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Thread: new to gardenig

  1. #1

    Default new to gardenig

    I am brand new to gardening and want to start plainting SOMETHING this summer (probably in a planter for starters). What could I start with for planting food?


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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    I would start with tomatoes and either green beans or peas. Then again, onions and lettuce are super easy too.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    First, it would help to know where you are. Every area has a climate zone and you need to know what zone you are in. Otherwise, your efforts will be wasted on plants that take either too long to fruit or plants that won't grow well in too much heat.

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    southwest ohio

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    That will put you in zone 6; either a or b depending on exactly where you live. Plants are often bred for specific zones.

    http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

    Next, you need to know what amendments, if any, your soil needs. You can take a sample of your soil to your county extension service and they will analyze it for you. The testing is usually done through Ohio State Univ. Here's a map for your county's extension service. Just scroll down and enter your zip code. You can pick up a soil kit at the office.

    http://extension.osu.edu/lao

    You'll need ground that is well drained. You want to hold moisture, not water. You also want a garden away from trees. Trees are as large underground as they are above ground so any roots below your garden will pull both nutrients and water away from your garden plants.

    You are past planting lettuce and spinach. It's too hot and both will be bitter and bolt easily. You can plant short season tomatoes. Look for those that ripen in 45 - 55 days. Beyond that, you can still harvest things like zucchini, cucumbers, bush beans, green onion, peppers, most herbs, summer squash, beets and cabbage to name a few. Later in the summer, around late July or August, you can plant those lettuce, spinach and radish crops for a late season harvest. The cooler weather of late August/September are good months for late crops and they will be good until the first frost.

    You can certainly plant without knowing what your soil needs but you'll get better yields by planting in soil that is right for your plants.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    For this year, and just getting started....I would pick up prepared potting soil with fertilizer already in it (Like Miracle Grow) ....so you can have some success....and learn.
    Started plants are available as well.

    This is expensive....but gets you off to a good start to build on.
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  7. #7

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    You could plant a pot containing a tomato plant, some pole beans on a trellis in the back and some lettuce at the front (you may have to limb up your tomato a bit.) Think of it as a Martha Stewart patio planter that has the bonus of being edible.

    Container growing for beginners can be problematic in one respect. You have to water daily. And that means daily. Especially in hot weather. Tomatoes aren't great at dealing with heat stress. Neither are beans. A wilt could become a permanent one.

    If you pick up some plants at the garden center you can still grow on some stuff. Stay away from lettuce and broccoli right now. Like Rick said, too hot. Same goes for melons. Even though melons love the heat, they are not for beginners. They are finicky and delicate. You want something you will have success at.

    If you want to try planting something, you might just squeak a second crop broccoli planting if you plant the seeds right now. Or just wait until August to do radish and lettuce. They are pretty fool proof.

    You could do cukes on a trellis if you can get some good sized potted stock. Mine are only about a foot tall right now from seed planted weeks ago. Tomatoes would be ok. So would zucchini and possibly pumpkins. But again, not from seed. For seeds you could plant bush or pole beans. If you are starting your first ground plot, till it up, get some organic matter in there and plant a lot of beans. After you harvest, till the roots under. They bring nitrogen to the soil. You might have to stick with snap bean types. It might be a little late for dry beans now as they take about 90 days to ripen to drying stage. Depends on your historical First Frost date.
    Last edited by LowKey; 06-21-2015 at 01:44 PM.
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  8. #8

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    Thank you all for the input. My wife is now saying she wants me to start w/ herps. Any suggestions for that?

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    The mint family is highly invasive so make certain those are in containers. Herbs, on the whole, are great for containers and can be brought inside at the end of the season to extend their life. Pick those that you commonly use and don't bother with those that you never cook with. If you decide to plant them in a garden setting then try drawing out what you want next year's garden to look like and plant your herbs accordingly. That way you won't have to plant around them next year or have to transplant them. Almost all herbs are tough and hardy as long as they get enough sun and you don't over water.

  10. #10

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    I swear you could plant mint in a concrete container and the roots would still run. The millions of flowers with seed don't help either. I have peppermint, spearmint and lemon balm. The first two I use to make jelly just as the flowers start to come out, then I cut them back to about 3 or 4inches high and keep them cut so they don't seed. The lemon balm is pretty well-behaved. I use that crushed up to keep the sulphur butterflies out of the broccoli and cabbage. But you have to grind it up good. A stem cutting laying on the ground will put down roots right quick.

    Definitely only grow what you like. Waste of resources otherwise.

    I grow sweet basil in with my tomatoes and peppers as a companion plant, but also use it in the sauce on harvest. It's a slow starter but once it gets some roots under it, it takes off. You might have time to grow some if you plant now.

    There are a few sage plants on my fence facing the direction the rabbits usually come from. Just as an added deterrent. I bought those as small shrubs. They are hardy enough in a cold zone 5 (I may actually be a zone 4 no matter what the map says.) I get a lot of branch tip death but they love to be cut back and will grow back by mid-summer so you can dry some in time for the fall sausage making. Don't try to grow it from seed now.

    I plant culinary Thyme along the fence too. They are small shrubs about 6" high. They grow well from seed but you can't start them now and expect any size on them. They will over-winter though. Most nurseries have them but be sure the one you get is good for using in food. Some of them are just fancy ground covers. While they smell good when you walk on them, they might be woolly or small or taste funny.

    Rosemary is a tender woody shrub, try as I might I can't get it to overwinter even in the garage, so end up buying a few good size potted plants of that from a local nursery. It is very slow and unpredictable from seed. Don't try to start it now from seed. The ones I planted from seed in February are only 3" tall.

    There are chives planted in rings around my apple and peach trees. You could probably start those now from seed.

    I have top-set onions in a wooden box in the garden. They are also known as walking onions. Hence the box. Usually you can only get sets for those in the fall.

    Same with Garlic. Where you are located, you buy it in the fall and plant it to overwinter, then harvest around mid-July the following year, just as about half the leaves are dying back.

    Those are the only herbs I'm familiar with. Except for a few oddballs I'm trying as companions. There's Hyssop planted around one the grape vine roots for instance. It might just be coincidence that this year the set on that vine is nothing short of astounding. Too many actually. I may have to clip some off to get the remaining to ripen. So now I'm planting Hyssop around the rest. I have verbena around the cranberries now to draw in bees. The cranberries are supposed to be self-fertile but with bees the crop is better.
    Last edited by LowKey; 06-22-2015 at 12:17 PM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
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  11. #11

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    Yes i agree with nick , You have to depends on your area, climate! Try consult the gardener you might find out plenty of great advice you never expect it !

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