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Low maintenance, low effort crops to grow to save time to be diverted elsewhere?  RSS feed

 
Samuel Morton
Posts: 55
Location: West London, UK
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Morning all,

I am still currently doing some 'big works' down my allotment plot (such as setting up the recycling area and water butt collection areas) and so I think I am going to skip growing crops which need that bit of 'extra' attention.

I was just wondering what crops can I plant in which take the least looking after after upon planting?

Next year once everything is in shape I will be able to grow more varieties!

Samuel
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 361
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Potatoes, beetroot, cabbages, carrots, leeks, onions are all pretty easy for me; I plant/sow them and leave them alone till harvest. Also chard, kale, lettuce, peas, runner beans, courgette--though these are slightly more effort because they must be harvested over a period of time, rather than all at once.

In our climate, I think tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, peppers and pumpkins are just too fiddly and I don't usually bother (though I grew some tasty cucumbers in my greenhouse last year, but had to hand pollinate them and feed them manure tea every couple days).

There's also fruit trees and bushes, of course. And strawberries are great.
 
Topher Belknap
Posts: 205
Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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Galadriel Freden wrote:though these are slightly more effort because they must be harvested over a period of time, rather than all at once.


Whereas I consider things that are harvested in meal sized amounts to be *less* effort. No storage issues, etc. YMMV.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Oh yes, I agree with you; in my own garden I much prefer those "cut and come again" vegetables I think the OP mentioned an allotment which are usually a bit of a trek to get to, so they might be more of a hassle to keep up with than the "off with their heads" type.
 
David Livingston
steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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How about Oca and Jerusalem Artichokes ?
Pumpkins and ruhbarb if you have a damp area .
Rasberrys and black currents for fruit

David
 
leila hamaya
pollinator
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Location: northern northern california
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surprised no one has mentioned arugula.
maybe the easiest thing i have ever grown. plant a bunch of it by direct sowing one year, even in less than ideal soil, and it comes back every year with an abundant amount of greens.
theres also a perrenial kind of arugula, called wild arugula or more specifically usually "sylvetta". it is trickier to start from seed, but once established it can grow for many years as long as the climate isnt too extreme.

onions, garlic, and potatoes are all super easy too, along with brassicas- cabbage, kale, etc
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Weeds -- the ultimate in low maintenance, low effort.

And a lot of what has been mentioned are weeds: arugula, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, raspberries and blackberries, many people consider these to be "weeds". The blackberries that don't stay where they belong and come up in the garden -- weeds. The garlic that pops up everywhere -- weeds.

The question then becomes "how do I encourage the useful weeds and discourage the useless ones?"

I have no use for nightshade, it will kill chickens. If I see any of those things flowering, out they come by the root. Same thing with poison ivy. I don't have a goat to feed it to, so it gets yanked out by the root and sent to the landfill.

But I can add to the list of useful "weeds" that I want to establish themselves on my piece of dirt and come back year after year: dill, cilantro, lovage, chicory, mustard, prickly lettuce, dandelion, salsify, upland cress. I could do with less of the cudweed, Johnson grass, and Japanese honeysuckle. However, selectively chopping out a few weeds and letting the more useful ones proliferate is pretty low effort and low maintenance.
 
Elissa Teal
Posts: 128
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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John Elliott wrote:Weeds -- the ultimate in low maintenance, low effort.

And a lot of what has been mentioned are weeds: arugula, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, raspberries and blackberries, many people consider these to be "weeds". The blackberries that don't stay where they belong and come up in the garden -- weeds. The garlic that pops up everywhere -- weeds.

The question then becomes "how do I encourage the useful weeds and discourage the useless ones?"

I have no use for nightshade, it will kill chickens. If I see any of those things flowering, out they come by the root. Same thing with poison ivy. I don't have a goat to feed it to, so it gets yanked out by the root and sent to the landfill.

But I can add to the list of useful "weeds" that I want to establish themselves on my piece of dirt and come back year after year: dill, cilantro, lovage, chicory, mustard, prickly lettuce, dandelion, salsify, upland cress. I could do with less of the cudweed, Johnson grass, and Japanese honeysuckle. However, selectively chopping out a few weeds and letting the more useful ones proliferate is pretty low effort and low maintenance.


I love most of the weeds (wild plants) that grow in my garden. The most abundant (and useful to me) plant is wild spinach (aka lambsquarters; Chenopodium album). It's hardy, abundant and nutritious. I mostly put them in my green smoothies but I will use them in salads as well. I'm not a fan of cooked greens but you could certainly cook them like "regular" spinach if you like. Here is a photo of my abundance of C. album.
wild-spinach-patch.jpg
[Thumbnail for wild-spinach-patch.jpg]
abundance of wild spinach
 
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