How to start my garden Results

I just used a shovel... and tried to dig a spot every 1 ft...(we had a lot of rain, and it was time to plant corn, so unlike in 2009... waiting "forever" for the garden to dry, to rotortill, I got the shovel, and started digging).... in a fairly straight line, and about 2 ft apart(each row).

I would turn the dirt, break up the garden soil some(not as well as a rotortilling..not by any stretch of the imagination), and planted the seed.

That's it.

I actually worried, after planting, if I should have waited... as I didn't believe that this would work very well at all(although, in 2001, this is how I planted my first garden... more like a small area, and maybe 3-4 dozen seeds of corn, and I did get about 8 ears of corn.. and that was planted in June).

Anyhow... I kept thinking that the seeds wouldn't sprout, or if they did, would have a terrible time in this un-tilled soil, and have few, if any ears.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

I had about 42 stalks of corn, and, 39-40 ears of corn from that area.

Very surprised.

I did turn a lot of decaying leaves/lawn clippings, into the soil, in early November of 2009... with a shovel... and that probably helped, too.

Best results for corn ever.

I may try this again next year.

I have checked out the book on Lasagna gardening 2 days ago. Since then I have determined my problem is not good soil but mulching. So, I have decided to make a Lasagna garden. I have 4 big blocks of peat moss 1 straw bale (need another one) leaves, dried grass clippings and manure. I also have a bag of blood meal that will be used in the making as well.

I have been putting all left over scrap (no meat or bones) in a blender. It is amazing how much you can put together from leftovers veggies, some spinach that is beginning to get soft, carrots from my raised garden bed thats still growing from last year and some odds and ends apple peel, bananas peels and lemon. I am going to see if I can get ahold of some Lucern hay which is the green part of the . I laid my paper down first. I used some old big sheet drawing paper and lots of paper bags. Then I put a weed barrier sheet over the garden and put bricks, bottles of water garden tools and wooden stakes to hold it down over the night. We are supposed to get some severe thunderstorms tonight.

I am hoping everything stays in place so tomorrow all I need to do is to start layering.

Hi Everyone!

Just bought Green Bean and Corn seed from Pine Tree Garden!!! Can't wait for them to get here!!!

I live in North East PA, is it better to get the corn seeds started before planting them? My wife Mary usually gets our bean seeds started by placing them in a wet paper towel until they begin to sprout...Should we do the same for the corn?

Thank You!

Does anybody want to discuss growing them? What are your favorite kinds?

I just ordered two LED light arrays from eBay ... like these:

and now I'm thinking maybe I'll try growing microgreens.

(But with our laminate floors I must be very very careful never to have anything that leaks on the floor!)

I have LOTS of "tatsoi-komatsuna-mizuna crosses" seeds. Seems like they might make okay microgreens(?)

and what is good to use for dirt? I hate to rob my garden of its dirt; also, it's bound to have weed seeds. And another thing I wonder about growing microgreens; how often do you completely replace your dirt? ... I've seen one person's set-up who grew wheatgrass ... about five shelves with trays of wheatgrass all growing inside.

Oh well, just thought I'd start this thread and see if anyone on iDig has any advice.

I am new to gardening and know very little, so any help would be appreciated.

I live in Dallas,TX and just put in a garden about six weeks ago (I know that I started late). In the garden I have cucumbers, tomatoes (A heat tolerant version), green peppers, and basil.

So far, the basil and the cucumbers are growing like crazy, but the green peppers and tomatoes aren't doing much. I bought both as large plants (3ft+) and transplanted them.

A few questions:

- How often should I water them and how much? Its well over hundred everyday and only gets down to around 80 at nights. I have been watering everyday and don't know if that's right. Also, I did use a red cedar mulch to cover my soil and use some liquid fertilizer once per week.

- My tomato plant started to grow flowers, but then they just died. Any ideas why? Also, its looked kind of sad since I planted it. Its like the color isn't lively. Not like its dying, but nothing like my cucumbers or basil that are thriving.

- My green pepper plant has a good color to it, but its lives are droopy and it hasn't grown since I put it in the ground. I've started to notice the start of flowers, but none have opened. Am I doing something wrong here or?

- With me starting so late, about 6 weeks ago, will I even get vegetables? It will be warm in Texas for another 90 days at least, but the amount of sun light in the day will decrease.

As I said at the beginning, any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated. Also, please feel free to throw in any additional tips or insight.


