TareqPhoto
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Location: Ajman - United Arab Emirates

Help to start gardening and planting

Hi all,

I don't know where i can ask my questions, so i chose this section, if it is wrong section then please i ask mods to move it to where it should be, but my post this will contain many different questions as i don't want to start many threads just at once, so i will ask my main important questions and later in the future i will share and post more if needed.

First of all, i just moved to my house about 4-5 months ago, and the person who was renting my house before did make a small garden in my house, say backyard and side-yard, i didn't measure the area of it but it is not that big, and it is full of grasses and some trees i don't know and don't want it or looking for to get rid of them and replace with new plants i want/need, and i am planning to use part of it, say 1/4 or 1/3 of it, if it will be good successful plantation then i may use another parts, but i am not in rush to use most of the area of my garden.

So, my question is, what is the best way to get rid of those grasses and then prepare it without much of those grasses remains and also without some pets or insects that may be left in the ground? i am worried if i transplant my plants then those grass will grow back again and some harmful weeds or whatever there left, so i want to be sure that i prepare part of my garden to receive new plants without most issues.

Second, i don't have any tools yet for measuring the salinity[or saltiness] of the soil or the pH, even the moist degree or whatever, so how i can prepare or make a good soil and another materials to be used in gardening? I bought some components and mix them and used them in pots and cups to start germinating and growing some plants, but i need to transplant them as soon as possible, but i can't tell if that mix is good enough or suitable or i need to change/add/remove something, i can't buy many components if you recommend as i am not sure i can find everything, but at least i need to have the basic things to start, and i hope you can guide me about basic components i can use.

I can take photos of my garden and my components and my pots to show what i did and what i am doing right or wrong, the weather here is between warm to normal nowadays, we have lots of sun and we expect to have rains within those coming months but not that much, so we will have sunny and nice weather with some rains time to time.

Sorry if my post is not in the right place, but i wanted to start somewhere here.

TareqPhoto
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Location: Ajman - United Arab Emirates

Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Marlingardener wrote:You are very wise to start small, and expand your garden later. It's easy to make a garden larger, but very heart-breaking to have to make it smaller!
About your grass and tree problem. The grass can be taken care of easily by simply placing cardboard over it. Get plain cardboard from boxes, no slick surfaces, and lay it on the soil and wet it thoroughly (this keeps it from blowing about in the wind). If you have some mulch, you can put it over the cardboard, which will make the area look better, and mulch is always a good thing.
Pests and insects in the ground? Well, dig up a 1' square section and see what is in it. If you have worms (good), if you have grubs or nematodes (bad). Take a photo and post it on the Organic Disease and Pest Control forum and you'll get help.
If grasses and weeds are growing in the area you want to plant, you probably don't have a salt problem. Again, post photos of what you have growing there now on the Plant Identification forum, and explain that you need to know if these plants grow in saline soil.
The trees, how big are they? If they are seedlings (1"-2" in diameter) dig them out. If they are bigger, cut them at the soil line, and douse them with household vinegar. You may have to soak them with the vinegar twice just to kill the roots.
You are taking a very rational approach to your new garden, and you'll have a thriving garden in a couple of years. Patience and wanting to learn are what leads to successful gardening, and you have both!
Thank you very much for your reply and answers.

Let's take your answers one by one so i can understand it much better, if something else i may ask or you may explain more, and hope you wouldn't mind that.

I am starting small because i don't want to turn my garden to fully only fruits and vegetables or herbs, i need to keep some what is there, mostly in the backyard as i don't think i will go to backyard to check plants, there is one man who do watering my garden so i can ask him if i need to check something or not, and that backyard contains large trees that gives shadows and also one or two trees have flowers that attract birds and some flying insects, nice view to our kitchen so i want to keep it that way, so i will take a small portion which is the side yard, i don't know how you all the yard but if the main house is nearly in the middle but more towards to the back side of my land, further away to the main gate i mean, so the back side i call it backyard and our indoor kitchen has the view to that, so i won't touch this part of the garden.

About the grass, i didn't understand your points about using the cardboard, do you mean to cover that grass on the area i need with cardboard or just take out the grass and add cardboard? i don't want to make new ground over the grass or the existing area and then put new soil, i just want to use the soil that is available in my garden, i just want to remove the grass and the trees, say the upper surface to little deep, then i can just add little more soil mix or repair that soil already there after i remove plants i don't need, my garden has grass grown already all over it and some plants i don't know, the trees are there since a while years ago by that person, i have to dig to remove them from roots, but the tress are only on the borders of the garden not in the center of the garden, so most of the center[or middle] of the garden is only grass and some weeds, so i am now sure if i dig deep to take trees out what will be there left? i don't want to plant new plants after i remove the trees and treat the soil then suddenly some of the previous trees roots will grow back again after a while, but i still want to know about this cardboard part, if you can show me some pics from anywhere about your point so i can understand it much better.

About pests or insects, i am not good in identifying the pests much, i know worms but not sure if most worms are look alike or different, and what is good and what is not good, i will dig and check out and i will take photos and show you [in proper section] if necessary so you can tell me what is it, but if i found those bad pests as grubs or nematodes then how i can get rid of it? i think the answer will be in another thread or you can answer here with few straightforward words, whatever it is i hope to get the answer, later i will do that.

I think you are right, if there is salty soil then i won't see those grasses and trees, i just mean the pH maybe as i read different plants need different pH soil, salt is bad to all plants except very few in general, so let's just forget about salt then, but i want to know how good the available soil and how i can replace or enhance it if possible or to clean it for new plants.

As i stated above, i will dig deep to remove the trees, i am not looking to add vinegar or burn or whatever, i will try to remove the trees completely from roots, if it will not remove the roots really completely then i will add vinegar, but if do add vinegar and then add soil, will this affect the soil later for new plants? i want to use the same place of those trees, no point to remove them from roots but keep some of the roots and add vinegar and then leave that place, i want to use every inch of the garden, if i keep most trees with some roots with vinegar then i will not have enough space or areas to plant new plants, so is there an effective way to remove the trees completely then use the same ground for new plants without wasting any space left from previous trees/plants?

Honestly speaking, i wasn't interested in the gardening or growing plants since very long time ago, i had it when i was a kid just as curiosity but while i was growing i never care about plants, just this year after suffering from very bad financial situations and i have one french friend i chat with online only or on my mobile whatsapp, he showed me the plants he is growing in his very small apartment, this suddenly grown my interest in plants and then i asked myself why not start to have plants i need or eat by myself so i can save money, so i bought some ready plants pots while i was renting a place but i didn't take care of them and they died, but when i moved to my house and saw my garden then the idea became stronger and i started to germinate seeds as he told me and i saw the results with germination, so i came here asking or looking for the next important steps after germinating as i can't keep most plants in those small pots then it is pointless, i will keep only very small plants or herbs that don't need large space with deep ground, but most what i germinated sounds need large and deep space as soon as possible, and as you said, i have no choice but patience, and those plants i germinated were just tests, i feel happy it grows, some still growing and some sounds nearly dying, not sure why but i think i have to check the space of pots and also watering rate, the soil sounds fine because all seeds i plants even after germinating did grow with leaves, but some just didn't grow more and some also went to brown color, so i know now how to germinate and it will grow, but next step is to prepare the ground so each plant can grow healthy and successful, most pots sharing more than one same plants and that may lead to not good growing and also size of pot affect it too.

