Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by lmf64, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I'm not sure exactly what I've gotten myself into this year gang. I've never grown a garden of my own. My grandma always had a garden and I often worked with her in the garden, but never did any of the planting or seed choosing. I decided that I wanted to plant a garden with my niece and nephew this summer. Oh yeah, they're 1 and 3 lol. We're going to have peas, watermelon, pumpkin, onions, tomatoes, birdhouse gourds, carrots, radishes, lettuce, cabbage and garlic. I have a 10 foot square area ready (tilled) so it's not a huge garden and I probably have 10 times as many seeds as I need. I need a garden mentor! I plan to plant later this week (tomatoes are already started inside).
  2. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I notice you're in Minnesota. You need to check to see when your frost free date is. Here in Nebraska it's after the first of May. You can plant peas, onions, radishes, lettuce, cabbage and garlic now but you need to wait a wee bit later for carrots (the soil temp has to be high enough for them to germinate, although they will stand a little frost) and you need to wait till after the frost free date for watermelon, pumpkins, gourds, and tomatoes as they are pretty cold sensitive. Carrots are notoriously slow to germinate. I always put a radish seed in the row about every 8 inches. That way the radishes come up fast and mark the row so you don't lose the carrots in the weeds before they get up good enough to see them.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm also thinking that with all you are wanting to plant....the area you have may not be big enough. You may want to start as much as possible in peat pots too....I seem to have better luck starting with plants instead of seed.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Now I know who to go to when I start mine........but most seed packets also have valuable info on the back.

    I'm doing a teeny one in my flower garden.......unless my kids offers some heavy duty muscles and lots of work. I don't have time for a bigger one.....but I want fresh veggies that don't cost me an arm and a leg.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    That's a big garden to start out with, and a lot of different varieties to plant. I'd advise getting into canning or freezing the excess veggies so you can eat them over the next few months.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are a better woman than I! Im only planting one row and it will have tomatoes and peppers. Maybe I will do single baby sweet seedless watermelon on the very end for Keyana to eat during the summer. I do like to plant the various types of tomatoes though: regular better boys, grapes and a yellow one.
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Also be aware that no matter how carefully you check the vines, you will find, at the end of the season, at least one zucchini or cucumber the size of a baseball bat.

    One always sneaks in. Humungus zucchini are good for making quick "breads". Ginormous cukes can be peeled, de-seeded, and used in sauces and dips.

    In fact, cukes can be cooked in things like stir fries. You need to slice them up, salt the slices, and leave them to soak overnight. This pulls a lot of liquid out of the cukes and intensifies the flavor.

    This techique can also be used for eggplant that are bitter to the taste.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    There are a lot of great gardening sites on line that will walk you through what to plant next to what and not, how much spacing is needed, etc. Also, on Facebook, I belong to a couple of gardening groups that are fun and informational. Check them out.

    Since you're growing a lot of plants that have vines and spread way out (pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, zuchhini, etc) you may not have enough space going outwards. However, you can either make your own or buy trellisses (tee-pee/cone shaped) so the vines can grow UP rather than OUT and that will leave you more ground for other veggies like tomatos, peppers, and carrots, etc. Makikng your own cone shaped trellisses can be fun. Gather strong sticks that have fallen over the winter and after you've make them similar lengths, gather one end of all the sticks and tie together with twine while allowing the other ends to spread a bit. Once you lodge the spread out ends into the soil, it with keep the shape and the viney plants will grow up it (you do have to train the plants a bit in the beginning to grow up the trellis).

    Will your garden be organic?
  9. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    You'll need a fence to protect against the deer. My garden was decimated last year!
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would recommend cultivating only one of each. Plant several, and then pull out anything that doesn't look strong and healthy. By summer you should have just one of each. Your plot is pretty small.

    I have also seen people take a large bag of potting soil and set it flat on the ground and cut a large opening in the top and some small drainage slices in the bottom. Then they plant a tomato or a watermelon seedling in it and let it grow. It's kind of cheating, but it's a lazy woman's raised bed.
  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I Love this!!!! I am going to do that!!!!
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Be sure to make the opening very large - all but about 6" around the edge - so that it won't cook the plants, and keep it well watered!
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Witz...I wish I had read that before we dug up our little row! We could have just bought three bags of soil and been done with it.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You can still add more. I always end up planting more than I had anticipated. Just be sure that you buy the largest bags of soil possible.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm considering a container garden this year - kt isn't a big fan of veggies of any sort. Strawberries & blueberries are a different matter. My sister in law has a huge garden where I can get a start to my fruit growing endeavor. I'll be planting one row of lettuce & another of carrots. Mostly, I'll be hitting the farmer's markets.
  16. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Because I eliminated my giant garden plot out front (we've planted grass), I was planning on joining a CSA, but it's over $600 for the season here and there are many veggies that I just don't eat. So, I too will be hitting up the veggie stands and farmer's market!! I am, however, going to grow some tomatoes for H and jalapenos for the bags. Great idea.