View Full Version : Starting a garden this year...advice/pitfalls?
04-18-2006, 09:33 AM
Hi all! My wife and I have decided to start a garden this year to supplement our veggies that we buy. I just purchased the Square Foot Gardening book yesterday and have started reading it. My main questions concern anything I should be aware of doing this method that may not be explained as well as it should in the book. Also, any advice you could give me if you've used this method before.
Right now, we're not planting that much, though that may change once I see how much space we have. We're going to do an 8x8 box since the book says a 4x4 is enough for 1 adult to eat a salad everyday during the growing season. So we don't want too much.
Right now we have seeds for carrots, cucumbers, multiple hot pepper varieties, tomatoes, radishes, and some others I can't remember. I'm also growing some herbs in some small pots. I may purchase some leafy veggie seads so I can actually eat a salad. :)
Anyway, any advice you could give would be much appreciated.
04-18-2006, 11:02 AM
Off the top of my head I know for my area (Pacific NW) that cukes and radishes need plenty of water. Cukes will get bitter and radishes spicy hot without enough. I was reading something about carrots recently and what they need from the soil to be sweet. I'll have to look it up. I will be experimenting with companion planting this year. I have done a little in the past but really want to take advantage of what mother nature offers by intentionally planting certain things together.
04-18-2006, 11:06 AM
Yesterday I fulfilled a lifelong dream of planting a vegetable garden. And now I know why my southern-raised mother always discouraged it... I have intense pain from all the raking, hoeing and such.
One thing I realize now, that I didn't know last week... Before you decide to plant a garden, check with the ground first. My yard is rocky and every hole I dug hit multiple rocks. My veggies are planted all over the place. But you live and learn.
04-18-2006, 11:19 AM
Radishes not only like water but they don't like hot weather. They grow best and taste best in cool or warm weather. As for the tomatoes, it may be too late to plant them from seed. I haven't had any luck growing them from seed, but my father in law used to do them and he always started his indoors in the winter. If you do decide to plant greens, don't go overboard with the planting or you'll be up to your ears in them! They grow quickly and if you plant the "cut and come again" type you may soon end up with more than what you can eat. This is what happened to me last year. I planted leaf lettuce in a prior year and the same thing happened.
Try to stagger your planting then you can avoid a glut of stuff all at the same time.
Can you catch-crop? grow quick growing things inbetween slower growing to maximise space.
No matter how rubbish i think I am at planting and growing, those little seeds desperately want to grow so stay positive.
Good luck! :)
04-18-2006, 12:35 PM
I have a MUCH easier way, raised gardens,
don't hoe and dig and rake, all that rocky stuff up, make a raised garden, with rocks or bricks (Please do NOT use treated timbers) and then fill that raised area with new compost which will not have any rocks in it, then plant, your plants will be easier to reach, pick dig etc, because you don't have to bend over so far, and they will be happier, in the new composted soil, and the rocks help hold in the heat of the sun, so the plants baby roots are warmer and happier, it is a win win situation all around.
we have 16 raised gardens around our home all over the place, no need to bend down and do lots of raking and hoing, each year, we just roto till the old stuff under, then toss on leaves or grass clippings to winter our gardens over, in the spring (right now in fact) we rototill all the clippings under, add fresh compost (we compost all year and turn about every two months) and then plant, it's that easy, no hoeing raking plowing etc.
easy as pie. (raw pie that is)
04-19-2006, 07:16 PM
I like the square foot gardener book and I have gardened as per RP's suggestions. I failed to over-winter the garden as RP recommends and I am paying for it now!
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