Thank you very much for your answers, and i hope i can have more answers and guides so i can keep going [and growing plants] and show you the results and i live good enough with my plants.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Marlingardener wrote:Sorry I wasn't clear about the cardboard. The cardboard smothers the grass and weeds under it and doesn't allow them to come up again. It's a very easy way to clear an area of unwanted vegetation. When you are ready to plant, you can remove the cardboard (if any is left) or simply poke holes in it to put in plants. If you are using seeds, remove a strip of cardboard and use the exposed earth to plant the seeds. There is no need to add earth.
Good idea to leave the large trees--if you enjoy looking at them and they are beneficial for birds and insects, by all means, keep them.
If you remove some of the trees, you will be removing the root structure and the soil will be left behind, so you won't have to fill in holes. There will be a slight depression, but you can either add a little garden soil, or compost.
Gardening is mostly a matter of what works for you. Don't be afraid to experiment, ask a lot of questions, and most of all, enjoy your garden!
Thanks!

I will try to remove the grass manually simple way and some trees on the area i will use then i will see what else i can do after that, first i have to clear, then i will clean the remains after that, but i am having a hard time now about thinking of what is the area required and how many plants i want to grow or use and if i select/choose a specific area in my garden then how enough it is for my plants or what quantity of plants i can grow within that area.

Also, how i can divide that area? i germinated different plants between vegetables and herbs and fruits, so i don't want to mix them all in one specific area, and from what i read i found out that fruits trees need much longer time to grow and give fruits than most vegetables or herbs, so it is like i should start so quick with fruits before anything else, but i don't want to use most that area for fruits and then i don't have enough space for vegetables and wait years for fruits while i need vegetables more than fruits, i was thinking to divide that side yard[or side area of my garden to my house perspective] into 4 sections, 1/4 for vegetables and 1/4 for fruits, but now i am working on just 1/4 so what i have to plant on that part first?

Tomorrow i will try to take photos of my garden to give an idea of what i am talking about, and maybe add some photos of my grown plants in pots even the dead one, but then i don't know where i can post those photos.

imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

It would be a good idea to update your profile with your location and zone if you know it. It will make a difference in the advice you get. If you live in an area that is frost free, you can grow year round. If you live in the southern hemisphere, y our seasons will be opposite of the Northern hemisphere.

Start small. there is more to growing things than just planting seed. It will help to add some compost. It can be bought by the bag and a small garden would need 2-3 inches of it. You will need to add some starter fertilizer. It depends on if you are organic or not, but you want a complete fertilizer.

Since you have a small garden, you will be limited in what you can plant. Plant the things you like to eat but only as much as you can eat at one time

Pay attention to spacing since when you plant the garden will look bare, but you need to plant based on the size of the mature plant not the size of the seedling

radishes, beets, carrots = 2-3 inches apart
Beets= 4 inches apart
green onions, chives = a few plants can be planted in a mound or circle or row an inch apart
Peas= will need something to climb on 4 inches apart
Asian greens, spinach, lettuce = 10-12inches apart
Broccoli, kale, Brussels's sprouts take a lot of space = 30 inches apart

If this is your winter season, then grow cool season crops like the ones listed above

If this is your spring, summer then grow crops for the warm season like beans, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, okra, sunflowers.

Your garden should get at least 6 hours of sun.

I prefer to plant larger plants like eggplant, zuccini, tomatoes, okra, cabbages outside of the veggie garden in pots or in other places in the yard. They take up too much space in the garden and things like tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and herbs do fine in pots. Tomatoes, eggplant, citrus trees, and peppers can live more than one year and give more fruit in a frost free zone.
This site has a chart for how far apart things should be planted and you can click on each plant for more information
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/ ... -chart.htm
this is an interactive garden planner. It is based on the square foot garden plans.
https://www.vegetable-gardening-online.c ... plans.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Location: Ajman - United Arab Emirates

Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Thank you very much for your post reply.

Well, i updated my location and zone, and to be clear i live in UAE, and it locates in that region where it is very hot humid in the summer and just nice cold in winter, frost free and not much rain season as well, and sure we have the sun for hours, we are almost in above of the center of earth so we don't have that Summer saving day time or winter or whatever, we have neutral time and not much big different between day and night during the whole year, only 1-2 hours maximum if possible.

I said i will start small, my garden in my land is in L shape, back side and say left side of the house if you look at the house in front of you, and i decided to use only that left side of the garden, and dividing it into quarters, or thirds, and i will start with 1 quarter first, and i was thinking to go with vegetables, but as most vegetables can be done in pots and not all taking big spaces, while fruits most what i need are big trees if i know, but fruits are taking much longer time to grow, so i start another quarter later when i am done with vegetables/herbs plants first.

Sure i will go with what i eat first, and i was thinking to divide that 1 quarter into rows in 2 directions, but i can't decide what to put into each row and what is the suitable spacing in between, and how i can move around inside that quarter if the plants grown taller or bigger, and how i water that as i don't have a system for that and we just do it manually, sometimes i feel that i just go randomly and without planning in advance and plant whatever here and there with enough spacing and just watch, but i really want to make it more arranged or managed garden even in very small area, this will help me to identify my plants better.

Also, when i can transplant my potted seedlings, and if it is better to start over with that garden and just plant the seeds after they are germinated indoor, i am new to all this and i want to start correctly or properly so i don't look back for years to fix or keep trying again and again or starting over and over when it failed, i actually saw my seeds germinated indoor and some did grow when i planted in the pot directly without germinating indoor out of soil/pot, so it gives me the idea that i can have more success of germinating seeds in no time, but the problem is after those seeds germinate and coming out of soil new life, i want to make them grow to have the fruits, not just watch them grow slowly or unhealthy and die day after another.

Soil richness or good enough is really i don't know, if the seeds germinated and grown out of that soil does that mean the soil is good enough? so if the soil isn't good it will never germinate and coming out of the soil even as little seedlings? i want to be sure that the soil i will use can last for years or at least for as long as any plant can grow higher and healthier so it can produce fruits, i also didn't mention about the diseases i may face with my plants and what kind of treatments that is not harm for plants and us who eat.

I was thinking to list or post a table of what plants i am planning to grow and what do you think is the best way to start with them, you know about where i live so you got the idea of the weather already, we have hot/warm seasons more than cold/nice, and from what i read, the sun is one important factor to help the plants to grow and produce food, so we have plenty of that, but in summer, the heat is un/ir-resistible, so i can't tell how long my plants can stand it, now we are in the cold nice season and it will last say for almost 3-4 months, and there is the sun available most of the time and not much clouds or rain, so i hope within 3-4 months most plants grown enough then when the summer and heat starts again it can handle it better and i will water more or even cover it if needed, but you said if it is frost-free so it can be active year around then what about that extreme head and humidity with heat? i bought some plants in pots, and i was watering them almost everyday, i forgot to water them in about 2-4 days and they died all completely not even after i water them back again, and they were grown enough and few had fruits too, but those are gone now, so if frost may kill plants or stop them from growing better or normal, then the heat here will kill even humans, so i am not sure if i start now or start later how i can protect my plants during the summer.

One last thing, out of my house's outdoor fences in the main front side, there is a very small area next to the street, and isn't covered with interlock blocks, it is for plants, just sand and grass and 1 palm tree, i was thinking to keep that palm tree there but remove all those grasses or weeds and re-treat the soil again, it sounds that soil or sand is just sand and no potting soil or fertilizer there, but i was planning to plant only some seedlings that i mostly don't need to eat or it is fine if people and passengers can use it, one f the plants i thought about is the sunflower, nice view out of my house along the street, but not sure what other plants i should put there as a view or smell or even that can give eatable seeds as the sunflower itself, any idea?

Hope later i can ask about what fertilizes to use or soil or potting mix and what is the percent of each or how to enhance an existing soil if i don't want to remove completely and replace to save money.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Wow that's a lot and a little hard to pull the actual questions out, but I will try. I know you said you are starting small and using quarters or thirds of the garden space, but that doesn't give much clue to the size plots we are talking about. What are the dimensions of the bed you want to plant now, (e.g. x meters by y meters)?

