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Author Topic: Beginners' Gardening?  (Read 9742 times)
yewberry
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« Reply #30: March 07, 2010, 02:39:07 pm »

Moving this conversation over from LayedBack's intro thread 'cause it seems more appropriate here.

Yea I definitely know how health issues can have their limitations Sad. A lot of things I can't do because of my neck problem. Going to have to get my father to help starting out the garden, I'm good with watering and whatnot, but digging and heavy lifting is a nono.

That's going to make gardening tricky.  You might want to attempt some form of raised bed.  I've heard good things about bale gardening, though I haven't attempted it myself.

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Going to grow a ton of herbs in pots out on the back deck this year. And going to experiment with Reishi as well. What are your favorite herbs to grow?


I like to grow what adapts well to my climate (though I do make exceptions for a few tender perennials I adore, namely sweet smelly things like lemon verbena and scented geraniums).  My climate is kind of a modified Mediterranean, with temperate, dry summers and cool, rainy winters, so the herbs of that region grow well here (all the Herbs de Provence, f'ex, and rosemary, which is hardy here).

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I really need to get an identification book for wild edibles, and a book for medicinal herbs and plants. You have any recommendations? When it gets warm I'm seriously outside in nature at least once a day, I'm sure I've walked past many goodies without even knowing it!

My recommendations would depend on where you live.  My bioregion is quite distinct from most of the rest of the continental U.S., so the books/resources I use here don't always transfer well to other areas.

Brina
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 02:42:16 pm by yewberry, Reason: ETA: some punctuation » Logged

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LayedBack
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« Reply #31: March 07, 2010, 02:56:52 pm »

Moving this conversation over from LayedBack's intro thread 'cause it seems more appropriate here.

That's going to make gardening tricky.  You might want to attempt some form of raised bed.  I've heard good things about bale gardening, though I haven't attempted it myself.
 

I like to grow what adapts well to my climate (though I do make exceptions for a few tender perennials I adore, namely sweet smelly things like lemon verbena and scented geraniums).  My climate is kind of a modified Mediterranean, with temperate, dry summers and cool, rainy winters, so the herbs of that region grow well here (all the Herbs de Provence, f'ex, and rosemary, which is hardy here).

My recommendations would depend on where you live.  My bioregion is quite distinct from most of the rest of the continental U.S., so the books/resources I use here don't always transfer well to other areas.

Brina

Ah I see, I'll definitely check out raised beds, never heard of the idea before.

I live in Virginia (east coast)

When it gets warm I would imagine I could grow most things, especially in Spring time. So far on my herb list to try I have - Mint, Peppermint, Jasmine, Lavender, Chamomile, and Rosemary.

Vegetables that I would like to try include Tomatoes, Carrots, Radishes, Lettuce, a pretty small list but I'm hoping it's all easy to grow.
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stephyjh
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« Reply #32: March 07, 2010, 03:09:25 pm »

Ah I see, I'll definitely check out raised beds, never heard of the idea before.

I live in Virginia (east coast)

When it gets warm I would imagine I could grow most things, especially in Spring time. So far on my herb list to try I have - Mint, Peppermint, Jasmine, Lavender, Chamomile, and Rosemary.

Vegetables that I would like to try include Tomatoes, Carrots, Radishes, Lettuce, a pretty small list but I'm hoping it's all easy to grow.

Having done the gardening thing in North Carolina when I was growing up, the number one thing I can tell you is to put the mint/peppermint IN A CONTAINER. It's invasive in that climate, and you can end up with a garden bed/yard of nothing but mint. Ask me how I know.  Roll Eyes
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yewberry
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« Reply #33: March 07, 2010, 07:17:51 pm »

I live in Virginia (east coast)

Assuming you mean you're near the coast in VA, count yourself lucky.  You've got a six (or seven, if you use cloches/row covers) month growing climate, warm enough but nicely modulated by the ocean nearby.  You should even be able to grow fall crops of cool-weather veggies like lettuce and radish.

