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Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 5:46 pm

Newbie questions

Hey everyone, I was just at home depot and decided to start a mini garden and realized it's been 30 years since the last time I did anything like this. I want to start it on my patio and I have plenty of room to put 6 foot long and maybe 2-3 foot wide planter. I want everything to be organic from start to finish, my kid thinks the store bought are the best and I want to show him what the real stuff tastes like. question is what is the way to go with this ? what type of soil ,planter type , seeds ?

My current situation is : I live in South Florida, my screened in patio faces North with full sun on it from about 8AM morning to about 1:00 pm, cucumber,green peppers,regular or Cherry tomatoes , radishes are what i had an idea of starting.

If anyone could help me out with info of your experience or have a you tube video that would great. Thanks again for any info.

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Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 9:09 pm

Re: Newbie questions

I am a newbie to this forum as well. I have a few tips. When growing in a screened in area make sure you have some sort of pollination going on. I use the square foot gardening method and it works fairly well. I mixed my own soil 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss. I used the guidelines for planting based on the charts in the book, the amounts to plant per square foot. It was very helpful for me starting fresh.

Cool Member
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:14 am

Re: Newbie questions

The Sq Ft method will work well but also amend the soil with things like Kelp, bonemeal, bloodmeal, Rock dust, greensand, worm castings, and don't forget a weekly (or bi weekly) compost tea feeding. I'm all about organic growing and will be glad to help any way I can.

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Re: Newbie questions

It is hard for me to understand how something planted inside an north facing screened porch is going to get full sun from 8 to 1. At the least, the screening filters the sun pretty much. And even if there really is sun coming in from 8 to 1, that's only 5 hrs, which is pretty minimal for things like tomatoes and peppers. We usually say 6 hrs of full direct sun is minimum. And a screen porch is usually attached to a house, which means that the sun is only coming from one direction. When things are planted in a field they are getting light from all directions.

You can try one cherry tomato plant (they get by on a little less sun than regular tomatoes, I think). If it produces well one plant will be plenty of cherry tomatoes. But my experience in trying to grow tomatoes in areas with not enough sun is that the plant grows, but it sets very little fruit.

Better things to grow in your less than full sun situation would be beets, carrots, chard, cilantro, kale, parsley, spinach.

If you have ANY sunny spot outside the porch, you could grow a tomato plant and a pepper plant in containers (10 gallon for tomato, 5 gallon for peppers) and they will do much better.
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