FAQ

Tenfoot Gardening is a way of bringing people together who have an interest in and want to develop skills in growing veg in their back gardens or community space.  It is a way of growing a lot of veg in a small space.

Tenfoot is a Hull-based not for profit project and, although they can be grown anywhere, Tenfoot Gardens are particularly suited to the city’s gardens and backyards.

We have created a polyculture planting plan for a 5ft by 2ft veg bed. You can buy directly from our suppliers via our website. We can supply the seedlings, grown locally at the community farm, Frith Farm, a special growing mix soil (again mixed by frith farm and planters / raised beds from local charity Recycling Unlimited if you need them.

We also provide weekly guidance and instructions, invites to meet-ups at the farm and membership of a private online community where you can ask advice and share your experiences with other gardeners.

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I wanted to find a way of sharing what I am growing in Tulip House garden so that others can replicate it in an easy and simple way. I imagined it like a paint by numbers plan to garden by numbers with seedlings and seeds. A kind of mini-forest garden of veg. Telling my idea to a friend they replied ‘that sounds a bit like square foot gardening’. There is never a new idea eh! So I researched this and found it to be a great system from which to develop Tenfoot Gardening. No need to reinvent the wheel as they say.

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We’re not growing in Tenfoots (although you can if you like!) this is a Hull based venture offering a way of growing in small spaces with a replicable plan of ten square feet. It’s also inspired by square foot gardening. Hence the play on the Hull word Tenfoot*

You can grow a Tenfoot garden (or several) in as big a space as you want. However, it’s particularly useful for small spaces, which brings us to the other reason for the play on words.
City housing, often with Tenfoots* often have small gardens or a yard and it’s not always thought possible to grow veg in a small space like that. We’d like to challenge that idea and offer a solution to get people growing food in small places. Ten feet of space.

*link that shows explains what a tenfoot is and it’s link to Hull culture

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It could be good if…
You don’t have much space to grow
You don’t know where to start and want guidance
You struggle to get to the garden centre
If you don’t have space to grow seedlings indoors.
You haven’t had much success growing from seed.
You don’t know where to start and want weekly instructions prompts and reminders

You’re a community group wanting to grow for your project
Want a community of people growing the same thing for support and encouragement
Social gatherings of ‘Tenfoot Growers’

Maybe you want to buy for someone who used to have an allotment and enjoys growing but isn’t able to get out and about as much as they used to. This brings the garden to them. Their knowledge and experience would be welcomed by novice growers.

Whether you’re an experienced gardener wanting to scale back or a novice with a desire to get started. Have an allotment or small backyard. One Tenfoot Garden or many. Let’s create a community of Tenfoot growers. Let’s create a good food growing revolution!

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Your ‘tag line’? says ‘cheap’ but it doesn’t seem it?

We understand that you can grow veg for less.  You can collect seed, grow from seed, plant directly in the ground, make a planter yourself from salvaged materials etc.  

However, this type of gardening enables people that aren’t able to do all that, for whatever reason, to grow the most veg in a small space, with products sold, at we believe to be very competitive prices, delivered directly to your door.  Tenfoot Gardening doesn’t take a profit.

The thinking is done for you; we supply the planting plan and instructions within the cost of the seedlings.

We understand that to buy the seedlings, soil, planter and extras is a considered purchase. However, after this initial outlay the on-going costs will be significantly lower. You only need to buy the growing medium once.  There are no on-going costs other than seedlings each season and a bit of compost to top up when you remove plants at the end of their growing season. No fertiliser is needed and you don’t need to replace the growing medium each season/year, as you would with conventional raised bed gardening.  The grow mixture lasts for years, with a minimal top up of compost (we will be adding these smaller quantities of compost in future deliveries). 

As a bonus, you are growing the same thing with others around Hull, creating community and support.  We believe this is a valuable aspect of what we do.

 

Who are Frith Farm?

Frith Farm is a new local farm to the Hull and Beverley area; they aim to provide local people with quality food and improve the way in which food is being produced and distributed.  Frith places a major focus on quality: combining chemical free, fresh produce with sustainable production and distribution methods.

