Simple Gardening

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by thelendleys, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. thelendleys

    thelendleys Member

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    Hi, I have been a member here for a few months but am mostly a lurker.... I am pregnant with our 3rd child and am a SAHM/Nursing Student until March....We live on 1 acre in the middle of a SMALL Middle TN town......I am looking for some simple ways to have a fairly good sized garden (using space saving ideas)...Here are some of the things I'd like to be able to have: cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, green peppers, onions, flat green beans, eggplants, corn, broccoli, and zucchini...I know some of these may not be feasible but any suggestions are greatly appreciated.....I'd also like to know what the difference between heirloom seed and all the rest...I would like to know everyones experiences good or bad using space saving ideas on any of these plants as well as any other suggestion on plants to grow.....I would like to have some to put up for the winter months....Thanks so much. :) Brandy
     
  2. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on wanting to start your own garden! It is a labor of love that will give you fresh goodies to eat all season long.

    I will give you a few pointers that will hopefully make it easier for you.

    Pick out a spot that gets plenty of sunshine and that the water supply will reach easily.

    Have someone till it for you.

    Buy a couple of bales of hay to mulch around plants to hold in the moisture, warm the soil in the spring, cool the soil in the summer and most of all, to suppress the weeds.

    Buy some starter plants (tomato,eggplant,peppers) from the nursery, Walmart or Lowes. Buy some seeds for the rest.

    Plant, water, fertilize - stand back and watch it grow and then reap your rewards. YUMMY!!!!

    I am sure that you could research the difference between Heirloom seeds and all the rest, but I believe that the heirloom varieties are "pure" seed passed down for generations and the rest are possibly "hybrid" or "man-made" creations. You'll see them listed as being resistant to alot of fungus or disease problems.

    I also would recommend picking up a copy of the Farmers Almanac. There is a planting chart inside that will tell you when to plant certain plants in your growing zone.

    Best of luck with your garden this coming season!
     

  3. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Brandy, gardening is fun. That said, it is also a great deal of work to get started right. Pregnant with third child and a student? I would really suggest you buy the book "Square foot Gardening". I got mine used at the used book store. It is absolutely loaded with info and directions on how to grow more with less. I have been gardening for 55 years and only last year really started applying myself in earnest to the SFG system and I am completely sold and sorry I have not been doing it forever!! The things you are interested in growing are very compatable with SFG. A couple of good sized beds and some rows of corn and you would be in business.
     
  4. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    Look UP.. For plants such as strawberries.. (I'm using measurements only to demonstrate what I mean, you can use any size or suitable material) Take a meter long (3/4 ft) piece of plastic conduit pipe about 20/30cm (1ft) in diameter cut little holes (half circles) about 4 in wide 3/4in high in spirals around the pipe. Settle the pipe in the ground and fill with good potting mix and plant the strawberries in each hole as you fill with soil. This will save a lot of space, and will work for a lot of herbs as well.
     
  5. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a sturdy fence with plenty of sunshine? Use narrower diameter longer length conduit and cut it in half down the middle (two long lengths) attach something to each end to keep the soil in, attach them to the fence, fill with soil and voila you have the TN hanging gardens.
     
  6. Sylvia

    Sylvia Well-Known Member

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    Hi! I got creative one year when I wanted to grow winter squash. I used my clothes line which was strung up between two permanently fixed metal posts. I made a net out of clothes line the base of which I secured in the ground at about a 15 degree angle. (This holds the weight of the gourds as they develop) I zig-zagged it up and over the horizontal clothes line. I took another length of line and did the same vertically, weaving it in and out. As the plants grew I trained the vines to attach to the net. This worked great for me because the blossoms were easily pollinated, the gourds were off the ground and securely nestled, plenty of air circulated through the plants and I was able to prune extra leaves off easily.

    WInter squash is great because its thick skin helps keep it viable for most of the winter. Here's a fast meal idea. I cook it by peeling the outer skin off with a sharp knife, taking out the seeds (let them dry and use them for planting your next year's batch), cut into 1 inch cubes boil them with cooked beans, pureed tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. If you want the sauce to be a little thicker, add some mashed potato flakes the last minute before serving. Serve over rice. YUMMMM!

