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Old 04-27-2006, 03:42 PM   #1
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Ask Virginia...she sounds like a phenomenal gardner!
Thank you, Thank you veddy much...*takes bow*

Ok, so I know a little about gardening. I've been gardening since I was a kid and all, but that doesn't make me an expert by any means. I'm just lucky plants like me.

But in all seriousness I am more than happy to help anyone who has gardening questions.
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:25 PM   #2
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Thank you, Thank you veddy much...*takes bow*

Ok, so I know a little about gardening. I've been gardening since I was a kid and all, but that doesn't make me an expert by any means. I'm just lucky plants like me.

But in all seriousness I am more than happy to help anyone who has gardening questions.
Ok well i have grown Corn before so you would think it wouldn't be that hard for me (although corn is pretty simple to grow) ..and i grew up on a farm. So i don't know why i'm so stumped. But this is like house soil kwim.

Everything before was basically done for me. My dad is coming out in a few months but i think that will be to late to start the garden, otherwise i would wait for him.

Ok heres the question..

Now that we are in the city i don't have big acreage. I've been looking into squarefoot gardening. I know Tampersay does this stuff so if she can chime in here i would appreciate it.

But anyway since you are so nice to help me..
Like i said the soil here is just regular soil. and it looks like the old owners had a plot at one time (i'll post a pic tom.) so I really don't know if i can use the soil that is here and just work in some compost to get get started..or should i just dump all the soil, or just build up on that soil with some healthy soil or just add to the old a mixture of vermiculite, peat moss and compost manure. . (am i making sense)

as to the planting in a garden this size how many plants can i plant per square ft. are they growing up. Or am i still planting in rows.
So how many peas can i plant per square foot?

and thanks Virgina for helping me.
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Old 04-27-2006, 04:38 PM   #3
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Hey Goldie, I've thought about becoming a Master Gardener. Do you like it?

Ani, I will try to answer your questions, but Goldie might know something I don't, so if she weighs in that would be good.

Just leave the soil you have(it contains microbial life that is important). Definitely add compost to the existing soil. I add a couple of inches or so and work it in just a little. You can keep adding organic matter through out the growing season and is recommended.
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as to the planting in a garden this size how many plants can i plant per square ft. are they growing up. Or am i still planting in rows.
So how many peas can i plant per square foot?
It is going to depend on the plant as to how many per square foot. For peas, you can probably have one plant every 10-12 inches since they will be trellised. As for corn, I don't plant mine in rows since I have limited space. I place a kernal about every 8-12 inches in a random pattern. This way they will have an easier time pollinating. Hope that helps!
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Old 04-28-2006, 03:48 AM   #4
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Hey Goldie, I've thought about becoming a Master Gardener. Do you like it?

Ani, I will try to answer your questions, but Goldie might know something I don't, so if she weighs in that would be good.

Just leave the soil you have(it contains microbial life that is important). Definitely add compost to the existing soil. I add a couple of inches or so and work it in just a little. You can keep adding organic matter through out the growing season and is recommended.
It is going to depend on the plant as to how many per square foot. For peas, you can probably have one plant every 10-12 inches since they will be trellised. As for corn, I don't plant mine in rows since I have limited space. I place a kernal about every 8-12 inches in a random pattern. This way they will have an easier time pollinating. Hope that helps!
Thanks Virginia- that will save me a ton of work. I'm going to try to get a pic of the plot after i take the boys to school. it's icky and rainy here but i'll have to tread over there. I'm not kidding the soild is nothing compared to what i had on the farm.

edited to add have you done squarefoot gardening? I've been looking into it and found a yahoo group on squarefoot gardening and several websites. it looks realatively easy, i was just really worried about the soil and how much to plant of each item. You know like squashes, peas, etc. They talk of trellising upward..but won't the roots get still get all tangled up? i'd hate to have my produce strangled out because i planted them to close together.

Last edited by stampinani; 04-28-2006 at 03:52 AM..
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:07 AM   #5
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edited to add have you done squarefoot gardening? I've been looking into it and found a yahoo group on squarefoot gardening and several websites. it looks realatively easy, i was just really worried about the soil and how much to plant of each item. You know like squashes, peas, etc. They talk of trellising upward..but won't the roots get still get all tangled up? i'd hate to have my produce strangled out because i planted them to close together.
I've never done square foot gardening. I garden in raised beds, but I would imagine the principles are close. I give smaller plants less space, and larger plants more space. Seems easy in principle I know. Pay attention to the labels on seed packets to find out how large the plants will get and it generally tells you a spacing requirement too. Most labels on plants for transplanting will tell you the same thing.

Here is a forum that is devoted to sq.foot gardening. I bet you'll get great answers to some of your questions there. Registration is easy and free.
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/sqfoot/

Another thing I do that many don't, is I caos garden. I don't plant neat little rows of all one kind of veggie...I do a combination of companion gardening and keeping similar plants separated. This way if they do come under attack by bugs, the bugs won't tear up one plant and move right on to the next one right by it. So if a certain bug loves a certain plant, I can catch any bug problem quickly and generally nip it in the bud before any other plants are affected. I hope that makes sense. I also intersperce herbs in with veggies to help keep bugs confused.