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When it gets warm I would imagine I could grow most things, especially in Spring time. So far on my herb list to try I have - Mint, Peppermint, Jasmine, Lavender, Chamomile, and Rosemary.

All solid choices.  I'd go with one of the hardier varieties of rosemary.  The Arp variety is my favorite.  It tastes/smells great and grows rapidly.  Remember that lavender and rosemary need excellent drainage, so don't plant them in clay soil.  I second the suggestion that mint only go in containers, as they can get away from you.

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Vegetables that I would like to try include Tomatoes, Carrots, Radishes, Lettuce, a pretty small list but I'm hoping it's all easy to grow.

They are all easy to grow (and it's best to start small, and grow what you like to eat).  Lettuce season is already here.  If you want to plant it, you should do so ASAP before warmer weather sets in.  Depending on the variety, radish should also be on your rush list.  If you're planning to grow tomatoes from seed, you should start them indoors by the end of March to be planted out in May.  You'll need some sort of grow light for this (a sunny window is not sufficient, no matter what people tell you).  I'm happy to discuss various setups and how to use 'em.  If you're buying plants, May 1 is a good planting day in your area.

No matter what you're planting, get things prepped as soon as you can.  T'is the season.  Wink

Brina
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« Reply #34: March 07, 2010, 08:36:30 pm »

Assuming you mean you're near the coast in VA, count yourself lucky.  You've got a six (or seven, if you use cloches/row covers) month growing climate, warm enough but nicely modulated by the ocean nearby.  You should even be able to grow fall crops of cool-weather veggies like lettuce and radish.

All solid choices.  I'd go with one of the hardier varieties of rosemary.  The Arp variety is my favorite.  It tastes/smells great and grows rapidly.  Remember that lavender and rosemary need excellent drainage, so don't plant them in clay soil.  I second the suggestion that mint only go in containers, as they can get away from you.

They are all easy to grow (and it's best to start small, and grow what you like to eat).  Lettuce season is already here.  If you want to plant it, you should do so ASAP before warmer weather sets in.  Depending on the variety, radish should also be on your rush list.  If you're planning to grow tomatoes from seed, you should start them indoors by the end of March to be planted out in May.  You'll need some sort of grow light for this (a sunny window is not sufficient, no matter what people tell you).  I'm happy to discuss various setups and how to use 'em.  If you're buying plants, May 1 is a good planting day in your area.

No matter what you're planting, get things prepped as soon as you can.  T'is the season.  Wink

Brina

Thank you for the suggestions and help, I'll head to the store to get my seeds tomorrow! Any recommendations for other easy to grow vegetables?

Also looking for a book on herbalism in particular as well. Any suggestions would be great, one I had on my list is "The Master Book of Herbalism" - Paul Beyerl.

And this doesn't actually pertain to this thread, but in my introduction thread we were talking about foraging. Is their a certain book you would recommend to get my started? I was looking around and so far "The Forager's Harvest" - Samuel Taylor looks good.


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yewberry
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« Reply #35: March 08, 2010, 12:37:32 am »

Thank you for the suggestions and help, I'll head to the store to get my seeds tomorrow! Any recommendations for other easy to grow vegetables?

Your climate allows for easy growing of just about any common garden vegetable.  Lemme know what you like to eat and I'll recommend some tasty varieties.

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Also looking for a book on herbalism in particular as well. Any suggestions would be great

I really don't know much about the plants of your area, but I'd start with a good general flora (and worry about edibility/uses later).  Keep in mind that I haven't read it, but this one looks good.  You might also look for something coastline-related if you forage on the beach.  Once you figure out what's actually growing in your area, you can look up uses and whether it's even legal to harvest (some endangered plants are protected).

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one I had on my list is "The Master Book of Herbalism" - Paul Beyerl.

Never read it.  I'm a lot more interested in herbs as medicinals and food.

Quote
I was looking around and so far "The Forager's Harvest" - Samuel Taylor looks good.

Haven't read this one either, but from the reviews it looks like it covers plants in your area.  Would be a good addition to a regional flora.

