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A few general questions regarding vegetable gardens

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by n00bGardener on March 20, 2006 07:42 AM
Hi there, I am new to the site.

On April 1st I am moving into a new (to us) house that has a smaller veggie and herb garden. The land owner doesn't know exactly what was planted in the garden and his previous tennant has moved out of country.
As it is right now it looks to me as if it is just some flattened dirt so my questions are these..

Are vegetables/herbs a one shot deal or will I have to re-plant? Im assuming that maybe some types re-grow and some don't but I've never had a garden so I really wouldn't know..lol..

Just say they do not re-grow, what are the best/easiest vegetables to plant at this time of the year.. I work part time to be home with my kids and I want to start the gardening now while keep it pretty simple until I get a half decent grip on it.

I've been browsing around the site a bit and I have already learned a few things but Im still pretty lost right now..Any input is greatly appreciated..Thanks
by Amigatec on March 20, 2006 07:49 AM
Their are some others here from Canada that can help you better on this. I am not sure what grows good in our area.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by peppereater on March 20, 2006 08:09 AM
Some things come back...asparagus, for one. Any herbs you don't see likely won't come back, although most things reseed...but that's not anything to count on. Does it look like the dirt has been worked? Is it bare?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by tamara on March 20, 2006 08:36 AM
Canadian here, because of our cold zones. It is going to be a total replant. Do you know your frost dates for your area? Also your soil might need to be reworked and some extras added in. Can you give me a little more info please.

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Tamara's Photos
Thinking Spring, Thinking Spring...Nope, doesn't work.lol
by tamara on March 20, 2006 08:52 AM
May I adjust my info? From what I can see you are in between zone 6 and maybe zone 7. Are you near Chilliwack?

Your weather is moderated by the Pacific Ocean and it seems you have some of the mildest winters in the country with 200 frost free days.

Check to see if you have any strawberry plants. Those are keepers. It seems that the Fraser Valley accounts for 95% of the strawberries grown in BC. 25% of what is used in Canada.

What size is the garden area?

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Tamara's Photos
Thinking Spring, Thinking Spring...Nope, doesn't work.lol
by comfrey on March 20, 2006 10:28 AM
I agree with peppereater...If you don't see evidence of herbs..then there proable are none. Any that survive the winter, will show you either a grassy type clump or plant material that looks maybe dead, or a sunk in little hole or area, if you see any of these things, then there are herbs that are possiblely still fine once the ground warms up more.

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by detectorbill on March 20, 2006 11:48 AM
Bet you can plant lettuce, cabbage, potaotes, and radishes for sure.

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I feel more like I do now than I did before I ever felt this way.
by n00bGardener on March 21, 2006 02:38 AM
Wow, thanks for all the replies!

peppereater - It really does just look like flat dirt, Im not sure how else to describe it.. It look like there is some sprouting of unknown things here and there but other than that it really does just look like a big square clump of dirt. Not packed flat though..

tamara - I really wish I could give more info and yes I am about 20 minutes west of Chilliwack.
Luckily I know what strawberry plants look like and I sure would be happy if I had those..hehe

And the garden area is about 15 x 10 feet but it is divide in 4 seperate sections with wood.. Not sure what it is like that, but that is the way the previous tenant set it up.. Maybe some things can't grow in the same area?

I didnt realize that there was so many things to take into account.. I now realize how truly clueless I am...haha

I think it will be great though. I have always wanted a little garden but since we have been renting for the past few years I really didnt want to invest time or money into getting it all set up and then just leaving it. Since it's already set up I might as well just go for it!

Thanks again everyone!
by peppereater on March 21, 2006 03:27 AM
nOOb...sounds like raised beds. This guy probably prepared that soil pretty well. Are there paths between the wooden borders?
I'd plant some radishes, lettuce, spinach right away, if you want a few potatoes plant 'em now...and stay in touch! Get some seed starting mix and a seed tray or two and get broccoli and cabbage started, or buy some plants to set out, that would be ideal.

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Bestofour on March 21, 2006 07:34 AM
Dave, have you already planted your potatoes, radishes, lettuce, and spinach?

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by duckie on March 21, 2006 08:06 AM
hey,how about some peas?

[wavey] excellent advice palies! I'm always proud of our members here.

Welcome noob.What would you like to grow?
Lots of herbs and veggies do great in containers.
Strawberries too.

I wish you were my neighbor,I've got about 80 plants to give away.

