Growing veg… phase one of the experiment

I’ve long wanted to grow veg, but only recently got the space to do so. I was given some seeds at Christmas, bought from the excellent Real Seed Catalogue (which sells open pollinated seed rather than hybrid or GM), so I thought I’d finally try it.

My outdoor space is all paving (alas), with high walls all around, but I bought a planter and some pots and gave it a go.

Here’s what I planted:

Carrots
Spinach
Onions
Runner beans

I also bought a goosberry bush, and was gifted four tomato plants a couple of weeks ago.

Inside, I’ve got:

Basil
Chillies
Parsley
Thyme

The beginning bit was quite easy – the actual planting of the seeds in pots. But as time’s gone on I’m gradually realising that there’s quite a lot to making sure the plants stay healthy. Every one needs different amounts of space as they grow, for example, and different nutrients.

But actually, that’s been part of the fun. It’s a challenge.

I’ve had a few casualties. Some of the spinach got all brown round the edges and died off, and some of the carrots looked pretty limp at one point. I’ve not yet worked out exactly what happened, but I definitely left it too long to thin the plants (which I’d sowed very close together). However, once I did thin them out and transplanted some, the ones that remained took on a new lease of life and have been doing pretty well.

I recommend checking out these pages on About.com and YouTube for help with this if you’re a newbie like me.

The runner beans have so far shot up without me having to do much at all, and the tomato plants are beginning to bear fruit.

Right now, I’m waging war against aphids, who have taken over the basil plant. I washed the leaves with water a little while back and they seemed to disappear, but they came back back with renewed energy. Yesterday, I gave them a wipe with a washing up liquid and water combo – but there seems to be mixed reviews about whether this is a good idea. The next step, I suppose, will have to be an organic pest spray. We’ll have to see.

As long as I end up with some crops at the end of it all, I’ll be happy. I’m convinced this is just the beginning of a very promising career in growing my own…

Anyway, here are some pics to illustrate progress so far:

tomatoes

beans2

planter