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Hitched_Gibson
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First garden planted. Now What?

I stopped by my local feed and plant store today and got a quick run down of what to do and I bought a few plants. From the sounds of what I'm reading, it was a little less than I should have bought. I got 4 tomato plants(planted in a square), 4 cucumbers(in a row with of couple feet of space), 8 corn( in two rows of four). But now that they are in the ground, what do I do beside water and weed?

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Kisal
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The cucumbers will want something to climb on, I think, so you might build some trellising.

I think you might want to plant more corn. It generally produces only 1 or 2 ears per stalk. Each kernel has to be pollinated individually, so more stalks will give you fuller ears. :)
Last edited by Kisal on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Hitched_Gibson
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I kinda thought they would, as well as the tomatoes. Is my corn going to produce anything beside tall green stuff?

P.S. thanks for the quick reply.

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Kisal
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The tomatoes don't climb, but they will sprawl on the ground. Most people either cage them or stake them. My personal preference is for staking, but a lot of our members have made some very nice caging. The cages you can buy are pretty worthless ... flimsy and not tall enough ... if you're growing full-sized varieties.

Check out the Sticky at the top of the Tomato Growing section:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25230

You'll probably get some corn, but the kernels might not be well-developed. You can find some information about corn in this previous discussion:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=190528#190528

If you click of Search The Forum, up on the tool bar, and type in something like growing corn or planting corn, you'll find more past discussions. :)
Last edited by Kisal on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Hitched_Gibson
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I have read through that one. Thank you. Maybe I'll get another plot going.

WinglessAngel
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tomatos :) and the rest :)

My fiance decided he wanted to take one of my beefsteak seedlings and make it his own so we are containering it and putting it on the front porch along with my homestead tomato plants and parsley and basil...tomato plants can also be trained to climb as well. Our porch has a wrought iron support that is perfect for climbing plants so his beefsteak will be trained to climb. In order to train a tomato plant to climb you need to let it grow its first good size branches and then carefully wind them up into the trellis or in my case, iron support. Then as new suckers, new young branches develop near the bottom, pinch them off to redirect the plants energy to grow upwards instead of down, thus training it to "climb." It's a space saver and somewhat easy way to grow tomatos, you just have to watch the bottom branches to make sure you're not getting too much growth to take away from the upwards growing. And yes you should think about planting more corn, a minimum of a 4' x 4' area to be planted is usually suggested. As well as staggering plantings of seeds every few wks. In some cases, Carrots and Kohlerabi, veggies that should be picked and harvested when the veggies are young and tender, can be reseeded back into the spot where you pulled the previous one from, taking are of reseeding, and keeping your harvest schedule going well into fall. :) Good Luck!

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Hitched_Gibson
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Well, I guess I should see about renting a tiller and expanding a bit. Whether they will make or not, all my plants were alive the second day so I'm optimistic.

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Hitched_Gibson
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I will definitely look into mulch. As far as fertilizer, I guess ill have to buy some. I'm way too far out from having compost. Isn't there an organic MG? And how does that work when you have much down already? Thanks much for the input, but you've opened a can of worms.

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Hitched_Gibson
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Well, we've got cows all around, just haven't got to know the people who own them. The feed store/garden center I stopped at sold me some lime and two bags of some good looking brown stuff to turn into the soil. I'll get started on expanding my corn and see how ambitious I get from there.

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applestar
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Did you say you bought corn as seedling plants? You could still sow corn from seed in Texas couldn't you -- temps not too hot and weather not too dry?

Around here you can only sow corn up to mid-July or so because after that there aren't enough growing days, but that wouldn't be a problem for y'alls. (did I use that correctly? :wink:).

Lord Phat
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I'm on my third year of gardening so I am still a novice as well.

I agree with the earlier poster: you probably want more corn. That should be enough tomatoes though but I don't know if you are trying to feed a family with slices, make sauce, etc. One thing for tomatoes, I recommend getting them from a local garden store. A lot of people in the Northeast got burned in 2009 when the big box stores had blight which killed a lot of crops (mine included).

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Hitched_Gibson
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Appear, I hope you aren't asking me if it's too late to plant. Haha. I figured plants was the way to go my first year. Less chances of messing something up.

Lord phat, don't worry about asking question about what I'm using it for. I don't even know that.

Looks like ill be getting some more corn and maybe beans or peas while I'm at it.

