Thinking about my veg garden- need suggestions for a beginner

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Erica, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Erica

    Erica Active Member

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    Well last year I tried organic vegetable gardening for the first time. I felt I was very good to my garden yet a lot of it failed. This year I will know more but maybe you can give me suggestions on other things to plant or where I went wrong!
    Last year:
    Things that worked:
    Beans
    Peas
    Lettuce
    Onions
    Garlic
    Leeks
    Squash (spaghetti)
    Raspberries
    Potatoes

    Things that didn't work out:
    Carrots (I think I planted them too close because they became like mutants)
    Tomatoes- looked awesome all summer and then right before they turned red they all went rotton and black and it was a big stinking mess!
    Pumpkins- I do not know what went wrong! The spaghetti squash just took over and no pumpkins grew!
    Cucumbers- grew them under a pop bottle and they died before anything happened
    Peppers- forget it!Never even had a chance.
    Blueberries- grew them among the raspberries and got very little yeild. Maybe they got too much shade.
     
  2. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    Victoria B.C.
    Hi Erica,
    Ah.... the cool part about a new gardening season is you get to try things all over again. There are no mistakes only experiences. Every body learns.
    I can help you with a few tips I learned ( the hard way of course) on your 'stuff that didn't work'
    For your carrots.... sift the soil well and add a little sand. No rocks/sticks! The variety is also relevant to your success. Try two kinds this year. Also mix the seed with a little dry sand as you sow. They are more spaced out then.
    Your tomatoes suffered from blight. Take heart! It likely got a lot of people. Now there is a late and early blight, so no overhead watering and covering the plants will help.Talk to a good local gardener (neighbour) about how and when they avoid it.
    Peppers are terriffic but they are heat freaks. Here on the Island we don't get your nice summer heat.I make use of any nice southfacing wall, lots of sun and a rigged a-frame with poly might do the trick. Watch for ventilation though or you'll cook 'em. That was likely the fault of the popbottle houses.
    Cukes squash and pumpkins all are from the same family. Sometimes they cross pollinate. Again it's variety specific, but separate them out as much as possible. Watch for blossom end rot -get the kinds that are least suseptible to "wilt" (more than one kind). I pile lots of compost onto a 4x4 square cover with a chunk of black plastic,peg it down and slice a hole in the middle ,setting my cukes, zukes or squash in the center. The roots stay warm, moist and the vines and fruit are cleaner.
    Rasberries need to be in a sunny line without their blue friends, who need a couple of types to increase pollination rate, as well as a much more acidy soil.
    A few years from now you'll be looking back on all this laughing.
    Good luck
     
  3. Erica

    Erica Active Member

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    Thanks, once again, Anne! Your tips are appreciated. I truly do i hope I'll be laughing in a few years from now while eating a big huge salad that I grew myself!
     
  4. Boogamil

    Boogamil Member

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    I’m now going into my third season as a gardener. Can’t grow cukes, carrots get into a gigantic knot and my watermelons always taste like water. But tomatoes, peppers, peas and beans have been great to me.

    I love watching my kid’s faces when the pull out a carrot that looks like it’s been exposed to radiation.

    I’ve found that compost, mulch and watering from below have removed the majority of problems that I had in my first year. Also, I you have a compost bin grow pumpkins directly from the bin. They love the heat and the nutrients. Also the problems that I experienced with peppers and tomatoes were solved by starting them early indoors.
     
  5. TeresaS

    TeresaS Member

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    Bwaaa haa haa!!
     
  6. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    Late blight is horrible and after about five years of trying to grow tomatoes I finally gave up...for about the same number of years.

    However, I tried again two years ago - growing them in containers against a south facing wall with an overhang and also in my greenhouse.

    From my own experience I find the containers need to be at least five gallons and I fill the bottom half with manure, compost and a small handful of fertilizer. The top half with compost.

    I start the tomatoes inside and harden them off in the greenhouse in four inch pots before moving them to the large containers.

    My best success is with very early producing, determinate varieties and I have not had any problems at all with cherry tomatoes.

    Last year, I grew several different colours of cherry tomatoes and had to keep giving them away because there were so many.

    The biggest issue, for me, with the containers is making sure they are kept moist - I've killed or stunted a few plants by letting them get too dry.
     
  7. Dunc

    Dunc Active Member

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    The most common thought ,although not proven, is that the tomato blight is in the soil and is splashed onto the stems through rain or overhead watering. Those that are succesful are usually under the overhang or in pots, away from the rain.

    If you are planting in pots, watering regularly is so important that they don't dry out and cause stress cracking of the fruit. Just go to Wally-mart and buy some cheap sponges, and put them in the bottom of each pot, they will retain enough moisture to see you through a weekend.
     
  8. Erica

    Erica Active Member

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    Thanks for the sponge tip- do you cut them up into cubes?
    Erica
     
  9. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    a little late on a reply sorry. hope you still need some info. another good way to prevent the blight is to lay down black plastic over your planting row then poke a hole to stick in your tomato plant. I know it is really attractive, but it will help trap the moisture and heat, which tomatoes love. It will also help keep the water from splashing onto the plant which will decrease the likelihood of the blight. Utilizing drip irrigation will also help with blight prevention. If your soil analysis is in check, adding a little lime will ward off any blossom end rot. seems like a lot of trouble, but aren't tomatoes worth it?
     
  10. Erica

    Erica Active Member

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    Yes, Dixie, they are worth it- especially the "millions" ones! Thanks for the plastic idea- I will do that.
     
  11. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Added note to Dixie's suggestion- either use lporous andscape fabric, or run a soaker hose under the black plastic for irrigation. A simple hoop tunnel over your tomatoes (PVC pipe and plastic sheeting) increases warmth, keeps late summer rain off, and extends the season well into autumn.
     
  12. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    If the tomatoes went black on the ends of the fruit, you may have had blossom end rot which is a calcium deficiency. Foliar sprays have been used with limited success, or you could incorporate lime into the soil before planting. Do not overfertilize with nitrogen either. Hope this helps. I also recommend Steve Solomon's Gardening West of the Cascades to read. It's about gardening 12 months of the year in our West Coast Climate.
     
  13. Skidmark

    Skidmark Member

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    I've taken to putting my dolomite lime on top of my beds each fall after I have turned them. One year I put the powdered gray stuff on in the spring, turned the beds and planted. Everything came up and went yellow. Too much lime!

    I usually start my peppers indoors March 1, put them out to harden around the the middle of May and then plant them about June 1. I usually get lots of peppers. One year I grew anaheim chiles and they were just great!

    Garlic is a great one to grow here too. Put the cloves in the ground in mid-October and up they come when the season is right. No pests and I can put away about 5 pounds from a 4' x4' raised bed. The darn things won't keep if I braid them, so I peel them all and freeze them for the winter. If I have any leftovers from the year before I roast and puree them and freeze again. Makes great garlic bread!

    I miss growing carrots, but the rust fly eats them all before I get there and I am too lazy to put floating row cover over my whole bed to keep them out.

    Beets and cucumbers don't seem to do well for me, but I keep trying.
     
  14. greendude

    greendude Member

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  15. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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