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#34668 May 25th, 2005 at 08:32 AM
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Amber J Offline OP
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Hi there,

Getting ready to transplant my garden from pots to ground. I am getting confused!

First of all, it sounds like every single fruit or vegetable needs different everything! Maybe I was naive in thinking that there was all-purpose solutions out there.

Second, how do you all know all this? I've had plenty of college chemistry and biology, but I am in awe of how much you all know about what being where wll do what for whom. I can't believe it! How will I know how to build the best garden to grow food for my family?

#34669 May 25th, 2005 at 10:44 AM
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How will I know how to build the best garden to grow food for my family?
+++++++++++++++++++++
Hi Amber. Lots of gardening is trial and error. Reading is the best way to find out new info. Don't be too freaked out by all the variations in the theme. The basics are the same for pretty much all vegies. They like well drained , rich soil with lots of organic matter, a Ph which is just slightly acid and a regular water supply. If you get that far you're pretty much there. It's all about the condition of the soil.
There are some which like more manures, compost, nutrient such as cucurbits or corn and others which prefer a more depleted soil such as carrots. Some like a sweeter soil Ph like peas and others will prefer a more sour soil like parsley. These things are grouped together so you grow plants with similar requirements in the same beds. So you get the soil as rich as possible, without overdoing it and plant stuff. Next season, plant more stuff. Some will excel some will grow OK and some will struggle. You'll learn a whole swag of stuff just by doing it and then you'll get a basic understanding. It's not something anyone will ever get spot on first time so just work on the quality of the soil and everything else will follow:) If the soil is healthy, the plants will be healthy. Good luck:)

#34670 May 25th, 2005 at 11:24 AM
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Transplanting is a trying time for the plants and me.

There is a string down in Gardeners Chat about it and Weezie gave me some very useful information about how to minimize loss during that stage of growing.

My next suggestion is to decide which veggie needs to be planted outside first and then research its needs and prepare the space needed for that plant and then plant it and then go on to the next.

growing food for the family makes it far more important to be right the first time than me just poking a flower in the ground and seeing if it grows.

I agree that compost/manure is probably the most important thing you are going to need. I know that the lack of it caused the first crop I ever grew of squash and tomatoes to be puny and after all the work I did I was really disappointed. I didn't know how important it was and I paid the price.

May you have the most fruitful and beautiful garden ever.

#34671 May 26th, 2005 at 07:43 AM
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Amber J Offline OP
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Could anyone possibly recommend a good gardening book? Or do you think I can just find all my info here? THanks!

#34672 May 26th, 2005 at 08:14 AM
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Rodale's All-New Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.

#34673 May 26th, 2005 at 03:29 PM
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I use Sunset WESTERN GARDEN BOOK.

#34674 May 26th, 2005 at 04:35 PM
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Quote
Could anyone possibly recommend a good gardening book? Or do you think I can just find all my info here? THanks!
Amber, although I do have some gardening books/magazines...I suggest you look here for the info you need. There are so many experienced gardeners that have been through the "trial & error" method already and their knowledge is a wealth of information.(and the bonus: IT'S FREE)
There has never been one question that I have had that was not answered in a quick & timely manner...
It is always a plus to have that personal connection...then if you don't quite understand it can be explained more in depth (can't get that from a book) I have to have everything pretty much "A,B,C" to get it. There are gardeners here that have walked me step by step through what ever situation that arises. AND...we all get excited about each others' accomplishments!
Mr. Bill, the forum hostess's and the members here have done a superior job in making info easy to access. We all want you to have a fun time in your garden and have wonderful results.
So when you get stumped ...ask away...everyone is here to help you! Glad you found the site! thumbup

#34675 May 26th, 2005 at 05:00 PM
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Amber,

First of all, take a breath and relax. It can be very confusing and overwhelming if you let it, or you can relax and enjoy gardening. All of the information that you are talking about are the ideal conditions for the species; tomato, cucumber, lettuce, melons, broccoli, carrots, etc. Guess what, I don't know of anyone who can maintain the "ideal" condition for all their veggies, and the plants still grow and produce something to harvest. As Longy mentioned, some things will thrive and others will struggle, and we may never know why.

It's not worth stressing about it. Put it in the ground and enjoy your results. Even if you are trying to grow enough food to support your family, you won't need the ideal conditions for every crop to do that.

Start with the basics, good soil (I prefer organic amendments vs chemical fertilizers), 1 inch of water a week, keep the weeds at bay, and most veggies want a sunny location. To be honest, when I try to do everything (test for pH and NPK and ammend appropriately, companion plant, proper location, start seeds on time, etc) I find myself so confused, that I don't plant anything.