 

Who are Recycling Unlimited?

Recycling Unlimited are an independent charity that supports people who feel excluded from their local communities because of mental health problems or other barriers to social inclusion. They have a joinery workshop where they recycle used timber into garden furniture, as well as a factory outlet where we sell our products and other items, and three allotments in Hull.  They also provide life skill support through group sessions including confidence building and mental health awareness training. 

 

 

What do you sell?

Seedlings…

We offer three seasons of seedlings throughout the year.  Spring, Summer and Autumn. These are grown to order at Frith Farm.  In summer we offer a full seedling set, for those starting a Tenfoot garden, and also a ‘top up’ seedling set for those continuing from a Spring delivery as some of the plants will be productive until Autumn, such as tomatoes.

Your purchase of a pack of seedlings includes your invite to the meet-up in central Hull to launch our season, pick up your seedlings from Frith Farm growers, meet us and get to know other Tenfoot Gardeners.  Engage as little or as much as you want.

It is also your key to accessing the Tenfoot Growers online community along with a planting plan, weekly instructions and guidance and access to the blog and forum to exchange ideas, experience, recipes, ask questions and connect with other growers.  

You’ll also receive invites to open days at the farm.

Soil…

We recommend our special soil mix/growing medium as it provides the plants with all they need when grown in a small space, as with Tenfoot gardening.  Our research shows that people get much better results when using this type of soil mix. For more information see ‘do I need to buy the special soil mix?’

 

Planter…

We recommend this planter and trellis…

 

For the spring seedlings you will be growing beans and dumpling squash which ideally need a sturdy trellis.

 

If you’re starting from scratch we suggest you buy seedlings, the special soil mix/growing medium and a raised bed/planter. However you could just buy the seedling if preferred.

 

 

How much do I need to spend?

The minimum you would need to spend to join us as a Tenfoot gardener is a set of seedlings (including access to the social event and online forum and growing advice).  Currently £20.

If you want to give your seedlings what we believe to be the easiest and optimum growing conditions, you could also buy the growing medium and the full spec planter with trellis.  The total of this is 103

You can choose what suits you anywhere between these two amounts.

For each subsequent season there will be the cost of the seedlings at £20 

 

What seedlings to I get?

You will receive a set of seedlings and seeds relevant to the season. Between 40 and 80 healthy plug plants and seeds nurtured at Frith Farm for 6 weeks before being passed into your care.  You can check out the exact seedlings on offer on the ‘buy seedlings’ page under the season you are interested in.

 

You mention on-going support – what is this?

When you purchase your seedlings as a bonus you will be subscribed to receive step-by-step guidance by email and also on our online forum.  The forum also provides a place for mutual support from other Tenfoot Gardeners. The support sent to you is a mixture of advice from our grower, Ike, from Frith Farm and Zoe’s shared experiences as she grows her Tenfoot Garden.

 

Do I need to buy the special soil mix?

If growing in the ground or in established raised beds like the ones at Tulip house, you don’t necessarily need the growing medium. Just plant your seedlings directly into the soil. (You will just need to check pH and add fertiliser as needed, as with regular gardening). In which case this is an economical way of purchasing a variety of seedlings grown locally without pesticides. You’ll also be connecting with the community.

If you need to top up to fill your planter or you need to amend your soil we recommend our soil mix blended by frith farm. 

 

Is the soil mix environmentally friendly? Don’t people avoid peat moss?

Whilst vermiculite and peat moss are not the most environmentally friendly products. We have made the choice to offer it.

  1. It doesn’t need replacing so is a one time purchase.
  2. From research it gives the best chance of successful harvest.

This was a difficult decision for us and one we put a lot of thought into.  We want to be as kind to the environment as possible. We are growers after all.  However after much research of this kind of intensive growing and peoples experience of more renewable * soil mediums we found that the best success was from the Square Foot Gardening recommended mix.

