart in any direction . 

Over wintering late carrots for eating mid to late Dec well into April next year  can also be sown . If hard frosts or prolonged frosts of minus 4 or lower are forecast cover them with a mulch of 50 to 60 mm of deep  peat & vermiculite over the greenery .


Last edited by plantoid on 7/18/2020, 12:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  plantoid 7/18/2020, 12:38 pm

@Hathor wrote:Learner01, sorry, I meant to raise this the other day, but it slipped my mind at the time (senior moment!)

What with the lockdown & everything else, did you have trouble sourcing vermiculite for your SFG?

Having been horrified at the price from horticultural suppliers, I then looked at builder's merchants, but even with best terms from my builder, they quoted me £35 + VAT for 100 litres. I eventually paid around £15.50 from Kite Packaging, which really made a difference, as I needed a lot. Delivery was very quick, too.
Your vermiculite was/ is very cheap get more if you can afford it as it stores well .  I was paying £ 27 per 100 litre bag nearly 12 years ago  ( 32 bags total at the end of finally setting up 260 square feet of 900 mm deep beds over two years )
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Post  Blossom137 12/13/2020, 6:17 am

Hello! I know my answer is quite late but I think it can help others who will struggle with similar problem. I have to say, that July is not too late! There are still many plants you can grow that late. Especially, late varieties (eg. of carrots). Also in this part of the year you can start growing something and then bring it home. It depends on you and also weather!
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Post  Kelejan 12/13/2020, 7:50 pm

glad you\'re here Learner from Lytham St. Annes and Hathor for Lancashire UK. happy hi

I live in British Columbia, Canada, but will be returning to England some time in 2021.
After living in such a large country as Canada, it will be a change to live in a far smaller country.  But it is just as diverse as Canada just on a smaller scale.

I will be following this thread to see what is different between the two countries.  Here in B.C. we have long winters, short Spring and Autumn and a longish summer.  I am looking forward to shorter Winters, longer Springs and Autumns and whatever Summer we get.  I will be living in the County of Essex.  I used to live in Bedfordshire before coming to Canada.

Best of luck in your gardening, Learner01 and Hathor. Very Happy
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