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Tabasco
Senior Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: Zone 9a, 50 miles North of Tampa Fl

Planning and Learning After the Fact

I sort of jumped into my first garden this year.
I did some research and planning, but not nearly enough.
I didn't ask myself the right questions. I didn't really know what to ask.

After I screwed a bunch of things up, I had to try to undo issues that arose.
While doing that, I actually learned the things I wish I had know in the first place!

So far, the 3 most important things I have learned are;

1. I should have prepared my soil better.
2. I should have started compost a long time ago.
3. I should have better researched what to plant and when.

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ElizabethB
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Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Tabasco - join the club. Gardening and garden related issues is a never ending learning process. That is why this forum is so popular. Lots of "old" gardeners still learning, sharing and growing!

You really are a fast learner :!: When I was "young and dumb" (new to gardening) I planted "willy nilly" with no consideration for varieties suitable for my region or planting dates. I also spent a lot of time and money amending my soil with commercial soil and fertilizers instead of composting. Never considered having a soil test done first. :oops:

I messed up this year My compost bins were neglected since last summer so I had no "cooked" compost to work into my garden. :twisted: I also planted very late this year - like less than 2 weeks ago. :cry: Because I had no compost I ended up adding commercial soil. Not my first choice.

IDK if you will find this link helpful or not. The source is trust worthy. The information is research based and specific to gardening in Florida. I apologize if I have already sent it to you.

https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn_and_garde ... g_started/

So any way - have you started a compost pile/bin? Where are you getting/what are you using for your browns and greens? If you need help finding stuff for little or nothing just ask. I am constantly amazed by the creativity of the forum members when it comes to finding material for composting. FREE is one of my favorite things. :-()

Stick around. I really enjoy hearing from you.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Tabasco
Senior Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: Zone 9a, 50 miles North of Tampa Fl

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Thanks folks!

ElizabethB, I do have bins, not the doors yet.

And I was planning on using a bunch of materials that are all over the property.
I have more leaves than I could fit in both of those bins at one time and there are plenty of these weird
weeds that grow by the lake all the time.

I also have a burn pit. I have read that wood ash is good too.
Then I'm collecting coffee grounds and eggshells.
Attachments
weeds.JPG
piles.JPG
Last edited by Tabasco on Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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grwrn
Full Member
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:29 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina; Zone 7b

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Join the club!

This is my second year gardening and it is definitely "trial and error". I learned a lot last year, especially about all the pests that attacked my garden, and already have a list of will do/will NOT do for next year.

I have been composting for years but now realize with a garden I need another composter so I can have one cooking while adding to the other.

I have been off/on this board for a year now and have learned a lot. I even did soil testing this year in my beds and realized I didn't have enough nitrogen.

Keep us posted on your gardening experiences.
Instagram : grwrn

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Tabasco
Senior Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: Zone 9a, 50 miles North of Tampa Fl

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

grwrn,

One thing I probably did right, planned and constructed two bins. (see above image)

Thanks

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ElizabethB
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Posts: 2109
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Great bins! You can do just fine with a front panel 18" - 20" tall. Makes it easy to toss. That is unless you have critters and have to completely close off your bins.

If you have a bagger on your mower mulch your leaves. Put the excess in lawn bags for year round browns. Balance the browns and greens. Easy on the ash - it will raise your pH if you use too much. In central Florida you can keep you bins going year round. Egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable trimmings - whatever raw greens that come out of your kitchen.

You are on your way :!:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Country girl La
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:32 pm

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Hi ElizabethB! I don't know if I am doing this right or not to post, I hope so. I am interested in your posts. I'm in DeRidder and I am BRAND NEW at composting. I haven't got my first batch cooked yet, but I have the BSF's in there. I just added some more brown to it. I can't seem to get it to where I feel the heat. Any remarks would be appreciated. :shock: Thanks
ElizabethB wrote:Tabasco - join the club. Gardening and garden related issues is a never ending learning process. That is why this forum is so popular. Lots of "old" gardeners still learning, sharing and growing!

You really are a fast learner :!: When I was "young and dumb" (new to gardening) I planted "willy nilly" with no consideration for varieties suitable for my region or planting dates. I also spent a lot of time and money amending my soil with commercial soil and fertilizers instead of composting. Never considered having a soil test done first. :oops:

I messed up this year My compost bins were neglected since last summer so I had no "cooked" compost to work into my garden. :twisted: I also planted very late this year - like less than 2 weeks ago. :cry: Because I had no compost I ended up adding commercial soil. Not my first choice.

