View Full Version : new to gardening (plans for next year)
12-14-2005, 12:46 PM
I have only had one (1) successful garden in my life. HELP! I (well DH) tilled up a great area last spring, but unfortunately we share our backyard with an 8 year old black lab :o . I know I need a sturdy fence (last years cheapo wire fense didn't keep him out!) Anyway, my question is: being new to organic gardening, and RAW, I want to grow AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! (next year) Is there a resource that would help me know which plants to plant when? I want to stretch beyond the typical zuchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes that most people grow. I want lettuces, watermelon, larger squashes, strawberries, (any other kind of berries?) etc. My list could definitely go on.....any suggestions for books or local resources that would help me with an organic garden?
You can probably get a lot of good info from your local agricultural agent listed under your county in the phone book. We have a college town near enough and they are a wealth of info on the best varieties for our area and even organic gardening. They grow things that we aren't supposed to be able to grow here.
If you start now burying your veggie scraps in the area where you will plant it will be composted for you. Ruth Stout lived in an area where the ground freezes and she kept the garden covered with a thick layer of hay (6" after compacting) She would lift the hay, put the scraps on the ground, and recover. Then she didn't have to till the ground because it was loose under the hay. She could plant much earlier than others in her area. And her soil was rich and black. One of her friends thought she had hauled in truckloads of manure. She wrote several books. Can't remember the names ... something about a green thumb without an aching back maybe.
12-14-2005, 04:42 PM
A great website for gardening is GardenWeb.com. They have forums for almost everything and every location. One of my favorite forums is the Tomato forum where you can learn about the thousands (not a typo!) of different heirloom tomatoes. Walking out in your garden and picking a sun warmed tomato off of a vine that you have grown without chemicals or pesticides and eating it at that second is pretty close to heaven! Another great source of information is seed catalogs and their websites. I really like Fedco because they refuse to support the genetically engineered seed companies like Monsanto. But be sure that you take into account your zone because that will make a difference in when you plant. We have been market gardeners for a few years but I still consider myself a novice gardener because there is so much to learn. I can say this...you are right on target to start planning now. Winter is a very busy time for most avid fruit & veggie gardeners, and a good plan now will provide you bowls full of wonderful salads as early as the beginning of spring.
If you let me know what zone you are in, I would be happy to help you find some additional resources. Best of luck with your garden!
01-04-2006, 07:33 AM
I'm in NC...I think that is zone 7. Thanks for all the tips. I'll definitely check out that sight. I'm going to start burying all my scraps, and show DH how serious I am this year about that garden! Last year was a disaster (we share our backyard with an 8 yr. old lab....we tried to fence it off, but he still got in and peed on my tomato plants :p So I KNEW I wasn't eatin' any of those!! Anyway, I'm even more excited now that it's January...like the new year is here, and this year I will have a wonderful garden....organic....and full of great stuff. One dumb question....I think I already know the answer, stuff like miracle grow fertilizer, not organic right? My fertilizer will just be the compost I've added? Do stores sell organic fertilizers? This is where I'm confused. My family, the little bit of gardening they've done, use miracle grow, and in the yard to keep down flees, bugs etc. they've used some awful chemicals like 7 dust. Anyway. Thanks.
01-04-2006, 08:33 AM
Great thread! Thanks for all the information. Does anyone know if Burpee Seed Company sells organics? Or if they sell genentically engineered at all? I will do the research if no one knows, and report back. Sami
01-05-2006, 08:28 AM
tvillemom, that is great because I am zone 7 also (west of Atlanta), so planting times will be approximately the same for us. And you are right, miracle grow is not organic. (Side note: my brother-in-law is a fire fighter, and he told me the MG is very flammable...) We have used some organic fertilizers in the past, but many of them are animal based...fish emulsion, bone meal, blood meal, bat guano...all of these are allowed under organic certification. We have chosen to just be much more diligent with our composting efforts, and that has worked pretty well for us. Now with the raw food, I am making a trip to the compost bins every day! Recently, our neighbors dog has figured out how to jump and dug some pretty large holes in a couple of our garden beds...ouch. We have to resolve that issue in the next few weeks one way or another. He could really do some damage in just a few minutes of digging.
Sami, Burpee does have an Organic and an Organic Heirloom line of seeds. If you stay with the heirloom varieties, you should hopefully be able to avoid any GE seeds. (Read Fedco's article to see why they say no one can guarantee purity these days. :( ) One thing we have learned is that many crops will adapt to their climate after a few years, so if you can get seeds that were produced locally, even better! That is one of the great things about GardenWeb and sites like that...most of the forums have seed swaps. and there is also lots of great advise about saving your own seeds.
Oh my, I am getting all excited now!!!
01-15-2006, 03:44 PM
My favorite basic gardening book is The Encycopedia of Organic Gardening by Rodale. I also like the Encyclopedia of Country Living if you are rural you will learn a lot from that book on how to grow a larger garden and there is info on obscure crops like amaranth or buckwheat if you are interested.
01-15-2006, 10:20 PM
some use kelp as a fertilizer, adds minerals to the soil. :)
01-26-2006, 08:39 AM
Thanks for all the great info. I really need to start composting. I guess I've just been too lazy. I'm gonna try just dumping my scraps in a hole in my garden area. I guess after garden season starts I'll have to have a compost bin though. I also SHARE my backyard (and garden area) with a 9 year-old lab. I hope he's done digging, but I doubt it. So I'm worried about dumping scraps in the yard, I think he'll just dig them up. He should be glad he's such a good dog (other than digging and chewing up kids shoes and anything else left back there ;) ) we love him, so he stays, I just have to figure out how to keep him out of my garden area. Last year we tried a cheap wire fence type thing, but DH left the door area to large and he figured out how to get in.....hiked his leg on my tomato plants. I never ate one of them. So my family now has an inside joke about my "garden" last year...or lack thereof. :rolleyes: Better planning this year will hopefully bring better results. That's why I'm here....I need ya'lls help in ALL areas of gardening. So I guess what I'm saying is, I need ideas with CHEAP fensing, Cheap composting bins (and how to build one?) etc. not to mention being new to gardening AND the idea of considering where to purchase GOOD seeds (not just the cheap kind I bought before). I never had much luck with seeds, but if I purchase traditional plants from the local nursery...will they more than likely be GE? Any help here will be MORE than appreciated. If I have to start from seeds....HOW, cuz I never had any luck before. I know this is LOOONNG, but I don't know anybody who even HAS a garden, much less worries about seeds being GE. Thanks ya'll, for your help.
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