Q. "I was thinking to divide that 1 quarter into rows in 2 directions, but i can't decide what to put into each row and what is the suitable spacing in between, and how i can move around inside that quarter if the plants grown taller or bigger, and how i water that." A. Imafan gave you a good reference on plant spacing for some common veggies. Anything you grow from seed, the seed packet will tell you spacing. I don't think it is very workable to have rows in two directions in one garden bed, though I sometimes put small stuff all around the edges of a bed with larger stuff, which gives the effect of a little row across the short sides, but just on the outside. The way many of us deal with moving around inside is not to. Make your bed no wider than you can reach across (generally about 4 ft or 1.2 meter). Then it can be as long as you want it and just a path between it and the next 1.2 meter wide bed. Typically (for us in the northern hemisphere anyway) garden rows are planted on a north-south orientation. That way the sun path can go east-west across them and plants don't shade each other out so much.

Q. "when i can transplant my potted seedlings, and if it is better to start over with that garden and just plant the seeds after they are germinated indoor" and should some seeds be planted directly in the ground in the garden? A. When to transplant seedlings depends on what you are growing and what the weather is like. This kind of specific advice is very hard to give from half way around the world and very unfamiliar with your kind of climate. (You would be best off to find some local gardeners to talk to/ correspond with. Here's a Facebook page of vegetable growers in Dubai: https://www.facebook.com/Dubai-Veg-Grow ... 607648115/ ) So coming up in your "cool season," you will be expecting temps to still be 25 degrees C or more (77 deg F), is that right? If so, your "cool season," is about like summer for many of us (and your summer is just un-imaginable!). Many cool season crops like lettuce and spinach are just not going to do well for you at any time of year. If you really want to grow cool season stuff like that, I would forget all the stuff about 6 hrs of sunshine and find the shadiest spot you can for them.

You still have said nothing specific about what you are growing, what those seedlings are, or what you want to grow. Here's a listing of veggies that people grow in UAE: https://www.expatwoman.com/dubai/monthly ... _8074.aspx

Q. " Soil richness or good enough is really i don't know, if the seeds germinated and grown out of that soil does that mean the soil is good enough? so if the soil isn't good it will never germinate and coming out of the soil even as little seedlings?" A. No, just because a seedling germinates does not mean that there is enough fertility (enough nutrients) in the soil to support the growth of a full size plant and support fruit production. But a tiny seedling needs very little nutrients, so it may sprout in poor soil. Sandy soils are generally very well drained, but lacking in nutrients. You are almost certainly going to need to amend your soil to start with (adding compost, well aged composted manure or other organic materials) and to fertilize along the way. For fertilizing, just get yourself a good general purpose fertilizer and apply it (maybe at half strength) once a month and you will be fine.

Q "i want to be sure that the soil i will use can last for years or at least for as long as any plant can grow higher and healthier so it can produce fruits, i also didn't mention about the diseases i may face with my plants and what kind of treatments that is not harm for plants and us who eat." A. soil always has to be replenished. Even good rich garden soil will get depleted over time as things are produced from it. That is why I always compost, to be able to keep giving back to my soil. Garden soil does not need to be replaced, just replenished with fertilizer and organic materials like compost. Soil in pots usually has to be replaced every year or two. What I do is dump all my pots into a wheel barrow or something, add equal amount of new potting soil, mix together and repot. (But that is if the things growing in the pots were not diseased. If they were, I just dump that soil in the compost pile to be biologically processed.) We can talk about diseases and treatments for them when the issue arises.

"I was thinking to list or post a table of what plants i am planning to grow and what do you think is the best way to start with them," A. Yes, that would be helpful. Let's start with now and worry about summer later. "i bought some plants in pots, and i was watering them almost everyday, i forgot to water them in about 2-4 days and they died all completely" Yes if you are talking about summer, 45 deg C (113 deg F), I don't know what can withstand that. If you can grow things in summer, it would have to be with shade, plenty of water not only at the roots, but misting the leaves. Maybe put a shade cloth roof over them (admits some light, but filters a lot) and spray water on that for evaporative cooling. Like I said, we can talk about that later.

Q ideas for stuff to grow along the sidewalk strip? A. That would be a good place to grow desert adapted plants, so you don't have to worry so much about amending your soil and constant watering. Some of the mediterranean herbs do well in sandy soil and not a lot of water. That includes things like sage, lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon. They are fragrant and flowering, you can harvest them for cooking, bees and butterflies like them. So my suggestion for that strip would be to make it an herb garden. It will be lovely!

Best Wishes!
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

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Thank you very much for your answers, and i am sorry that i asked a lot too much questions, but wanted to have more answers to get a better idea what i am doing or what i should do, and you did a great job.

So, i will start now with listing my plants i want to grow, as following:

Vegetables:
- Tomatoes [Important]
- Onions [Important]
- Cucumber
- Green Pepper
- Peas
- Potatoes [Important]
- Beans
- Sweet Corn
- Carrots
- Spinach

Herbs:
- Coriander or Cilantro [Important]
- Parsley [Important]
- Mint
- Saffron [important if i can grow it successfully]
- Thyme [maybe]
- Cumin

Fruits:
- Mango [my favorite fruit, even my daughters love it the most]
- Lemon [important]
- Orange [important]
- Watermelon [for my daughters and wife]
- Melon [for me]
- Strawberry [for my daughters]
- Black Berry [for my daughters]
- Apple [the yellow one for all of us, i like only yellow/green apples, my daughters like all colors]

I already planted some of above: Tomatoes, lemon, cucumber, lemon, sweet corn, coriander, parsley, mint and beans but only few are successfully growing yet, i will keep the good growing one and i will start again with what failed if i know why it failed to grow.

Later i will measure my garden or the area i want to use, i did take some photos of my garden but i don't know where i should post them, it may not give you the idea of the dimensions, but it will give you the idea of my garden and what i am talking about. And with dividing, i think i should not overload with many plants in one small area or patch, maybe i will go with 4 rows, and between each row i can give about 1' apart or even 2' if the space allows, and i am thinking to grow different plants in each row but in same sequence [Example, 1st row: Onions - Tomatoes - Sweet Corn, Lemon, then second row i repeat the same in same order], hope you got the idea, but i can think about that later, if you see the photos or if i know how to draw a diagram that will give an idea, i prefer to use the garden ground than pots, i don't know how big or healthy most plants can grow in pots anyway, and i don't have big pots and i don't want to waste money on big pots, not cheap here.

Climate, well, i can always use my house back side shades, but the heat is strong even in shades, and i really don't know if covering the plants will help anyway, but i have no choice, i see most plants can handle the heat when they grow very very large, i have some trees in my backside of the house and they are still producing fruits or flowers regardless they didn't get water enough, i moved to my house nearly of end of the summer and i ignored to water them for about 1 month, but when i asked the man to water them daily they return back alive, i think they didn't die yet even after long time no watering, so maybe they were strong because grown in the ground, but you are expert and you know about the climate extreme and lack of water effects, if i plant now i have someone who can water them regularly.

About soil, i was meaning about enhancing the soil without replacing it completely, i mean if i started with the right mix of soil then i just don't need to change it after years, i just have to add fertilizer or add more compost if needed, but not to take the soil whole completely and replace it with complete new soil, i meant if i used the right soil for beginning then i don't worry about it later and i just add nutrients so it can keep going for years and years, and hope it will be enough to make plants/seedlings grow good and big then it is done, let's say i am starting these days, end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, so i hope to see my plants grown good until end of next coming year.

About that sidewalk or out of fence garden, you gave me some ideas of which plants, but honestly speaking i want to pick specific plants, i said sunflower as one option, and from plants your mentioned i think i want to go with lavender and maybe oregano, my wife was thinking about basil flower, the space is very small and with one palm there so i will choose only 2-3 plants as maximum, sunflower, Lavender and something else not sure what.