Mine has been modestly successful. The first 5 tomatoes planted out of 35 grew to around 8ft and made an abundance of tomatoes. Some of the rest did fair and didn't even grow very tall and some didn't make any tomatoes. We had so much rain that I couldn't keep the tomatoes sprayed and now they're badly diseased. I will get enough tomatoes to do most everything I wanted to do but no where near the amount I should have with that many plants. I will get 2 New Hampshire Midget watermelons, 6 baby butternut squashes, 3 spaghetti and 3 Southern Miner Squashes. I have some mixed up squashes that I don't have any idea what they are. I'm not even sure what they were suppose to be since I was rushing to get every thing planted and didn't label them. I should have had lots more of each but at least I got some. I'm getting a good pole bean harvest considering I only planted two short rows. My crowders wouldn't even grow much and the cukes started making good vines and then got diseased before making much fruit. The okra is doing good. Rich Sweetness is making a lot of fruit and the luffa doesn't have a speck of disease. My garden was planted late and it's better than last year. I'm pleased. I'll get to start over next year. I'm making plans to cover some of the tomatoes so that I can keep them sprayed with organic sprays next year. There are always some things that do very well and some that don't and it's unpredictable.

I am getting ready to start my fall garden and thought I would try potatoes. Has anyone grown potatoes in a bed instead of rows? If so, what spacing was used? Pattern? How did you hill around the plants? Etc.


I'm in 5b, and I'm wondering if I really have to wait until Mothers Day to put anything in the garden. Is there anything that you put out early?
I've got seedlings in all my window sills now, but there's just not enough room to start everything indoors, so a lot will be direct seeded.
I also have 2 onions that started growing in my pantry, so I'm going to put those in the dirt and see what they do.
I'm itching to get my hands dirty. lol

I bought some Heirloom tomatoes Branywine, German Queen, and Roma. I know that they were not started organic. Once in my garden, only organic. Now how organic would the seeds from these plants be? And how long would I have to grow them to be 100% organic?


I can't say that I'm the most avid gardener, or the best, by a long shot. But what I can say, is JUST DO IT! You'll make mistakes. Some plants will grow great, others won't. You'll get bugs and slugs. You'll get too much rain, or not enough. You can do the exact same thing 2 years in a row, and get 2 completely different results. Gardening is trial and error, year after year after year, and the only way to find out what you like and what you don't like and what works and what doesn't work, is to try it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do your homework though. But gardening really is always a work in progress. There are as many methods to gardening as there are gardeners. Believe me!

Gardening is not for the meek or weak at heart. You jump into it with both feet, with lots of gusto, and by the end of the growing season, you'll be saying you'll NEVER plant another!!! At least, until next year. It truly is in your blood, or isn't. Don't forget, the only thing that separates us from the plant kingdom is the color of our blood! I've been ordering Organic Gardening since 1980. I've tried to stop, but it's an addiction. Intellectually, I "know" about gardening and have tried to do it in a small area with too little sun so my gardens have never been great - not in 20 years. But something in me just keeps going outside every spring and begin it all over again. But I've just moved into a new home, with 2 acres and sun! The irony of it all is that I now have a disease that makes me "allergic" to the sun (it's a VIT D thing); it's making me sick. And it sucks. So, what do I do? I'll garden at night! Wow. Moon gardening. A whole new adventure.

Get your kids involved. They don't care if it's perfect. Having instant perfection doesn't build character. Working at it, and fixing it, does. And when the produce comes in and you are so tired of it you want to start throwing it in the compost pile, take it to the neighbors, but not everyday!!! Spread the joy. Instead of selling lemonade, have the kids sell their produce...if you live in a safe neighborhood that will allow such a thing (gheez, the world is changing, isn't it).

I know gardening isn't for everyone, though I can't imagine why. Gardening is a lot of work! It's ongoing, everyday. You may want to reschedule that summer vacation or hire someone to come in and water during dry spells. I can't tell you how many plants I lost every summer after a 2-week vacation! Plants get thirsty too and will complain and protest.

Anyhow, I'm sure many more people here have great advice. I'd love to hear it!

I saw this question posed by someone on another forum (Gardenweb Vegetables forum) and thought it was interesting.

How big is your garden? How many plants of various types do you put in? What kind of yields do you get? How many people do you feed with your produce? Do you rely on it for your main sustenance in terms of produce, or is it just a supplement to what you buy? Do you preserve things for later use? (Hope that's not too many questions!)

The response people have given have been really interesting to me -- some people plant a little bit but say they feed a lot of people with it (small amounts, not "subsistence level" obviously), while others really rely upon their gardens for a major share of their food supply. There is no "right or wrong" answer, just interesting to see everyone's different responses, theory, and philosophy.

