alischmally
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:01 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Where should I start?

Hey!

I'm looking to start growing veggies... what's the best place to start for a beginner?

Thanks! :)

megany
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Location: Maryland (Zone 7a)

This forum is a great start.

It's a lot of information to digest, but you can learn a lot by reading through past posts. And when you get overwhelmed, you can always ask a question (as I often do!)

When I was first starting off, I also checked out a bunch of books from the library. I read (and would highly recommend!):
  • The sustainable vegetable garden : a backyard guide to healthy soil and higher yields / John Jeavons and Carol Cox
  • All new square foot gardening : grow more in less space! / Mel
    Bartholomew.
  • Fresh food from small spaces : the square-inch gardener's guide to
    year-round growing, fermenting, and sprouting / R.J. Ruppenthal.
  • Starter vegetable gardens : 24 no-fail plans for small organic gradens /Barbara Pleasant
  • Mini farming : self sufficiency on a 1/4 acre / Brett L. Markham.
Hope that helps!
- Megan

alischmally
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Thanks so much! I'll be sure to look into those books! It is quite a lot to take in, but it's something I've always wanted to try, so I'm going for it! :)

megany
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Location: Maryland (Zone 7a)

alischmally wrote:Thanks so much! I'll be sure to look into those books! It is quite a lot to take in, but it's something I've always wanted to try, so I'm going for it! :)
Definitely go for it! That's what we did -- and so far, it's been great. Can't wait to actually eat something from our garden.
- Megan

hit or miss
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Start with telling us some basic info.

What specific veges?

Organic or?

Raised beds or God's great soil?

Containers possibly?

With a better picture of what you want to do we can help more.

alischmally
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Start with telling us some basic info.

What specific veges?

Organic or?

Raised beds or God's great soil?

Containers possibly?

With a better picture of what you want to do we can help more.
Doesn't matter what kind, just something easy to start with I have no preference :)
I thought organic meant that they're grown without any chemicals... is there more to it than that?
I'll definitely be using containers as they have to be grown inside until I move in the end of May. Transport will just be easier that way.

Thanks for the help in advance :)

megany
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alischmally wrote: I'll definitely be using containers as they have to be grown inside until I move in the end of May. Transport will just be easier that way.

Thanks for the help in advance :)
You could also probably just start seedlings inside -- and they'd be ready to transport at the end of May (I guess depending on where you live).

From what I've planted so far, I have to say lettuce seems to be pretty easy. It survived two crazy storms, and sprouted anyway. Sugar snap peas were also easy -- survived the cold, two storms, and is going really fast!

So far, tomatoes are also proving to be not too difficult. But we'll see if that's still the case after I transplant my seedlings outdoors!
- Megan

hit or miss
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Ah, now we're getting somewhere! Organic to me is no chemicals or manmade fertilizers. The key to container growing is to use a very good soil mix. I'm no expert in that area but a quick search of the forum should keep you busy reading for quite a while! If you are going to be moving, I'd suggest starting with some plants that will remain pretty small. A tomato, for instance, could get pretty large in the next month and a half and takes a pretty large, hence heavy, container to grow in. There may be some dwarf type of plants that would work pretty well for you though.

alischmally
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Thank you so much for all your help everyone!

I really appreciate all your input, and I'll be taking it all into account as I start planting!! :)

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rainbowgardener
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You said you are moving in May. If that means the beginning of May which is only a couple weeks away, I might just wait and plant once you get there. If you want to grow veggies indoors, the main issue is going to be LIGHT. Veggies need a lot of light, typically more than you can get just by putting them in front of a window.

You didn't say are you planting seeds or buying plants. If planting seeds for indoor containers, I would go with lettuce, spinach, radishes if you like them. They are quick sprouting and not as fussy about the amount of light, so you might be able to just put them by a window. And they don't need huge containers.

