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Does anyone else suck at growing veg?

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:25 PM

Originally posted by nomorecruelty
I do know that my parents always, always go buy tomato plants
to replant in the garden - they don't start from seeds on tomatoes.

The canning of foods, which is a whole other monster, is great for
storing up food - the freezing of foods ..... dunno unless it's cold enough
when you find that you "need" them - then you can set them outside.

Canning foods has to be done with a pressure cooker - you can buy those
at Walmart. And then learn how. lol I've never done it but have watched
my Mom for decades.

Canning tomatoes can be done quite easily AND safely without a pressure cooker. [A Pressure Canner is usually reserved for meats or low-acid
vegetables like green beans or squash products. The Pressure in the canner actually makes the temperature inside the pot go above 212 degrees, which is necessary for safely canning meats, etc.]
For Home Canning, boiling of the tomatoes and processing in heated jars
is done with water bathing; which is different from Pressure Canning.
For those of you who have the guts and stick-to-it-tiveness to grow your
own tomatoes, there is nothing like good soup in the winter made from
your own home grown and processed tomatoes.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:33 PM

Originally posted by notsosweet
We had our first garden this year. I was so excited that we would get some fresh veggies, but as it turned out, I do not know how to garden.

We got lots of jalapeno peppers...a couple of cucumbers...tomatoes didn't work out...1 pumpkin out of the humongous plant, hmmm...everything else just didnt work out so much.

seems like the stuff in our box garden thingy grew better, (jalapenos).Not sure why, probably the soil or something.

I hope to try again next year, in the meanwhile will need to read about how to grow a garden to your stuff will grow....

Tomatoes love and Need Lime. When you are preparing your soil, rotill in Pellet Lime. Save the powdered lime for adding at 4 week intervals to the top of the soil during growing season. Lime also prevents
Bottom Rot [where the bottom half of the tomato turns black].
Rotted Wood Chips are the world's best source for adding to your garden soil And THEY ARE FREE. You call your city's electric department
and ask for the tree-chipping crew. Find out what their schedule is and
when they are going to be in your area. Plan now, and get the chips in
your yard so they will start rotting and be ready for next year.
These tree chipper guys are busy. It is up to you to keep calling [Be Nice, it pays off] and remind them how much you want that load of wood
chips. Every tree chipper I know is glad to do it, rather than dump it in
the local landfill.
When these wood chips decompose, they are better than adding peat moss to your soil because they're free.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:41 PM

Originally posted by starlitestarbrite
My husband and I love gardening from all types of flowers to a good
variety of veggies.
This year we are over abundant with all kinds of
peppers hot and sweet, zucchini yellow and green , eggplants, gourds
herbs & salad greens.

Sadly my yearly pride and joy tomatoes were hit with a blight that affected
every plant I had over 30 plants 10 different types. I had to rip them out some covered with tomatoes and blossoms GRRR
I was told that a lot of people were affected by this horrible North East blight.

Our corn was horrible unless you wanted to use it for a oriental stir fry.
Along with a few other varieties that just never took off from the get go
I try to start everything from seed.

I always rotate my veggies never planting the same variety in the same spot it depletes the soil. I grow them in raised beds rich with organic leaf material I also add worms to the beds and fertilize with a good organic fertilizer.
The slugs were a huge problem this year with all the rain we had
diotamatious earth took care of them.

Many people plant their garden by the moon certain veggies and flowers
benefit from being planted during the waxing and waning of the moon
I have done this method a few times I am not sure if it made such a huge difference.

I definitely have to say that it has been a horrible veggie season for us in general with the blight, and with the weather it has been so cool and rainy here in PA . I look forward to next year !
Everyone will miss the home made Italian Sunday gravy!

It's a great time of year to start planning for your next garden. Of course you probably already know that some hardware stores actually sell seeds that are out of date (so the seeds are not viable and will not germinate). If you call Seed Companies, most will send you their catalog.
Johnny's Selected Seeds, Gurneys, Harris, and Twilley are all companies
I can recommend. I stay away from the smaller companies, week-end inserts in the newspaper, mailings and Burpee. Burpee is just far too expensive for me.
Another suggestion would be if you have gotten to know your local nursery/greenhouse: ask them if they would grow certain kinds for you.
Offer to pre-pay. I would suggest letting them know which particular kinds
and varieties you want; because they will probably want to order the seed
theirselves to ensure sterility for the rest of their greenhouse.
It always pays to start early with planning. Stop in every month or so,
just chit chat, and let them know you're interested. Gardeners are gardeners the worlld over, and we all want everyone to succeed.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by Freedom of Thought]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:53 PM

Originally posted by CX
Anyone else want to join my "I suck at growing veg" gang?

