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Help me make a garden!


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#1 mwillis71

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 12:19 PM

Ok, I really want to start a garden this year but I have never done it before. My grandfather used to have the nicest garden and the most delicious vegetables! Unfortunately he passed a couple years ago and I never got around to asking him the tools of the trade. Can some of you green thumbed individuals point me towards a good starter book or just give me some good tips. I will be creating this garden in the heartland region of our fine nation. :bow:

#2 Cerebral Cortex

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:39 PM

I do all mine in containers....Alot less to worry about....
http://www.gardeners...default,pd.html
I have four these and adding six more this year...
Pick up the book Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers

#3 rocketman

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:09 PM

Depends what you want. Most folks, myself included just use a set amount of space.


An important point to remember about gardens is you will always have extra food to give away as you wont be able to keep up with a decent sized one by yourself. A garden, even a small one can be a lot of work.


1. pick a site and think about how large you need the garden to be

2. If you are going to churn up a decent amount of ground you may want to
either rent, or consider purchasing a gas powered tiller. The rear tine tiller
is superior to the front tine type due to the ease of use. I always used a
front tine tiller and it was a good workout for a 1/4 acre garden, but I
was in good shape then lol.

3. Get a garden hoe and a rake. You may need other tools if you have to
do extra site prep like dig roots etc. use the rake to remove any rocks or
larger dirt clods. Their shouldnt be many if you ran over the ground a
few times with a tiller.

4. Use the hoe to make your rows. By walking a line in whichever direction
you want the rows to run, you dig both sides of the row making a raised
line in the dirt around 10 inches or so wide. If you do watermelons,
canteloupe, etc. you want to make round mounds for them instead of
the rows.

5. One your rows are made and raked one last time its fine to plant what
you like and want.

6. Simple directions are given for planting seed on the packets, but buying
tomato and pepper plants now will be your best bet.

7. Never water your garden during the heat of the day......that is what my
mom taught me, dont know why really, but I always watered in the
evenings and it worked out great. She said it could kill tender plants when you
water them in the sun, and I never researched that. Weeding is done with the
hoe as needed.

#4 rocketman

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:30 PM

1. Buy enough landscape timbers to do the outline of the size of the bed you want to use, then double it, as the timbers will be stacked two high. You can stack them higher, but 2 high seemed to work great when I did it.

2. Get some rebar and a matching sized wood boring bit, 3/8 -1/2". You will need to cut the rebar, and for that I use a reciprocating saw. Other types will work, just ask around if you dont have one, surely a friend or family member will. If not, they are a good investment. Timbers and rebar are cheap. You will also need a weighted hammer. Something more substantial than a claw hammer unless your ground is super soft.

3. Locate topsoil or potting soil to be used in the beds. Depending on the size of the bed or beds you will have to decide which way to go. Topsoil delivered here is like 90-100 bucks a load, and i can get cheap potting soil for around a buck a bag. Your other option is to dig dirt off your land and move it, or get it from a friend or neighbor if they have extra.

4. Lay the timbers out exactly how you want them to lay. Stack them 2 high, but over lap the corners with the second level of timbers, think legos.

5. Drill using your wood boring bit and an extension through both layers of timbers. Using your saw cut the rebar at a length that will go through both layers of timbers and get around 6 inches in the ground. If I remember right the timbers are 4 inches tall. So, 14 inches would be fine for the rebar size.

6. Use a heavy hammer, I like my 3lb engineers hammer, but any hammer with weight will work. Drive the rebar flush with the top of the top timbers, then using another piece of rebar or a punch, countersink the rebar just below the surface of the top timber. This will prevent any accidents. I have a few scars from walking barefooted around rebar as a kid.

7. Fill the timbers with the soil. You wont need any underlayment as the drainage is needed. Some like to break up the dirt and grass under the bed so the plants can root there once they are established. Again this hasnt been necessary for me, but it may be a good idea.

8. Level out the dirt, and plant using steaks to mark what is where. The same watering and weeding apply to beds as other gardens.

#5 rocketman

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:35 PM

I found using ground tobacco dust is a great way to keep the pests away. It will be a challenge to keep the rabbits out of any garden. You may want to do a simple chickenwire type fence to save yourself a bunch of trouble. If you dont do the fence, a simple scarecrow/scare device can work.

Tie a disposable pie tin or two to a stake in the ground. The wind will blow them around and frighten some animals off. Doesnt work worth a damn for groundhogs though.

#6 Cerebral Cortex

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:38 PM

I found using ground tobacco dust is a great way to keep the pests away. It will be a challenge to keep the rabbits out of any garden. You may want to do a simple chickenwire type fence to save yourself a bunch of trouble. If you dont do the fence, a simple scarecrow/scare device can work.

Tie a disposable pie tin or two to a stake in the ground. The wind will blow them around and frighten some animals off. Doesnt work worth a damn for groundhogs though.



The down side is this will transmit TMV to your garden..

Look up compost tea as its is very good and cheap to use..

#7 teesus

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:50 PM

Never water your garden during the heat of the day......that is what my
mom taught me, dont know why really, but I always watered in the
evenings and it worked out great. She said it could kill tender plants when you
water them in the sun, and I never researched that.

your mom is right, water drops on the plant in the full sun can burn it like a magnifying glas

#8 Freaky

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:09 PM

I'm considering going with a raised bed gardening set up this upcoming season. Hip's mentioned it in a few threads and after reading a bit, it seems a good way to go.

