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Full Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:13 pm
Location: Winnipeg MB

Give your 1 very best tip

If someone was fairly new to gardening, what general tip would you give them? I'm thinking things like "start composting" or which plants to start with. Which plants NOT to start with... Lol. Things you wish you knew when you first started.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1316
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:48 pm
Location: Ecuador, USDA Zone 13, at 10,000' of altitude

Triple-dig absolutely everything before planting. Before I figured this out, I used to wonder why my tomatoes cakked it at about 2' tall.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Anyone gardening in the western states/provinces: Sunset's Western Garden Book.

Elsewhere: Sunset's National Garden Book.

The Sunset climate zone system is a more successful way of selecting plants and cultivars that will succeed than is the USDA Hardiness zone system, esp. w/respect to summer heat and overall precipitation.

These books also contain sections directed at new gardeners: how to prepare soil, how to water/irrigate, what common vocabulary terms mean, etc.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Green Thumb
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: Western MA

Get to know your surroundings. Take a walk around the area to see what others have planted. See what seems to be prospering and take note of things that look problematic. Take special note of what's growing naturally...that can be a good signpost as to what will do well in your garden. Many garden plants have their roots (forgive the pun) in wild species.
Talk to neighbors, garden center staff, and members of any local horticulture/garden societies. They can often help you to avoid the pitfalls that they've encountered along the way. They can also provide insight as to what's native to your area (natives tend to be less work in the garden, as they have natural defenses to your local pests and weather conditions). They can also lead you toward cultivars that will do best in your area.

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Ozark Lady
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1862
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:28 pm
Location: NW Arkansas, USA zone 7A elevation 1561 feet

Order seed packets in the winter, get lights set up, and grow your own seedlings. When growing them, be sure to feed them and not just water and expect good results.

My homegrown transplants are so much stronger than store bought ones, and I can have them ready for when I want to plant, not when they want to stock them and sell them!

hit or miss
Green Thumb
Posts: 354
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: central Kansas

Go organic now! If you are starting out, start out right and don't become dependent on chemicals that may not be available in the future. Build the soil and you won't need chemicals anyway.

Read this forum daily! Lots of knowledge here.

Green Thumb
Posts: 527
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 10:41 pm
Location: South Carolina, Upstate

It generally can't wait till tomorrow...

Cool Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:07 pm

Mark your garden well if grown fruits and veggies from seeds. I used some plastic cups and a shapie marker until I could make stakes. The first hard rain, and the writing was gone....

Cool Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:49 am
Location: Southwest Missouri

Buy a good pair of tile setter knee pads and use them every time you kneel.

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Green Thumb
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:17 pm
Location: Western MA

Hope I don't get in trouble for posting my 2nd tip :oops:
Take pictures as you go. They're good reminders of what's planted where in the spring before everythings emerged. It's also helpful to have a dated record to look back on to see which times of year your design is successful and which still needs some work. (Or how perfect your garden is year round)

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