If a mod wants to move or split out the gardening posts here, I'll understand.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by virginia
I've never done square foot gardening. I garden in raised beds, but I would imagine the principles are close. I give smaller plants less space, and larger plants more space. Seems easy in principle I know. Pay attention to the labels on seed packets to find out how large the plants will get and it generally tells you a spacing requirement too. Most labels on plants for transplanting will tell you the same thing.

Here is a forum that is devoted to sq.foot gardening. I bet you'll get great answers to some of your questions there. Registration is easy and free.
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/sqfoot/

Another thing I do that many don't, is I caos garden. I don't plant neat little rows of all one kind of veggie...I do a combination of companion gardening and keeping similar plants separated. This way if they do come under attack by bugs, the bugs won't tear up one plant and move right on to the next one right by it. So if a certain bug loves a certain plant, I can catch any bug problem quickly and generally nip it in the butt before any other plants are affected. I hope that makes sense. I also intersperce herbs in with veggies to help keep bugs confused.

If a mod wants to move or split out the gardening posts here, I'll understand.
Square foot gardening's theory is simple. The spacing normally used in gardens is for easy access for machinery such as used in large agricultural businesses. Home gardeners don't require such spacing since most work is done manually.

Benefits include easy access to all plants (if using 4' X 4' plots), fewer weeds since the desired plants will shade the ground, and larger crops in smaller space. Easy access is great for removing any insect infestations by hand (bean beetles). Watering is also much easier as there is less surface area and water can be placed exactly where you need it.

Walkways between each four foot section can be left in sod, covered in mulch or straw. The sod walkways tend to encroach if the plots are not framed in timbers or other material.

The method works, but the soil needs to be amended quite thoroughly to give the plants a friable, loose soil. Lots of organic matter, (supplemented with perlite/vermiculite) and excellent drainage are imperative.

Rainsong--one more week and I can plant, finally!
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:21 AM   #7
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Here it is-split from the other thread.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:24 AM   #8
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Thanks Rainsong. I guess my raised beds are somewhat similar because they are not too much larger than the size you mentioned for the sq.ft. gardening. I have all the benefits you mentioned, accept I don't have to worry about drainage problems because the beds are raised.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:32 AM   #9
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Rainsong and Virginia-

thank you for all the information. I am going to check out that site today. I have seen on other sites where they do mention raised beds. That may be something to consider as well.
Virginia i'd like to hear more about the caos gardening. What types of plants do you plant in close proximity of eachother.
If i have anymore qts. i will be sure to post.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:10 AM   #10
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Virginia i'd like to hear more about the caos gardening. What types of plants do you plant in close proximity of eachother.
Well basically I just grab a handful of seeds of different veggies, and just throw them out in the soil. What ever starts growing is what works great together. LOL, just kidding. But I did meet a lady once that actually gardened this way and she swore by it.

In theory some plants help each other by throwing off by products the other plant can use, or to offer protection against certain pests. So this is why I like companion planting. I read a book on the subject, but I'm sure you can do a web search for a chart or something that tells what goes well with each other. I'll bet there is also a forum dedicated to the subject on the Garden Web site I linked to. Another reason I like companion gardening is because one of the natural consequences of it, is I don't have the same varieties right next to each other which creates the caos gardening. The caos gardening is another natural method for controlling pests.

But here is pretty much what I end up doing:
I plant basil and garlic next to tomatoes. Actually I plant garlic all over the place because it helps wards off insects, including aphids on many varieties of plants. I do the same thing with herbs too. One of my favorites is Borage. I like to plant it amongst curcubits, such as squash and cucumbers, because it's supposed to help ward off squash bugs. I also use Marigolds which are reported to be helpful this way too and they're pretty...which is a bonus! My favorite variety of marigold is the African Marigold, which is an heirloom variety and it smells good. Nasturtiums are great too for the same reasons, plus you can eat nasturtiums. They have a peppery flavor and are pretty in salads.

I plant eggplant near pole beans and peppers near onions or chives. some of my green beans are also planted to grow up a trellis, in the same beds as my butterfly garden. I also plant radishes here and there because they are an excellent trap crop. Which means the bugs love them and will eat those first before attacking other stuff. Radishes are so easy to grow too.