 

Do I really need the growing medium? Is it better than garden centre compost?

The growing medium is an initial outlay, however after researching this growing method it seems to deliver more consistent results. I’ve found that it’s so disheartening when seedlings you’ve looked after don’t thrive. We believe this growing medium offers your seedlings the best chance of success when growing intensively in a small space like we do with Tenfoot Gardening. We want you to enjoy an abundant harvest of healthy plants so, whilst we can’t guarantee this, want to offer what we believe is the best chance of success.

In comparison, if you are growing in regular compost in containers this could need to be changed every year or so which, in the long term, is ‘difficult’ (where do you put it? – the brown bin won’t get emptied if it’s full of soil and it takes a lot of work to empty your planter), expensive (needs replacing) and not very sustainable (compost often contains peat). After the initial outlay the on-going costs are relatively low.

 

Another way people grow is to keep the used compost in containers and add fertiliser to replace nutrients.  This is often artificial or an additional cost and the nutrients may also be imbalanced.  

 

From what we have read we believe that the easiest way for this intensive style of growing is to replace the nutrients and soil that you have lost when taking out a plant at the end of its growing cycle with locally sourced green waste compost, which is balanced with nutrients. This is likely to be a few handfuls per season.  Frith farm can supply these small amounts of green waste compost for you to buy with your top up seedlings. This also means that you don’t need to add fertiliser or additional nutrients to the soil during the growing season as is often needed in other growing situations, which keeps on-going costs down. The peat moss and vermiculite should stay in the raised bed and last for years.

 

 

Do I need a planter?

 

As with the growing mix, if growing in the ground or in established raised beds like the ones at Tulip house, you don’t necessarily need the planter to hold the Tenfoot Gardening growing medium supplied by Frith Farm. Just plant your seedlings directly into the soil. (You will just need to check pH and add fertiliser as needed, as with regular gardening).

 

However, as we are growing in an intensive way with Tenfoot Gardening (a lot of plants in a small space and throughout the year), we recommend the growing medium to be held in a specific shape and area and therefore the planter is a perfect way of doing this so that our planting plan can be followed and the plants get all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.

 

Recycling Unlimited have agreed to supply raised beds to our specification.  You can see the range of the ones we have designed to suit this project on the shopping page of our website. They can also create bespoke planters to match your specific requirements, eg raised so that it can be easily accessed from a wheelchair or standing.  They can also be shaped to your garden or small space if needed. You can buy directly from them, they also offer delivery if needed. Give them a call on 01482 440235 to arrange.

 

Which planter do I need or will fit my situation?


This depends on where you would like to place your raised bed and the condition of your soil.  All the planters are listed in the ‘shop’ on the website. You can see them ***here***.

 

As mentioned earlier if you have good soil you may want to grow straight in the soil, or if you want to maximise your success, or your soil isn’t great, you can choose to put a planter without a base* on top of soil and fill with the growing medium from Frith Farm. This is a great way to grow as the plants get all the benefits of the growing medium and in addition the roots and root veg can grow deeper into the soil beneath.

If you don’t have soil in your garden or yard you can grow your plants in a wooden planter/raised bed.  In this case you may want to choose a planter with a base and water permeable membrane. You may also want to add some legs, so that the planter is raised. We’ve read that the benefits of the planter with a base (on short or long legs) is that the soil can drain better and it prevents any potential staining or rotting of decking.


The planter we recommend and direct you to on our website is made by recycling unlimited*. A local charity ….(what R U does).. using recycled wood. It is offered as a 5’ by 2’ planter, with or without a bottom on it and with or without a trellis, or trellis frame.

If you need a planter, including a more bespoke planter eg an awkward shape or a raised height due to mobility issues or wheelchair access please contact recycling unlimited directly and they can discuss your requirements and you can purchase directly from them. 01482 440235.

 

Do I need to buy the Tenfoot Gardening planter? Can I can make or buy one cheaper?

