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Newbie with some questions...

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by htanguay on September 25, 2004 10:07 PM
I have decided that I wanted to start growing my own fruits and vegetables and am starting to look into what it takes. I am wondering if someone could answer a few questions for me.

How much space should I allow for my fruits and veggies?
How (in)expensive is the process?
Is it best to start the plants inside or can they be started outside from the beginning?
How long do the plants last after they've grown?

Sorry if these are simple questions...I am just starting, but this seems like a great place to be!

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Have a good day!

Heidi
by patunia on September 26, 2004 04:56 AM
It all depends really, on what fruits and veggies you like to eat. and how many people you intend to feed.
Now, if you want a general idea, the different vegetable and fruits i like, are:

Peaches: One tree, yielded more fruit than 2 people could eat, freeze, jam, syrup and liquor in a season. the surplus, we gave away and the critters ate. It was a freestone variety (meaning when you open the fruit, the pit comes out without a problem... and a self pollinator (doesn't need another peach tree close by to make fruit so you only need to buy one Apprx $20)
It was the only tree i had, and it required about 10' x 10' at maturity, some spraying to keep the worms from spoiling the fruit, a net to keep the birds from marauding and some sturdy stakes under the branches to keep them from breaking.
This is an investment that is well worth the time and effort and will serve you well year after year without replanting (perennial) as long as you prune, spray and pay attention. You can buy a sapling from a local gardening center, just make sure the variety is hardy to your planting zone. (look for the USDA zones on this site)

The other thing i want to offer to you, is asparagus, another perennial. You can get rhizomes to start a patch at any Walmart or garden center ($4.50 for 6-8 plants). A hint here is these like fertilizer. Mix a couple bags of compost into a patch of earth 8ft x 2ft....plant your rhizomes...
and don't harvest for 2 years any sprout in the spring skinnier than a your forefinger. You need to top-dress the "bed" with compost or organic composted manure each winter to feed them and keep them mulched.
Those are my 2 favorites, maybe the others on this site will each contribute a couple of theirs.
Pat

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by sidheblooms on September 26, 2004 07:51 AM
the wonderful thing about veggie gardneing is that it is totally affordable and only requires minor effort.

you might find real pride and joy in starting yer seeds in the house before the last frost. it is a real treat to watch them grow from a tiny seed into something which you are feeding your self with. it can be intimidating because when you do start them..they need much attention cause they are so small. but by the time you plant them out into the great big world..you will already have put soo much love into them.

the other option is to but all your transplants from a garden store. preferably from a source who practices organic methods..after all..this is your food!

a man named mel barthomew wrote a book called the square foot garden. it is a wonderful resource for someone who is space/time/experience/and money limited. his methods are quite good, and has inspired many first time gardeners such as your self. www.squarefootgardening.com

but most important..enjoy it! nothing tastes better than the fruits of your own labour. and dont be afraid to make mistakes or to try something new.

"gardeners are not magicians. they must understand and work within the fundemental laws of nature" ~i dont know who wrote it..but it is humbling though..aint it?

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HAPPINESS is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. ~ Ghandi
by sidheblooms on September 26, 2004 07:57 AM
heheehhe...one more thing...

just to answer one of your other questions..i started my brussel sprouts in the house in the end of feburary. i still have yet to munch them...but soon!

it is a real test on patience..for the longer crops take a LONG time! my cabbage, pumpkin, cauliflower, etc etc..have been around longer than my puppy!!

if you want to do fast veggies and such...chose radishes, lettuces, peas, beans, basil, and other quick ones! i LOVE having salad gardens, herb gardens and most of all...SALSA gardens (tomato, peppers, hot ones, cilantro, basil, chives..YUMMERS!)

yup...just wanted to add that!

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HAPPINESS is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. ~ Ghandi
by weezie13 on September 26, 2004 10:03 PM
quote:
Sorry if these are simple questions...I am just starting, but this seems like a great place to be!

Never, we love helping all the new gardeners,
We were ALL NEW GARDENERS ONCE!!! [thumb]

Can I ask some questions, and I know I'll have more for you later!!!

What kinds of fruits and veggies are you interested in???
What kind of area do you have for your plants.
Do you have seed starting stuff, greenhouse, etc.
Or just from in side../?
What kind of soil and sunshine is available for you and your garden...

Don't hesitate to ask, when starting gardening, it can be daunting!!! But stick with it, and read all you can, and answer some of those questions and keep asking more questions and you'll do great!

But be carefull, once bitten by the gardening bug, there is no cure for it!!! [Wink]

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by htanguay on September 26, 2004 10:24 PM
quote:
Originally posted by weezie13:
[QUOTE] Can I ask some questions, and I know I'll have more for you later!!!

What kinds of fruits and veggies are you interested in???
What kind of area do you have for your plants.
Do you have seed starting stuff, greenhouse, etc.
Or just from in side../?
What kind of soil and sunshine is available for you and your garden...

Weezie

I am not to picky when it comes to fruits and vegetables. All the practice I can get can only help for something bigger and people will always eat fruit!

I have a large area of flat ground that I can use (10x5), but I would rather start in a smaller section.

I am only planning on planting outside so I am not sure exactly what kind of stuff I need. I read the article on composting so I am starting that pile already. I am also starting the digging method mentioned in the gardening basics section (wow it takes a while!)

The area gets a lot of sunshine throughout the day. I'm not sure what you are asking about the soil though. I live in Southeastern, MA-zone 6 from what I understand.

Thanks for your help!

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Have a good day!

Heidi
by weezie13 on September 26, 2004 10:40 PM
quote:
I'm not sure what you are asking about the soil though. I live in Southeastern, MA-zone 6 from what I understand.

What you want to do is, watch your soil, and look into your soil...
by watching it, you watch what that area does mostly when it rains, does it flood, if so, how fast does it drain.. if it drains relatively fast after a rain, it should be ok, if it stands for a long time, you may have a drainage problem, and should either do raised beds or make it so that it drains away...
Watching takes time too, several rains and what the soil is like...
And looking at the soil, by digging it and seeing what it looks like, if it's clay, you need to ammend it with some compost and good organic stuff and mix it in, if it's loamy, compost, etc...

Also, maybe this fall, either rototill it up and right now plant a cover crop such as a clover or winter rye or something to smother the existing weeds, and put nutrishion back into the soil,
Then it will grow green in the spring and you till it in, and wait about 4 weeks *I believe* and then plant... don't plant too early after tilling it in, as when the cover crop is decomposing in the soil, it will steal away the nitrogen in the soil and not make healthy plants..

Wow, there's alot of info there, I will keep adding some more tidbits as you go along!!!

Keep on asking!!!

And keep on reading, you can never read enough when it comes to gardening!!!!
Especially coming this winter, soak up all the info you can!!!

[teacher] [critic] [thumb] Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/

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