WinglessAngel
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fertilizer-cheap and easy to do at home :)

Hey there Hitched (again LOL) another thing you can do is (I say this bec I notice the chef hat you have on) save your coffee grounds and or tea bags! The coffee grounds and or tea leaves even after being used are great fertilizer for veggies and fruits...doesnt take much just a sprinkle a month will do you. I leave a bucket by my fiance's coffee pot so that when he makes coffee, which he does all the time, all he has to do is drop the grounds in the bucket and the filter in a small trash can beside it. If the ground is already wet no need to water in, but make sure the grounds are dry enough to crumble. When I am getting ready to use mine, I let them sit out on a cookie sheet to dry some. One large cookie sheet about 3/4" deep fed about a 6' x6' area, a 4'x12' area and one 3' x 20' area probable, im just guessing as i don't measure them, but no need to buy more fertilizer as well and if u get ur soil tested even better, that will help you determine how often....if your soil is healthy once a month is a great feeding and if not, once a couple weeks works well. Plus it's organic! If you can stay that way its always better! :)

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Hitched_Gibson
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Don't feel bad at all. It let's me know that someone has found relevance in my posts. I wondered about lime once I read about it. I figured I should buy it when the guy said, "it couldn't hurt"

WinglessAngel
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i don't know much about lime, but i do know that even with great soil, coffee grounds and tea leaves makes great feeding tools for your plants...even if they're already healthy it will help keep them healthy etc. :)

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Hitched_Gibson
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Very nice to know.

WinglessAngel
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You're very welcome...always great to know inexpensive ways to feed your garden....always expensive to start out, but make up for it in production in the end...so i try to save on the rest and feed with grounds :)

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Hitched_Gibson
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Dangit I'm getting excited. Just looked through CraigsList and found all sorts of poop, leaves and grass. Whoever thought I'd be looking for that online.

WinglessAngel
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We gardeners are a strange lot ;) LOL

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Hitched_Gibson
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If anyone is still reading my week old post, I'm trying to get a little more prepared. I've got some pallets to start a compost pile, along with sources of cheap/free compost material so that aspect is covered. I don't have the money for a tiller or fancy seed starting operations. Aside from some of the 48" shop lights and the itty bitty plastic pots, are there any other basics I need to get going?

Thanks again all.

WinglessAngel
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depends on what zone/area u live in, how big ur area/areas are, what you want to plant etc.....unless i missed u posting it before apologies :)

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Hitched_Gibson
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Well I don't know the technical area/zone, but it's southeast Texas. For now I've got an 8x8 area and a shovel. The area can be easily(logistically, not physically) expanded. I've got corn, cucumbers and tomatoes but would like to expand to peas, melons or whatever. I'm not picky. Just looking for other mid range priced items or projects that others consider basic that I might be overlooking.

WinglessAngel
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Hitched_Gibson wrote:Well I don't know the technical area/zone, but it's southeast Texas. For now I've got an 8x8 area and a shovel. The area can be easily(logistically, not physically) expanded. I've got corn, cucumbers and tomatoes but would like to expand to peas, melons or whatever. I'm not picky. Just looking for other mid range priced items or projects that others consider basic that I might be overlooking.
Well for SE TX Peas may not do so well....they need cooler temps to do well...i tried peas when i lived in NE TX and couldn't get the plants to grow much higher than about 2' and only produced enough snow peas for one dinner side dish and a handful of sweet peas....radishes might be a good option, fash producers and great space fillers in between plants....most radishes are best when young so above ground ones will be ready to pick from seed planting to harvest in about 3 wks....but be careful you're ground is not too full of clay as a lot of ground in tx can be...corn you deffinitely need an area of 4x4 minimum to do well and are not really the best to grow at home unless you have a lot of space to devote to them....in tx a lot of growers produce sweet corn and so price per pound you would be better off giving that space to something you really want to grow....melons are good for tx growing but i would stay away from watermelons, seeds can be expensive and they only produce at best for a home grower 3-4 melons per plant and can grow up to 20'x20' in diameter for one plant....try zuchini or summer squash...i posted a recipe for oven fried zuchini in the recipe forum....summer crookneck can be substituted in that recipe as well. if you have sandy soil, try carrots, carrot and radish tops are great healthy greens as well and so a good all around veggie, same for kohlerabi, which is a fast growing and best harvested when young veggie....those tops are edible as well and can be substituted for kollards as well and if you reallly like greens you could try the hardier varieties like chard or kale which might stand up to tx heat better. green beans were one that my ex fiance's mother grew all the time and always did well in the tx heat....plants get about 2'x2' and are great fast producers....kentucky bush is best ive seen and heard and can also be packed in a little tight. if u like peppers, ive seen jalapenos do great in tx as well can be harvested when young or fully mature at any stage. also the kholerabi can be packed in tight as they are best when picked young anyway, mine are planted 5-6" apart as i plan on picking them when the bulbs (above ground bulbs) are about 2-3" in size, and radishes can be planted 1" apart. did i miss anything? lol anyone else chime in please!

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