I'll give you some information about my garden and lifestyle/useage. I have a main vegetable garden which is 110 x 100 feet, another which is 60 x 80 feet, and many smaller beds and gardens which have edibles mixed in with ornamentals. I also grow many fruit trees, including about 10 apple trees, a dozen peach trees, 6 pear trees, sour and sweet cherries, 3 mulberry trees, nut trees -- walnuts, hickory, filbert, chestnut. I also have a big asparagus patch, many herbs, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, hardy kiwi, some misc. things.

There are 3 adults and a large dog in the household, plus various family members with whom I share things. We can, freeze, and preserve a LOT of produce -- last year, put up over 200 quarts of tomato products, and froze two freezers, one medium, one large, full of things. We rely on home-grown produce for most things, but of course, still buy a lot of fresh things in the off-season, because there is no substitute for fresh, raw produce for many reasons -- we just love fruits and vegetables in this household.

Last year was a BAD year for gardening -- my mother had a major health crisis in April, just at the time when things should have been getting underway, and was in the hospital nearly a month, then a lot of follow-up appointments, etc. So, I didn't get to even think about putting in a garden until the first weekend in June -- I did make a decent stab at it, but many things just never happened at all last year -- no peas, no brassicas, no carrots.

What I did plant in 2007: 150 tomato plants, paste and large processing types. 50 pepper plants. 15 hills of sweet potatoes, 25 hills of regular potatoes, 8 hills summer squash, 20 hills of regulars squash/few pumpkins. Four 100 foot rows of corn, 20 hills cucumbers, about a 25 foot block of beets, a little basil, chard, parsley, and some salad greens (these were in containers in semi-shade due to the lateness).

It was, however, a good yield due to attention to watering and fertilizing -- I got over 40 bushels of tomatoes, 2 bushels of sweet potatoes, over 300 peppers (I let most of mine go all the way to ripe, could have had more had I picked them green), TONS of squash (over 150 winter squash). I picked enough corn to put 66 quart size bags of cut kernels in the freezer. Plus, lots of misc stuff I use all the time, like fresh and dried herbs, rhubarb, etc.

One of the ironies of this is the fact that I am diabetic, so I have to watch my refined and complex carbs, and I had a partial radical gastrectomy in 2005, so I can only eat a fairly small amount of food 3 times a day, plus a couple of very small snacks. I admit we do sort of "overdo it" on preserving now, but it doesn't go to waste -- I give it away to my sisters and their grown children, who now have their own families, and it is much appreciated. Also, it's always nice to give "garden gifts" of things like jams and jellies or homemade breads, pies, etc which use produce.

2008 is going to be a MUCH better garden year for me -- I ordered all of my seeds back in December, have started early tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and artichokes this week under lights. I HAD hoped to plant favas and some early peas and perhaps some lettuce seed outdoors this week, but alas, Mother Nature had other plans, and is dumping 8 to 12 inches of snow on me tonight, after having just melted off our persistant snowpack this past week -- I got to enjoy bare ground for two whole days! Better luck next week.


This year i have kind of a small garden and i started over 60 tomato plants my garden is only about 20 x 24 and i have to be able to plant my corn onions and radishes as well. So i was wondering how closely i can plant them side by side and how far do i have to have the rows at a minimum?

Hey Y'all,
My wife is wanting me to grow some garden peas this year. Since I never grew them in the past I thought I would get some good info from the pea growers here. I will probably start mine sometime next month, my 2 varieties are Little Marvel and Alaska.
How tall do they grow and what type of trllis or other device do you hang them with? Do they grow as tall as pole beans? I hope not or I'll need to change my plans real quick. I figure March is the time to plant them here in Ozark Mtn Country

Background: I recieved a $50 gift card to a big box store (pick your favorite) and decided it was time to invest in some indoor lighting to start my seedlings properly. I was tired of leggy seedlings that I never quite hardened off correctly and had a 50% success ratio. So anyway, I bought a new 4' T-8 flourescent shop light andtow full spectrum bulbs shortly after new years day. I had a pck of India mustard greens that I purchased from my local grocery store to try my luck at a Fall garden last year. This failed miserably, but gives me an excuse to build a coldframe this fall!

So, having a new light, potting soil, plenty of containers and this great pack of seeds (about 25% full), I couldn't possibly wait until close to my planting date (still another 6-8 weeks) I had to try to grow something. Sure enough the light works great. I had plenty of seeds germinate and last night I snipped some baby India mustard greens to try my first indoor salad. WHAT A MISERABLE TASTE!!! HOW CAN ANYONE EAT THESE THINGS!! Can anyone please explain how these are classified as edible? Did I do something wrong?

So anyway, I can grow food under my lights, but it is not edible!!


Thanks for listening (?)...


