This is a huge topic, and there’s no point in us reinventing the wheel when there’s so much support available online for every aspect of food growing. So here’s a simple list of great websites to get you started.
See also a large number of downloadable files in ‘Growing Vegetables’ on the LESSN ‘Bookshelf‘
See Shopping and Sharing for things like materials and plants
Training, support and advice
There are lots of places in Leeds to turn to.
Leeds Permaculture Network http://www.leedspermaculturenetwork.org/
Kirstall Community Garden http://kirkstallgarden.btck.co.uk/
Back to Front www.backtofront.org.uk/
Back to Front Top Tips from Donna – choosing what to grow and where: http://www.backtofront.org.uk/?page_id=16
Feel Good Factor http://www.fgfleeds.org/events/gardening-group/
St Stephens Well https://ststephenswellgarden.wordpress.com/
Hyde Park Source http://www.hydeparksource.org
Bardon Grange – free edible gardening sessions 3 times per week on Leeds Uni campus and Far Headingley http://
Feel Good Factor community garden – wed mornings 10.30-12.30 Chapeltown http://www.fgfleeds.org/events/gardening-group/
Think ahead, especially if you have perennial weeds. Put black plastic or old carpets down for at least a year if you can, and then plant through. You can always hide it with woodchip. Or sheet mulch with thick layers of cardboard and woodchip, and top up twice a year. This is better in the long run than rotivation, which chops and distributes rhizomes and so can make the situation worse.
Permaculture (in Leeds) http://www.leedspermaculturenetwork.org/
Lasagne gardening http://yourorganicgardeningblog.com/lasagna-gardening/
Find sources of soil, compost and manure on the Map – on the Resources layer.
For the motherlode on all matter compost, contact our good friend John Compost Cossham in York here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/YorkRotters/
You can buy compost in bags (it’s best to avoid compost made from peat, though, because we need this in the ground where it stores carbon and reduces downstream flooding) – but it’s better to make your own. In fact compost-making can be a hobby in its own right!
Bokashi bin (indoor composting) http://www.recycleworks.co.uk/bokashi-compost-bucket-twin-system-pr-16185.html
Fertilizer / Plant Food
The smaller the body of soil, the more fertiliser you’ll need. You can buy it in various forms, collect horse manure, make your own liquor or grow ‘green manure.’ (You may want to avoid using garden chemicals for safety or ethical reasons).
You might also want to consider biochar This is what gardeners used to call ‘fines’ and it can help to retain moisture and nutrients in your soil.