We believe that the planter* is offered at a very competitive price using recycled materials, supports a local charity and the planting plan will fit your custom bed exactly. However if you prefer, there are videos on YouTube of ways to make a planter yourself for free out of reclaimed wood.  Pallet collars are also a great, customisable (can be linked together to create longer veg beds) budget option. These are also suitable if you don’t need to easily reach the back of the veg beds or need to have access all around the edges of your veg beds. Recycling Unlimited sometimes have pallet collars for sale oesterreichischeapotheke.com://https.


However, if like me, you’re not able to make your own, or want or need an instant garden, we believe our planter and soil are a competitive option.

 

Therefore we encourage you to buy the custom made Tenfoot planters by recycling unlimited.

 

Do I need a trellis?

 

If you intend growing in the spring season we recommend a trellis.  This is because the seedlings that will be grown at this time will grow tall and so will require support.  The trellis we recommend from Recycling Unilimited is designed to provide this support. You have a few options for the trellis from Recycling Unlimited to suit your budget.  We recommend the wood trellis because it provides the best support for the heavier plants like the squash and tomatoes. By growing the plants up a tall trellis against a south facing wall we are maximising the plants access to sunlight to encourage it’s growth.

 

If you join for just the summer or the autumn seedlings you won’t need a trellis because none of these seedlings are climbers and so won’t require support for vertical growth.  However, if you plan on continuing the following spring you will need something to support the seedlings at this time. It may be easier to create your bed with the trellis at the start of your Tenfoot journey, before putting it in place and filling with soil, so that you have easy access to attach the trellis, however it could be added at a later date if needed.

 

Can I make my own trellis?

 

If you do not want to buy the Tenfoot Gardening trellis from Recycling Unlimited, you could either make your own, maybe from recycled/reclaimed materials.  You could also support your plants with canes or netting, however this can a bit more tricky later in the season as the plants grow bigger and heavier with more fruit to support.

 

However, if like me, you’re not able to make your own, or want or need an instant garden, we believe our planter and soil are a competitive option.

 

Therefore we encourage you to buy the custom made Tenfoot trellis by recycling unlimited * as we believe it is offered at a very competitive price using recycled materials, supports a local charity and the design will fit your custom bed exactly.

 

How much space do I need?

 

‘Tenfoot’ or, on other words ‘ten feet’.  

The custom made Tenfoot Gardening planters measure 5 feet by 2 feet, the size of a yoga mat.  It is planned to be small enough to fit in a small terrace yard or city garden.

 

However if you have more space you can grow as many ‘tenfoot’ gardens as you like!  Maybe you have children who each would like their own Tefoot Garden to tend to.

 

What can I do if I don’t have outside space?

 

If you don’t have a garden or yard with a bit of sun you could maybe convince someone to lend you their unused space.  You could even swap it for some of your home grown produce! Or you could find a community garden to attend and volunteer at.  There are demonstration beds at various places around the city for example, Frith Farm, Constable Street Community Allotments, the Wilson Bed.

 

Why are the planters shaped the way they are?

 

The planters have been designed to fit well along the side of a small yard or against the wall of a house so that you can reach the back of the vegetable bed/planter when it is against a wall, especially with the addition of a trellis.

 

Where should I put my planter?  

 

As the planter is shaped to fit along the side of a small yard or wall of a house this is the ideal place.  Ideally it would be placed against a sunny wall with the trellis up against the wall. This allows the maximum amount of sunshine to reach the plants for them to synthesise the energy they need for the growth and developing into a healthy plant.  The extra heat in this microclimate will not only protect your seedlings from the cold when first planting out, but will also keep them growing for longer in the colder months, providing you with more produce and longer harvest period.

 

If your entire back yard or garden is in shade you may find your seedlings might not grow as fast or prolific as others in full sun as sunshine is needed for healthy plants.  You could either try and see how you get on, or find someone with a sunny place to put your veg bed, join together with others, or find a community growing space to volunteer at, maybe they would grow a Tenfoot Garden that you could tend to.

 

When can I sign up? At what times in the year can I become a Tenfoot Gardener?

