What not to grow

Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
grenfell
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What not to grow

Post by grenfell » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:13 pm

What not to grow or perhaps what's not worth growing?
A couple of conversations have made me think that while we have recommendations for what to grow we could perhaps have the opposite. A few friends and I were talking of various things we'd grown or tried growing and whether our efforts were worth it. For example one friend did say that growing potatoes isn't worth it because of how cheap they are in the shops. I could see his point , at least to a degree , our local Morrisons was selling some large sacks for a few quid recently and he did say it could equally apply to a lot of other basics. Again I could see his point although I didn't fully agree but then we moved onto other foods.
For example strawberries are a high value product although I've read that their nutritional return really doesn't justify growing them. Celery could easily fall into that catagory too but what really interests me are foodstuffs that any of us have tried but have thought " not worth bothering with again".
In that category I'd put sweet potatoes which I've grown but were frankly disappointing , not high yields and no great shakes taste wise. I'm in two minds about pumpkins , easy to grow and the ones I've got in are doing fine but there's not a huge amount of nutrition or taste. I could add my bay tree i have in the garden too , probably takes up far too much space for the amount of leaves I use ( just how many can anybody get through in a year?) .
Any other suggestions for things people have grown once or twice but have given up on?

Ara
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Re: What not to grow

Post by Ara » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:19 pm

This year I had my first successful harvest of Florence fennel (the large bulbs). I enjoy these in salads but now realise that, even though they are £1.99 a bulb in our nearest greengrocer, I really don't like them that much after all when there are enough to have every day. I will not be growing them again.
I'm probably with you, Grenfell, on pumpkins as mine are only golf ball size and they take up a lot of room, although that is not really a problem here (a smallholding with a few acres but lots of rabbits and deer to eat anything we grow unprotected.)

grenfell
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Re: What not to grow

Post by grenfell » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:09 pm

Funny you should mention fennel , it came up in another thread and in that I said I did used to grow it but as I was the only one in the family to actually like it I gave up growing it . Mention of it seems to making me interested again and realising how long it has been since I last ate it , might have to pop to the greengrocer :D
My pumpkins are actually doing ok now , I did lose a couple to squirrels but once they are bigger than a golf ball they seem to lose interest. For a post SHTF world probably not worth growing in my opinion , nowadays I reckon most are brought just to make lanterns out of and have the insides chucked away so I wouldn't see any great call for them.

jansman
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Re: What not to grow

Post by jansman » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:26 pm

I don't grow onions now.I have white rot in the ground,so its a waste of time.Paradoxically,my perennial onions remain fine.Leeks I don't do,for the amount we use.Parsnips too.Winter squashes though,we adore! And I grow !oads.Spuds too.I guess it's what works for you.
I am not grumpy. I just don’t waste words.

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ukpreppergrrl
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Re: What not to grow

Post by ukpreppergrrl » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:52 pm

Peas also fall into the "not commercially viable" category - you can't grow them cheaper than you can buy frozen ones. But as preppers that's not quite the point! :D There are quite a few that fall into the "not for domestic production" category, i.e. they take up too much space to have commercially viable yields in an average sized garden e.g.: pumpkins, wheat, lentils, oats, brussels sprouts. But again, if you like them then they are worth the space to you. Personally I keep trying soya (for edamame) but I just can't get it to work.

There are veggie lists giving yield per square foot and length of time in the garden and always top of the list is tomatoes, spring onions, lettuce and summer squash. At the bottom of these lists are the pumpkins, winter squash, peas, aubergines, kale, leeks and cabbage.
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grenfell
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Re: What not to grow

