View Full Version : Talk to me about gardening...

03-27-2005, 10:36 PM
Ok we are going to orlando area in 5 months so need to save $$ all summer and though this would really help...

so me and dh bough some seed at walmart last night... neither of us have a clue what we are doing.... we bough some cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, watermelon, peas, ect. we live in indiana and our land we live on was farm ground 4 years ago (b4 we moved in) when we dug up a flower bed 3 years ago our grown SUCKED it was clay and we added some potting soil to get the flowers started up will we need to do this again to get food food to come up??? How much time will i need to spend carring for it? hopefully we will keep animal out of it, not to many birds since we have no trees, we do have three dogs and one runs loose on our property all day long so we think we are going to put it inside the fence the kids play in to keep the dogs out. will i need to water the stuff daily? Any tips i would love~!

03-28-2005, 08:05 PM
Try a gardening web site. It sounds like what you are asking for is fairly complex info. Having said that, gardening is work, but once things get growing, they tend to grow. For myself, I have found that gardening doesn't always save a whole lot of money any more - because you never know what's going to grow. At the grocery store -I have a pretty good idea that If I buy a tomato - I'm going to get a ripe, healthy tomato - without the hidden costs of fertilizers, pesticides, drought, etc.
I do have a peach tree - I'm hoping it does well this year, and I actually get an edible peach! Otherwise I mainly only plant herbs! I buy presprouted basil, oregano, majorum, parsley, and then more basil - just to make sure I have enough basil! There is nothing like fresh basil, and it doesn't last once it is picked, so it is hard to get it at the store.

03-29-2005, 08:55 PM
Also, check your local telephone book to see if you have a County Extension office. I grew up in an urban area and never heard of the program until I moved to Arizona! Since our climate and soil conditions are quite different than those in most of the U.S., our County Extension office tends to be rather busy.

With any luck, they will have printed information for you, or may be able to direct you to a master gardener who conducts beginning classes.

'Course, they might also have a website! D'oh!

03-29-2005, 10:40 PM
go to home depot or lowe's get those seed starter cups. start your seeds in house now. My grandpa always said never plant outdoors until after mother's day (beginning of May). Plants should be ready by then if you plant now. Keep them in lots of sun light - like on a window sill.

I would add lots of top soil from gardening center if you have mostly clay.
You will have fun and it is so rewarding when you pick dinner from your own garden. Good luck. :sunny:

03-29-2005, 11:29 PM
Preparing the soil is everything. We live in north Georgia, land of everlasting red clay.This stuff is like brick. Our first garden was small, mainly because the soil was so hard and needed so much amending. You propbably need to get a soil analysis done by teh extesion service. Then you will know how much lime, peat, cow manure, etc to put in so you can actually grow stuff. Then you need to rent a tiller so you can really churn it up deep so the roots will grow.

For the first year, i would suggest that you plant things you like to eat and maybe one or two "novelties". Tomatos, peppers, bush green beans, squash, and cucumbers are easy. Forget corn, carrots, potatoes, etc--way too much work for little return in a small garden. Lettuces and cabbage are cool weather plants, so you minght not have good re****s in the summer.

The main thing is to plan it out and keep it simple. Your garden does not have to be huge to be enjoyable. In fact, i have a small plaque in my kitchen that says, "Don't plant more garden than your wife can take care of." Along about July, the whole thing gets to be a trial, but we keep plugging away at it.I don't know if it has saved us any money, but we consider it marriage therapy--it's the only place we can go that we know the kids will leave us alone. :rotfl:

03-30-2005, 02:18 PM
I too am in IN. For our soil we add rabbit or sheep "fertilizer". If you're in northern IN look in gas stations/groceries for Peddlers Post or Peoples Peddler (classified ad papers that cost around $1) for a rototiller and possibly even free horse "fertilizer." Or you might find a farmer that would roto-till the garden area and bring you a load of manure.

Some of your seeds need to be started now. I would start the cucumbers, cabbage, watermelon and peas. I highly suggest you add some beefsteak tomatos for eating and romas for canning or freezing. Grocery store tomatos in no way can compare to a fresh tomato!!! You can either buy a seed starter tray or just use things you have around the house like foam egg cartons, margine tubs, yogurt cups, or cottage cheese containers. Use a turkey baster to gently water the plants. Keep them near a good light source. But not in a southern facing window. Protect your plants from rabbits by either placing cut hair (your beautician can provide this for free) or marigolds around the outside edges of your garden. A week before Mother's Day start taking the seedlings outside for an hour the first day and increasing each day until Mothers Day. This strengthens and prepares them to move outside. I plant all my flowers and veggies on Mothers Day Weekend. Although I stagger planting corn, carrots and lettuces to make it last longer. Don't forget your peas will need staked and the tomatos too. The cukes will need to be planted on mounds or hills. Leave plenty of room between rows and plants esp. the tomatos. When I plant I dig an appropriate hole, add the plant, pour in a cup (I use a small disposable about 6-8 oz) of either compost tea (add manure to a tub and fill with water) or water that has Miracle Grow added to it, fill in the dirt and pat firmly to prevent air pockets. When everything in an area is planted I water the whole area with a sprinlker.

Watering will depend on the weather. If it is breezy, sunny, or hot you'll need to water in the morning. It is best to water before 11 a.m. IMO I sometimes will water the night before a really hot day. Think about composting since your dirt needs amended anyway. To help keep weeds down consider a few different ideas such as preen, mulch, laying down a layer of newspaper (no color ads), or a garden fabric. I use Miracle Grow every couple of weeks too.

There is a Flower/Garden board here on the DIS for more info. Maybe think about buying a Gardening for Dummies book on Half.com or Ebay for some good basic info.

:earseek: Didn't realize how long this was until I stopped typing.

03-30-2005, 02:40 PM
Thanks so much for the tips the only reason i'm not doing tomatos is that my mom and mother in law grows them and way to many of them so i just get thoes from them, i guess me and dd have a project for tomorrow!!! YIPPY we will start the seeds inside over the weekend. My grandparents are farmers but just crop farms so no animals, to bad you can use dog "manuer" i have TONS of that (3 dogs) LOL i'll do some talking to some other farmers arond and see if i can get some cow/house/ect "manuer" . Also not doing corn b/c my grandparents "crop farms" will take care of that crop for me!!! LOL thanks so much for all the tips and advice it's all really helpful!!!

03-30-2005, 08:36 PM
If you get horse manure make sure its old, or it'll burn your plants. Chicken is good too. We have clay in my part of WI and it sure is great in a dry year. Last year was my first garden in this type of soil, and the tiller really took a beating. This year we're doing such a huge garden my DH will just plow and disc it, then till. Its really hard soil, but grows great plants if you can work it!