What to plant and when to plant it?

As you may know I don't have green fingers, but I do like to have fresh herbs and vegetables available for the summer. I usually get it wrong though so please tell me and whoever else would like a little veg patch what to plant and where to get it from!



Thank you Vic!

Its less as I thought, but very convenient as some plant will grow in there much better be cause they are protected from mistral and also wind from the north. Plus 4 month more time to grow and during the winter its even a good "garage" for all the lemon- and orange trees...

Ugly??? I think they are a thing of beauty if sited in the right place Theo.

I don,t know about your area but these folks are good & deliver I believe. If you have not had a polytunnel before I strongly suggest a "pied droit" type such as the "Izella" type. The normal arched type are a pain (literaly) when one wants to work close to the edges. Get the biggest you can site/afford, you won,t regret it. We have a gravelled area 2m x 5m which we use for potting/quaffing. It,s a great place on overcast days.

A good UV proof bache will last at least 6/7 years & cost about 200 euros.http://www.serre-de-jardin-crysland.com/serre-izella-xsl-268.html


Vic good you've posted this again!! It confirms my believe it is true to plant particular plants at certain times is most successful. A friend from Japan gave me the 2 years ago an example with 4 different species of bamboo (his seeds all shot up) and "oracled" while drinking tea about the necessity for various vegetables. The year we had hard times to eat everything which grew, a lot became a gift for our elderly neighbors and someone in the village who is in a wheelchair.

Where can I buy (Nimes region) such ugly plastic tunnel at an acceptable price, or do I have to tinker these plastic and metal pipes together myself?

We grow enough veg etc for the two of us. our ground is ex. pasture & full of weeds so we grow everything through black plastic. The polytunnel helps as well!


Thank you,

This is what I was trying to show http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/moon_planting.asp


To do that you need to press the image icon rather than 'upload files'. The second icon from the left, next to 'LINK'

I've deleted it Vic, you can do it yourself in future by pressing the red x


Can Mr or Mrs Higginson do something about the link I gave as it shows my private details. OOPS!!!

Why is there no preview facility here, or if there is please tell me where to find it?


I am even more encouraged to do a good job having just watched this! http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la.html

Insofar as planting time, I just watch what the local garden shop sets out. I bought starts - potatoes, garlic and three varieties of onion last week, as they had hit the shelves just days before. I had planned to put them out this past weekend, but the weather has been sloppy here. I also watch my French neighbor's gardens. They've been at it a while and know what to do when. The old timers in this departement (82) say that you are safe after April 21. Last spring I audaciously put some tomato starts in, unprotected, at the end of March. The weather had been lovely and I wanted to jump start the season. Bad decision. At the end of the 1st week of April we had a three day run of the bitterest cold that we had seen all winter, -10. It killed three of the plants, but two, after topping the dead bits, struggled on and eventually produced a modest crop. Had they been covered, I think they all would have been OK. This reminds me, I need to get some indoor semis started today.

When to plant depends on where you & weather conditions.
This will be the 3rd year for my veg plot here in North Gironde. 2 years ago everything was up & growing by the end or April, last year because the weather was much colder I didn't get anything in til the end of May.
As for where to buy I do tend to cheat & buy seedlings or baby plants on the market maybe more expensive but guaranteed to grow.
Spuds I use ones that have sprouted in the veg rack.

If you have not yet dug up your veggy patch, it's about time. You can nix some cheap sacks "terre universal" into it (helps keeping the soil soft and soaks the water) and then let it rest until April. Then now its really time to put the seeds into some pots and let hem germinate (would actually have to be made already, but you can but young plants on the market as well). I assume you will not be allowed to let them grow in the kitchen so leave them in the garage or your tool kingdom where dogs can't make a mess with the pots. Actually here in the south everything is growing so the only question is what it takes later to get water to the patch. I grow everything, including walnut-, lemon-, orange- and cherry- trees but it takes long to have a harvest. For the beginning zucchinis aubergines and are as smooth as peppers and chilly, important course is marjoram, parsley, here are also growing many Indian herbs very good. And then a variety of salads preferable close to the tomato plants (big "flesh" tomatoes and also these little ones, they are very convenient but really important is: don't plant them where is too much wind, but a lot of sun. Per person you will need 3 plants. For green beans built a rack of canes so that they can grow high. You can bury melon seeds somewhere, they just keep growing like pumpkin and are not demanding. Its difficult to give tips if I don't know the soil and the garden.

Hi James

I am not far from you and have been told that now is the time for potatoes, onions, garlic and root ginger as well as most fruit trees and bushes. My garlic is being started in pots as altho’ the building of the bed has been done my top soil hasn’t arrived yet. I put them in just 2 weeks ago and they are shooting through already. I didn’t protect them at all in the last spell of snow.

You can also sow seeds into pots to grow on as long as you keep them protected if frost is forecast.

I am just embarking on a raised garden 5m x 1.2m, about 45cm deep. Gardening websites suggest dividing it into rectangles about 30cm square for each type of veg or herb. You just have to make sure you don’t plant adjacent squares with veg from the same family.

Am going to give it a go. It will be interesting for us to swap experiences at the end of the growing season.

That looks good Kent

This is the one I think I'll go for: a bit of everything.


don,t forget the local coops, they have good local knowledge as well as reasonable prices, supermarkets & diy stores just stack them high & sell them cheap

For bulbs, potatoes and onion sets you can rely on the supermarkets to get their stocks in about a week before the right time to sow them so that is a good sign for those. I would also recommend that you go to a DIY place rather than the supermarkets as they tend to be half the price, as I found to my cost this year!

Organic seeds can be obtained from http://www.fermedesaintemarthe.com/ and they are the only providers here in France. Or http://www.organiccatalogue.com/ for UK suppliers.

http://www.growveg.com/Default.aspx is an excellent place to plan what you are going to grow as they have all the standard veggies etc and when you have chosen what you want to grow and where, it will give you a list of each plant and what to do (ie sow, plant out and harvest) for each plant. It even tells you when your frost dates are even though we are in France!

April is not too late to sow seeds, or you could go to the local market and pick up some small seedlings and plant them up. Lettuce, radishes, beetroot, carrots, peas, potatoes, onions, mangetout, tomatoes and courgettes (1 plant is sufficient of courgettes!!) are all easy to grow and can be started off directly outside. Herbs are probably easiest from seedlings from the local market and then put in pots right outside the kitchen door so that they are easy to reach when you need them.

Don't worry if something does not grow, sometimes that happens - I have always had failures growing leeks in the UK so I am hoping that I will be able to grow them for the first time here in France :-)

If you put plants out whilst there is a potential for frost, just make sure you cover them or bring them indoors on those nights, and if it is going to be really hot, make sure you water them either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. A little bit every day is better than a gallon in one go per week!

have a look at www.french-gardens.com/to-do/