IDK if you will find this link helpful or not. The source is trust worthy. The information is research based and specific to gardening in Florida. I apologize if I have already sent it to you.

https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lawn_and_garde ... g_started/

So any way - have you started a compost pile/bin? Where are you getting/what are you using for your browns and greens? If you need help finding stuff for little or nothing just ask. I am constantly amazed by the creativity of the forum members when it comes to finding material for composting. FREE is one of my favorite things. :-()

Stick around. I really enjoy hearing from you.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11337
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Tabasco you are better than I am. I have been gardening for a long time. I tried composting but I did not get the browns and greens right so the weeds grew in the pile, my bougainvillea stump I cut rooted. I started bagging the weeds and waiting till they were brown and mushy before opening the bags up and eventually I did get some compost but not according to plan and it was not hot composted.

Now, I do vermi composting instead. It is a lot easier; the worms do all the work.

In the beginning I did not know about soil preparation. I planted in hard red clay. Amazingly things still grew. I planted too close and the first time I planted 4 cornstalks in a row and got a few kernels here and there on the ear.
I only learned last year that I was planting my lettuce too close. I was planting them about 5 inches apart when they should have been 8-10 inches. The heads could have been twice as big.
I planted cleome, baby's tears, and bleeding heart to my regret, they are weeds.
I am still learning now if I can only keep sage alive more than a few months.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Tabasco
Senior Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: Zone 9a, 50 miles North of Tampa Fl

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

Thanks for all the encouragement people!

To garden, you certainly have to have a Thomas Edison mentality.
I haven't failed repeatedly, I've just learned a bunch of ways not to do it :D

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MoonAndStarz
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Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 6:36 pm
Location: Sacramento, California

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

This is a great post that I think all beginners should read. Don't be afraid to make a few mistakes! This is truly how you learn. And do your research! There is a lot of information on this forum and the internet in general. When I started growing we couldn't just Google questions. I read books and dug in and got my hands dirty, literally!

Now I spend my days on forums and learning from other gardeners on blogs. I recently started growing indoors so in some ways I feel like a beginner.

Also, yes your soil setup is very important. Beginner growers don't put much emphasis on it because it's just dirt, right? No way, it is vital to building a strong root system necessary for a healthy plant. If you continue researching there are resources out there specific to the soil and other products you're using. I've used Pro Mix HP for some time and they have a lot of videos and articles - https://www.pthorticulture.com/en/training-center/

Hope this helps and happy gardening!

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rainbowgardener
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Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

You are doing great. All those things:

1. I should have prepared my soil better.
2. I should have started compost a long time ago.
3. I should have better researched what to plant and when.

are things that people don't know when they are starting out and need to learn. If you get all that right, you will be pretty assured of a good garden no matter what else you do.

Healthy soil is the basis of a good garden. By healthy soil I mean, rich in nutrients, loose and loamy, and very alive with the soil community from microbes, fungi, various detritovores, earthworms etc. Take care of your soil and your garden will take care of itself.

Here's a little article about the life of the soil:

https://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/212.html
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

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11337
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

I like that Thomas Edison mentality you spoke of so I looked up the quote:

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Thomas A. Edison
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Tabasco
Senior Member
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: Zone 9a, 50 miles North of Tampa Fl

Re: Planning and Learning After the Fact

I just returned from a trip to (insert big box store name here).
I just wanted to see what they had growing and how their plants were doing.

Outside, very little was well. All sorts of problems too numerous to mention.
It has been scorching hot this early June. There were puddles everywhere from constant watering.
Holes galore in leaves, etc.

A few exceptions were raspberries, grapes, and fig trees.
I'm not too interested in the grapes, but the berries are tempting.

Anyway, there are vendors in there this week doing inventory and planning.
I cornered one from a nursery and asked him about those three choices.
He said the berries would be great, the grapes ok, and the fig tree? "No way", he said.
"Maybe in Miami, but not northern Tampa bay, gets too cold". Yet they are stocking about 20 of them.
Some uninformed suckers are going to plant these and be really disappointed.

Inside, all the tomatoes, herbs, spices, and other garden plants were under greenhouse panels and shade cloth.
Giant fans were cooling and ventilating everything nicely. Two ladies were making rounds watering and fussing over them.
Looks like some great stuff to plant in mid-June! Not.

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