Is anyone clued up when it comes to growing your own veggies?

    I am having a 4.2m wooden planter built in my garden this week for my new project of growing my own vegetables which i am quite excited about. I have been doing my research about what to plant where, what goes well with what etc and have come up with the following notes. I would like some advice as to what i have put below is correct? would add any additonal comments? how much width you think each item would need so i dont overcrowd and also would you plant them in any particular order? - thanks guys!!

    Cabbage I understand that is it good to plant strong smelling herbs around it to deter cabbage eating worms? Such as sage, thyme, mint, garlic and that chamomile improves flavour?

    Carrots go well with lettuce and onions but not with the caraway

    Garlic - to be planted with herbs to enhance flavour, chamomile also improves flavour

    Onions go well withlettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber

    Broccoli goes well withgarlic, lettuce, onion but not with lettuce

    Caraway - I have read a few times isadvised to plant this to loosen soil and to plant throughout garden but away from carrots?

    Lettuce goes well withcarrot, onion but not with broccoli

    Cucumber goes well withbroccoli, cabbage, carrot, lettuce, onion but keep away from the aromatic herbs

    Shallots go well withmarjoram

    I have also read that marigolds are ideal companions through out the garden, as they're reputed to attract hoverflies, which prey on aphids, as well as reduce the number of nematodes in the soil?

    Any other beginners tips would be greatly appreciated :-)


    Wow you seem clued up already, I didnt know any of that! i'll be planting veg myself later this weeks in containers so will bear this all in mind.

    My, you've been doing your homework, haven't you? The two peices of advice I can add to this are:

    1) For the love of god, do not plant mint. I love mint, and have loads of it, but not so much through choice. Mint is a weed, and although it does serve to deter slugs and snails (I did a research project last summer...), it will, within a couple of seasons, completely take control of any area you plant it in. It shouldn't be a problem if it's confined to pots and troughs, but planted in the same soil as everything else, and you will have trouble.

    2) Slugs and snails favour some plants over other plants. Courgettes, pumpkins, basil, broccoli, I *think* potato and possibly lettuce as well, they will be torn apart overnight by the little *******s. Other plants, and again from my own garden experience, like tomato, sweetcorn, strawberry and cress tend to be completely ignored. You really need to step up the precautions to keep the little *******ing sods out if you're planting their favoured plants.

    3) Copper does remarkably well at fending snails off. It builds a charge and gives them an electric shock if they try to slide over them. It's cool, they visibily recoil in pain. You can buy copper stip to wrap around the planter, and it might be a good idea to do so. They can still jump / levitate / teleport over copper strips, and they are bloody-minded in their persistance, so you would do well to maybe fit a decent width of copper strip, or perhaps to just use copper coins drawing-pinned to the wood. Make sure they are copper coins though, and not the cheapy brass ones that seem to have no effect. A magnet can do this.

    4) A circle of salt around the planter will, in theory, deter slugs and snails. Salt burns their feet off and kills them ina horrible mess of fizzling mucus hell. Unfortunately, it doesn't deter them, but it does kill the ones that don't jump / levitate / teleport over it. It's worth a shot, given you can buy a kilo of salt for 20p.

    5) When it rains, slugs and snails can crawl up anything. I've seen them scale the walls of my house to 20ft up, and regularly see them just hanging on twigs on branches of trees. It might help to put some sort of sheild around the edges of the planter, so the walls cannot get wet.

    Final tip is that it's worth buying a BB gun now for when that day comes that all the anti-snail measures you put in place serve to do absolute jack in the face of a swarm of them, and you wake to find all your plants dead and cut in half and mauled beyond repair. When that murderous genocidle rage overwhelmes you, it's good to be tooled up. An axe is also fun. £10 from argos.

    Subscribed - I only have strawberries, rocket and herbs growing on my small patch but cleared a larger area yesterday that had been devoted to rhubarb and tomatoes (a waste of good space imo), so I'm now looking for some ideas about what to plant there.

    Looking forward to seeing what others are doing and to hearing how your own project comes along. Pics would be good too :thumbsup:

    are you going to plant all this from seed?

    I have Strawberries, horseradish (in a container) and herbs growing at he moment, will be planting lettuce this week

    Original Poster

    Thanks for your advice DXX - as you can see yes i have done some homework but all just from internet topics and is always really useful to have 'real peoples' feedback as well!!
    I will definately be using your copper wire suggestion - salt i know is good but i havent the time to be protection my planter from the ****ers 24/7!!
    SunTza - i am pretty sure i have left it too late to grow most of these from seeds (???) (prehaps except things like lettuce and tomatos?) so will be buying some plug plants


    Thanks for your advice DXX - as you can see yes i have done some homework … Thanks for your advice DXX - as you can see yes i have done some homework but all just from internet topics and is always really useful to have 'real peoples' feedback as well!!I will definately be using your copper wire suggestion - salt i know is good but i havent the time to be protection my planter from the ****ers 24/7!!SunTza - i am pretty sure i have left it too late to grow most of these from seeds (???) (prehaps except things like lettuce and tomatos?) so will be buying some plug plants

    That's what I was thinking, do you have anywhere in mind to buy the plugs?