 

We sell the seedlings in 3 seasons.  The pick up for these is mid May, mid July and mid September.  In July we offer a full set of seedlings for people new to Tenfoot Gardening and also a top up set for those already growing in may and need to fill in the gaps after harvesting the quick growing crops.

 

What is the last date that I can sign up?

 

The last sign up date is 8 weeks before your seedlings are ready for you to pick up.  This allows Frith Farm to buy seeds, allocate nursery space and grow your seedlings in time for you to plant them at the optimal time and growing conditions.

Because they are a small local business they will be growing your seedlings to order.

For spring 2020 the last order date is 22nd March.

 

When are the seedlings ready?

 

The seedlings are ready after 6 weeks growth at Frith Farm.  They are ready for you to pick up at the optimum time for them to be planted.  This will be mid May for the Spring seedlings, mid July for the Summer seedlings and mid September for the Autumn seedlings.

 

For Spring 2020 they will be ready on the 16th May. 

 

 

How do I get my seedlings?

 

Your seedlings can be collected from the seedling pick up / social gathering which will take place when the seedlings are at the optimal time for planting outside. This date will be advertised at the point of buying the seedlings.

 

The seedlings will be 6 weeks old.  At this stage they are perfect for to go in the ground because they should be still young enough to be transplanted but strong enough to withstand attacks from pests, eg slugs and snails.

 

What is the social gathering? Do I need to go?

 

The social gathering ‘meet and greet’ is the place to pick up your seedlings, find out more about the plants and what to do with them.  Its your opportunity to meet the grower and other Tenfoot Gardeners and is our chance to build community in person before we all meet online.  We hope you pick up some tips and tricks and get an insight into the journey you are embarking on into becoming a Tenfoot Grower. 

 

We encourage you to come to the event.  However if you’re not into social gatherings or just don’t want to stay for whatever reason, that’s also fine, you are welcome to just come and pick up your seedlings with no pressure to stay or socialise.  You will receive all the guidance you need through email. 

 

What if I can ‘t make the date for seedling pick up?

 

We encourage you to come to the seedling pick up. It’s a great place to meet the farmer, other people growing and to learn more about the seedlings. We are unable to make alternative arrangements for people to pick up their seedlings.  if you cant make the seedling pick up maybe you could ask someone else to pick them up for you or there may be an alternative date to pick up from frith farm if needed.  

 

If you are unable to make it to the pick up and you have no one else to pick them up for you then Timebank is another local resource that could enable those unable to get to the pick up to still be involved and grow a Tenfoot garden.  Timebank is a great local organisation that ….. if you join Timebank and become an active member then you could put in a request for someone to pick up your seedlings for you.

 

Do you have any other events?

You will be invited to attend community events at Frith Farm throughout the time you are a Tenfoot Gardener. Please keep a look out for invites.

There will be opportunities to connect and socialise, but also to learn about the fundamental techniques of growing such as crop rotation and no dig practices are applied on a larger scale.  Frith Farm grows many of the same varieties of plants as we do in Tenfoot Gardening.

Frith also holds community events which, as a Tenfoot Gardener, you will receive invites to.

 

What is the online forum?

The online forum is a private part of our website that is just for people growing a Tenfoot Garden that season.  It is an optional extra to engage with. We aim for it to be a resource for you to use to successfully grow your seedlings.  Your access is included with your purchase of a set of seedlings for that season. It lasts from the time of purchase of the seedlings, through pick up to harvest. 

Our hope is that people will connect at the ‘seedling social/planting pickup’ and that this growing community will continue on our online forum where people can post pictures and questions and find resources to offer guidance and tips and tricks for growing your seedlings.

You will be able to share pictures of your garden so that others can see and comment.  Maybe you are particularly proud of one you’re your prize plants. You can also ask questions of us and your fellow Tenfoot Growers.  

 

When can I harvest the veg?

We have chosen the varieties of vegetables for you to grow so that the plants are ready to harvest staggered over the following weeks to a few months depending on the plants and the season.  