Shari

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by n00bGardener on March 21, 2006 12:46 PM
quote:
Originally posted by peppereater:
nOOb...sounds like raised beds. This guy probably prepared that soil pretty well. Are there paths between the wooden borders?
I'd plant some radishes, lettuce, spinach right away, if you want a few potatoes plant 'em now...and stay in touch! Get some seed starting mix and a seed tray or two and get broccoli and cabbage started, or buy some plants to set out, that would be ideal.

Yes, they are raised and there is paths in between. Thats good? Unfortunatley we don't live there yet so I can't plant anything until April 1st, is that to late to plant? Im going tommorow to buy the seeds for everything veggie suggested in this thread...lol
by n00bGardener on March 21, 2006 12:52 PM
quote:
Originally posted by duckie:
hey,how about some peas?

[wavey] excellent advice palies! I'm always proud of our members here.

Welcome noob.What would you like to grow?
Lots of herbs and veggies do great in containers.
Strawberries too.

I wish you were my neighbor,I've got about 80 plants to give away.

Shari

I would like to grow mostly vegetables, preferably tomatoes, onion, peppers (grn, red, yell. and orange) carrots, cucumber, zuchinis, jalapeno peppers, brocoli, cauliflower..
My fiance is a type 1 diabetic so we eat ALOT of veggies, it would be nice to be able to catch a break in the wallet and use our home grown veggies.
by johnCT on March 21, 2006 08:48 PM
quote:
Originally posted by n00bGardener:

My fiance is a type 1 diabetic so we eat ALOT of veggies, it would be nice to be able to catch a break in the wallet and use our home grown veggies.

Sounds like plenty of reasons to learn how to save your own seed also!

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John - Zone 6
by ChristinaC on March 22, 2006 01:43 AM
Hi nOObgardener [wavey]
I have to chuckle a little bit here...it's kinda' funny how people think that we live in igloos here in Canada.
You are in Zone 7b (I'm pretty sure). All the vegetables you said you wanted to grow will do wonders in your zone!!! Now is the time to start from seed if you want..but it sounds like you're going to be busy with working, kids, moving, etc. You can always buy the plants you want at a garden center and plant them, I'd say, at the beginning of May. Onions, carrots, broc, and cauliflower can be planted as soon as you move. They tolerate cooler temps just fine. And by then, you'll see what perennenials (plants that back every year) you have. They will have started to grow by then. If you're unsure of what something is, just take a pic and post it in the mystery plant section and someone here always knows what it is!! You came to the right place! Good luck and please keep us posted.
Christina

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by Amigatec on March 22, 2006 03:56 AM
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaC:
Hi nOObgardener [wavey]
I have to chuckle a little bit here...it's kinda' funny how people think that we live in igloos here in Canada.

When I was in the Army and told everyone I was from Kansas, all they could think of Dorothy and Toto.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by comfrey on March 22, 2006 04:03 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Amigatec:
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaC:
Hi nOObgardener [wavey]
I have to chuckle a little bit here...it's kinda' funny how people think that we live in igloos here in Canada.

When I was in the Army and told everyone I was from Kansas, all they could think of Dorothy and Toto.

I was born in Kansas...So I understand about the Dorothy and Toto thing, But I never have thought people in Canada lived in igloos, some people really believe this????

If you can post a picture of your garden area, It would help a great deal.

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by seeme on March 22, 2006 06:33 AM
yeah i would love to see it! [wavey]
by ChristinaC on March 22, 2006 07:15 AM
I was being a little sarcastic about the igloo thing, I apologize for that. But I have found that some people look at Canada as always being cold and snowy. That's all I meant.
I also have to admit, that when I hear Kansas..I automatically think of Dorothy and Toto. [Big Grin]

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by Amigatec on March 22, 2006 08:49 AM
And they used to ask me if we had running water.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by comfrey on March 22, 2006 11:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Amigatec:
And they used to ask me if we had running water.
You had running water????? [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]

Ok..we are off the topic, so back to it:

n00bGardener If you could post a picture of the garden area it would help us to help you and figure out what if anything might be already growing there.

