Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
User avatar
Kent, England

Starting out...

11 Feb '06 2:18 am
Hi all,

Right, this year is IT! I'm determined to do something with my garden and I want to grow lots of lovely veggies and herbs. Trouble is, even though I grew up gardening with my parents, I've let my knowledge slip somewhat since then. So what I was wondering is if anyone had any advice as to the best way to start and what are the best things to grow.

My garden is roughly 30ft square and faces predominantly east so we do tend to lose the sun at around 4/5pm but it's glorious all morning, and it seems to have quite flinty soil so I'm sure I'm going to be up against it to a certain extent! :?

I'd love to grow tomatoes, potatoes, beans, peas, onions and other stuff, also herbs like rosemary and chives, but does anyone have similar conditions or any tips they can give me?

Thanks,

Bambi
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

Dixie
garden enthusiast
User avatar
Waikato-New Zealand

starting out

11 Feb '06 5:53 am
Greetings.
The best advice would come from gardeners in your area ,re time to plant , successful varieties, etc.
However it is so important to get the ground sweet ! If you don`t have a compost bin, then dig trenches in the veg garden, and put all your veg scraps, lawn clippings,chook manure,chopped leaves, and whatever you can manage to get, in the trench .Mix it all up as you go , then cover the trench with soil, and start another.It will break down in the soil, and bring worms.
There are plenty of ideas amongst Moosey`s friends,and the enthusiasm is catching, so all the best!
Dixie.

pumpkin
compost executive
User avatar
Dairy Flat, New Zealand

11 Feb '06 6:13 am
Hi Bambi :D

A vege garden is so easy to build. You just have to remember a couple of things.

They like sun 8)
They like water :wink:

Thats about it! :D

To help matters along you will find everything benefits by adding as much composty stuff as you can find. If you have dull soil then add a few bales of straw or hay to build bulk and as it rots down it helps to keep the soil open and light for air and moisture.
The worms will love it too :D

Plant anything you like to eat! If it grows well you are a sucess, if it doesn't you are a student, learning :wink:

Remember, vine plants like peas, beans, melons etc will happily grow upwards. Pop them on a trellis or other support at the 'back' of the garden so they don't shade the other plants.

Water well while plants are establishing or flowering.
Don't add artificial fertilisers, stick to another bag of compost.
Don't use sprays. Veges like to grow fast and if you give them the right stuff they will fend well.

If you run out of room plant tomatoes straight into bags of tub mix, keep well watered.

Enjoy! :D

~ edit...lol dixie! We post at the same time :D
bumblybee.jpg
Hopefully you will find lots of these in your garden :)

CottageGarden
member
User avatar
Iowa, USA

22 Feb '06 2:46 am
I think Pumkin covered this topic pretty well!

I have a small veggie garden and am an advocate of avoiding all chemicals around anythihng you eat. To keep weeds out of my veggie patch I bag the grass clippings from the yard (also chemical free!) every other time I mow and spread them about 2" thick around all of my veggies. They choke out the weeds and supply nitrogen to the garden. It also helps retain moisture and keep the soil at a more even temperture.

In the fall a bury my patch in a good 6" layer of leaves followed by a 3" layer of compost and let it rot all winter. As soon as the the weather warms enough to thaw the ground I till the whole thing really well and let it sit until planting time when I till it again.

Its kind of my own little recipe for lasagna gardening. Organic matter is the key to keeping plants happy and healthy! If you haven't started a compost pile, try to find an out of the way spot in your yard to put one. If that's not an option, locate a vender who will sell in bulk!
A good mower is essential to proper lawn care. I prefer one that is young, tanned and shirtless. ;)

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

A flowering compost screen.

23 Feb '06 1:35 am
I totally admire your compost methods, dear Cottage Garden! Every Autumn I also cover by good home-made compost all the borders! In order, that all the beneficial elements are softly absorbed during the winter months. Here is the flowering screen of our double compost bin, each one being 4 sq. meters. While filling the one bin during the summer months, the other one --- already filled --- is getting the compost more and more mature to feed the plants the coming Autumn.
Flowering compost screen.jpg
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

CottageGarden
member
User avatar
Iowa, USA

23 Feb '06 1:54 am
Liza - I love that! Its gorgeous!!!! :D

I need to do somethingwith my bins, but again, the darn lot is so small I've had a terrible time. Right now they're just sitting right out in the open, which I don't like, but at least I have them! I went for the longest time with no bins of my own. I have 2 bins, one large and one small, and still don't produce nearly enough compost for my garden. Fortunately, our city has a compost site. You can have as much as you like, free for the hauling. They're good about keeping out things like weeds and diseased plants, and I've never had a problem with the compost.

You can just see my bins in the back of this photo. They sit at the far end of the new bed I put in last summer. And, you can see that when this photo was taken I hadn't got much planted in the bed yet! LOL.
DSC02135.jpg
A good mower is essential to proper lawn care. I prefer one that is young, tanned and shirtless. ;)

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

But , isn't it amazing this feeling...

23 Feb '06 2:13 am
of comfort and fulfillment, when ---comparing your photos ---you realize that your gardening love and prompt care produce... such admirable fruit?? I rejoice with you!
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Bex
member
User avatar
Camberwell, London

vegetable gardening

24 Feb '06 9:09 pm
great advice everyone - i feel quite inspired to grow some vegetables on my roof top too :)

what do you think you'll start to grow first, Bambi?

Bambi
Slowly Learning Gardener
User avatar
Kent, England

I hang my head in shame...

8 Jun '06 5:00 am
I'm ashamed to say that my grand plans haven't exactly worked out yet, as other parts of life have somewhat taken over in the past few months, but I have done a few little bits here and there and when things settle down a bit and I've got more time, I'm still determined to really transform the garden. You may notice in one of my other posts all the weeds growing through the paving stones on our terrace - rest assured they're all gone now but I did tell my husband off for not pulling them before taking all those photos!! :-)

What I'd love to grow particularly are beans and tomatoes, as I remember when I was a child, eating them straight from the plant in my parents' veggie garden and they were so sweet and delicious! I'd also like to have a herb bed with things like mint, chives, basil, etc. and maybe try my hand at potatoes and onions. I'll probably move onto more things when I get a bit more confident, but I think that's probably enough to start with!

Thanks to everyone for all your kind advice, it's always appreciated :-)

Bambi
x
"If you'd have a mind at peace
A heart that cannot harden
Go find a door that opens wide
Upon a beautiful garden."
Author Unknown

moosey
head gardener
User avatar

9 Jun '06 5:26 pm
But the really good thing about gardening intentions is that you can always do things later along. And you don't have to do everything all at once! That's the biggest silly mistake we all make, panicking that we haven't done this or started that.

You could get the herbs going anytime, and peep at what your neighbours are growing at this time of the year! You'll do it! And if it doesn't start properly until next spring, well too bad!
Head Gardener
mooseyscountrygarden.com
http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com

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