Green thumbs, I wana start a garden.

BillyDBillyD MemberPosts: 191 Member
I want to start a garden and I do not know where to start. I would want stuff that would not take much babying, I dont have a lot of time for that. I am looking for stuff that I can plant, water once or twice a week and will taste good. Also the growing season is pretty short here so stuff that takes a long time to grow is out.

Replies

  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Go to the book store and buy a book called "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" by Edward Smith. Will cost you about $25.00, but it will get you started off on the right tract to success. Is applicable to your part of the Country.
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    Gardening is like most things in life, the more you put into it, the bigger your return. Even "low maintenance" plants will yield a better harvest with a little TLC. Since your a beginning gardener, start small and resist the temptation to plant a large garden. A couple hundred square feet will allow you to plant a variety of things that can easily cared for, and still yield a surprisingly large harvest. Plus with a small garden, your mistakes aren't magnified over a a few acres lol.

    There are a variety of bush type green beans beans that start producing around 55-60 days from planting, my favorite being the Blue Lake variety. Most bush beans generally produce for about 3 weeks, if picked regularly (usually about every three days), and then cease production and the plant can be removed. If you don't keep them picked regularly, the plants will greatly slow production. They need roughly an inch of water per week till they start producing, then a little more once they start loading up. When the seeds are first planted, and till they become more established, the will need more frequent, lighter watering because of their shallow roots. As they mature, you can change to less frequent, heavier watering Try not to let the top few inches of soil dry completely out during the first few weeks

    Most beans also require no additional fertilizer, if the soil nutrients are at proper levels at planting time. Beans are from a family of plants called legumes and they contain a certain type of nitrogen fixing bacteria that will generally supply all the nitrogen the plant needs. AAMOF, too much additional nitrogen can result in huge plants with little yield. If your local farm and garden/seed store sells an inoculate for legumes, you can purchase some of this to help build the numbers of nitrogen fixing bacteria. At planting time, I have had much better results if I soak my bean seeds in water for about thirty minutes to an hour before planting. Some of the seeds will absorb to much water and split in half, just throw those away and plant the rest, being careful when handling the seeds.

    Most types of summer squash generally have a short time from planting to harvest, ranging from around 55 days to 70+ days. Squash must also be picked regularly, sometimes daily, to keep peak production. Keep an eye on them once they start producing, since squash grow very fast. A squash that's not quite ready in the morning can be almost to big by evening.They will produce anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months, depending on conditions. Fertilize at planting based on soil nutrients, and again about a week into production. The same general watering rules as above apply. Mulch is your friend.

    Cabbages are generally more tolerant of cooler weather, and may be a good fit for your climate. They can generally tolerate a light frost and are easy to grow. Mulch is your friend.

    Peppers and tomatoes generally take longer to produce, and prefer warmer weather, but there are varieties that will probably fit your conditions. With tomatoes, there are two main classifications, determinate, and indeterminate. Indeterminate tomatoes generally produce till frost and may grow well over six feet. Determinate tomatoes are usually bushier and produce one crop that ripen over a few week period, and then the plants die. If you plant tomatoes, buy the tallest ones you can find, and plant them DEEP. I usually bury everything but the last six inches of the plant. I've done quite a bit of experimenting with this, and it makes a big difference. Mulch is your friend.

    Sorry about the long post. This is by no means a comprehensive list of low maintenance, fast producing plants, but I type slow and my fingers are getting sore. :yawn:
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,277 Senior Member
    Start with high quality soil and the plants will show their love. As far as finding what will grow easily in your area, ask some established gardeners or local farmers what your best choices might be.

    Mulch is your friend!
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 38,834 Senior Member
    Dig a hole. Put a plant in it. Water it.

    Its that simple. The more care you put into it thought, the better your harvest. But really, its not that hard to grow stuff. Its been growing itself for a bazillion years.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,497 Senior Member
    Try potatoes if they will grow in you area, I tried some in a small patch and if I had known how well they grow around here I would have planted more....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,407 Senior Member
    Get the "Farmers Almanac".
    This message has been deleted
  • BillyDBillyD Member Posts: 191 Member
    Thanks for the info guys. I think I will build some beds this fall and plant next year. Do I need to do anything to the soil when I build the beds. (They are called beds right?)
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    As far as amending the soil is concerned, I would get a soil test. I'm not sure how things work in Utah, but down here we can get a soil test from county extension office. Test are also available from several different labs across the country, just mail them some dirt. The test aren't that expensive, can save you from wasting money on things you don't need, and greatly reduce the amount of guessing involved. If you don't wanna test the soil, throw out some 10-10-10 and hope for the best.
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    If the weather is a major culpurate in your plans, well it sounds far fetched, but indoor gardens are growing majorly in popularity. The initial cost of setup and supplies really suck, but after that you have everything in your control. You control pests, temp, light, nutrients, flowering times, light, darkness, etc... Its a actually a really fun hobby. I started out at a youner age with errrr....... other things in this manner, but grew up to enjoy the fun in growing fruits and veggies in the home. Try www.wormsway.com
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 38,834 Senior Member
    An easy way if the dirt sucks in your area, is container gardening. Plant in 5 gallon buckets.

