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Help for my garden

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by plantingnewb on September 10, 2006 11:27 PM
I planted my first garden this year from seeds (or tried to) We didn't really do much to the soil except add sand since the dirt was very thick and threw in some fert. pellets. We planted beans, which grew pretty good. Well I guess I don't really know what good is since I never planted a garden before. So good for me. [Wink] We also planted cukes- I picked a whole 4 all season. Beetles got to some of them. [Razz] We planted zucchini- I picked 2 all season.The plants are big but hardly no vegis.
Carrots, green peppers & canteloupe didn't grow at all. [tears]

I really want to try again next year, so I need to know what I should do to get the soil better.
What do I need to add & when?
Would it be better for me to use plants instead of seeds?
I know it is probably pretty obvious to you guys as to what to do, but I never did this before & have so many ideas and don't know which ones are right.
I trust this site and have already learned so much, so thanks in advance to you all.
by MrClint on September 11, 2006 01:59 AM
Try square foot gardening in raised beds. It is a simplified yet high yield approach that is well documented.

Tool around a bit at the link above and then do some Google searches on the subject. I think you'll be inspired by the benefits of this method.

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According to my calculations, the problem doesn't exist.
by SNOWWOLF on September 13, 2006 01:17 PM
That is totally cool! I didnt know you could grow a mellon vine vertically. lol Maybe I should have asked before mine took over the yard and drive. I will have to consider it for next year.
by StaceyRoop on September 14, 2006 11:41 AM
you can grow tomatoes, mellons, cucumbers etc. on trellises. That is how we optimize space in our garden.

As for adding sand......that isn't profitable since nothing grows in sand. You want rich manure really.

See I live in the Pine Barrons of NJ. All we have is sand! No soil. So for us to have a garden we halled in TONS and TONS (literally) of horse manure. We tilled it and added lye and added more manure. It took years to get the soil the way we have it now, something that will actually grow stuff.

So that is why I am singling out the sand, we works so hard to "get rid of it" here!

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What would you do today if you knew you would die tomorrow?
by comfrey on September 15, 2006 03:07 AM
The fertilizer was the possible problem..It caused your plants to grow nice green lush foliage instead of growing "fruit" all that green then invites all of the bugs and that can effect producing "fruit" also. Congratulations on your first garden! And even though you may not have harvested as much as you possible could have, that is a great start and that is what gardening is all about...Each year we all try to improve upon the previous year, we try different varieties looking for the perfect one that we like and will grow in our area or soil...and not just the variety that the local folks all say is the best to grow either. I have been growing a garden for many years, but each year I try something new, always trying to find a better way or more efficient way of growing things. So Tammy you are on the right track and doing great, you are asking questions which is a very good thing [clappy] and I know that you will have the garden of your dreams in time if you keep working at it!!!!! [thumb] [thumb] [thumb]

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by plantingnewb on September 16, 2006 11:39 PM
I only added the sand because the soil was so hard.
So if I just add compost I should be good?
There is an old compost bin in my backyard from the family who lived here before us. We have been here 3 years. It is about 1/3 full of dirt. Should I just throw that into the garden now for next year? I would like to start the bin over now that I will have all the plants from the garden & other prunings to throw in.
Is there anything else that I should add now to the garden to enrich the soil for next year.
Also how long will the vegis keep growing?
The temps were 50-70 degrees last week.
Supposed to be middle 70s today.

Comfrey-That makes sense about the fert. The zucchini plants are big, but took all summer to produce a couple zucchinis.
by comfrey on September 19, 2006 02:58 AM
Yes you can go ahead use the old compost to add to the garden. And by spring you should be able to use the compost from your new pile also. Most plants will keep producing until fall or cold weather, most veggies except cold crops need at least 50 degree night time temps and daytime 70's should be fine also. There is a prime time for production of veggies, then they decline in production, but will keep producing small amounts for quite awhile as long as the weather is warm enough. I would say that just adding the compost would be good enough for next season.

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by tkhooper on September 19, 2006 04:51 AM
I might suggest that you do a soil test and then ammend the soil according to what you find out. Also you will find that there are specific plant foods for vegetables.

I remember that squash and tomatoes like about 50% compost in their soil. But it does make them grow tall so do the trellis' or cages if you go that way.

If you have room start your seeds indoors and then transplant. It has the benefit of being as cheap as doing seeds and you get the benefit of good sized plants to start your garden with.

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by plantingnewb on September 24, 2006 11:02 PM
Comfrey & Tkhooper,
Thanks for the advice.
I already pulled everything out of my garden. [tears]
Its getting colder and I'm thinking about getting a 2nd job (partime eves & weekend) [Razz] so I thought I'd better get my yard & garden in order first.
So now I'm wondering what I can do to prevent so many weeds from growing in the garden. Last spring the garden was full of weeds before I planted.
Would a layer of grass clippings smuggle them?
Then could I throw the old compost on top?
I don't really know what I'm talking about just wondering. [dunno]
by Deborah L. on September 27, 2006 07:40 AM
Tammy, don't feel badly-I don't even know what compost IS.
I think it's kitchen scraps and worms and dirt, but I'm not really sure.
And I don't understand why such icky stuff would make good gardens, but I know it does. [dunno] [Embarrassed]

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by plantingnewb on September 27, 2006 08:28 AM
Thanks Deborah, I feel much better knowing I'm not the only one on this site that doesn't know about composting.
by comfrey on September 27, 2006 09:04 AM
You want to put the compost on first...I would not use grass clippings for mulch even though alot of people do, You would have to keep adding grass clippings weekly in order to keep the weeds & or grass seed at bay, But you can use straw very successfully and some use warned about using hay...Hay can/does contain alot of weed seed and you could in the end have alot more weeds then you originally had. Cardboard, paper & plastic can be used between your rows with good results. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way... Hoe...Hoe....Hoe them weeds away.

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by plantingnewb on September 30, 2006 10:05 PM
When you say I would have to add grass weekly are talking about during the growing season?
At this point I'm not thinking that far in advance.
I was just wondering if there was anything I could do now to get my garden ready for next spring and maybe there is something I can do now to prevent so many weeds from growing before I plant in the spring.
This was my first garden, so I'm just not sure?
I already spread a layer of grass & leaves from the lawnmower over the garden. Next I plan on adding a load of compost.
Am I doing this right?
Wow...I have so much to learn yet.

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