Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

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Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286488 Amaranth
Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:10 pm

This year, I'd like to get as much food from the garden as possible without spending too much to produce it. I can get good compost, so that's no trouble. A couple friends suggested potatoes and greens as being key things to grow. I asked which greens were best to grow. One friend said whatever I like best. I like most everything usual plus international greens such as Italian or Asian. :icon_smile: Another said she usually gets more from leafy greens than heading greens, but that some years her cabbages do really well.

To help me choose what to focus on first, what would be the top 5 things that you would choose? Do you like potatoes and greens being two of them or would you like something else more?

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286489 okra
Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:31 pm

I have always worked on the grow what you like to eat the most. Some crops are also worth growing because they are unavailable or very pricey in supermarkets. Potatoes and onions are a must for us - they last ans you pay so much more for organic. Perpetual spinach goes on and on at producing lots of lovely leaves which can be used in so many ways. Fourthly, carrots which taste so much better and lastly (if choosing five only) are tomatoes.

If could go to six, beans of all types -broads, runners and French.

Good luck with whatever you choose to grow.

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286490 Flo
Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:08 pm

All forms of beans and peas are good value as are lettuce and green salad stuff (salad leaves). So that's four. Leeks are a good and long standing crop.

Brussels and purple sprouting broccoli take up space but you can eat the heads of the brussels as well as the sprouts and the leaves from the psb as well as the shoots so each plant is two crops.

Dwarf kale, red and green, do give a good and long harvest.

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286493 Odsox
Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:21 pm

I also grow what I like to eat, unless you're growing to sell produce there is no point in growing anything you are not that keen on.
My number one is peas, I could live on peas and frozen shop ones are foul once you've tried freshly picked.
Number two would have to be tomatoes, we eat tomatoes in one form or another nearly every day
Like Flo, I always grow lots of leeks, brocolli and sprouts, so that's my 5 limit.

If I were allowed another 5 it would be, runner beans, savoy cabbage, onions, lettuce & carrots.
Tony

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286495 Green Aura
Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:39 pm

I'd certainly agree with the "grow what you like to eat" - not much point in growing it if you don;t really. That may well still leave a huge choice though, if you enjoy most veg, so as a sort of filter I'd start with the things you really like but are most expensive to buy.
I think another filter would be how much time can you devote - would going daily to water be a problem? Some veg require very little attention other than the occasional weeding. Just a couple of things to consider.

My top 5 would be
Romanesco broccoli (seems to be called cauliflower these days)
Purple sprouting broccoli (different strains for all year round(ish) harvest
Beans - any sort but I particularly like ones that you can eat as pods when young and dry the beans for storage - Cherokee trail of tears is my favourite
Radishes - mainly for grazing, they rarely get as far as a salad and supermarket quantities are tiny, and you can stir-fry the greens - I also really like the Black Spanish radishes which are gorgeous, even when quite large and you never see them in shops
Posh spuds - anya or pink fir apple that seem to cost a fortune

Cheating slightly, I'd also have a perennial patch with jerusalem artichokes and asparagus. Not only edible but also very pretty.
Maggie

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286498 diggernotdreamer
Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:31 pm

I really like the Tuscan kale, it seems to go on and on forever, eventually producing spears, so you can eat it young with salads and then it produces lovely leaves. I grow spring cabbages, I am very keen on Hispi even though it is an F1, it crops really fast and then when I cut the heads, I cut a cross in the stem and it makes four more little cabbages, you can take those off and it still produces more leaves, they seem to go on for ages. You can use the same spaces to grow two crops as well, in my no dig garden, because I don't earth up with soil, you can put a couple of wigwams up in among the spuds (maincrop are best for this) and grow climbing french beans and runner (best grown as transplants and dibbed in). Salads can be grown in big boxes along with oriental saladini near the back door. Leeks a must, you can use leeks in place of onions.

Amaranth
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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286532 Amaranth
Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:22 pm

Thanks for all the great ideas. Would love to hear ideas from 10-15 more people to make sure I take everything into consideration. It's fine if some items repeat or you'd like suggest especially tasty and productive varieties.

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286533 Odsox
Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:28 pm

OK, I'll select another 5 for totally different reasons than my first post.

First early potatoes .. because they need eating soon after they are dug, so no good in shops

Main crop potatoes .. because commercial crops are sprayed with Round Up to "ripen" them

Garlic .. because most shop garlic comes from China where the agricultural soil is reputedly poisoned

Parsnips .. because they are harvested far too early before they have any flavour

Peas (again) .. because the commercial varieties are selected for them to all mature at the same time, also selected for the plant size (dwarf so that they don't need supports), sprayed often against aphids and pea moth, with flavour coming WAY down the list.
Tony

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286534 ina
Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:29 am

Purple sprouting broccoli - because it nicely fills a gap, it's very expensive to buy, and easy to pick in one-person quantities;
Sugar snap peas - for similar reasons;
Broad beans - because I really like them, and - again - they are expensive to buy fresh;
Berries of any kind - I prefer to just pick a handful every morning rather than buying and having half of them go off;
Herbs of any kind - same reasons - also, some herbs impossible to buy fresh at all (summer savory, for example)
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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #286539 Flo
Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:21 pm

Of course you have to take into consideration the cost of the seeds when planning your crops. And also you have to consider what will grow well in your area - it's different cropping in Northumberland on clay to the silt soils of the Fens or the softer weather and longer growing season in Cornwall. Soil has a great bearing on what will grow as does whether your growing area is sunny, sheltered, open to the weather.

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Re: Top 5 to grow on the Allotment to grow the most

Post: #288114 rowbow
Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:51 pm

Rows and rows of beetroot, eat some instead of spuds,
Lady Christl early spud
Telegraph pole peas,
Broad beans,
Elephant garlic from the isle of White.
peas and beans are sold in the pods so not good value.


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