Post by grenfell » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:19 pm

ukpreppergrrl wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:52 pm
Peas also fall into the "not commercially viable" category - you can't grow them cheaper than you can buy frozen ones. But as preppers that's not quite the point! :D There are quite a few that fall into the "not for domestic production" category, i.e. they take up too much space to have commercially viable yields in an average sized garden e.g.: pumpkins, wheat, lentils, oats, brussels sprouts.
Yes , you're right and it was something I tried to impress on my friend. It might be cheaper to buy than grow but that doesn't really help if there isn't any in the shops to buy in the first place. Probably nearly all veg one could grow in a garden would fall into the commercially unviable if all the time were counted at ones hourly rate , but as you say not the point to anyone interested in prepping.
It was really more crops people had grown but for one reason or another have given up or not grown again rather than any commercial aspects. Onions that succumb to rot or parsnips or fennel that are consumed in such small quantities, that sort of thing. On that vein I'd like to ask if anyone grows asparagus? I remember watching an episode of gardeners world I think it was where they were preparing a bed. The amount of effort and waiting something like three years for a crop of what to me are glorified cabbage stalks put me off even trying it.

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ukpreppergrrl
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Re: What not to grow

Post by ukpreppergrrl » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:20 am

grenfell wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:19 pm
On that vein I'd like to ask if anyone grows asparagus? I remember watching an episode of gardeners world I think it was where they were preparing a bed. The amount of effort and waiting something like three years for a crop of what to me are glorified cabbage stalks put me off even trying it.
Me! I have a small bed that is completely separate from anything else, which used to have an unruly evergreen clematis in it, but that has been removed and this year I've put 12 asparagus plants in it (grown from 12 seeds...I'm very chuffed...though a few are looking rather weedy). Whether or not you think its worth dedicating a space to asparagus depends, I guess, on whether or not you like asparagus. Grow what you eat. The same is true of rhubarb - you have to dedicate and prepare a space to it and wait a few years before you can actually get a crop. But, once they're established, they give produce for years and years with very little upkeep. The better you prepared that bed, the sooner and better you start to get a harvest. Unless you buy an established bush, you have the same issue with soft fruit like gooseberry, blackcurrant etc.. If you're like me you go the cheap route and try a barely rooted twig from Poundland (which in the case of the red gooseberry has proven to be exceptionally tasty!) which produces nothing for the first year, then last year it had 2 delicious berries, this year it had 20. I'm going to take cuttings this year and try to produce more plants. Thus far it's not a big earner, but eventually I hope it will be. And if you plant grape vines you also can't allow fruit to set for three years. I think the same is probably true for most perennial food plants. Yes there is an initial effort with preparation (but then you have to do that for annual crops too), but once established there's usually very little effort involved. But there's no point in planting it if you don't eat it. :D
Blog: http://ukpreppergrrl.wordpress.com
التَكْرَارُ يُعَلِّمُ الحِمارَ "Repetition teaches the donkey" Arabic proverb
"A year from now you may wish you had started today" Karen Lamb

jansman
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Re: What not to grow

Post by jansman » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:59 am

Peas are a lot of faff.However,I always grow one row of an old fashioned climbing pea,Champion of England.It will grow to ten feet,and because of it using vertical space,it stays on the books.It yields enough for a couple of feeds,seed for next year,and a few sowings of pea shoots for salads.
I am not grumpy. I just don’t waste words.

Ara
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Re: What not to grow

Post by Ara » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:49 pm

In the past l grew asparagus but it wasn't very successful, probably because I didn't give it enough attention. I think we got 7 spears in 5 years. I've since tried growing it from seed which was OK until I planted the little plants out in the garden. I think the rabbits got them as they weren't protected. Peas I love straight from the pod but there's no point growing them here as the mice get them even when people tell me mice only take them up to a certain size and I delay planting them out.

grenfell
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Re: What not to grow

Post by grenfell » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:13 pm

Probably going counter to the thrust off this thread but something I want to grow but would really fall into the "not worth it" category is figs. I have one customer with a quite large fig tree growing in a courtyard and have had fresh fruit from it ( she gave it me I didn't scrumpy it) . Another customer had one too and as she was moving away I took a couple of cuttings . This was last year and I brought them home and plonked them in a dustbin of water. They stayed alive even when the water froze solid but when I tried planting them , in compost with rooting hormone too they died. I did see some fruits at a market over the weekend , 4 for £1.50 which considerering the amount of fruit I would om a bush does hardly seem worthwhile but I'll probably give it another go.

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