Good information up there Rocket!

#9 Cerebral Cortex

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 09:55 PM

your mom is right, water drops on the plant in the full sun can burn it like a magnifying glas


And you will be more effective with your water.As it wont evaporate during the heat of the day. I a good time to spray down your plants with compost tea as they will open up there pores to let in the food..

Foliar feeding is just that: feeding your plants through the foliage. When nutrients are applied directly to the leaves, they are absorbed quickly into the plant through the stomata, tiny mouth-like organs on the leaves that facilitate nutrient intake and gas exchange. Foliar Feeding Basics


  • Stomata are located primarily underneath the leaves, especially in the sun-loving plants. So when you spray, be sure to get underneath the plant's leaves.
  • Allow some spray to drip onto the soil to nourish microorganisms and plant roots.
  • Never spray during the heat of the day, as the magnification principles of the water droplets can burn the leaves which are not receptive at this time anyway because the stomata are partially closed.
  • Early mornings and evenings (an hour or two after sunrise and an hour or two before sunset) are best. We prefer evenings because this gives the nutrients to the plant during its nighttime respiration period when the stomata are most active.
  • For large applications, a backpack sprayer is often used, but a hand-held pump sprayer works well for most jobs.
  • Some people like to spray before the full moons, speculating that the full moon energy pulls up and out through the plant while applying during the new moon for root crops, as the moon pulls energy downward.
Critical Feeding Times
Be aware that foliar feeding isn't meant to supercede a good organic, soil-building program, but it does add that extra nutrient boost at key plant-life events, including:

  • In the nursery (in cell trays, flats, or containers)
  • After the plants are up and in full vegetative growth
  • When the plants start making buds, blossoms, fruits and seeds
  • During times of stress, especially from prolonged dry weather or if your plants look wimpy and undernourished
  • Before and after food harvest to stimulate and inspire continued healthy production
  • During early and late season frost times to lengthen the growing season and increase plant hardiness to environmental stresses (the uptake of nutrients increases the soluble solids levels in plant tissues lowering the plant freezing point)
With long season crops, an application of foliar fertilizer every two weeks will extend the fruiting season and improve the flavor and quality of the crop.
Foliar Feeding Solutions
There are a lot of foliar products available and just as many "recipes" to mix for their application. Maxi Crop, a powdered kelp concentrate is a favorite at our research farm and our EarthJuice liquid organic fertilizers show promise for foliar feeding as well. Many people report great results with diluted and filtered compost tea. It is best to filter any solution through a fine sieve, multiple layers of cheesecloth or other suitable filter to avoid clogging up your sprayer.
Tea Time in the Garden?
Herbal teas are an increasingly popular ingredient for foliar feeding mixtures. In making your own foliar feed tea, you should decide which herbs, when combined with a seaweed base, will best provide for your plant's needs or specific conditions.
The Basic Mix
The most common recipe for foliar feeding is 2 Tablespoons of powdered seaweed concentrate per 1 gallon of herbal tea spray (3 oz. of herbs per gallon of water). Though not mandatory, it's wise to include a sticker-spreader like a tablespoon of molasses to prolong the beneficial effect and help avoid loss from rain. This gallon of foliar liquid contains sufficient nutrients to treat 2,000 sq. ft. of your garden.
Which Herbs Are Best?
One of our favorites, yarrow tops, is high in potassium and helps to regulate potassium formation, which enhances carbohydrates and root development as well as sulfur formation, which in turn helps build proteins and certain enzymes to govern the chemical environment of soils.
Another herb we highly recommend is chamomile, whose flowers are high in calcium and help regulate calcium formation for building cell walls and other fibrous structures of plants. It also helps regulate the availability of other mineral nutrients.
We often use oak bark, which is also high in calcium and helps to make plants more disease-resistant.
Stinging nettles are widely used largely because of high iron, magnesium and protein content, which all help to form chlorophyll, without which there can be no photosynthesis. They also aid in overall plant vigor, growth and insect resistance.
Another herb among the hundreds that can be used in foliar solutions is valerian. Its flowers and roots help in the formation of phosphorous, which is essential to flower, fruit and seed development and sugar metabolism.
Whatever you use, experiment, and come up with your own combinations. It's fun, and your plants will love you for it. They'll show their appreciation with such visible results: healthier plants, higher yields, better tasting food, and taller, brighter flowers.
Have fun, and happy spraying!

#10 moldylogic

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 10:19 PM

See - http://attra.ncat.or...b/complant.html

Ill try to find a way to format the chart to work well with the forum.

#11 dfar

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:41 PM

See - http://attra.ncat.or...b/complant.html

Ill try to find a way to format the chart to work well with the forum.


Wow, awesome link moldylogic :thumbup: I’ve been thinking about how to plant my garden this year and how I can use different plants to fix nutrients and be beneficial to each other. You are now my new best friend!!! :eusa_danc thanks for the awesome info

#12 mwillis71

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 11:07 AM

Thank you soooooo much everyone! I knew that the good people here at mycotopia would come through with some great step-by-step instructions and ideas. If there is more ideas out there, keep em coming.

:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap




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