Past meetings‎ > ‎2013‎ > ‎

2013/04 - Growing food

Lots of different advice and ideas from everyone who came along.

Why is it good to grow your own food?
  • Can harvest at the times when it is very expensive in the shops
  • Great, fresh taste
  • Only harvest as much as you need at a time
Ideas and suggestions
  • Why not buy some 'Container fruit seed disks' from Home Bargains (tomatoes, strawberries and chilli all in one packet)? Put the disks in a pot, with some soil and water them.
  • Plant wildflowers that encourage bees - avoid bedding plants with large flowers, but minimal pollen.
  • Still worth planting things late, despite the cold, as most will just mean slightly later crops.
  • Broad beans are good to grow (they will arrive with everything else this year, due to the late start). If you have space, plant a batch of them every 3 weeks, to stagger the harvest.
  • Potatoes should be planted in March in Sheffield
  • Strawberries can be grown in a pot, or in hanging baskets (but remember to water them a lot). If grown in the ground remember to leave them completely for the first year.
  • Grow something unusual: salsify, kohlrabi, broccoletti.
  • Asparagus works well on a fairly small scale (but does grow very tall)
  • Carrots are hard work and very cheap and plentiful in supermarkets
  • Rhubarb growing tips - http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/goorganic/tips_summer.php
  • Seeds can be bought cheaply online: http://www.midlandseedcompany.co.uk/ or http://www.kingsseeds.com/ or http://www.simpsonsseeds.co.uk/ (buy in bulk then share with others)
  • Plant root vegetables in ground that had compost / manure last year (not this year).
  • Lettuce - grow a variety such as 'Webbs', harvest when still fairly small and keep it damp and in the fridge and it can last for a week or more
  • Good quality garden equipment from (Sheffield based) Burgon and Ball - http://www.burgonandball.com/garden.php
  • Contact Abundance if you have fruit which you are not able to harvest yourself (or if you have too much) - http://growsheffield.com/abundance/
Things to grow plants in:
  • An orange box lined with hessian or a plastic bag (lots of suitable wooden crates can be found behind the continental store in Upperthorpe)
  • 'Bag for life' (with some holes cut in the bottom)
  • Peas - in a greenhouse (or indoors) in old guttering, then slide soil + plants out into the ground
Stopping slugs
From the Garden Organic website ( http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/ ):