Oh and one other thing I thought of...some veggies are really heavy feeders. If you plant those together, they might end up stealing nutrients from each other.
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Old 04-28-2006, 05:54 PM   #11
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I am getting pretty pumped about my garden this year. This will just be my 2nd summer here in our new house. Last summer my garden was pretty lame, I did try to grow corn but figure I will buy from the farmer's stand on the corner this year. I'm not very good at gardening but for what I lack in talent I make up for in my enthusiasm and dreams of the most wonderful garden. For my Moms Day gift my hubbie is doubling the size of last years garden and is building a beautiful 4 foot high white picket fence around it with an arbor entrance. We live in a very wooded area and have a deer problem. Last year I had a makeshift uglier than sin 8 foot high deer fence around my garden. Now that I getting my beautiful 4 foot fence I am hoping the deer wont jump it. We really dont see much of them in the summer anyway, they are out in the yard bigtime in the winter. Anyway I am in search of ideas of deer repelant plants or practices besides the ugly 12 foot fence. Ideas anyone? Another thing I was wondering just out of curiosity is just how much time you all spend tending your gardens each day.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:19 PM   #12
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I was so excited to see this thread. I have been square foot gardening for 20 years, and would be happy to help answer any questions. The very best advice is to pick up a copy of Mel Bartholomew's book "Square Foot Gardening". This book has the answer to every question you could possibly have. It's easy to read and contains practical information plus great illustrations. I was lucky enough to meet Mel about 15 years ago when he lectured at GardenFest at the Rodale Institute. He was an engineer, and decided to combine his knowledge with his love of gardening to come up with the Square Foot idea. Using the info in Mel's book, I have trellised many many plants in 4x4 beds, even cantaloupe in nylon stocking slings! I have had success and failure. Some crops are challenging, such as corn. If you do succession plantings you can get even higher yields (such as radishes and peas followed by corn) all in the same bed. I have six 4x4 raised beds and one 4x8 raised bed---the 4x8 is for strawberries. If you add compost to these beds and rotate your crops your soil will stay healthy and friable for years and years. A soil test is always a good idea if you are having problems. And of course I need to mention....please try not to use chemicals!! Grow organically - use companion plants and herbs to keep away bad bugs. Throw away the synthetic fertilizers and make some compost. You will be healthier, happier, and most of all you will save money (so you can buy more stamps!)
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:40 PM   #13
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Great post Cindy! And Lunamom, gardening is every bit as addictive as stamping!

I usually spend a little time every day tending my garden. However during the first early months of spring I spend many hours getting things ready. I do crop rotation too like Cindy mentioned. It helps the soil from losing too many nutrients and if there is a pest problem with one plant, another plant might be resistent to it the next time you plant there.

I worked hard in my yard today, but Austin is about to be SLAMMED with huge thunderstorms. They are predicting hail too. Not again! My yard is just starting to recover from the last hail storms. I did manage to get fertilizer(organic)on the lawn though. So the rain will water it all in which is good.
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Old 04-28-2006, 06:58 PM   #14
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A head of lettuce was $1.69 today at the grocery store in this little town I just had to move to. ( I mentioned it to the checkout gal and she blamed it on gas prices and said to expect more prices to go up) So now I have even more motivation to grow my little garden into a big bonanza for me. I am excited to try the square foot gardening practices, thanks for the leads on where to find more info.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:17 PM   #15
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I need some of you guys to head up here!

We just got some shrubs b/c we are looking very Addams Family from the outside. Hopefully these plants will live and not make me look like I love crabgrass
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:19 PM   #16
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quick question-I have a small plot off of our house. Very shady-is there any kind of food that will grow well in mostly shade?
I have done herbs in beach pails off of my fence efore (tied to teh fence with the pail as the marker) but would love to be able to use the ground we have there. It is about 3-6'.

TIA
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:37 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by camsmom
quick question-I have a small plot off of our house. Very shady-is there any kind of food that will grow well in mostly shade?
I have done herbs in beach pails off of my fence efore (tied to teh fence with the pail as the marker) but would love to be able to use the ground we have there. It is about 3-6'.

TIA
Most vegetables need at least 8 hours of direct sunlight. Some shade in the late afternoon, when the sun is hottest, would work.

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Old 04-28-2006, 08:47 PM   #18
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how about any herbs?
(thanks-i was pretty sure no veggies would do well but I was hoping)
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:49 PM   #19
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how about any herbs?
(thanks-i was pretty sure no veggies would do well but I was hoping)
Nope. If it's green and growing, it needs sunlight.

High school biology--chlorophyll. Remember?

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Old 04-28-2006, 08:55 PM   #20
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yeah yeah-but some thing slike shade (like my hostas-the only plant I cannot kill!!!)
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:07 PM   #21
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yeah yeah-but some thing slike shade (like my hostas-the only plant I cannot kill!!!)
Well, herbs would grow, but they aren't going to develop properly due to the lack of sunlight. Hostas are shade specific plants--and you aren't going to be eating them.

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Old 04-28-2006, 09:24 PM   #22
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Virginia,
Shoot!! Your card, and the poppy seeds, will go out tomorrow. I totally forgot after talking to you yesterday!!!

------
My roses are PHENOMENAL this year. I'll have to take some pics tomorrow. The poppies are brilliant, too.
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:05 PM   #23
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I was thinking of you gardening gurus when I was digging and planting today. Hopefully this year the flower beds will not be deathbeds!

We went for easy and got:
Japnese Dwarf Holly
Eunymous (spelling?)
Albiea (sp?)
gosh I have no idea how to spell what we got-hopefully I can still keep them alive though!!!
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Old 05-01-2006, 08:54 AM   #24
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Britta you won't be able to grow veggies or herbs in shade. Both are sun lovers.
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