joanie
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:10 am
Location: Upstate NY

New- Veg Gardening w/ lots of ???

[img]https://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y25/autumluver/gardensmiley.gif[/img]

:D Hello everyone!

Im brand new to veg gardening. Ive been reading up on it and its a bit overwhelming!!!!! Maybe someone could give me some simple pointers to get me started. Im really excited to do this.

I have the ground all tilled..........Im in Upstate NY. OK...now what do I do to begin? :lol: I know I will learn as I go along but any help would be appreciated.

How do I get the soil ready?

How do I keep out squirrels and other animals?

How do I water?

Fertilize?

Any help you can give me would be great! Thanks!!!!! :P

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

How do I get the soil ready?


Purchase a bunch of manure, try local farms they are usually very cheap or free. Turn this into the soil now.

Also buy some kelp meal to add when you are planting. Don't add it just yet.

You could also buy some Rock Phosphate and work that into the soil now. That wouldn't hurt at all.



How do I keep out squirrels and other animals?


Squirrels.... good luck. I've heard that pepper works. Cayenne was the recomondation but, I don't like causing them so much agony and just use black pepper. You can buy the jumbo sized ones for fairly cheap.

Rabbit and Deer, a fence. For deeer it needs to be at least 6 feet high and for rabbits, it should go right to the ground with netting or metal mesh. (That works like a trick of deer as well.)

Other animals, well ask and hopefuly you'll recieve an answer.



How do I water?


Excellant question! :) What you want to do is Deep Water. That means watering less often and for long periods of time so that the water can sink deep into the soil. So, what I do is water for at least an hour, about once a week or as needed. I actually water for about 4 hours.



Fertilize?

The manure and kelp meal will work well but, you can buy liquid seaweed and liquid fish as weekly fertilzers as well. Dilute as per instructions on bottle. (Though I just add a glop to my watering can and filler up from there.)

Don't use synthetic fertilzers, they break down soil structure, kill beneficial soil biota and don't replace lost nutrients in the soil. Also, they can burn you plants.

In the fall, rake up the fallen leaves around your place and your neighbourhood and mulch them up with the lawn mower. Dig trenches in your garden and add the leaves to the trenches and cover the leaves with manure or coffee grounds or grass clippings and then either add another layer of leaves followed by soil or just cover with soil. I use the former method.

Then, lay a layer of leaves over the top of the soil of your garden followed by a layer of manure. Let this sit all winter long and in the spring you have luxurious soil that will give you copious amounts of fruits and vegetables. (And this stuff (the soil ammendments) are either free or dirt cheap.

Adding a little rock phosphate to the mix won't hurt either.

If you live near a coast and have access to a pickup truck throw some seaweed into the mix. Just add anoter layer of leaves on top of it followed by a final layer of manure.

I do many many layers in my SHEET COMPOST (described above) with different greens combine with different types of leaves (browns).

Don't use Oak leaves if you plan on growing corn and never use walnut leaves.

doccat5
Green Thumb
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:48 pm
Location: VA

Congratulations, welcome to the wonderful world of gardening! You might want to get your soil tested before you add a bunch of amendments. That way you'll know exactly what you need to add if anything. Check with your local extension office for a kit. They can explain how to properly gather the soil and explain any results you might not understand. Normally the fee is nominal. And it goes to your state lab, where they also maintain a database of this kind of information for further study.

You might want to google for wide row, raised bed gardening methods. It is a much more efficient way to garden. Much easier to maintain, and a far more efficient way to increase your production.

You want "COMPOSTED" manure for your beds. Raw manure is likely to burn your plants. And most farmers usually have plenty of both. Just make sure you ask. Consider setting up a compost pile and put the raw on that, add grass clippings, leaves, veggie waste anything except meat, dairy or grease to the bin, so you'll have your own compost for your beds. It's not hard to do. You can also use manure to make "tea". A couple of shovels full of manure/compost in a burlap bag or layered cheese cloth, tie off and then put it in a 5 gal bucket of water and allow it to "steep". That's your tea, wonderful stuff for your plants.

For squirrels and rabbits, cayenne pepper does help, but for deer. You need a fence.

Deep water in the morning at least once a week and mulch the areas around your plants. You can use a variety of different materials. Grass clippings are a good source. Go at least 2 inches deep with the mulch. It helps to retain the moisture and keeps down weeds greatly.

Do use oak leaves if you want to plant potatoes, which you can do on the ground not in it, btw. Oak leaves repel potato beetles. I think opabinia51 is refering to BLACK walnut leaves. Black walnuts are alleopathic and do not play nicely with many other plants, so it's a good idea to avoid planting veggies near them or using their leaves or wood chips from their bark. They do like bulbs and hostas etc........go figure!

Good luck on your garden!! :)
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

bflocat
Full Member
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:23 pm
Location: Western New York

Hi Joanie,

Where in Upstate NY are you? I'm relatively new to veg gardening in Western NY (I'm a transplant from Louisiana, which is MUCH different in terms of many things, including gardening), but my in-laws have an extensive spread outside Buffalo, and are helping us prepare our new garden up here now.

They are pretty insistent that we don't put anything in the ground until May 15th around here, and warm weather crops like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants until June 1st. So I'd just watch what you plant and when - they encourage erring on the later side of frost dates. We've had a stretch of 70+ degree days, and I've been eager to get out there with my seeds, but sure enough, snow is forecasted for next week!!

joanie
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:10 am
Location: Upstate NY

Thank you everyone for all your advice. :D It was really helpful...know at least I know where to begin! lol

Im from the Albany area.............Yes I know waiting around here is important..your inlaws are right there. The rule of thumb for this area is Memorial day.

Thanks again everyone for your help. Im anxious to get started working on my garden!!!! :wink:


Burnet
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:27 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

I might recommend getting _Square Foot Gardening_, too. Even if you don't use the whole square foot thing, it has a lot of very specific detail on how to do things. It's sort of like the difference between a cookbook that specifies "one small onion, diced" and a cookbook that actually tells you how to dice the onion and how to decide when an onion is small.

Burnet

doccat5
Green Thumb
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:48 pm
Location: VA

Burnet, that's an excellent suggestion. I find the square foot method is a bit to "intense" for me, but I happily adapted some his suggestions and ideas into my larger wide row, raised beds.

Many of Rodale presses books on organic gardening are also packed with great information. And now you can access Mother Earth, Farmer's Almanac etc on line. Wish we had had access to this kind of information when we were starting out. sigh But we did have a older neighbor who was so wonderful about helping us get going and explaining everything. He's passed but he's left a wonderful legacy for us and both my sons garden as well. He kept bees, taught the boys all about bees and how to handle them, taught me how to graft fruit trees. He was "paying it forward" and we honor his memory and all his help by doing the same thing. :) Gardening is a wonderful hobby!!
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”