First Garden - need advise
I just planted my very first garden. It's not very big (about 6x8) and I have kept it very simple: a couple of different types of tomatoes, okra, green onions, lavender, basil, red and orange bell peppers, and cilantro. I have also planted marigolds.
Does anyone have any good tips or tricks for organic gardening? We can't compost because we live in the country (south/east Texas) with a lot of racoons, skunks and snakes. But I do juice a lot and always have lots of pulp around.
Any advise? I know we learn as we go, but I really don't want to fail this garden.
I am also interested in hearing what others may suggest. I am wanting to start a small garden in the yard and would like to be 100% organic with it...
We also have recently hired a nanny for our daughter who has put her on the Montessori program (nanny has a degree in early child development and is getting her Montessori certification, so our daughter is on the curriculum), and one thing that is part of it is planting a garden and having the children help with it. I would like it to be an organic garden so we can eat from it, but any suggestions anyone has to maraw's post would help us out, too!!
Try Square Foot Gardening, and container gardens. ( they have a book & web site) you can grow up . Look it up you'll see what I mean.
follow directions on the packets & you should be fine.
There is tons of advice on the gardening section of this site.
here is a link on slug control
You can save yourself $ by visiting your library, they can even order books from other branches. The easy answer would be to say browse the internet, and if you have some time you should. Look up your area plant types etc. I would look into finding organic farms around you they will offer a wealth of info based on your area and zone. You can contact your local Extension Agent, the local FFA Chapter , and even 4H.
here are a few links you can try.
I hope that helps & I wish you all the luck
Wow! Thanks Dawn39, those are all helpful links. I have some in containers and some in the ground - most in the ground. I am concerned about pests and such. I will look around some of the sites and see what I can learn.
Again, many thanks.
btw newyearspromise, my four children are one of the reasons I wanted to start a garden. My oldest just started kindergarden this year and is fascinated with the idea of growing our own food. She loves tomatoes and just can't wait for them to grow! It is wonderful to see her so excited about nature.
if i couldnt have a compost pile i would bag my grass clippings or get some from neighboors that do , or get a bale of oat straw or hay to cover all the ground around your plants in order to keep weeds down and moisture in . plus when it breaks down it enriches the soil . and ide say for kids to watch grow radishes are very fast and easy , and sunflowers are exciting because grow so big . and on a tip ide say dont plant seeds too deep , around 1/3" is good average depth . also , if your planting in basic broken down earth that doesnt have much texture in it i would add alot of oat straw to keep soil from over compacting . because if soil gets over compacted from just water running through it and gravity itll get too hard for roots to easily grow through which shall greatly reduce the health of the plant . goodday :)
If your husband is handy, you can turn a 55 gallon barrel into a composter with a little cutting and welding. My nieghbor built one, turned it sideways, and put it on a stand on each side, elevated it off the ground, and turned it everyday by hand. I don't have any plans, but someone creative could figure this one out.
That is a GREAT idea! Could you sneak over and get a picture for us?
Maraw-- your garden sounds beautiful, can't wait till it starts coming in.
But, please re-think the compost pile as,we live in the country, and we compost everything, no critters ever get into our compost, and it is just on the ground, no tubs, no trays, no nothing, just a hole in the ground.
so you may wish to try this.
the only time I ever had a challenge in the past with animals, is when I had company and they tossed in either cooked foods or meat, dairy, bones etc, then we had critters, (dogs)
never any other time,
you just make sure to toss dirt on it.
the ONE time we had the skunk issue was when someone tossed out some garbage in the community area near our home, and it was mcdonalds or somehting with meat in it, then we had the skunk-ness challenge, but a fun and rememberable story too.
**I think Dragggon is having flash backs** he's cringing as I am typing skunk, skunk, skunk.
We have a family of raccoons living in a large old pecan tree in our back yard and I smell skunks from time to time when I walk in the evening. That is probably because some of our neighbors are composting and I know they are not putting only raw in theirs. We also have roaming stray dogs that come through, and someone recently dumped their pet rabbit in our neighborhood too - poor little guy. I didn't think about putting dirt over it, but I guess I would have too, huh? Maybe if we put it far enough away from the house (we have about 3 acres) then it wouldn't be a problem.
Thanks for the encouragement and advise RP, I will give it a go. Oh, should I put some kind of screen over the top maybe? I'm thinking something like what would go over a bbq grill. What do you think?
I really like the book Texas Organbic Vegetable Gardening by J. Howard Gerrett and C. Malcolm Beck. It has a lot of information and is very easy to read.
Also, beneficial nematodes help with keeping out armadillos, fire ants, and fleas. An organic gardner (The Natural Gardener in Austin) here is making aerobic compost tea that is supposed to be really great. I plan on getting some for my garden as soon as I get my next paycheck and can make the trip to Austin to get more stuff for my garden.
I think the container thing is also a GREAT idea!! I will get some flats and try this this weekend. We'll see what we can grow. I am really excited about this. :)
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