    Original Poster

    i am a bit of an eBay addict so will be looking there first - places like Suttons, Thomson & Morgan probably have a good selection as well along with starter kits

    been looking myself this morning, worrying that a lot of my seeds haven't come through yet. Ebay seems a good bet to me.


    Broken eggshells round everything will keep snails etc. Away

    Nae problem, Tanz. On the matter of it maybe being late for seeds, I think you still have some time left. I went for early-March planting of all mine, but the window should be open until around May for most seeds to be planted. What to do is,

    1) quick germinating plants are a win. Broccoli tends to spout up within a week, tomatoes around 10 days, lettuce around 2 weeks, and spring onion around the same. Herbs from seed, it's probably safe to just forget it now. Besides mint and basil, they seem incredibly hard to coax any life out of.

    2) Plants grow quickly in warm conditions. Use propagators (propagator lids cost about 75p in Homebase, and ar just like miniature clear plastic greenhouses) to keep heat in, keep them in warm rooms, if you can reposition an AC adaptor or something under a pot then that'd be great, and give them plenty of sunlight.

    3) If you've got multiple possible propagation locations for your seeds, like lots of windowsills or points of the garden that would be useful, a good way I've found to test each area to find which is best is to use cress planted in kitchen roll in a drip tray at the various different points. Cress grows super-fast, and it exposes which position is the best to grow in very quickly.

    4) Thermometers can help. sells small digital thermometers for about £2 each if bought in batches of five or more, which I've done so I can kkeep tabs on what the best places all are. Linky is…553 . I know it's geeky, but I'm a very geek-oriented person, and I do find the plants do well when I apply my nerdy nature to them.

    Have never tried it myself but seen lots of people saying to plant carrots together with radishes. Reason radishes grow quicker and will also mark the spot that carrots will come up. Radishes will be harvested before carrots so 2 crops from same area.
    Somebody else can comment on whether they have had any success with this or not.
    Another thing to think about if you are planning to do this every year is crop rotation as soil gets depleted of certain nutrients and growing same things in same place every year can make viruses more likely. Difficult in a small garden where limited space so pots may be easier or small raised beds where you can interchange things.

    Good pointers on slugs dxx.

    lidl & aldi are good places for plug veg - bought my cherry tomatoes there 2 weeks ago

    If theres anyone that has loads of space and considering growing veggies, apparently ducks are some of the best slug hunters around. They are said to be quite funny as well. Individual personalities...

    Dont forget the freebie here

    Mine arrived last week

    There's also this thread with a link to last year's as well.…792
    There's also a link to the bbc site with lots of techniques explained.

    Companion planting as in OP is quite a good idea but far from fool-proof.

    4.2 m is pretty big so you will be thinking about yearly rotation which is much more important IMO than companion planting. However it's not all that big, so think about the final sizes of your produce, how long it takes to their harvest, how good they will be compared to your usual place of purchase and which ones you really want. So if you love cabbages, fair enough but they are pretty big and take a good while til you can pick them.

    All systems go Harlzter? Allotment shed ready??

    It's not too late to grow most things from seed, although you are better off getting tomato plants from the garden centre now IMO, as it is late to sow them.

    Original Poster

    Thats good to know about my seeds - i will buy them all today and get them out in my conservatory this week - glad i got there in time!!
    I think it will do a crop rotation because the planter is quite big - but lets see how i do in my year 1 first before we start discussing round 2 - he he!!
    make sure you all subscribe to J Parkers email - i have had loads of free things from them!!

    If still growing from seed a cut in half loo roll holder makes right size pot to get a seed to plug plant size. I am gonna risk planting whole thing as it should breakdown in the soil same as a peat pot. Thats my thoughts anyway

    Sowed radishes, spring onions, lettuce and carrots straight into the ground less than 2 weeks ago and all are sprouting through, really pleased with these so far. Sowed peas indoors and are now outside under fleecing, also doing well. No sign of potatoes yet but they only went in a couple of weeks ago and hadnt chitted particularly well plus the dog has been on the raised bed after a cat!
    waiting for my tomato, bean, sweetcorn and cucumber plants from mums greenhouse, hopefully she will bring them tomorrow.
    Blackberry and raspberry plants bought last year have really took off in the last few weeks and my grape has finally come into bud. Strawberries are well away too..........not much room left for much more

    Original Poster

    FYI - i have just bought most of my seeds of eBay for 99p per pack with free postage! Bargain!
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