I really don't know if it is easy to gardening or not, somehow it sounds easy, but at the end it needs a lot of following and caring, and i really don't know how long i will take care of my plants, i feel i am able to follow them for about 1-2 months in beginning, if it didn't work within 2 months then i don't think i will give it a try another months, and i talk about those plants that can grow fine quick in 2 months, but another plants i will just give food/water and sun and wait it is grow normal if it takes so long to give fruits, but herbs from what i read they don't need so long time to grow and give leaves.

Thanks again!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Since you haven't given us any idea of size, I don't know if it is reasonable for you to grow all that or not.

You are clearly a beginner and very new to all this, I think it will really help you if you measure your space and then draw it to scale on paper with the beds you want, the rows you want, etc.

You said "[Example, 1st row: Onions - Tomatoes - Sweet Corn, Lemon, then second row i repeat the same in same order] You do know that lemons grow on trees, right? Dwarf lemon trees will get 8-10 ft (2.5 - 3 m) tall and wide. Standard lemon trees maybe as much as twice that. Standard citrus trees would need to be spaced 15 feet apart in rows with 25 to 30 feet between each row. However of course, unless you are going in the lemon business, you would only need one, and they are self- fertile.

If you have a little lemon tree seedling, you can plant it in your garden bed with other things. But unless it is in a container (large), if you plant it, that is where it will stay. In subsequent years, it will shade a lot of things out, though the things like lettuce and spinach that need the shade in your climate might be grown under the tree canopy.

So when you are drawing the plan of your garden, you need to think about where to put your fruit trees, away from your garden beds, where they won't shade the garden too much.

RE: "About soil, i was meaning about enhancing the soil without replacing it completely, i mean if i started with the right mix of soil then i just don't need to change it after years, i just have to add fertilizer or add more compost if needed, but not to take the soil whole completely and replace it with complete new soil, i meant if i used the right soil for beginning then i don't worry about it later and i just add nutrients so it can keep going for years and years, and hope it will be enough to make plants/seedlings grow good and big then it is done, let's say i am starting these days, end of 2015 and beginning of 2016, so i hope to see my plants grown good until end of next coming year." As I said, you are never going to remove/ replace soil that is the ground, just keep adding to and amending it. Soil that is in containers you will replace every year or so. But I wasn't sure what you meant about "so i hope to see my plants grown good until end of next coming year"

Do you know the difference between annuals and perennials? Annuals are plants that are genetically programmed to have their whole life span in one growing season - so the seed sprouts, the plant grows, matures, flowers, makes fruit or sets seed and then dies from spring to fall. Each spring they have to be started new from seed. Perennials are plants that will come back year after year. Depending on the plant and the climate some of them may die back and disappear in winter but come back on their own in spring and some maybe evergreen and just keep growing year around.

Of your list: tomatoes are usually grown as annuals in areas with cold winter. If your climate never goes below 65 deg F (18 deg C), then one tomato plant may keep going for a few years- in warm climates they are short lived perennials. Onions are slow growing annuals. You need to get the right variety for your climate. Cucumbers, peas, beans, corn and spinach are annuals. Green peppers are tender perennials, which should grow for a few years for you, but are killed by frost. Likewise potatoes would be perennial for you, but sweet potatoes would probably like your climate better. Carrots are actually biennial. In my climate they sprout and grow and make an edible year the first season. If they are not pulled, they will die back in winter. The next spring they sprout again and then bloom and go to seed. But at that point the root is no longer edible, so they are usually treated as annuals. Parsley is in the same family with carrots and has the same growing pattern. Mint and thyme are perennial as are lavender and oregano. Basil is annual. Saffron that we use in cooking is the tiny stamens of the crocus flower. Crocuses are bulbs that are planted in fall to sprout and grow the next spring. But they are plants of cold countries that need winter chill. You would need to plant your crocus bulbs in moist potting soil and then keep it in the refrigerator for at least six weeks. And of course since each flower is only going to give you a couple teeny strands, you would need to plant hundreds of them to get any useful amount of saffron. I would cross that off your list.

In general it is best not to grow perennials and annuals mixed together, because the perennials are going stay put where they are for as long as they live.

Of the fruits you mentioned, mango, lemon, orange, and apples are trees. Watermelon and other melons are large spreading vines that grow over the ground and are annuals. Strawberries are perennials. Blackberry is bush like canes.

I hope this helps you sort out your thinking a bit....
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TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Ok, i will draw my plan as soon as possible, in fact i can draw it now easy because it is in L-shaped, but i need to add the dimensions to give a better idea and also i should draw my divisions i am looking for, i hope this will not take long time to be done, i will try tomorrow morning to measure my garden, let's say i will measure only that side part as it is the only one i want to use and leave the back side untouched.

Ok, about lemon as trees, maybe i was misled by some youtube videos of people growing lemons in pots and getting fruits, so i didn't know that it can grow much bigger than that, and i really don't care how small or big it can go as long it can give me fruits, but sounds that the lemon can grow really big or high and that may take a lot of space around it, so i will leave lemon to another part, in fact in my garden i am doubting with 2 trees that they look like the same, and something inside me keep telling me that it is either lemon or orange or similar fruit, but the leaves mostly are yellow and green and no fruits yet, that is why i can't tell what is that tree, maybe i have to take that tree photos and you help me to identify it, if it is lemon then i will take out lemon from my list and i saved a space then.

I will skin the soil part because i think i got the idea and nothing much to ask about here, i think i am fine with soil so far.

About periods as you explained, i really don't know that at all, or let's say even if i know each plant category as season or period i really don't know if that will help much, sometimes the difference in climate or manipulating the climate may change that season or it doesn't have an effect? i have trees that don't give fruits in one year or two or longer, i understand it, but i really can't understand why is that, and even with that nature of plants, will that stop me to grow some plants because it may take longer periods for blooming or flowering or whatever?

My list is just as wish, and you saw i marked some with important, and with saffron or crocus sativus i said if i can grow it successful, if not then simply it is out of the list, i just like to test, if i had the seeds i may give a test for little seeds and watch, if it didn't work out for 1-2 years then simply i know that it can't be done in my area or garden or even indoor if possible, everything is with science and experiment, i will never know if that saffron flower can't grow successfully here if i didn't try it even if i read all articles said that, but i will be really happy if it will work, so is the climate the only reason of failure?

Tomatoes, oh tomatoes, sounds this plant will give me the headache of growing it, many many articles and topics about tomatoes and i really feel that it is a very sensitive plant, it may grow successful or with one mistake i may kill it, so should i give it a try and do my best to follow the tips and guide or i just forget about tomatoes as it needs lots of tips and i will definitely fail? tomatoes is one of my main top priority plant i want to have, i really will be happy if i can get tomatoes and coriander and say onions grown successful and all other plants failed i will be happy, because i focus on the main plants i need, i add another plants as bonus such as potatoes or sweet corn or strawberry, but i will really care more about the things i use most then i can worry later about anything else, i hope tomatoes can work fine in my garden or pots.

About that rows i posted as example, it is just an example, i chose those plants as random, didn't mean i will plant them as i mentioned, watermelon is growing horizontally so it is a ground based plant and it will spread wide as you said, and the fruit is huge and heavy so definitely this needs a separated alone beds then, in fact i was thinking to use that part quarter or closer for only vegetables or plants that don't grow large high or give much fruits big, maybe half of that space with tomatoes few seedling to give space and the other half of quarter i may go with carrots or spinach or even onions, then later another time i can prepare another quarter of my garden for something else if the first quarter working good, but i hope when i draw my plan and give dimensions then you can give me a better idea about how to divide it correctly or how to use that space, i feel you can't guess or give me better answers until you know better about my garden and space and dimensions, then i want to see what you can do if you were in my place with my garden.

