Any gardeners or "grow-your-own" experts in SE1?

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Saturday 7 July 2012 3.12pm
Just bought a few large containers for my balcony. Easy is about 80 litres of compost. I'm thinking of growing some salads, maybe some veg, plants, but have no idea where to start.
Are there any places that do small plants or cuttings in SE1? Went to B&Q and didn't see anything decent other than a couple of tomato plants but the guy in store said they're v difficult to grow.
Is it possible to grow veg and plants in the same containers? I'm wanting flowers but also something useful. Or was thinking maybe just rocket/salad leaves, mint, sage, tarragon, rosemary etc/
Is it too late in the year to be planting stuff now?
If there are any gardeners that could help out with some advice that would be much appreciated, especially if anyone has any cuttings/plants they're looking to get rid off, as that might be easier to keep alive than growing stuff from seed?
Saturday 7 July 2012 5.34pm
Can't imagine why the guy said tomato plants are difficult to grow. Mine grow like weeds from seed every year and I can't give them away quick enough.
If you want plants and flowers which are compatible, plant some marigolds among your tomato plants and they will keep the greenfly away. Both are easily grown from seed, or you can buy them as young plants in the spring.
I've had more success with perennial herbs when bought as young plants, rather than growing from seed, but the annual Basil will grow easily from seed when sown in the spring. A root of mint will soon establish if anyone can donate you one, but plant it on it's own, or it will completely take over. Is your balcony in full sun? Pots and containers dry out very quickly, so keep them well, (but not overly,) watered.
Tomato plants benefit from regular feeding, but don't feed until the first tiny tomatoes appear. Otherwise you'll end up with six foot tall plants and tomatoes the size of peas.
Good Luck.
Sunday 8 July 2012 12.21am
If you read this in time zoom out to the last day of the Hampton Court Flower show on Sunday 8th. Theres a tent of display veg/fruit edibles and all the exhibitors are selling plants. There are other vendors selling plants and flowers as well all over but this tent will be of special use to you. Sunday is the last day so they close early but on the plus side many people will be selling plants off their stands that were for exhibit only until now.

You can mix and match veg, fruit and flowers together perfectly happily. There are many edible flowers too, Violas, Calendula, etc. It's a little late in the season to find veg seedlings in the shops but don't forget the wonderful internet for next time. You can probably get some late crop salad leaves from seed if you move fast.

Don't listen to the guy in B&Q. There's a middle aged lady in the garden section who is very helpful when she's around but most of them aren't much use. Aim for the older shop assistants if you see any.

Courgettes are dead easy, same as tomatoes, water and feed. I've had good results with Borlotti beans and Strawberries if you can get to the fruit before the birds and snails do. Happy gardening. Don't let the pots dry out is the most important thing. Not a big worry just now.
Sunday 8 July 2012 2.50am
I have tried to grow tomatoes before on my balcony when I lived at Metro Central. I didn't have much success. I assumed it to be down to tomato blight, but I might be wrong.

I've grown new potatoes in tubs of compost before - you just need some seed potatoes. In fact the ones I grew came from old potatoes at the back of the kitchen cupboard that had sprouted. They were delicious, but there weren't very many as I pulled them up too early. I think you can buy seed potatoes from B&Q or similar.

I've just moved house and I'm lucky to have a sunny patio, so I'm growing carrots from seeds in pots. I expect they will be small as they were only sown a week ago, but my planting was delayed due to the house-move.

If you're planting lettuce or salad leaves, sow them a bit at a time otherwise you'll have a glut.

As for herbs, I have bought supermarket pots of thyme, rosemary and greek basil and planted them - they always survive well for me. (Greek basil is the small leaved one, which is hardier than 'normal' basil.)
Monday 9 July 2012 10.05am
jaggerjatt wrote:
Are there any places that do small plants or cuttings in SE1?

I'd recommend getting in touch with bost.org.uk

The 'Bankside Open Spaces Trust' not only does regular neighbourhood events in SE1 where they provide seeds and little plants (got a tomato plant on Saturday) but also much needed advice about how to grow veggies.

They also can tell you where to get more plants (they have several places all over the borough) from them.

Maybe they can even get you in touch with all the other "veggie growers" near you to exchange plants, seeds and know-how.
Monday 9 July 2012 3.59pm
We also get ours from the 1 "rescue" display at Borough Market, opposite Appleby's fish.
They have the normal display of flowers and some herbs, but they usually have a shelf of plants for 1 which need a bit of TLC.
You might find some bargains there. Alternatively, you can have a morning out at Colombia Road. I used to live there and if you go towards the end, they always have a few bargains available.

Supermarket basil grows very well too, just make sure you thin them out a little.
Monday 9 July 2012 4.08pm
There is a free gardening club at the Brunel Museum now in their new community garden on Saturday afternoons - they are growing fruit & veg in raised beds and everything's flourishing - would be a good place to get practical tips. I advise to check the dates and times by emailing the museum.
Monday 9 July 2012 4.15pm
We buy some flowers, herbs and veg from the 1 "rescue" display at Borough Market, opposite Appleby's fish.
They have the normal display of flowers and some herbs, but they usually have a shelf of plants for 1 which need a bit of TLC. You can usually find some strawberries, herbs and tomatoes there
You might find some bargains when you visit.

Alternatively, you can have a morning out at Colombia Road. I used to live there and if you go towards the end, they always have a few bargains available.

Supermarket basil grows very well too, just make sure you thin them out a little.
Monday 9 July 2012 7.27pm
This is a good site for small spaces
vertical veg

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