Well i wouldn't say "suck" as such, i think i've just gone about it totaly the wrong way.

Earlier this year i wanted to try growing my own produce for many reasons. Economical, i use a lot of veg for me and the kids so i wanted to reduce my bills a little. Also as a nice feature of the garden and for my girls to keep an interest in.

Mainly though, so i knew how to do it should i need to if the SHTF and i had to start afresh with no shops around.

So i started with basic container veg gardening as i am very impatient when it comes to growing things and i figured it would take ages to prepare beds properly.

Mistakes i seem to have made have been....

1. Growing veg that whilst easy to grow, i rarely use it. It's almost as though i grew it just for the novelty of growing it, rather than using it

2. Not doing enough research about when to pick them and replant.

3. Not being consistant with the watering....yes i know a most important part of growing anything, but just a few days missed can waste a lot of work.

4. Being daunted by the apparent expertise needed to prepare and maintain a proper vegetable patch or raised patch.

Yes i know the more proficient growers here will be chuckling their socks off at this
, but why does something so simple seem such a big thing to get right?

I am determined to learn more about this, learn from my mistakes and by next year have a nice little vegetable patch, even if it's one of those "square foot veg garden" efforts.

Does this happen to anyone else here?

Maybe it's not "happening" as the urgency is not there, if it goes pear shaped i can pop down the shops for some veg. I know if the SHTF and we had to start from scratch, i'd have to get it right.

I've been refered by friends to a few good veg growing sites, so i think i'll spend a bit more time on those until i learn more. For some reason i think i'm making it all far more complicated than it has to be.


[edit on 29/8/09 by CX]

''"being daunted by the apparent expertise needed to prepare..."
It's September. You could start this month with a goal of fixing One twenty by five foot section [or whatever you plots run]. If you are serious about doing this so that it will work, and last; your best bet is what I call double-
dipping. Using a shovel, you take out the top dirt [put every scoop right over on the next row]. Come back down the very same row you just took
the top scoop out of, and sink your shovel in again. You should either be
hitting mud, sand, or sludge by this time. This second scoop [double-dipping), goes behind you.
Knowing that you have already gotten your rotted wood chips, you fill in
the bottom of the hole with the wood chips. If you don't have wood chips, many cities have people that actually spend their time and energy raking leaves up and putting them into bags for you. Since most state laws say
once something is put on the curb, it doesn't belong to the owner, you are
free to take a pick-up truck and go collect the pre-packaged leaves. You
can dump the leaves in the bottom of the hole instead of wood chips.
The point is: the more you fix that soil so the roots of the plant can grow
way down and get water: the stronger the overall plant is, and the stronger the plant, the more it will produce.
Layer lime and fertilizer (of course animal manure is the best), backfill
and rototil. You are ready to go for next year.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by Freedom of Thought]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:01 PM

Originally posted by TriggerFish
reply to post by theRiverGoddess

I had a very abundant garden this year. My tomato plants were covered with fruit and very healthy. Then a week ago some brown spots appeared
on the leaves and in three days all my plants were dead and rotting.
Very frustrating! Some kind of blight I suppose, but it kills that fast?

This winter I am going to work on a hydroponic garden in the basement
hope to have more luck there.

If you plant different varieties of tomatoes (VFN) and stagger
your plantings throughout the summer, you are more likely to wind up
with something, rather than losing a whole crop.
Tomatoes love sun and air. Having good air circulation around tomatoes can prevent a lot of mildew and fungus. Of course, sometimes
these nasties will come regardless. You could also try planting some varieties of tomatoes in half-sun (6-8 hours sun/day).
If you have good soil (so the roots of the tomatoe plants wll grow deeply), many times planting marigolds around the bottom of the plant
will help keep insects away. Moths do not like the smell.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:13 PM
I am an experienced gardener and I can tell you, I have good years and bad years. Also, some years one plant will do especially well and another year it's a different crop going well while another isn't thriving.