Last thing, about fruits, i saw that the trees in my garden in that part i want to use are only on the border of that part, some next to 2 walls and a fence, and somehow there is a space between each tree, i think a safe spacing, well, i was thinking that i don't need all those trees, so i may remove some of them say 3-4 trees and replace it with fruit trees if that help to grow them better, but i have to know if those space there is enough as you shown me that the fruits may need further space than normal trees, so later i will give you the idea of the trees existing and the spacing then again give me your suggestions.

Thanks very much for your answers, and i hope you just keep taking me as narrow or zero knowledge slowly, any answer you give me are noted and it will help for sure, and i don't expect that all guides i can get will for sure work with me, my plants may die for any reasons, but i do my best with your answers, keep up your answers and i will update my details sooner or later.

imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

I looked up your climate. You have most of the rain between November and April with a minimum temp around 15 degrees centigrade, mid 60's F. Peak summer temps are around 38 C or 102 F with very little summer rain.

The best time to plant heat lovers would be between September and February. They like temperatures between 15- 30C.

https://en.climate-data.org/location/3229/
Your temperatures are close to what they are in Phoenix, Arizona

https://www.phxgardening.com/grow-vegetables.html

During the hottest months of the year when there is no rain you will need to water more and not many plants will grow or fruit over 100 degrees. Only heat tolerant tomatoes can still produced fruit but even they will have problems. During the hot months, it might be best just to leave the beds fallow or cover them with a thick layer of mulch or solarize.

If you want to garden in the summer, you would need to garden in the shade or under a shade cloth.

Mangoes, lemons. avocados and other fruit trees will take years to bear fruit. If you get a grafted tree they will bear sooner. Lemons can be grown in pots, it will keep them smaller. Mangoes and avocadoes can grow 50-80 ft tall so they will need to have a lot of room to grow. You don't want them near the vegetable garden or underground utilities. They have very large root systems.

vines like melons, squash, cantauloupe, watermelon, and pumpkins need a lot of room. Unless you allow them to trail outside of the vegetable garden one vine can take over the space.

Most of the herbs can be grown in pots. Mint is invasive so it is best in a container.

Onions, potatoes, and carrots are staples but unless you have a lot of space, you will not be able to grow enough to meet your year round needs. For me they are cheaper to buy than to grow. Onions can only be planted around October -November in order to mature in time. Green onions on the other hand, can be grown year round.

tomatoes, cucumber, pole beans, peas, and some squashes may need to be trellised to get straight fruit and to keep fruit straight and to conserve space. Support poles or trellis should go in at the same time as they are planted.

it is not that easy to kill roots with household vinegar and vinegar, like salt will ruin the soil. Cut the tree down drill holes in it an pour potassium nitrate in the holes, water and cover the stump with plastic. The potassium nitrate will aid help to decompose the wood. Here the product is called stump killer or stump remover and is sold in garden shops.

Corn cannot be sown in a row, it needs to be sown in a block you will need a minimum block 4 x 4 rows. Corn should be planted 12-18 inches apart in all directions. If you plant in a row, there won't be enough pollen to fill the kernels of corn.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

WOW, another quick answers, thank you very much again!

Ok, good you've got that climate of my area or town, but i have to correct that in peak summer it goes to around 48C not 38C, wish if our summer can only increase up to 38 or even 40C but it go higher than that, and with humidity we sweat quicker as if the temp is 58C not 48C, so keep that in mind, about the lowest also it can be different but the average is 15C, one year it can be minimum 10-12C another year minimum 18C, and it is only that much cold in the early very early morning before the sunrise, once the sun is getting out then it goes from 10-15C up to 20-25C, unless there is clouds then it may stay lower than 20C.

I am not sure what kind of covers i can use or solarize, but sounds i have no choice, either avoid planting those that are heat-hater plants or i just grow and whatever happen let it happen and i do my best to cover or water more to keep it alive or handle longer, maybe not in first year, but second year it may handle it better if it keep growing after first year, i will try to do something about it if possible.

I have containers, so if i transplanted some from those then i can keep those containers for herbs or smaller plants such as mint or similar, maybe even for roses if i can grow that as well, but i will think wisely about which plants to grow in ground and which in pots or containers, one by one, and sure i will come here and talk in steps for each plant so i can follow it correctly to the end, patience is the key here.

Sounds the trees in my garden let's say in that part i want to use aren't that so much large, i think the tallest is nearly 3m and all the other is between 1.5m and less than 3, only the part in the backside has some so large trees, almond is one of those tall trees in the backside, so maybe this can give you an idea about removing those trees without issues, maybe they don't have very strong roots or so thick heavy woods, i will try to check few tress removal if it doesn't give headache then i will do the same for others, i may leave those i don't need to remove.

I included the photos of my garden the part i am talking about, you can have an idea then you can imagine what i can do with it if you were in my place, i am not sure if you can guess the dimensions here, but even if not at least you try to imagine that it is your garden and you have that list i posted then how you can do it or what you will do.

Thanks
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imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Great pictures. The shadows from the buildings will limit the light and the heat in summer. But if it gets as hot as you say it does, only the most drought and heat resistant plants will tolerate that and you would need to cover or solarize the beds in summer instead. Minmum temps are the coolest average night temperatures. Your day temperatures are a lot higher. I think Phoenix is still agood match though because they have hit 120 F.

Summer vegetables to grow if you can provide enough water would be the space hogs like the vining melons, cantauloupes, squash, and corn if you want to plant your entire garden in corn. You would have enough space for that.
You could probably also do some beans, eggplant and zucchini.

Right now you can plant tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and the cool season crops. Most of the herbs will grow well in containers. If you were in a cooler zone the shade might be a problem but it may actually help out here.

Plant the cool and shorter crops on the east side and the taller ones on the west side.

If it is too hot for some plants still you can plant cool crops in the shade of larger plants.

That is what I do. At this time of the year I plant lettuce out in the full sun beds but in summer I plant leaf crops under the citrus trees where they are in dappled shade. I also have an overhead trellis. It looks like a tent frame. In summer, I will let the squash grow over it and beneath it I can plant some partial shade plants.

Some things like cilantro need more than shade, they need relief from heat. I cannot even grow them in the shade in summer. It helps in summer to put a mister in the garden and set it to run for 5 minutes a couple of times an hour during the hottest time of the day. It doesn't deliver a lot of water, it is mainly to cool the air temperatures. Plants will still wilt in the heat but it does help, you will also need to mulch and make sure the garden is well watered two or three times a day in summer. It will be even more important to increase the organic component of the soil and add a lot of compost to hold on to moisture and water long and deep not short and shallow.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Ok, the only way to find out is to plant, keep watching and providing the plants with water and food and care, space, sun, shades, ...etc until summer then will see what will happen to them during the summer and after the summer, if all or some plants keep growing or handled the summer heat then great, if not then i will know what was wrong then.

From videos, cilantro and coriander are fine in containers, so i will make sure i will have good size containers to leave for those 2 plants and anything similar, mint for example, so then i will have space good for another fruits or seedlings that grow higher or wider or bigger in my garden, i think i won't plant everything in the garden and ignoring the pots/containers, some herbs i will cut or harvest once they give enough good leaves, i use the leaves so i won't wait to make them grow so high.

I planted few tomatoes seeds of 2 or 3 different types in pots, and because it was just tests i saw 2-4 seedlings grown in one pot, so what i can do in this case? leave them all in one pot or try as soon as possible to separate and keep each one individually in pots/containers? i don't think i can buy many big/large containers, also what type of containers, the wide one or the deep one?

imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Remember, that most of these plants are annuals, but some may live longer. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, will can live longer in frost free climates. Tomatoes are usually killed by pests and disease but some peppers and eggplant can live for years. It is easier to plant potentially longer lived plants somewhere else just because it is easier not to have to go around them.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

I tried to upload a file that has a drawing plan for my garden selected area, it is a doc file and also made it PDF, but both didn't upload here, so how can i show or upload one of those file to show you my planning for my selected area of garden?