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by n00bGardener on March 23, 2006 02:36 AM
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaC:
Hi nOObgardener [wavey]
I have to chuckle a little bit here...it's kinda' funny how people think that we live in igloos here in Canada.
You are in Zone 7b (I'm pretty sure). All the vegetables you said you wanted to grow will do wonders in your zone!!! Now is the time to start from seed if you want..but it sounds like you're going to be busy with working, kids, moving, etc. You can always buy the plants you want at a garden center and plant them, I'd say, at the beginning of May. Onions, carrots, broc, and cauliflower can be planted as soon as you move. They tolerate cooler temps just fine. And by then, you'll see what perennenials (plants that back every year) you have. They will have started to grow by then. If you're unsure of what something is, just take a pic and post it in the mystery plant section and someone here always knows what it is!! You came to the right place! Good luck and please keep us posted.
Christina

I seriously can be in there planting the same day I move...lol, that is just how excited I am..I'm happy that they are good for my zone! What is the price difference between seeds and actual plants? I picked up a shift at work this weeks so I wasn't able to get down to buy seeds yet. Now Im pondering maybe buying some plant and some seed.. [dunno]
by n00bGardener on March 23, 2006 02:38 AM
quote:
Originally posted by johnCT:
quote:
Originally posted by n00bGardener:

My fiance is a type 1 diabetic so we eat ALOT of veggies, it would be nice to be able to catch a break in the wallet and use our home grown veggies.

Sounds like plenty of reasons to learn how to save your own seed also!

Oh lord, that's a whole other issue for me..hahah..But it is something I probably would like to do.. Do I do that when the plants start to die??
by n00bGardener on March 23, 2006 02:42 AM
quote:
Originally posted by comfrey:
quote:
Originally posted by Amigatec:
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaC:
Hi nOObgardener [wavey]
I have to chuckle a little bit here...it's kinda' funny how people think that we live in igloos here in Canada.

When I was in the Army and told everyone I was from Kansas, all they could think of Dorothy and Toto.

If you can post a picture of your garden area, It would help a great deal.

I wish I could but we don't live there yet... : ( [Eek!] I will as soon as I can though
by n00bGardener on March 23, 2006 02:45 AM
Thanks alot everyone! I feel like a free-loader by asking advice and not being able to contribute anything..
This is a great board, I love you guys..*jokes*
by peppereater on March 23, 2006 03:09 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Bestofour:
Dave, have you already planted your potatoes, radishes, lettuce, and spinach?
I've planted a few potatoes and peas, and have my tomatoes and peppers and brocolli in flats. I never get to plant everything I'd like to, but I still intend to get some radishes and lettuce out, at least. I have onion starts I need to plant first, though. [Eek!]
Part of my problem is that bending over for any length of time is murder on my back. [Frown]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Amigatec on March 23, 2006 04:10 AM
I don't bend over to plant stuff like onions, I get down on my hands and knees, and use short broom handle to poke the hole in the ground.

For stuff peas, I use a planter.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by peppereater on March 23, 2006 02:55 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Amigatec:
I don't bend over to plant stuff like onions, I get down on my hands and knees, and use short broom handle to poke the hole in the ground.

For stuff peas, I use a planter.

Pat...I'm not sure but I think that was a typo...stuff peas...stuff "like" peas?
I always soak peas, beans, and such. I plant them after they sprout a lot of times...maybe I'm being too cautious, but my soil drains VERY quickly...it's sand.
What sort of planter do you use? The wheeled type?

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by Amigatec on March 23, 2006 08:21 PM
Yep it was a typo. I use one of those little 2 wheel planters.

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It works good for most things.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by Dixie Angel on March 23, 2006 10:07 PM
Pat, could I ask where you bought that nifty, little gadget? I didn't know there was such a thing, but I think I would like to have one now that I know...

Dianna

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by johnCT on March 23, 2006 11:08 PM
Dianna, I believe Johnny's sells those.

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John - Zone 6
by Amigatec on March 23, 2006 11:27 PM
I got mine from my Father in Law, but I have seen them for sell at Farm and Home type stores.

They run about $80, and there is an extra set of plates that you can buy for it. I have almost a complete set of plates, but I don't have a corn plate. I use the pea plate but it is not quite right.

The plate is the round disc that goes inside that picks up the seed, they are sized according to the size and spacing of the seed.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by comfrey on March 24, 2006 11:44 AM
I think I saw them at HD almost any place that sells garden tools has them. I have never used one as I wasn't sure how good they work, but have known alot of people that have them and use them every year. Park seed also has them, Also if you do ebay you might find a bargin on one there.

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by Amigatec on March 24, 2006 07:56 PM
For some things it works good, like peas, corn, orka, and beans. But for the small seeds I like to do them by hand.

I did plant lettuce and carrots with it last year and had good luck.