    Or, you can take a bag of topsoil that you get from your local home center, lay it on the ground, cut an "X" in the center, and plop your plant in it.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,141 Senior Member
    bml wrote: »
    As far as amending the soil is concerned, I would get a soil test.

    That reminds me of the Alabama good ole boy who decided he wanted to grow chickens. He tilled up an acre of ground, bought a gross of baby chicks, then planted them up to their necks one evening- - - - -watered well, and went to bed. Next morning, all of them were dead. He prepped the ground again, and planted them headfirst with the feet sticking up- - - - - -watered - - - - -same result, dead chicks! Next time he buried them fully - - - - -same result! In a fit of frustration, he wrote a letter to the agricultural research service of Alabama A&M University, explaining his problem. They sent him a test tube, for a soil sample!
    :uhm::uhm::uhm:
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • BillyDBillyD Member Posts: 191 Member
    Great thanks everyone. I will get my soil tested then get building some beds. I have some railroad ties I was thinking I would use but a friend said that they could leach chemicals used to treat them into the soil. Is there any truth to this?
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 38,834 Senior Member
    I have a rule, save for chicken crap, as no one, well, most folks wouldn't eat chicken crap.

    The rule is: if I wont eat it, I wont put it in the garden.

    Cedar or pine boards is what I would use. RR ties might be fine. I know they have been used before. And if folks want to use them, that's cool. But I don't.
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • BillyDBillyD Member Posts: 191 Member
    Ok, guess I will be making a trip to home depot soon.
  • bmlbml Senior Member Posts: 1,075 Senior Member
    I'm with the cpj. I recall reading some info on RR ties leaching some stuff into the soil. Personally, I wouldn't use them, or treated lumber for the garden. Just my .02.
    scottd wrote: »
    The milk of human kindness is often out dated and curdled.

    This is like watching a bunch or **** trying to hump a door knob.....
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    BillyD wrote: »
    Great thanks everyone. I will get my soil tested then get building some beds. I have some railroad ties I was thinking I would use but a friend said that they could leach chemicals used to treat them into the soil. Is there any truth to this?

    I have a bunch of the old railroad ties that the railroad had pulled and replaced with new ones. They line my wife's flowers and a few of her herb beds and haven't done anything we know of. I would not use newer ones with all the creosote treating.

    The key to my little garden is irrigation ... lots of it. Our pond is only a little over an acre so we have to be real careful and use our version of drip irrigation. It is as important as good soil in my opinion. Instead of spraying we run hoses with holes every foot or so that trickle water and let it soak into the soil and roots. We do use a pivot broadcaster every third day just for good measure ... this year we have already dropped the pond's level by almost half and no real rain in sight.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • BillyDBillyD Member Posts: 191 Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »

    The key to my little garden is irrigation ... lots of it. Our pond is only a little over an acre so we have to be real careful and use our version of drip irrigation. It is as important as good soil in my opinion. Instead of spraying we run hoses with holes every foot or so that trickle water and let it soak into the soil and roots. We do use a pivot broadcaster every third day just for good measure ... this year we have already dropped the pond's level by almost half and no real rain in sight.
    Thank you I will keep that in mind. That has made me rethink where to put the garden. I have a little natural creek running threw the property that runs all year. I did not even think about using that for irrigation. I was going to put the garden out back of my house but I am thinking that I will put it by that creek now.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Not being able to look at the site, it's impossible to make the best suggestion about an irrigation system. If the creek is where you could put in a ram pump you could have a drip/soaker system that would cost you nothing to run, and could be built for no more than a couple hundred dollars. You really ought to google "ram pump" and look at the options with this system if it can be used with your layout. Ram pumps are cheap and cost zero to operate.

