I'm a newbie and need help...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
I'm a newbie and need help...
2
Mon, 04-07-2003 - 6:40pm
Hi all,

I am new to your board, I spend most of my time on the Infertility info and support board and was wondering if there was one here for gardening...

I want a garden. I am 32 years old (live in Southern California) and have NEVER had one. I have a small area (5 feet wide by about 30 feet long), on one side of my house that I can use, but it only gets sun until about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. (SE corner) My DH will put in sprinklers for me, I just don't know how to plant things. Yes, really! I want tomatoes and will buy plants, I also want beans, peas, carrots, onions, beets and strawberrys. Can these co-exist peacefully? If I buy tomatoe and strawberry plants, can the rest be grown from seeds? Do I plant the seeds in a row and need string or something for them to grow on? I told you, I know nothing! I spent this weekend pulling weeds and hoeing the ground, and want to get started, but I don't know what to do. Maybe one of you can give me some pointers or direct me to a link or something.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Dawn

~Dawn


stress4-1.jpg picture by bunzer2003

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 8:14am
Welcome Dawn. Thank you for giving me so much information to start out with. Here's the skinny....your next task is to take three samples, from different areas of course of the soil to your local nursery....you can call ahead to find out if they offer the service...and have that soil tested for nutrient needs....

<<<<<>>>>>> a basic soil recipe that will work for nearly every gardening situation, including yours is below, and is your next step.

One part top soil

One part organic matter (Organic matter is leaf mold, compost, aged saw dust, shucks, even fresh vegetable matter will work, but would be my last resort) You can purchase sterilized cow manure even from stores like wal mart, lowes, and such for organic material)

One part peat moss

A handful of sand

Blend together in a wheelbarrel or on the ground using either a pitchfork or your hands. Lay it on top of already existing soil at least four inches deep. Work into the soil vigorously with a pitchfork or rototill. This will make new soil that will work well for all plantings, from vegetables to flowers. You can also work in some bone meal, and dolomite if your soil already there shows up acidic. Add a good "osmocoat" plant food that has equal parts of nutrient if you wish as well. I have a natural fertilizer recipe as well that I've posted before, and will post it again if you wish.

As for what plants go together, you will have no problem if you follow the basic rule that the tallest plants go to the back or side that gets shade first, and work you way shorter until you get to the area that gets the least sun per day.

Now...a lesson on growing tomatoes.....Do NOT grow tomatoes in the same place each year, but move them around, and at the end of the year, throw away the plants, root and all. There are things that are drawn to them both above and below ground that will effect the new plantings next year if you don't follow these directions. Strawberries and the tomatoes demand the most sunlight, so keeping this in mind, work a pattern over the years that will allow such to happen.

As for the remaining plants...seeds as starters are just fine!!! Just make sure you thin the plantings out to the spacing asked for on the package so that they don't crowd each other, making for small plants.

As for rows???? shucks no, you don't need rows, but on some of the smaller plants, you may wish for such.

One extra hint...for each tomatoe plant, put in a marigold to help chase away bugs.

I know this is a long list, and hope you will print it out. Stop by here or the Tuesday morning chat at 11 AM, E.S.T. for any more help or answers to your questions.

Mitch

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 2:54pm
Wow, cool! Thanks for the help! I will follow it to the "T"!!!

Thanks!

Dawn

~Dawn


stress4-1.jpg picture by bunzer2003