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Thread: Complete Newbie - Need advice for garden

  1. #1

    Talking Complete Newbie - Need advice for garden

    All,

    I have never gardened before but thanks to a sub forum on my favorite web site (this one) I have decided to try.

    Here is my situation. I have a pre existing garden from the previous owners of my home. We bought it 3 years ago and have done nothing with it.

    Nothing grows in it now but weeds, but I would like to grow fruits and veggies or herbs for the summer.

    What can I plant to have some food to eat at some point this summer?

    Also, what could I plant for next season that I may be too late to grow this year?

    Remember, I am your worst case scenario. I know nothing about gardening.

    Oh yeah...I am not picky.

    Thanks for your knowledge and patience,

    Gusto
    Future Greenthumb

  2. #2
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default kiss method

    I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. My wife is an expert but I wanted to do it myself. She has her baskets and herb garden I wanted veggies. Things that have grown great for me are snap peas, radish's both white and red, lettuce, carrotts, brocolii, cauliflower maters and squash.

    If you have not started your seeds yet you should do it this weekend. Start them inside. Just get some of the little planters things at wally world and a bag of potting soil. plant them and put them in a place that will get some sun and you will be fine.


    The hardest thing is getting the garden prepared. I would pull all the weeds out. In mine i pulled all the weeds and tilled up the soil and then added some more top soil to get it all mixed up. I put down the grey fabric to prevent weed grow. I cut small holes 2 inchs in diameter for me plants and planted them. They do face the late morning and all afternoon sun. I have had great success. you dont have to use the fabric I just have found it cuts down on the weeds by about 90 percent.

    Keep reading here and asking questions and you should have some good fun


    Oh and my wife grows around 15 different herbs in her rock gardem
    Last edited by alaskachuck; 04-19-2008 at 12:05. Reason: info
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  3. #3
    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Default

    Good advice you gave alaskachuck! Either weed before you till the soil or remove some of the topsoil from your old garden before adding more. Grass and fireweeds and many others weeds love disturbed soils and will just come back from the roots stronger once they are broken up with a shovel or tiller.

    There are plenty of easy veggies that you can plant from seed after the last frost…Carrots, turnips, leaf lettuce, kale, swiss chard, radishes and edible snap peas to name a few. You can always go to a nursery or garden center and pick up things like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli plants and other stuff or herbs if you haven’t started those yet yourself from seed. Get a bundle of rhubarb root and even if you can’t eat it this year it will grow back for years to come. Chives and green onions are nice because they grow back too, if you pick the green tops and not the whole plant.


    Don't have that covering for my garden to prevent weeds, but I have heard really good things about it and want to try it one day. Weeding is no fun.


    Good luck,
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  4. #4
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default good points

    I forgot about the chives. My wife has them in her herb garden and my they grow like bunnies multiply and you cannot kill them. Also we have a huge horseradish root in her garden we cant kill. I took 3 feet off it last year and Im sure it will be back this year. It did make some fine covering for primerib and for cocktail sauce. I have not put any ruhbarb in but Im going to get some today. At our old house we had it and it is pretty much bullet proof too. With my strawberries it will help accent a wonderful pie. Dang now my mouth is watering.

    That fabric is a knee saver and back saver. We spend alot of time out ingardens as it is and like grandma lori said. Weeding is no fun. You still get a few but it is not the great fireweed or chickweed forests i used to fight. I kept a few notes over the last couple of years on what grew best and am just keeping them,. I do try one or 2 new veggies every year.

    Lat year I bought a jalepeno and a pepperchine plant. I had them out in front of the house in big pots and they produced some nice peppers. I bought them at Lowes about the end of june as they were half off. They did really well. So always try new things too you never know here in alaska and with mother nature being kind of pissy this spring who knows what summer will bring. Either was it is fun and relaxing
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  5. #5
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Gus go organic seriously once you set up your soil and compost system stuff like fertilizer schedules take care of themselves and the need to weed is dramatically reduced. Some one give me a hand here the guy who has the gardening show on KBYR Jeff Lowenthal? He has a really good book and weekly gardening show on the subject. Don't get overwellmed really all your garden needs is sunlight water and for you to get rid of competing plants keep it simple and don't sweet it just have fun.BTW it's nearly impossible to kill a zucchini or rhubarb.
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    Default Hey AlaskaChuck, about that horseradish

    how do you process it? I'm thinking maybe with a shredder? How much do you get from one plant? How strong is it, maybe that varies with the plant? Inquiring minds want to know.

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    Jeff lowenfel is the gardener you are refering to for all the studies and science that has gone into horticulture we have been doing it backwards for a long time.

    read up on Jeff's work and that of his colleagues and it may change the way you garden I no longer use chemical fertilizers most of them are sodium based and will eventually ruin your soil. I also put everything I grow in the garden but do not eat right back into the soil while also adding leaf litter and either chicken manure or rabbit my chicken manure comes from our chickens I have to search out the rabbit variety.

    Because of the high nitrogen in chicken,horse, and cow manure I let this age in my compost bin using a 2 - 1 ration of Brown (dry leaves shredded bark pine needles or coffee grounds) to green (nitrogen high manure or grass clippings ) I also through in other good stuff kitchen waste egg shells and so on with rabbit manure you can skip this and add it directly into the soil.

    I also no longer till the soil I know this goes against years and years of practice but if you read up on the soil web and sustainable gardening it will make sense.

    remember everything you take out of the soil as far as nutirents and carbon based molecules needs to go back in for your next round of growing all this can be found in stalks vines and unedibles it hard to explain in a short message you can usually sit around and talk for hours on it.

  8. #8
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Horsey sauce

    Quote Originally Posted by AkRascal View Post
    how do you process it? I'm thinking maybe with a shredder? How much do you get from one plant? How strong is it, maybe that varies with the plant? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Well all of your questions depend on the plant. I planted mine about 4 years ago. last year was the first i Harvested it. I ended up pulling about a 3 foot long root out of the grond about 2 inches in diameter. Oh and it is coming back again this year. We found a recipe for it online. We did shred it, added some vinager and I cant remeber one other thing. Ill ask the wife when she gets up. We put it in a mason jar and sealed it. It is pretty mild in the shredded state so we make it into a paste when we want to use it and it is mild to me hot to the wife but she has sensative taste buds. Goes great making cocktail sauce, on prime rib, roast beef sandwichs just yummy stuff
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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