You will have some to harvest after a few weeks for those of you that are impatient! This may be helpful to keep children engaged to see some results quickly. You can be adding fresh salad leaves to your salad after a few weeks.

There will be others that will take several months to provide fruit eg tomatoes, for those of you that like to savour the process and enjoy noticing all the little changes of a plants growth over a season. It makes the reward of a fresh salad so much sweeter.

 

What can I to do with the veg that I have grown?

We will be sharing tips and tricks on the forum. From cooking, to pickling, to saving seeds, to flower arranging, craft projects.

We invite you to also share anything you have found inspiring, useful, or particularly easy or tasty. You’re welcome to add your favourite recipe you’ve discovered. Tips and tricks can come from us all.

 

Can I save money by growing my own?

The on-going cost is about £20 per season for one Tenfoot Garden.  Using an online harvest calculator it is estimated that you could grow something like £40 of food from your £20 seedlings.  While we cant’ guarantee this it’s a nice thought.

If you would be willing to keep track of the weight of your harvest we can get a rough ida of how much people are saving through growing a Tenfoot garden.

 

Is it worth it?

While you might not grow enough food to feed a family everyday. The connection to the soil and the plants helps us to choose fresh food that is in season. It tastes better. Maybe our cooking and buying habits change to be more sustainable.

For me, it’s one step closer to a food revolution. I like the feeling of cutting out the supermarkets and keeping it local and growing my own food. It’s my small step to being self-sufficient and not relying on big agriculture and business that is not always environmentally or social responsible. Fluctuating and increasing prices can also be a concern. I have no control over any of that, or the chemicals that go in to the food. But I do in my little Tenfoot Garden. It’s my Tenfoot independence.

Creating a food revolution one Tenfoot garden at a time!!!

 

Mission statement 

Tenfoot Gardening aims to encourage people to grow vegetables at home for enjoyment and/or in the community to help social cohesion, food security and education.  We facilitate our success by supporting local charity Recycling Unlimited and community farm Frith Farm.

 

Tenfoot Gardening  is a Hull-based not for profit project, facilitating our success by supporting local charity Recycling Unlimited and community farm Frith Farm to enable you at home to grow a lot of veg in a small space. We aim that by supplying healthy seedlings & with step to step guidance can bring you closer to your goal, spending time to grow vegetables at home for enjoyment and/or in the community to help social cohesion, food security and education.

By purchasing strong seedlings from Frith Farm based in Beverley, several early obstacles to growing vegetables at home are overcome from the home grower.  By providing a guide to scheduling actions and giving tips about growing, the chances of success are increased. This growing advice is accompanied by photos or videos via email and the website to those signed up. The whole package of a Tenfoot Garden can be personalised to your individual or communities needs.

 

A few notes…

Any profit Tenfoot Gardening receives is reinvested in the project.

Tenfoot itself is not taking payment this goes directly to the suppliers as a way of supporting local projects.  Tenfoot Gardening is just providing the inspiration and the opportunity to follow guidance taken from Zoe’s own journey.  This advice is an optional extra, in addition to buying the seedlings, as a way to help get started and make growing easy.  It is based on our experience and you can follow it if you choose.

 

What are the benefits?

Gives individuals & families a helping start growing their own veg, providing an opportunity to develop skills and motivation, in an informal way, while creating an online community for support & an opportunity to meet our local growers from firth farm for a learning experience about how tenfoot growing methods are applied on a larger scale. The small space required can 


What do you get when you buy ‘Tenfoot Gardening’ seedlings?

Seedlings to grow in ten square feet of vegetable bed and membership to our online community for one growing season. There you will find all the information you need to get started as well as exchanging tips and photos with fellow tenfoot gardeners in and around Hull.

What’s so good about our seedlings?

Our seedlings are from varieties chosen specifically for taste. They are nutured for six weeks at Frith Farm before being delivered to you in mid-May (spring delivery).

What is so special about the soil mixture?

The soil mixture has been blended specifically for Tenfoot Gardening by our suppliers at Frith Farm.

 

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