I agree with hit or miss, organic is without herbicides, pesticides (or other -cides, eg fungicides) and without synthetic (petroleum based) fertilizers. However the latter is more difficult to do in containers. You need light, fluffy, well draining soil for your containers. Compost, which is one of the main organic alternatives to synthetic fertilizers, tends to be too heavy and dense for containers. And containers need to be fertilized regularly because the nutrients get washed out of them. You can look around for potting soils with organic nutrients. More companies are putting out organic alternatives these days.
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angelikabertrand64
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Simply by what veggies do you and your family like?

I would start to find out what each member of my familie likes to eat.
Hence , no reason to put seed in the soil, and grow a veggie when your familie does not like it.
For mine I grew a variety of organic veggies. With organic , I mean, using organic soil, hauling in cow manure, mixing with vermiculate, manure and other organic things like leaves in the fall. I also use a bucket nearby my kitchen, in which I keep veggie scraps from my kitchen. That once a week gets hauled to my compost pile.

Make sure your garden gets a good 8 hours day worth of sun. Veggies need sun to grow.

Than build a raised garden bed. Mine are usually very long like 6 feet wide, and 12 feet long.
Than put manure, good soil, ( use compost soil from the landfill, = cheaper)
mix it all up with a tiller.

Than plan your rows. Lengthwise or horizontal wise.

Happy planting.

alischmally
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Location: Rochester, NY

You didn't say are you planting seeds or buying plants. If planting seeds for indoor containers, I would go with lettuce, spinach, radishes if you like them. They are quick sprouting and not as fussy about the amount of light, so you might be able to just put them by a window. And they don't need huge containers.
I'm growing from seeds. I'm giving spinach a shot, so we'll see how it goes! :) Thanks for the info
There are a lot of great gardeners on this forum, and they are willing to help.
Yes, that is something I've noticed already. It's great as a beginner to find a place where people are so willing to help you! :)
Make sure your garden gets a good 8 hours day worth of sun. Veggies need sun to grow.
It's next to impossible to get 8 hours of sun in Rochester... for those of you who don't know, it is maybe sunny every other week :-P so I was wondering if any of you knew of any inexpensive (and I'm on a college budget) plant lights I can use.

Thanks!

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rainbowgardener
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Re plant lights: Are you not planning on growing outdoors? If you are growing outdoors, there is so much more light even on a cloudy day outside than lights would add, I don't think there is any point to adding light. You would just block your plants from the available sunlight, since to do any good plant lights have to be directly above the plants and very close.

Just pick the sunniest spots you can. Look around and see what other people are growing. If you really don't have much sunshine, focus on cool weather crops: lettuce, spinach, chard, parsley, carrots, beets, radish, turnips....
They handle less than full sun better than the summer crops.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

alischmally
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:01 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re plant lights: Are you not planning on growing outdoors? If you are growing outdoors, there is so much more light even on a cloudy day outside than lights would add, I don't think there is any point to adding light. You would just block your plants from the available sunlight, since to do any good plant lights have to be directly above the plants and very close.

Just pick the sunniest spots you can. Look around and see what other people are growing. If you really don't have much sunshine, focus on cool weather crops: lettuce, spinach, chard, parsley, carrots, beets, radish, turnips....
They handle less than full sun better than the summer crops.
I eventually do want to plant outdoors. But right now, while I'm going back and forth between home and school, it just doesn't make sense. I'm graduating next year, so next summer, I will be putting everything in the ground :) For now, I figured having a plant light couldn't hurt.

I know my mom had one of those herb grow station things, and her herbs thrived with that.

garden5
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Actually, gardening doesn't have to be a high-maintenance hobby. This is especially true if you start small.

If you make your garden something of a small, manageable size, like a 4x8 bed, you can mulch it with hay and grass clippings, which will eliminate a lot of weeding. Additionally, you can fit your hose with a timer, put a sprinkler on the end, and have an automatically watered garden.

In addition to this, you can grow plants that are lower maintenance.
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