I wanted to give a better idea of what i am thinking about to do, and also to open the suggestions from you so i can think again, but without that i will be just talks and couldn't figure out the whole picture in my mind, any help?

imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

I don't know but I cheated. I scanned it from the printer like a photo and put it in my picture files.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

This is a way to do it, but it is really a headache, so i just waiting until i know the way to show my plan, i was going to upload it to one of the webhosts then post a link to download it here, but maybe this is not allowed here, so i better wait and find out another way.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Ok, i just took the snapshot or the photos from the monitor, cropped a bit to keep within the white and exclude the border non-white, so what do you think?
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imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

large plants need big pots. You can use other containers. Plastic 55 gallon drums cut in half (they have to be food grade. Here we would get them from bakeries) You can use muck buckets. They are large plastic tubs you might find at a farm or stable supply or hardware store. Here they are sold for ice buckets. You have to put drain holes in them. I use a soldering iron but you need to do it outside, burning plastic is toxic to breathe. I use a mask.
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/forti ... SLT310278/

One tomato per pot and you need to use potting soil not garden soil in the pot. You will need to fertilize the plants in the pot.

It is better if you don't have a lot of equipment and only small pots to start with smaller plant that fit the pots. Herbs will do fine in small pots. All planters must have holes on the bottom and you should use potting soil that is designed for pots. Dirt can be tricky since it is dense and does not behave very well in pots. It will pack down and contract and that can cause problems down the line.

Until you have built up the soil better it would be better to plant things that are not such heavy feeders like tomatoes and corn.

Beans and peas require less nutrients. Lettuce and cabbages are possibilities.

I would wait on beets and carrots until the soil has been improved enough to be soft and deep.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

imafan26 wrote:large plants need big pots. You can use other containers. Plastic 55 gallon drums cut in half (they have to be food grade. Here we would get them from bakeries) You can use muck buckets. They are large plastic tubs you might find at a farm or stable supply or hardware store. Here they are sold for ice buckets. You have to put drain holes in them. I use a soldering iron but you need to do it outside, burning plastic is toxic to breathe. I use a mask.
https://www.statelinetack.com/item/forti ... SLT310278/

One tomato per pot and you need to use potting soil not garden soil in the pot. You will need to fertilize the plants in the pot.

It is better if you don't have a lot of equipment and only small pots to start with smaller plant that fit the pots. Herbs will do fine in small pots. All planters must have holes on the bottom and you should use potting soil that is designed for pots. Dirt can be tricky since it is dense and does not behave very well in pots. It will pack down and contract and that can cause problems down the line.

Until you have built up the soil better it would be better to plant things that are not such heavy feeders like tomatoes and corn.

Beans and peas require less nutrients. Lettuce and cabbages are possibilities.

I would wait on beets and carrots until the soil has been improved enough to be soft and deep.
Your answer is before or after you saw my drawing plan?

I can't buy larger containers or big pots, so it is like i should forget about planting at all or only think about those very small growing plants only.

I selected that area so i clean it up from weeds and grass, then change the soil or just mix it with better soil say a clay sand and potting soil and fertilizer so i make it a ready ground, i will never plant directly without cleaning and repairing and changing the properties of that garden soil.

Thanks!

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applestar
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

OK, sorry to be late joining in this discussion. :D

Note my comment about not planting tomatoes right next to corn in the corn thread.

...

You might want yo look in this thread for inspiration, too:

Subject: Self Watering Container and Sub-irrigated Planter
albopepper wrote:Here are examples of things grown in my 30 gallon SIP totes, without using any plastic cover at all:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I prefer to harness rain water. Also, I like the plants to get aeration through the bottom aeration screen PLUS the surface soil line. This provides for maximum gas exchange. But you need a properly porous mix. Some things, like peanuts, won't even work if you try to use a plastic cover.

Of course if you're using a plastic cover and getting stellar results, then keep doing it!
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Wow this thread sure has a lot of information both from tareqphoto and members who have been posting answers.

I'm just going to snatch a few bites here and there. Forgive me if they have been covered already since I only skimmed.

Cilantro/coriander -- I hear best way to keep getting continual harvest is to sow seeds every few weeks. But in all honestly They don't seem to germinate at all during the summer. Mine self seeds and come up on their own in spring and fall, and bolt to produce seeds in summer and get freeze killed in winter. Containers will allow them to be moved. If air conditioned and cool indoors, maybe inside during hottest times of the year? Should look for posts by hendi_alex about growing them.

It would be a good idea to check out all the threads that have been gathered in the new Raised Bed sub-Forum. I agree with the earliest posts in this thread that cardboard and sheet mulching is the easiest way to get started.

I suspect strawberries and apples are also difficult in this climate? You would need to look for cultivars bred for hot climate with no chill hours. What about strawberry-like tropical fruits like kiwi or ??? (Does strawberry guava taste like strawberries?)

Imafan mentioned shade cloth. You may need to seriously look into putting up a shadehouse, which can be built like a hoop house or a tent on temporary basis. The shade cloth could be also be attached on rings to wires and pulled/spread to cover and pushed/folded away like an awning.

In a dry climate, evaporative/swamp cooler in an enclosed space or a misting system/set up could also be a way to cool down an area, unless of course water conservation is an issue.
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TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

I started 2 months ago and i keep planting because i know that the summer is gone, so i have nearly 5-7 months since 2 months ago to plant or germinate or transplanting and preparing my garden, after 7 months or say 5 months from now the summer is coming again and the hot weather also, i want within 3-5 months from now that most seedlings are growing fine or taller a bit, then later i can water them more and cover them, once they are growing taller then i know that they are doing fine, and i read from everywhere that tomatoes can give fruit within 3-5 months, so if those 5 months gone until the summer and i didn't get any fruits from tomatoes or similar plants and other plants didn't grow it means i should bother, and then focus on summer plants as we will have summer heat from say May until September.

I have 2 pots that i grow cilantro inside, i will start another thread about cilantro itself alone and i took pics of that to show you how it is going, i hope it will keep growing fine, and i am thinking to use that one left empty "windowbox" container for cilantro so i can have more than the pots, cilantro is another very important herb that we use in food, it is first or second important with tomatoes for us.

I planted chives[garlic] halves bulbs in one pot, same as a white pot i showed in my "Tomatoes" thread, in fact i can't remember if i planted one or 2, but the leaves out of soil telling me it is two, so i don't know for how long i need to wait until i can harvest, if it will be successful harvest then later maybe next year late i will buy more long containers and i will plant only chives so i can have harvest for after next year enough an i re-plant again.

My citrus[yellow lemon] seeds germinated and only 3 out 7 sprouted and it is still very very tiny growing, i feel like they are growing 1cm only every 1-2 months, i planted them i think in late October if i still remember and now it is only 1cm seedlings and the other 2 are nearly 0.5cm, something wrong i don't know, but i really don't care much because in my garden recently i found out that i already have citrus trees [3 with one almost dead but won't give up on it yet], today i just went to one of those trees with not much bad diseases or yellowish leaf and i washed it with water then cut little of it and smelled it, definitely citrus of lemon or lame, it has that lemon fragrant or sour smell slightly, good for me.

I planted parsley in 2 small pots and another pot a bit medium size and i never get anything out of them, i wanted to have parsley too and i thought it will grow similar way to cilantro or faster maybe, but to my surprise i got nothing yet, so are the seeds dead or i didn't plant them correctly or what else, i will check out by research and i will try again sooner or later.

