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New to the forum... new baby -- is this the time to start my garden??
Tue 23-Jul-13
12:28 pm
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Rootyboots
West Midlands, UK
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Tue 23-Jul-13
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Hi all,,

 

I'm new to the forum... I'm joining because now that I'm on maternity leave, and waiting for my baby to come (he's actually due today!) I'd really like to get stuck into my long-cherished plans to be more self-sufficient. It seems like a good idea, financially, too, because even though I'm not earning, I can still contribute to our family finances by saving as much money as possible. 

 

However... despite coming from a long history of gardeners, I don't know much at all about what to plant, and when, and am really starting from scratch! Right now, my main question is whether it's realistic to imagine getting stuck in and a garden off the ground when, in a week or two, max, I'll have a new baby to take care of. I had some tomato and chilli plants growing well in pots until the heatwave came - I just couldn't keep on top of the watering because I'm currently so huge and tired! Now they're all dead 🙁

 

What do you think? This is my first baby, so I know about as much about how much work babies are as I know about growing things! I don't want to take on too much, but I don't want to be a quitter, either. 

 

As a bit of background, we have a big garden, but the property is rented, so I'm wondering whether tub/container gardening would be smarter. Is this less work?

 

Bit of an odd question, but I'm hoping some parents/gardeners can give me some insight about what I should do - can I realistically get started soon, or should I hold off until the spring, perhaps? I don't want to waste time and money on plants that will die because I don't have the time for them. Thanks! x

Tue 23-Jul-13
12:49 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Hello and welcome, Ruth.  Good luck with the birth of your child, I hope it is an easy delivery.

Others here are more clued up about gardening than I am, so just hang around for a while - or come back later and I am pretty confident that you'll get the advice you need.

I'll try that again!

Tue 23-Jul-13
12:59 pm
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Sooliz
Somerset

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Hi Ruth (think you're our 3rd Ruth!) and welcome to the forum wave.  Being heavily pregnant in this heat must be awful, bet you'll be so relieved when he/she arrives.

I'm assuming you really want to grow food crops, as opposed to flowers - although the two can be combined, e.g. nasturtiums can be eaten in salads, if you're that way inclined (I'm not!!).  Realistically, it's a bit late in the season to be starting to grow a lot of foodstuffs, but there are certainly still lots of things you can grow, and in pots too.  Salad leaves, radishes, spring onions will all happily grow in pots or growbags and are quick growing.  Things in pots need lots of regular watering though, especially in this heat, and that means EVERY day, twice a day if it's really hot.

If you have a look in local garden centres or nurseries, they will most likely still have a small selection of veggie seedlings, which you can bring home and pot on - they wouldn't still be selling them if there's no realistic chance of them growing.

But don't take on too much, will you?  I don't have children myself, but I should think that having a new baby will take up a vast amount of time and energy.  If you find you don't have either, you could always get hold of seed catalogues (you can order them online from all the well-known companies, e.g. Thompson & Morgan) or go through their websites and plan for next year!

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Tue 23-Jul-13
1:04 pm
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eileen54
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Welcome Ruth, I hope you have your baby soon, it is very difficult to be heavily pregnant in this heat, I carried 2 of mine through heatwaves. It is still possible to plant some things now, and containers are easier to weed , but need more watering. If your partner can help with the tending of plants in the 1st 3 or 4 weeks after birth I would say go ahead, as by that time you should be in a comfortable routine with the baby.  An excellent book on container gardening is vegetable, fruit and herb growing in small spaces  by John Harrison, he tells you what varieties of plants will grow in containers.

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Tue 23-Jul-13
1:49 pm
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Rootyboots
West Midlands, UK
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Tue 23-Jul-13
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Thanks everybody... it seems like containers would be a good place to start, as then at least if/when we move into our own place, we can take them with us. But yes, the watering is quite tricky at the moment... I'm surprised they haven't put in a hosepipe ban already, but I suppose we have had quite a bit of rain this year!

 

Thank you for all the advice. I guess I need to talk to my husband and see how keen he is to get involved... if he can help me with the watering etc. then maybe it's doable, but if he thinks it's too much, maybe I'll need to wait until next year. Planning for next year and doing my reading might be a good way to keep my hand in until then, though!

 

Thanks also for all the comments re. the baby... I do hope he comes soon! Right now I'm just sitting in front of the fan eating ice pops and that's about all I can manage yawn I'm sure it will be a real adventure, though! Maybe I'll look at other boards on the site to see what else I can do towards self-sufficiency. Thanks again!

Tue 23-Jul-13
11:17 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Welcome Rootyboots Ruth  laugh,

can I suggest a drip hose irrigation system - that way you only need to turn on a tap occasionally, and not be lifting heavy containers. The linky explains how it works and identifies how much water is used - and can still be used in those times of a hosepipe ban!

Lots of good luck to you in the next few weeks - birthing and learning ! big_hug

 

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Wed 24-Jul-13
9:06 am
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mike.
Coventry

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Hi Ruth,

I think Sue had it covered pretty well - at this time of year it's probably only possible to start growing herbs/salad or quick growing crops like radish (which reminds me, I should see if how second crop of radish are doing).

When your baby is at the newborn sleeping most of the time not doing much stage, you should at least have time to do a few things. I'm the father of a toddler and the only time I can do anything in the garden is the brief hour of her mid-day nap or the hour between her going to sleep and it being too dark to do anything in the garden, otherwise it's impossible for me to do anything without someone wanting to 'help' or eat soil, tip pots over, etc.

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

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