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Gardening!

June 14th, 2007 at 05:05 pm

Wow! Thanks for all the great advice! I knew I came to the right group for questions.

I started doing a little homework, both online (from the resources you all gave and yay wikipedia!) and old-school (yay library!)

So I'm feeling a little more confident, and here is my grand plan to convert a 3x3 patch of sunlight into some healthful food.

1. Raised beds. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to retain the beds just yet, but I figure I can buy myself at least a week or two of time if I box the beds in...well, cardboard boxes. I've got a ton of these handy, courtesy of the Souk.

So the dirt and plants go in the boxes, and that gets them outside while I figure out how to build a frame around them.

2. The dirt. Evidently, a local park gives out free mulch in the spring! I did not know this. So I'm checking to see if I can find some of this stuff. If not, I'll buy it this year and pay attention to the news next year. I also tried to get a few neighbors together so we could have it delivered, but I don't know if that will fly. My mom says: 1 part each of dirt, humus or mulch, sand.

3. The "crops": lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, herbs, pepper, beans (of the drying type) and then for next spring (to overwinter) broccoli, garlic.

I figure, I can't kill all of this! And although not all is from seed (the tomatoes and herbs weren't) the plants averaged about $1.50 per each, and seed packets about the same. I've read that I can save the unused seed for another year, and I'll do that.

So now, I'm pricing out whatever materials will be used to hold the beds together (I'm guessing wood is cheapest, plus easy enough for me to lift and transport).

So I'm adding another category, and will continue to post on the topic. Thanks again for all the help!

4 Responses to “Gardening!”

  1. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Good Luck! Starter plants are the way to go with the lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. The beans, herbs and carrots are doable from seed. (Beware! Snails will chomp seedlings faster than you can protect them, you won't even see the plants sprout sometimes!)

    Carrots need good loose soil to grow downward of course. Make sure your beds are deep enough.

    We used wood to form our beds (16' long x 4' high) staked with metal rods to hold them upright. Not too expensive, but they were big and long term (5+ years).

  2. contrary1 Says:

    Again, I preach 'compost'. My mom is an old school gardener too, and had always used peat, mulch, sand, for her gardens. Now that we have pulled most of her garden mix out of the beds and put in straight compost, things are starting to grow so much better!

    Dirt needs to be a living sort of event. Not just dirt. Compost has it's beginnings from either plants or animals....and will feed your plants right from the start.

    I second the warning about slugs, snails & critters, do be on the look out. I surround my raised beds with slug bait here, as that is the only way I could get anything to grow. Slugs are always chomping away in the gardens otherwise.

  3. annab Says:

    You know, I didn't really know the difference between mulch, compost and humus (thank god for the internet!) So there's compost in bags I can get, instead of the mulch. Smile

  4. baselle Says:

    You know, the box solution might be a great way to go, because the paper will compost. You could just build the wood frame snug around the boxes.

    I know you don't want to tell us exactly where you are gardening from (anonymity and all that), but what's your gardening zone? Knowing that we can tell you your growing season and give you some non-generic advice.

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