Virgin gardener needs container veg help!

Hi all,
Ok, so after abandoning the garden last year I am determined to impress my husband with my, as yet, unknown gardening skills! I live in the south of uk and the containers will be quite sheltered. I understand the more sun the better, and to use potting compost (John Innes no. 3) instead of soil.
Ive looked in loads of books but none seem to answer my questions specifically - I need a step by step idiots guide!
I have bought the following seeds/ bulbs and now have a million questions...apart from the generic " what do I do with them and when?! (which is really what I need to know).
Ive bought seeds - carrots, dwarf/bush bean and peas (these seeds all say to sow from late March, apart from carrots being May) bulbs etc - garlic and onions (just say plant in early Spring)
1. For best results do I need to start these off inside, in little individual tiny pots, prior to planting out; or can I plant out straight away?
2. When would you ideally do this? I had thought of starting onions and garlic but DIY store man told me to wait awhile till weather much better (!?who knows when that is)
2. Sounds daft, but am I right in assuming I dont need very deep containers/ troughs for the peas and dwarf beans? Also, do I need stakes in whilst seedlings or do I just add as they get bigger?
3. Can I plant garlic and onions in same container?
4. Dont laugh, but apart from planting in potting compost container, do I add any soil?
5. I have liquid tomato food...would this be ok to use on all the above?
6. Also, I read somewhere to keep extra unused seeds for next year in the fridge. Sounds bizarre....or is it true?
7. Any tips or general advice to help would be much appreciated!
Many thanks in advance! Rebecca
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says...

I think when freezing seeds its a question of how you freeze them and that for us without the correct kit it would not be a good idea, a fridge is ok but so is a cool dark place
--
Charlie Pridham, Gardening in Cornwall
www.roselandhouse.co.uk
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"Rebecca" wrote

Garlic can be planted outside now but it would have been much better planted in Sept, early October. It's as tough as old boots and will come through a winter growing well and you get a much much better crop from autumn planted cloves.

Carrots, Beans and Peas can wait and be planted in situ idc or you could plant the Beans and Peas in pots but not yet. I repeat..not yet.

If he is still telling clients to plant Garlic in the spring he's not much good! Plant your garlic asap and you will get a crop, only small heads though, the onion sets should be planted before the end of the month.

Yes.
Yes. But the more room you give them the bigger they will grow, we always plant 9 inches apart with 1 foot between rows, not the silly spacing they say on the packets which means hand weeding on your knees. In containers you will need close spacing but remember onions hate being crowded by anything so ensure they are getting as much sun as possible and don't let any other plants or weeds grow over or around them.

John Innes is a soil based compost, so no.

No. Good for Tomatoes and making flowers flower.

We store seed in the under stairs cupboard where it is very cool and dark and dry. They could get damp in the fridge through condensation.

Where do you want me to start... :-)
--
Regards
Bob Hobden
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"Stewart Robert Hinsley" wrote ... after Bob Hobden wrote

Personally if I couldn't plant it in the autumn I wouldn't bother, when I've tried it in the past it just ends in very small cloves...not worth the bother imo. Autumn planted gets as big as anything in the shops. The seed companies send out garlic for autumn planting and I know of some GCs that stock it in the autumn too. If yours doesn't then complain and keep complaining until they wake up, or shop elsewhere. Of course you could always plant your own again or just greengrocer bought garlic, anything is better than waiting until the spring.
--
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Bob Hobden
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In article <87099bff-28f8-4e2b-8610-cdc731f73502

My first gardening year, I planted my peas and beans in 6" deep troughs. I got a pretty good pea harvest but the slugs ate all my beans. They ate all my beans last year too and this year I'm going to buy nematodes, and grow climbing beans instead. Peas don't seem to need deep roots. I added my stakes as the peas came up, rather than straight away, and did okay.
You can grow climbing French beans and runner beans in tubs - you'll need some long canes but the flowers are pretty. I'm planning on having a tub of each by the front door and a tub or two of each in the back garden. If I get lots of beans I won't mind if people nick 'em, and if I don't, there won't be any to steal!
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I tried this for a fortnight last year on my allotment. Result - everything continued to be eaten. After a fortnight I reverted to regular slug pellets. Result - next day I had about 60 exploded slugs scattered around,
I won't be trying Iron Phosphate again this year.
Tom
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In article <wildbilly-B84ED0.11100811032008@c-61-68-245-

I tried that last year. To no avail.
--
Linz
Wet Yorks
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Iron phosphate worked, I think.
Has anyone tried coffee grounds on slugs? Someone recommended that to me. I guess it makes their little tummies sore so they don't like to crawl across it. Dora
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"bungadora" wrote Has anyone tried coffee grounds on slugs? Someone recommended that to me. I guess it makes their little tummies sore so they don't like to crawl across it.
Yes, it worked in our front garden where we had a serious snail problem. I understand from recent research slugs and snails do not like caffeine.
--
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Bob Hobden
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wrote:

I found that hair is better than coffee grounds, sand or gravel. Beer/yeast traps are too much work. Ducks like to east slugs. The product Sluggo is about the most effective, although it is difficult to find locally. Slugs are very sensitive to electrical pulses. We have these 6" long banana slugs that come out at about 11 pm and they crawl up onto decks, plastic siding, hanging flower baskets and just about anything else in search of vegetation.
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Same with iron phosphate though.

I'm afraid I do not know. I have never watched the show and it was never telecast in my local area as a child, thank heavens. I can't imagine what my dear siblings and classmates would have made of that.
The name Dora seems to be popular in cartoons for some reason. There was one in the 20's called Dumb Dora. I usually get 'Dora the Explorer' these days. Please don't ask me if I play with my monkey. Dora
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