I planted cucumber seed after germinated and amazingly the seedling growing fast but as it grew fast it died faster, so germination was successful and it sprouted nicely and grown fast, but it died, i think the only reasons are: overwater, and very small size pot, not sure if i will plant again later what size of pot i need or better move this to my garden planned area?

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Some plants need a lot of room for their roots and just don't do well in small pots. I'm not sure about your area but in most of the US there are places where you can get buckets free or for very little money. You would have to make holes in the bottom of a bucket or other container. The holes let water drain out so your pot doesn't fill with water. Too much water will kill your plants.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

ButterflyLady29 wrote:Some plants need a lot of room for their roots and just don't do well in small pots. I'm not sure about your area but in most of the US there are places where you can get buckets free or for very little money. You would have to make holes in the bottom of a bucket or other container. The holes let water drain out so your pot doesn't fill with water. Too much water will kill your plants.
So what is the diameter and depth of the pot is minimum good enough? what about container?

Containers aren't that much expensive but if i buy "Cosmoplast" brand then it is a bit pricey than normal un-branded ones, and the pots are very cheap actually, some can give me few medium or small pots free, or give me the pots say 3-5 ones for about $1, but i would like to know what are the sizes you are talking about.

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applestar
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

We have a subforum dedicated to seed starting, and there are sticky (permanently listed at the top) threads that might be informative. :wink:

Here's one about using recycled containers:

Subject: Recycled containers for seed starting and uppotting
applestar wrote: :mrgreen: I like the idea of NOT throwing away things that can't be readily recycled -- i.e. that my limited municipal recycling won't take. At least not right away. :mrgreen:

I'm basing the depth of container on J. Jeavon's 3" deep for sowing seeds and 6" deep for most uppots. (Lettuce can stay in 3" deep). Filled with soil to the rim for better air circulation

[...]
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pikespeakhydro
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Awesome question! One thing I have used before and it works great is newspaper. If you can lay down a layer of newspaper where you want your garden to be it will not allow the grass to grow under it and over time with compost nicely and you will not have to worry about weeds for the summer. I do this every year and it works wonders!
Jeff Wheeler
Pikes Peak Hydroponic Supply

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Do you want the size in liters or centimeters? 30 centimeter diameter and height or about 20 liters is a good size to start with. I've got some about twice that size. Anything will work as long as it holds soil. I've read about people using cardboard boxes but those fall apart too easily for me to suggest those.

This site has some good information about planting in 5 gallon buckets:
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special ... uckets.htm
Of course it's a US site so buckets might be a bit easier to get here and they don't give metric sizes. 5 gallons equals about 20 liters.

imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Tareq
On your garden plan
If you can use that many tomatoes it is fine but you will need to trellis the tomatoes to keep them that close. Florida weave should work. You can use a tall strong stake or make a trellis between the rows. If you are going to let them sprawl on the ground they will need more space and you will get more fruit rot with them on the ground.

You will not need so many watermelon. One watermelon vine can be up to50 feet so it will not stay contained in that space unless you will allow it to sprawl outside of the garden. Lettuce needs to be planted 20 cm apart plant only as much as you can eat in a couple of weeks say 10 heads (this is something you can start in pots since they do transplant well) every 2 or three weeks plant 10 heads or how many you can eat in that time so you will have a continuous supply. Lettuce takes about 3-8 weeks to mature depending on the time of the year. You can use the other space for something else just leave enough space for about 30 heads of lettuce. Empty space to plant 10, 10 growing, 10 to be harvesting. In a 2x8 ft space you will fit about 30 heads of lettuce
Watermelon are usually planted in a hill. 4 to 6 plants and allow the vines to cover an 8 ft circle. The vines will be growing on top of each other. You can grow ice box watermelons which will have smaller fruit about 11 lbs but the vines are only about 6 ft long.
Corn minimum block size 4ft x 4ft = 16 plants spaced one foot apart.

If you want to grow big plants in that space you can, but you need to look at the minimum space requirements. The garden will look empty when it is planted but spacing is determined by the mature sizes of the plants.

I have a much smaller garden 8ft x 16 ft. When I plant corn, it takes up half the garden space 8x8 ft and for only about 40 plants with minimum spacing. If I am lucky, I will get around 60 ears.

I plant my tomatoes in pots on a trellis outside the garden to save the garden space for smaller plants.

One zuccchini, one Italian parsley, one cutting celery and a cucumber on a trellis take up a 4x4 ft space. The zucchini was planted on the edge so half of it was outside the garden, otherwise it would have taken almost all of the space by itself.

I have grown sugar baby ice box watermelons but they only yield three watermelons for the space they take up so I only grow them if I have nothing better to grow instead. I get more production from gourds (over 20 on a trellis), cucumber 20 or more, tomatoes three plants, a lot of tomatoes. Bitter melon and chayote, grows wild, beans picking a handful every day or two. Herbs take up very little space, many of them are in pots and a little adds a lot of flavor.

I grow corn because I like it and I can eat all of it in a few days. However, in terms of economy it is a lot of dedicated space for such a small yield.

I grow one or two swiss chard. Each plant takes up a little over a square foot. I can get repeat harvests of leaves for months. Same thing with New Zealand hot weather spinach, it grows faster than I can use it.

If you selected these plants because you like them, that is fine, but they are not easy plants to start with. They require some extra work in terms of needing support like trellises for tomatoes and they take up a lot of space.

Work out on your plan to scale using a square grid so you will have an idea of how many plants you can fit in the space.
This is a link to a free sample planner. This is for a square foot garden. There are limitations to the planner. You have to know that some plants will need more than one square so you need to leave the other sqares blank. It does not allow for a garden to be wider than 4 ft which is what is the recommended width for a garden to be easily worked from all sides.

Tomatoes take up two squares., Eggplant and zucchini will take up 4 squares and vining plants need to be trellised or they will be growing outside of the garden space.
https://vegetableplanner.vegetable-gardening-online.com/
Tomatoes trellised and pruned need about 18 inches apart. Tomatoes in a cage about 3 ft apart
Corn 6 inch to 18 inches apart in minimum 4x4 sq ft space

Lettuce only as many plants as you can eat in a couple of weeks, they do not keep 8-10 inches apart
watermellon 6-10 ft circle with the watermelon planted in the middle and the vines being contained in the circle.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Those buckets are very similar to those we use in toilets, also very similar if not same to paints buckets, so maybe i buy some of those but not the paints buckets due to chemicals inside.

I think for now i will focus on few plants, next year i can add more if something succeeded.

imafan26
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Probably a better idea to start with a few and figure out how much space each will need.

Here we can buy clean buckets from a paint store that has not been used. Other places to find clean buckets and barrels would be at bakeries and restaurants what buy bulk items.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

Well, your long post is really helpful and can give me a good idea what i should do, but i feel like i will plant only few and leave something else out, as i said before that i am focusing more on plants that i will eat or use in food, and not all are really necessary.

So, i will put a list here as following from important to less important.

A.
- Tomatoes
- Onion [red]
- Cilantro or coriander
- Parsley
- Mint
- Lemon
- Orange

B.
- Garlic
- Potato
- White/yellow onion
- Cucumber
- Lettuce [For salad only]
- Ginger
- Mango
- Banana

C.
- Corn
- Peas
- Carrot
- Sweet Pepper or green pepper [for very few dishes, no harm to have]
- Sweet potato
- Melon [for me]
- Watermelon
- Pomegranate
- Mandarin and/or clementine
- Apple [I like the green and yellow only, my family like all including the red]
- Saffron
- Lentils
- Olive
- Spinach

D.
- Strawberry [for kids, i only like it in ice-cream or jam or cake flavour]
- Berries such as mulberry or raspberry [for kids]
- Cherry [for kids]
- Pears
- Chilli
- Tea
- Coffee
- Cumin
- Cardamom
- Small mushroom [for Pizza and Pasta]

As you can see, it is really so big list, and i tried to mention only things i like to eat or my family, there is few little more but i ignored and focuses on those.