With that in mind here are three books that are good references for you look into, but don't let it stop you if you don't have everything exactly as they recommend.

Rodale's Successful Organic Gardening: Vegetables
Rodale's Successful Organic Gardening: Companion Planting
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C Smith published by Storey

#34676 May 26th, 2005 at 05:04 PM
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Amber,
There's alot of good reading here on Bill's main
pages...
The Garden Helper
Take one section at a time...

and read thru it....

I also was new to gardening, *had gardened with parents, but wasn't much help to them, :rolleyes: except for the "Eatin'" part... wink laugh

but when I started to do it for myself here,
I got every FREE gardening book I could get my hands on, the one's that want to sell you something, have great FREE information too...
And after you read them, sooner or later something's going to sink in and stick with you and you'll JUST KNOW!!!
And along the way, while you're reading all of that free info, there's lot's of pictures, and you'll read so many magazines and catalog's,
you'll just start reconizing plants, leaves, flowers, just by looking at them....
And when you pay attention to what section you're in in certain books/catalogs/magazines, you'll start to remember all the same plants in the same catagory together, like Hosta's and Lungworts'
and which are grouped together, liking what conditions and all sorts of similar things....

I curl up with hundreds' of books in the winter time too...and when I go to bed, and when I'm in the car waiting to pick up the kid from school and when my husband is driving in the car, and you get the point, I like to read, I like to look at the pictures the best flw flw

and most of all it's TRIAL AND ERROR..
and I watch plants...
and what they do under the conditions they're given, or NOT given...

And you'd be surprised what you learn, when you're busy and your gardening time is shortened, you learn what survives with out you, you learn what babies look like, cause you're not in a hurry to weed shocked :rolleyes: and you learn that one year you had rust on your Hollyhocks and malvia's and the next you didn't..and you start to think to yourself, what was different last year that happened this year.. NO RAIN early in the season. and real dry...
You learn that certain plants will bloom better because they got a TON OF RAIN in the spring, and the next season when it's dry, there's no blooms..

and it's little things like that, after time under your belt in the garden, that you'll learn.
and be a more confident gardener...

Never stop soaking up as much information as you can about gardening, plants, habitats and people who garden... There's a whole exciting world out there where the plants dare to grow and those who love them follow!!!!!

Weezie

#34677 May 26th, 2005 at 05:17 PM
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I love everyone's answers here so far...

It's so true about gardener's,
THEY ARE THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD...

AND THE ONE'S HERE ARE THE GREATTTTTTTTEST!!!!

And I have to agree with the Rodale's too..
I have about 14 of their series books, companion planting is my favorite..

Also, I love the book, "Square Foot" Gardening by
Mel Bartholomew!!!! Gives you great idea's for a smaller gardening...
*Companion planting is great for smaller gardens too*

And I LOVE~LOVE~LOVE...
Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman
They are into alot of great techniques'...

Weezie

#34678 May 27th, 2005 at 05:38 AM
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At my local library, I found "The complete vegetable & herb gardener" by Burpee. I think it's fantastic-1/2 of the book is dedicated to individual "plant portraits", which I have been following regarding when to set out or seed my plants. Very useful, easy reading.

#34679 May 27th, 2005 at 06:05 AM
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How do you all have time to garden, be on here, AND READ??? I can't even get my dishes done for being out in the garden so late...oh well, time for paper plates! Duh

Having a 2 y/o doesn't help much either...he is quite a time consuming little Peanut! grinnnn

#34680 May 27th, 2005 at 06:13 AM
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Duct Tape~~
*for the kids* grinnnn wink

Weezie

#34681 May 27th, 2005 at 12:02 PM
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How do I do it? I don't have a life rofl!!!!! laugh

#34682 May 30th, 2005 at 02:02 AM
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One thing to remember is that no 2 gardens are the same. It may grow good in New York by not grow good in Texas. The soils, weather, and length of day, around the country are different. In my garden the dirt on one end is hard and on the other end it is softer.

I have learned to keep a log of what I plant, so I know what grows and what doesn't. I learned this the hard way. I planted 2 kinds of Green Beans last year, one did good and other didn't, and I have no idea which was which.

I have learned a lot from my Father-in-law, he has gardened for years, and has a very vast knowledge of what grows good in Oklahoma and what doesn't.


Just hand in there, you'll get the hang of it. wink


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