The inconsistency with watering, though, will do you in, as it does me. In the hot summer months I just lose interest and desire to be out there watering every day. My solution? Drip irrigation on a timer. I purchased two Orbit battery powered four-station timers and eight compatible valves. I connected each valve to a drip line (I prefer soaker hoses) and now my entire vegetable garden waters itself! The system requires periodic checks for leaks or blockages, and occasionally one of the valves needs to be replaced, but overall the system has saved me hours and hours of time. If I get lazy or sick, I can just stay out of the garden for a week and everything is still alive when I get back out there. Drip irrigation, along with gopher-proof raised beds and a compost bin, has been the best garden investment I ever made.

You can see my pics for a look at my garden:

My ATS Garden album

[edit on 6-9-2010 by OuttaHere]

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:14 PM

Originally posted by Henygirl
I wasn't being lazy.

I was wondering if folks had experience with the recipes. Some of the ones with bloodmeal and bonemeal are interesting but I dont won't to invest if it isn't gonna work.

For soil we used the square foot gardening formula and mixed our seemed to work out. I plan to rotate my stuff around next year.

The experimenting is fun even when stuff doesn't grow.

You're right: bonemeal and bloodmeal are pretty expensive for gardening.
I only use bonemeal to baby the peonies. However, getting on with what I wanted to relay to you. If you start now, carry 5 gallon buckets with lids
or a whole bunch of big garbage bags in the trunk of your car if you do not
have a pick-up. Add a shovel and gloves. Find out where your local farms are, and every time you have to go out, stop and get a trunk load
of stuff for your next years' garden. It pays to stop and talk to the OWNERS ahead of time, and let them know what you want, and why you want it. Most everyone is glad to help.
If you live next to a cotton gin plant, usually you can get the free cottonseed meal that is rotted. I quit doing this because of concerns over
the Bt that is grafted into most cotton plants now, not to mention the round-up. But it wouldn't bother me to put this stuff around flowers and
We're talking about using resources that are FREE, and only require a
little effort and planning (to cut down on gas costs) to get materials that
will help ensure a healthy, viable garden.
Hint: triple bagging will make sure no nasties leak out: you can keep using the bags over and over again until they're worthless and you've
gotten your money's worth.
P.S. Commercial fertilizer (for those who use it, sold at over $17.00
a forty pound bag last year).

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:24 PM

Originally posted by Hazelnut
reply to post by jibeho

Since you mentioned "good soil" do you remember what your grandpa did to make into black gold? And how long it took him?

I've got clay and rock to work with, so my husband built 2 4x8 raised beds and 2 4x4 raised beds which we filled with a load of "garden ready" soil.

I'm not sure, but I think I read somewhere that you should let your plants die and brown before removing them after their cycles have ended. Should I chop them up and mix into the soil or discard them?

I also read somewhere that if you prune back your herbs during growing season, you should use them for mulch. Does anyone know if that is right?

Thanks to those who are trying and those who know how to do it right.

If you are done with the plant: Pull it. It's not doing anything , and it's
not worth anything. Unless you are super good at composting, I would
burn the plants. Or, you could find a piece of soil in the back forty,
dig a hole three or four feet deep, and throw all the dead plants in the
hole. Cover it up, and let it sit for a couple of years til the worms can
get at it.
Herbs usually don't carry diseases, so it's probably ok to use them for

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:28 PM

Originally posted by Henygirl
Okay so with the raised beds...once the growing season is over and the plants begin dying, do we chop them up and leave them? It sounds like it would enrich the soil but I am experimenting with the square foot method this year.

Wealth of information to compile with my experience and the experience of the 'old' folks around me.

Do not recommend leaving the old stalks/plants in original growing bed.
It does not take much for over-wintering bugs to find a home in. Also,
if there was any fungus/mold/disease in any of the plants, it is best to
get rid of the stalks: either through really good composting that is hot,
or just burn the suckers. Also, can have one section of ground that is
used to just bury the stuff really deep, and leave it for the worms.

posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 04:16 PM

Originally posted by CX
Just found a great website...

Looks like lots of great information on there to get people up and running.


I couldn't agree with you more.

I joined that site when I first got my allotment, I had no experience and the people on the forum there were amazing.

I'm now in my third season and wouldn't have the successes I've had without them.

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