    ENJOY!
     
  7. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

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    Gardening can be a lot of work, but it can be very satisfying to know that you grow what you eat. There are many ways to grow a garden. The traditional way is to grow in rows. You can build beds, which makes it easier to weed and you can grow more veggies in less space. You can grow no till, which is exactly what it means, you don't till the ground. I'm experimenting with that method this coming year. Using hay for mulch is a great idea. I used hay this past summer and in the Texas heat I didn't have to water near as much.

    Heirloom seeds are seeds that have been handed down through the generations and are open pollinated, which means you can save the seeds to use for next year's garden. You can't save seeds from hybrids, they are not reliable for germination.

    The main thing to know about gardening is to have fun, experiment with different types of plants, and try to make as little work as possible (i.e. less weeds).

    Happy Gardening
     
  8. mamabear

    mamabear Well-Known Member

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    NW AR
    Hi Brandy,
    Congratulations on the little one on the way. And for the ability to begin your own garden.
    May I suggest doing a search on Yahoo or one of the other search engines on "vertical gardening"? If you don't have room to grow out, you most always have room to grow up. You don't need fancy materials, just whatever you can scrounge up or create. Using bamboo poles set in teepee fashion for your tomatoes or beans to grow up. Cucumbers and other vining plants will grow up anything. If you have old t-post and chicken wire you can fashion a fence that the vines will grow up. My middle son welded some rebar into five foot tall growing "pyramids" for my garden, that cost nothing because he was able to get the rebar from a scrap heap at school behind the ag class. I also use the fence that surround the garden itself to grow things on. I don't know if you could do that if you had a critter problem. Ours is solved by having the garden inside a fence inside another fence where our dogs have run. That way everything is kept out, from four legged to two legged.
    Above all, experiment, don't let people tell you it can't be done a certain way, and have fun.
    mamabear
     
  9. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    There are a great many varieties of each specie to grow. If you will selcect one that is labeled "All American Selection" you can hardly go wrong. To become an AAS winner the variety must do well all across the nation in a variety of circumstances.

    While many, many here would urge you to plant heirloom varieties, I urge you to consider hybrids. While indeed some flavor may have been lost in the breeding process, they have been bred to withstand diseases and for improved yields.
    After you have had a successful garden or two, then start switching or adding heirloom varieties. Plant hybrid and heirloom side by side to see how each does for comparison.

    For detailed description of varieties may I suggest that you go to google and then to their "more" feature, then finally to catalogs. Go to Burpee and Parks seed catalogs for good descriptions. Well I just checked and find that the Burpee catalog doesn't come up, but you can go directly to their site for it.

    For a first garden in a new place don't go overboard, especially with a new baby to tend. A well kept smaller garden will yield greater than an unkempt one that is larger.
     
  10. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    Definitely leave the corn growing to the experts. We had good luck with tomatoes, cukes, squash, eggplant, peppers, strawberries, melons, sweet potatoes, carrots, beans(not pole), peas, okra. You can grow lettuce and peppers underneath the taller plants or on the north side as they like shade. Also wait til the rainest part of your summer; plants like that. We had good luck with broccoli and beets in spring and fall.
     
  11. TennOC

    TennOC Member

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    I hope I'm not adding to the confusion here on the subject of Heirlooms vs Hybrids. I would like to suggest you look for seeds that say "OP" (open pollinated). Heirlooms are all open pollinated, but not all OP's are neccessarily heirlooms. The point is, OP's are plants you can always save the seeds from for next year and so on. Congrats on the baby.
     
  12. dare2b

    dare2b crone

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    Sep 28, 2004
    Lotsa books out there. A good one is How to Have a Green Thumb without an Aching Back by Ruth Stout. Lasagna gardening is a pretty good way to start quickly also. Vertical and container gardening as suggested already are also fine methods. I have gardened with containers while living in apartments. Talk about limited space! But I had fresh tomatoes and lettuce in the summertime, a terrific reward for little effort.