If you have really long rows, it works the best.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by n00bGardener on March 24, 2006 11:59 PM
I bought all my seeds yesturday..Besides the seeds, what else do I need? Some type of fertilizer or soil or something? What about plant food? Can anyone reccomend anything??? THanks
by ChristinaC on March 25, 2006 12:33 AM
Hey nOOb!
You should go to Walmart and buy one of those seed starting trays. They're very cheap. They're divided into individual sections to plant your seeds. It comes with the starting soil mix you need and has easy to read instructions. You don't have to worry about plant food or fertilizer yet. I don't know about others but I only fertilize maybe once before I put them out in my garden. Plants will let you know when they need a feeding. That won't be for awhile.
Good luck!
BTW..what seeds did you get?
Christina

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by n00bGardener on March 25, 2006 12:42 AM
Wow, fast response...Thanks
When you say
"I don't know about others but I only fertilize maybe once before I put them out in my garden."
is that meaning you put them in this tray you speak of and start growing them inside and then plant them in the garden? Forgive me, I've never grown a thing in my life so I don't know anything...lol.. I've always wanted a little garden so im pretty excited..
As for the seeds I bought tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, green pepper, cauliflower, lettuce, cucumber, radish, zuchini, carrot, brocoli and mini bell peppers.. I know some of those I can plant right away, others Im not too sure about.. *can't wait*
by ChristinaC on March 25, 2006 12:50 AM
I start my seeds in the tray in the house. As they grow, I transplant them into larger pots until the weather is ready for them outside. Here in Southern Ontario, it's usually the end of May when the temps are warm enough for them.

I keep my plants under fluorescent lights, some just use a sunny window.

I'll PM you an extremely useful link. I'm a little confused of what links I can and can't post here.

Christina

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by n00bGardener on March 25, 2006 02:42 AM
Hmmmmm, Im gonna have to try to find a spot to see if I can do that.. We don't have a basement and with 2 small kids it would be pretty hard for me to start them inside w/o ending up with dirt all over my house...lol.. Maybe I can put them in them in the garage, it's a little warmer than outside..
by Deborah L. on March 26, 2006 07:31 AM
Raised beds ! My dream ! I'm drooling with envy !
nOOb, with your interest and enthusiasm, you'll do great ! Keep us posted on everything you plant ! [wavey]

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by n00bGardener on March 31, 2006 03:24 AM
Oh yes, Im moving in this weekend... Im unpacking the necessaties then Im out digging in that garden.. Any last minute tips for me??? Thanks for all the help!
by peppereater on March 31, 2006 05:08 AM
I think most of this has been covered, but Here's a few tips. When you say "digging in that garden," I wouldn't worry about digging all the soil, unless it has become compacted. Just pull a how or similar tool through the soil to make your row, or dig individual holes for each plant, and add a little bone meal and blood meal or whatever you plan to use in the bottom of the holes or trenches and dig that in slightly before planting. Chemical fertilizers need to be worked in a bit better so they won't burn.
You'd be surprised at how creative you an get with locating indoor seed trays. They'll need to be nice and warm until the seed germinates, 70 degrees at least, but you can put them on top of the fridge...they'll stay warm there...or on a high shelf where the kiddos won't get to them. Then out to the garage once they've sprouted, with some cheap flourescent shoplights right down almost touching them. You could buy a few things this year and then invest in a heat mat next year, or just go the cheapie route like most of us and improvise...you're going to love gardening!
Keep in mind that even this nice bed arrangement may not be weed free...pull or hoe any weeds the come up as early as possible, but don't get too discouraged if you can't stay on top of weeding...by midsummer every year, my weeds are out of hand, because I never have much time for gardening, although I try to plant a large garden every year. I just look at the weeds and sigh, and pick tomatoes, okra, peppers and whatever else I managed to plant. [Embarrassed] [Big Grin] [thumb]

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Dave
Even my growlights are getting restless!
by comfrey on March 31, 2006 01:40 PM
n00bGardener....All the suggestions everyone has given are all good advice. I would like to offer you another method for starting you seeds. Get some of those pellet pots and a cheap foil cake pan that has a plastic lid, when starting your seeds( before they germinate) they need to be covered, a plastic bag will work also. And they do need heat(around 70 degrees) to germinate, other places besides the frig, is on top of a hot water tank, In the bathroom where most people keep it warmer, or even in a closet with a small space heater. Once the seeds start to show through the soil, be sure to remove the plastic covering and place under lights...do not allow the plants to be lower then 2 inches below the lights.

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by Patty S on April 22, 2006 09:29 PM
n00bGardener, I think I'm really behind the times here! [Roll Eyes] I saw your post in The Welcome Wagon, then ran across this thread, AFTER I posted a reply there! ...And I didn't even pay attention to the posting dates, & I see now that you've already been around here for a while! (How silly do I feel?!)  -

Anyway, I left you a couple hints there, that you might want to take a look at.

Happy gardening! [thumb]

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