And from above list, i try to choose 2-3 from the first important category then one or 2 from each other categories, watermelon is not a main but wanted to have it only for my kids, and i like or prefer melon more but didn't want to plant only my needs.

I was thinking if i buy those buckets or containers or i don't know what you call it that are not that so deep say nearly 5-7" deep but they are so wide nearly 3ft so i can plant something like melon/watermelon or lettuce or potatoes or any plants that aren't growing tall and only grow widely/horizontally so i can save some space from my garden?

Let's say i use a part or a quarter of that area for tomatoes, and say i try my best to have enough block for corn, then what else left for another plant i want to grow from above big list? cilantro and most herbs i am planting in pots and containers and won't plant them in my garden ground, lemon and pomegranate are already there and mulberry, i may try to buy a ready either orange or mandarin seedlings and plant in another area next to another trees so i don't worry about some fruits.

Outside of my house there is another area i can use to plant, i chose sunflower to be one of those plants, and maybe some nice smell or colours plants in addition such as basil or jasmine or daisy, and i leave little part for something that others like to eat for all passengers if possible such as cauliflower or cabbage or eggplant[my wife only like eggplant and not sure about my kids], we have palm trees and one Terminalia catappa tree and we like both and almost every house here should have both of those trees as must.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

In your shallow (not deep) containers you can plant the lettuce, saffron, onions, spinach, strawberries, cilantro, and parsley. All the others need a much deeper container or to be planted in the ground.

I've tried mushrooms in containers and still haven't had any results. I'm doing something wrong but I haven't figured out what yet.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

ButterflyLady29 wrote:In your shallow (not deep) containers you can plant the lettuce, saffron, onions, spinach, strawberries, cilantro, and parsley. All the others need a much deeper container or to be planted in the ground.

I've tried mushrooms in containers and still haven't had any results. I'm doing something wrong but I haven't figured out what yet.
Ok, I already planted cilantro and parsley, i have planted onions in a container but it never show up, i feel it is either never germinated or i have to wait months, if nothing showing within 1 month later then i will just recycle the container soil and i will try with less mixed soil maybe. I will buy another containers wide and shallow for the plants you mentioned excluding what i already planted, hope it will work fine.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

If your onions haven't come up within 2 weeks they aren't going to come up. Did you use seed or little bulbs (also known in the US as sets)? Onion seed doesn't live very long, it usually won't grow if it's more than a year old. Go ahead and plant something else in the onion pot.

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applestar
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

If you are growing onions for the greens or small bulbs, here's a trick I like -- Cut a generous pyramid from the bottom of the onions you prepare for cooking -- instead of cutting straight across, cut the onion diagonally from one side of the base/dried up roots, then cut two or three more angles, then cut off the point. You should have the base of the onion attached to the 3/4 to 1 inch "pyramid".

You only need 1" diameter or less so you can also cut off the corners of the pyramid when cutting up big onions if you want.

Snuggle these into loose soil mix just below soil surface and they will grow roots and greens.

I do this all winter indoors to clip off and harvest the greens, and then, in spring, I plant them out. (Remember it usually gets down to negative single digit °F here in winter and most onions won't survive outside). As they mature during the growing season, some of them will form small bulbs, most will just grow lush greens during the spring then try to bloom. I generally cut off and harvest the greens or pull them up to eat as green onions, but sometimes I let them bloom and make seeds and then harvest the seeds to grow.

-- you can do this with garlic (for greens not for bulbing) and shallots, too.
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TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

ButterflyLady29 wrote:If your onions haven't come up within 2 weeks they aren't going to come up. Did you use seed or little bulbs (also known in the US as sets)? Onion seed doesn't live very long, it usually won't grow if it's more than a year old. Go ahead and plant something else in the onion pot.
I planted seeds, black seeds, and not sure if those seeds are the one i placed on wet cotton and they didn't germinate so it may caught fungi, or if i planted new seeds, i bought the package of seeds from one of those gardening stores and the expiry date shows that it will be in 2018, production is 02/2015, i didn't know that it may not last/live very long.

I planted the seeds over 4 weeks maybe 5, so maybe you are right, i may never see anything, but, should i try again with another seeds without trying to place them in wet cotton/toilet paper to see if they may give me results? I will never know until i give it a try, i placed one seed or two in one small pot and the leaves are still growing, but that pot has only potting soil without fertilizer or sand, but that shouldn't be the reason why it germinated and keep growing.

I will simply go and dig the container again and see if anything came out, if nothing then i will simply will try again with new seeds stored well directly without wetting for germination and see if this gonna work, but if i will place new seeds in that rectangular container, how many seeds i should place and in how much spacing? i actually go with 3 holes or beds so 2 spacing between the 3 in that container, even if that is not good enough room for onion to grow, at least it should show up something, then i will know that it worked, if not showing at all it means even with deeper and wider ground it won't work because the seed itself is exhausted maybe.

TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

applestar wrote:If you are growing onions for the greens or small bulbs, here's a trick I like -- Cut a generous pyramid from the bottom of the onions you prepare for cooking -- instead of cutting straight across, cut the onion diagonally from one side of the base/dried up roots, then cut two or three more angles, then cut off the point. You should have the base of the onion attached to the 3/4 to 1 inch "pyramid".

You only need 1" diameter or less so you can also cut off the corners of the pyramid when cutting up big onions if you want.

Snuggle these into loose soil mix just below soil surface and they will grow roots and greens.

I do this all winter indoors to clip off and harvest the greens, and then, in spring, I plant them out. (Remember it usually gets down to negative single digit °F here in winter and most onions won't survive outside). As they mature During the growing season, some of them will form bulbs, most will just grow lush greens during the spring then try to bloom. I generally cut off and harvest the greens or pull them up to eat as green onions, but sometimes I let them bloom and make seeds and then harvest the seeds to grow.

-- you can do this with garlic and shallots, too.
Sorry for that but i really don't understand these steps, i try to image it or know what you mean by cut and how or where, but i get many pictures in my head so i feel that i didn't follow your trick clearly.

The problem is, if i am correct then all those onions bulbs we buy are already cut from top and bottom, so it is like they try not give a chance to have them re-planted to be grown again, i hardly saw any onion or garlic that are almost full original form just taken out from ground direct to market after washing them, what we have are already cut and packed or just cut and placed in baskets to pick by piece instead of package, i don't see roots or leaves on top, but........... i tested with garlic after i divided it and placed only 2 segments [or what do you call] and they grown already, actually, i don't know if i planted 2 or one because the pot showed 2 seedlings grown with the leaves, so i went with 2, but i am not sure the onion without roots or leaves in the original one i buy can grow fine.

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applestar
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

I made Chicken with Shiitake in rosemary-lemon-white wine sauce for dinner, and needed to cut an onion :()
image.jpg
(click for enlarged view)
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TareqPhoto
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Re: Help to start gardening and planting

applestar wrote:I made Chicken with Shiitake in rosemary-lemon-white wine sauce for dinner, and needed to cut an onion :()
image.jpg
(click for enlarged view)
Thank you very much, i will do this method and see how it will go so far.

I can buy some of those buckets[or i don't know what do you call it] for home usage that are about 2.5-3 feet wide and 6-8inches deep, if i buy this, how many onions i can plant in it? how deep the onions need anyway? so with this bucket it will save another space for my garden, i hope one container i used for planting cilantro will have them grown and put them in shade place or anywhere that prevent them from bolting and with this onions then i will have the most important plants i need, and tomatoes will be treated carefully as well, but i was thinking that tomatoes should be part of my garden space planned area than in pots/containers, or if i will use a pot or container then what is the best biggest size of those pots or containers i can have to grow tomatoes fine enough without using the garden space?

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