Hello to everyone. I'm 32 from WVa, married, no kids. This is maybe my third year gardening seriously, last season was the first I canned and froze things. This year is the first I've started to personalize such as growing heirlooms instead of just whatever was sold in packets in the local hardware and Lowes store. Thanks for allowing me on the forum, I'm sure I'll need it.
PS. How long does it usually take to get your orders in the mail, it's time to start seeds indoors here, and I'm growing anxious !

My Egyptian Walking Onions have gone crazy with topsets. I'd be happy to send anyone a little box of them to start your own patch. If you can send me stamps to cover postage, that would be great. If you can't, that's ok too, just let me know. I know how expensive gardening can get, and I don't believe it has to be that way! I just hate to see these go to waste. And by that I mean they fall in my yard and end up getting mowed down! I'm going to start another bed, but there's still way too many.

Send me a private message with your addy.

Neednar, in Western Maryland.

I was looking for a computer program that would enable me to lay out my garden plot before I plant and I found this one: It's free for 45 days and $20/year if you subscribe. I used the program and it was so easy and fun to play with and there are other great tools as well- calculators for how much the value of your produce is based on square footage of each thing grown, graphs to tell you when to start seeds indoors and place outdoors for your zone based on zip code, and lots more.

I just thought I'd share this with anyone who likes to lay things out like I do

(Part of it is that I'm really impatient waiting for spring and wanted to do something garden wise)

For years, my gardening has been limited by what I could grow in pots in a very tiny space, with very little sun. For instance, last year I had a big pot with tomatoes and my rosemary "Christmas tree"!

Now I have a HOUSE! I want to grow veggies and some fruit, as well as flowers. (The previous owners knew NOTHING AT ALL about gardening…take a look at this photo, and you'll see what I mean!

I think I want to grow herbs and flowers in that front bed, as well as any other edibles that might do well there. I intend to chop down the crepe myrtle in front of the big bay window, as well as the huge holly. (Holly is my nemesis…I love to go barefoot, and it views that as the perfect opportunity to attack.) The hollies in front of the other windows are already not quite dead.

I'm open to non-traditional planting ideas, but anything I grow in front has to be fairly presentable, though my homeowner's association is reasonable. I think I have some possibilities at the sides of the house, and a slope that I'm not doing anything with in back.

I know I must have some squash, beans, tomatoes, strawberries, pumpkin, watermelon, and okra. However, I don't need a lot of any of them!

How do I pick varieties? And how do I balance having enough stuff growing to feel a sense of accomplishment, without overwhelming myself?

Any help would definitely be appreciated!

I just want to say up front that I'm not complaining, or that it's been a long time since I've ordered. I'm just eager to get started!

We ordered about a week ago, and I'm really really really excited about getting my garden started! About how long should I expect to wait for my seeds to arrive?

My family moved in Jan 2011, to a house in the hills with a small (15x30 approx) fenced in garden. We originally thought it was a dog pen, but soon learned it was a garden that hadn't been used in years and was fenced in to keep the deer out. We had never planted a garden before, so we borrowed a tiller and got to work. Yellow squash and zucchini, carrots, pole beans (the deer ate every piece of green that made it outside of the fence but we still ate the heck out of beans!), tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant. We had quite a bit of success - the beans were great (the deer agreed), the eggplant were coming out of our ears, and yellow squash were aplenty. Carrots = fail! Sunflowers = fail! Cucumbers were small and plants never got really big, same with peppers. Zucchini simply didn't grow, and the ONE that did must have cross pollinated with the yellow squash for out came these funky (but still delicious) smaller green/yellowy squashlets. Tomatoes were so/so, I actually had enough to can (first time at that too) 5 quarts of sauce, and 5 pints of salsa. We beat the mosquitoes and weeds, and the family (husband and 2 kids 8 and 10) really came together to water and weed. As I type that I think who am I fooling! All the kids did were eat beans! So let me start again - the husband and I bonded over weeds. We feel like overall it came out well, we tilled it and even planted a row of garlic at the very end of the fall, so hopefully we will be in good shape come spring. I don't know a thing about saving seeds, I didn't even realize you could until stumbling across this site. I felt it was quite expensive to plant the garden last year, and I admit I bought the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers (both sweet and hot) as already started plants, the rest came from seed purchased at Lowes. We started a journal, and now I'm doing research on how to compost, improve the soil, what plants to put where, and so on. How do you garden on a dime? Is that possible? I planned out what plants we want to grow (all from seed) this year, and priced them out - but I don't need 50 or 100 tomato seeds from each kind. Is there somewhere to just get a few at a time? Or do I have to plant a lot in order to get a few to germinate? I am trying not to get intimidated by this, and at the same time don't want to waste seeds by buying more than we'll use. Any tips on how to get started on a shoestring budget, but not waste anything?

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