Brina
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LayedBack
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« Reply #36: March 08, 2010, 11:16:19 am »

Your climate allows for easy growing of just about any common garden vegetable.  Lemme know what you like to eat and I'll recommend some tasty varieties.

I really don't know much about the plants of your area, but I'd start with a good general flora (and worry about edibility/uses later).  Keep in mind that I haven't read it, but this one looks good.  You might also look for something coastline-related if you forage on the beach.  Once you figure out what's actually growing in your area, you can look up uses and whether it's even legal to harvest (some endangered plants are protected).

Never read it.  I'm a lot more interested in herbs as medicinals and food.

Haven't read this one either, but from the reviews it looks like it covers plants in your area.  Would be a good addition to a regional flora.

Brina

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm actually quite a little voracious eater haha. I love everything. Onions, pickles, peppers, you name it! I've enlisted my dad to help me out with getting it started. We have a tiller so I might actually be able to do some of the digging myself.

I've decided I'm going to be ordering those two books on my next order. I think having a couple general books would be great, I'm actually as interested as you are though with edibles and medicinals. That's my main reason I'd be foraging. Medicine in nature is one of the most interesting things for me. It only makes sense to look for plants to and not just mushrooms!
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yewberry
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« Reply #37: March 08, 2010, 12:28:00 pm »

Thanks for the suggestions, I'm actually quite a little voracious eater haha. I love everything. Onions, pickles, peppers, you name it! I've enlisted my dad to help me out with getting it started. We have a tiller so I might actually be able to do some of the digging myself.

Cool.  Smiley  I haven't yet asked how much room and what kind of sun exposure (how many hours per day of direct sunlight) you have.  Some varieties of squash, for example, can take up a ton of space.  In a small plot, you might want to consider compact varieties.

My favorite seeds are heirlooms.  These are non-hybridized varieties whose seeds can be saved from year to year (also known as "open-pollinated").  In your climate (and assuming you have good sun), the sky's the limit as far as which you can grow.  Check out heirloomseeds.com for a ton of possibilities. 

Brina
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« Reply #38: March 08, 2010, 07:16:00 pm »

Cool.  Smiley  I haven't yet asked how much room and what kind of sun exposure (how many hours per day of direct sunlight) you have.  Some varieties of squash, for example, can take up a ton of space.  In a small plot, you might want to consider compact varieties.

My favorite seeds are heirlooms.  These are non-hybridized varieties whose seeds can be saved from year to year (also known as "open-pollinated").  In your climate (and assuming you have good sun), the sky's the limit as far as which you can grow.  Check out heirloomseeds.com for a ton of possibilities. 

Brina

Yea our plot is going to be rather small. I'll check in to compact varieties. I think those little mini tomatoes are awesome, really want to try those out this year. Squash is cool, I like it and it was something I had in mind. Maybe I'll plant 2-3, so it doesn't take up too much space.

Potatoes would be really cool to grow, but I seem to remember that you're supposed to plant them later in the season? Actually not too sure about that.

What about peppers? Do they grow well in a plot? Could I possibly grow these in a pot? I was thinking of getting some hot chili peppers, banana peppers, and obviously green peppers will go in to the plot.

All the herbs and flowers I'll be growing in pots out on the back deck. So it will be away from the main vegetable plot. I'm getting really excited! It's finally warming up after a pretty harsh winter. All my favorite hobbies are coming back! Growing, mushroom hunting, fishing. I'm going to learn a lot about foraging this year, kind of as a goal.

A friend and I plan on having a lot of natural meals this year. Like homegrown veggies, edible mushrooms (mmmm delicious!), and we're even going to go to our favorite fishing spot and get us some cat fish! What an awesome feast that will be.

Actually was with 2 of my mushroom hunting buddies today, have a friend with some land, and he's down to grow a mass amount of mushrooms, mainly oysters. We're going to look in to selling them at the farmers market for some extra cash this year.

I hope everybody's grow season goes well, and may you all yield an abundant harvest!
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