    Crossties: The leaching on old ties will be so slow and weak that you'll never notice it. You can get pressure treated wood now treated with sodium chloride, common table salt, that will not poison you at all. Again, the leaching is so slow that you'll never notice it. An old friend of mine, Jimmy Rain aka "Yella Fella" has made a zillion dollars developing this simple treating system.
    Can't use any kind of treated wood if you want to grow "Naturally Grown" or "Organic", however. But it's not going to hurt you.

    Again, suggest you get the book that I mentioned. It'll have everything, totally, that you need to know to get started. I grow for the local organic market. Have 32 raised beds 110 feet long by 4 feet wide, produce an unbelieveable amount of fresh vegetables weekly.

    EDIT: Hey, cpj! You won't eat chicken crap? BULLCRAP! If you eat chicken produced commercially you do and just don't know it! Same with eggs! The systems now used in producing meat, chicken-beef-pork, are designed to utilize that part of commercial feeds that pass through a birds/animals digestive system, undigested, by repassing it through other birds/animals! Egg producing chickens are housed in very small wire cages mounted on a system like the carpet display system down at your friendly Home Depot or Lowes building supply stores. The excretement from the birds in the upper swing cages falls to the cages lower down the system to be picked through salvaging food particles that have already passed through other birds! Then there's feedlot cattle and hogs.....you don't want to know about that, I promice you!!! Oh yea....commercial fertilizers....do you use these on your garden? Huh? Like what's sold at all the garden supply places like WallyWorld, Lowes, etc? Did you know that the solidified (though purified via chemical means) sediments of big city sewage desposal systems are used as bonding/filler agents? Did you know that Chicago sewage desposal system sludge is preferred due to the lower amount of heavy metals? IF the American People only knew how their food supply system operates, they would PUKE! Think I'm throwing out a bunch of BS? RESEARCH IT! Plenty of documented info available on this!
  • BillyDBillyD Member Posts: 191 Member
    Not being able to look at the site, it's impossible to make the best suggestion about an irrigation system. If the creek is where you could put in a ram pump you could have a drip/soaker system that would cost you nothing to run, and could be built for no more than a couple hundred dollars. You really ought to google "ram pump" and look at the options with this system if it can be used with your layout. Ram pumps are cheap and cost zero to operate.

    Crossties: The leaching on old ties will be so slow and weak that you'll never notice it. You can get pressure treated wood now treated with sodium chloride, common table salt, that will not poison you at all. Again, the leaching is so slow that you'll never notice it. An old friend of mine, Jimmy Rain aka "Yella Fella" has made a zillion dollars developing this simple treating system.
    Can't use any kind of treated wood if you want to grow "Naturally Grown" or "Organic", however. But it's not going to hurt you.

    Again, suggest you get the book that I mentioned. It'll have everything, totally, that you need to know to get started. I grow for the local organic market. Have 32 raised beds 110 feet long by 4 feet wide, produce an unbelieveable amount of fresh vegetables weekly.
    I will defiantly get the book. I will think about the ties I really did think that would be a great use for them. If they do leach that slow I would have no problem with them. I will have to do some research on that. I will also do some research on the ram pumps thanks for the idea.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 617 Senior Member
    Saw a program once that profiled a really super old lady. She talked about how she loved to garden. How she had done the gamit from working her tail off in the garden to not workin it at all. Told about how she had gotten started and what she had learned over her lifetime.

    Getting the soil prepped and having some sort of irrigation seems to be the key, tho I have seen some who can buy a bag of top soil plop it down and cut an X and plop some seeds or plants in them and grow wonderful stuff. Seems to me you want to poke a few holes in one side of the bag then roll it over and cut the X but then I aint no expert...

    Anyhooo what she was doing in the end was walkin into her "garden", kickin some mulch or hay out of the way and droppin some seeds down then scuffin em in a tad and moving the mulch or hay back on top of em and lettin em grow. She said she had more veggies than they could eat that way and she enjoyed givin some away or sellin some. More than anything she enjoyed not havin to work her tail off to get decent returns. BUT the key seemed to be that she had come to this after gettin the soil prepped thru the years.
  • Hugh DamrightHugh Damright Member Posts: 169 Member
    One thing I'd recommend growing is asparagus ... it is one of the few perennial vegetables, and the deer/rabbits don't bother it. And carrots ... homegrown ones are so much better than store bought, and you can harvest them over a long period.
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    One thing that using railroad ties will do is slowly release excess iron into the soil which in turn isn't harmfull to you, but can mess with the PH level of nutrient uptake to your decided plants. Its the same reasoning behind not growing any kind of plants in metal containers. I used to do some serious errr..... plant cultivation in my late teens. Needless to say, I found out what works and what doesn't.
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