Veggie Gardening for Dummies ... Like Me

If you are trying to be organic …

While I’m a technician in Silicon Valley, my Dad was a farmer (and all his brothers and sisters). I do not hold in high esteem the Luddites who proclaim that farmers are poisoning their customers out of greed, malice and/or ignorance. I hope I didn’t mash your toes, Tiny … I tried to say it nicely …

I appreciate your willingness to help folks with your experience.

Not at all, Pete. The only reason I see for growing organic, is the reason I have to.
Below my house, at the bottom of a large hill, is my neighbor’s Koi pond. So, to prevent damage to my neighbor’s pond, I refrain from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. My fruit orchard, which has zero chance of contaminating the pond, is grown conventionally.
The common misconception with regard to organics,is that chemical fertilizers “poison” the food, which is silly. Whether organically provided, or through synthetics, plants absorb and use NPK the same way. The dangers were always to wildlife, not the food.

If you don’t want to spend the money on fertilizer you can always ask a local cattle owner if you can use their manure…unless they have a garden they won’t mind. Its messy, but if you have a truck its a good idea.

You could compost a copy of the Obama Care Bill but that might be a bit strong.

Can’t grow the economy, can’t grow plants…

Priceless. But you couldn’t use that much,unless you garden commercially. Brilliant, tperkins.

Well, my early spring planting is complete. I have put out broccoli, cauliflower, buttercrunch lettuce, snow peas, sugar snap peas, red and white onions, beets and carrots.
Now, I must begin germinating the warm weather stuff.

Winter Gardening Greenhouse

One type of greenhouse is called a cool greenhouse and is the easiest to maintain because you don’t need to provide heat. It is protected from the elements and, with proper positioning, will absorb a great deal of the sun’s warmth on sunny days.

Cool weather plants are a great choice for winter gardening. Greenhouse temperatures that remain consistently below 50 degrees at night will still be warmer than the outside air, while offering you a wide range of plants to grow.

Winter Gardening Greenhouse

I imagine Tiny has his stuff planted already.

[quote=“samspade, post:28, topic:28940”]
Winter Gardening Greenhouse

One type of greenhouse is called a cool greenhouse and is the easiest to maintain because you don’t need to provide heat. It is protected from the elements and, with proper positioning, will absorb a great deal of the sun’s warmth on sunny days.

Cool weather plants are a great choice for winter gardening. Greenhouse temperatures that remain consistently below 50 degrees at night will still be warmer than the outside air, while offering you a wide range of plants to grow.

Winter Gardening Greenhouse

I imagine Tiny has his stuff planted already.
[/quote]I am still growing my winter crop. Mild enough in NC to grow past the New Year. Then, I plant in late Feb, my early Spring crops. Right now, my Collards, Turnips, and spinach, are thriving, and I have some lettuce and peas. Another month, and they’ll be in the freezer.
I want to build a greenhouse. There are plans everywhere, for a PVC frame and greenhouse film, that you could build a nice 8X16, 7 feet high for about 180 bucks. It’s a mobile design. I want to grow some dwarf fruit trees, like banana and orange, etc. I can remove the green house in warm weather, and return it in the Fall.
Another thing to do, is place a plastic 55 gallon barrel inside so the water warms during the day,and keeps the room that much warmer. Also helps keep the humidity up.

[quote=“Bigfoot_88, post:23, topic:28940”]
If you don’t want to spend the money on fertilizer you can always ask a local cattle owner if you can use their manure…unless they have a garden they won’t mind. Its messy, but if you have a truck its a good idea.
[/quote]Absolutely. Great post. Farmers,even Chicken farmers, give a lot of fresh and composted manure, to get rid of it. If you plan to plant right away, try to get some that has been sitting for about 6 months. However,if you put fresh in now, by Spring, it will be fine. Fresh has the ability to pass on pathogens and bacteria, such a e coli., and can be too “hot”.
Also, manures have different NPK values, and thus, can be used for different applications.
Dairy cow 0.57N 0.23P 0.62K
Beef steer 0.73N 0.48P 0.55K
Horse 0.70N 0.25P 0.77K
Swine 0.49N 0.34P 0.47K
Sheep/goat 1.44N 0.5P 1.21K
Rabbit 2.40N 1.40P 0.60K
Chicken 1.00N 0.80P 0.39K
N=NITROGEN
P=PHOSPHOROUS
K=POTASSIUM
Nitrogen helps the plants grow stems and leaves. Phosphorous helps roots and fruits. Potassium provide much, that plants need in all aspects of their cycle, including Photosynthesis, starch and protein production, enzyme reactions, water movement, protein synthesis cell wall components, fruit development. Potassium is abundant in wood ashes.

So, for zucchini, you want a fertilizer with moderate/heavy nitrogen, high phosphorous, and high potassium. Steer would be good, or chicken, but with chicken, I’d add some ashes. Tomatoes need little nitrogen, high phosphorous, and high potash. Too much N, and you will have 8 foot plants,with little fruit.
Oh well,I am probably boring everyone to tears. I’ll answer any questions I can.

[quote=“Tiny1, post:29, topic:28940”]
I am still growing my winter crop. Mild enough in NC to grow past the New Year. Then, I plant in late Feb, my early Spring crops. Right now, my Collards, Turnips, and spinach, are thriving, and I have some lettuce and peas. Another month, and they’ll be in the freezer.
I want to build a greenhouse. There are plans everywhere, for a PVC frame and greenhouse film, that you could build a nice 8X16, 7 feet high for about 180 bucks. It’s a mobile design. I want to grow some dwarf fruit trees, like banana and orange, etc. I can remove the green house in warm weather, and return it in the Fall.
Another thing to do, is place a plastic 55 gallon barrel inside so the water warms during the day,and keeps the room that much warmer. Also helps keep the humidity up.
[/quote]I remember years ago seeing a greenhouse that was built that was composed of visqueen and wood put together with scotch staples. The structure was not that big and it definitely was not fancy but it must have worked.

[quote=“samspade, post:31, topic:28940”]
I remember years ago seeing a greenhouse that was built that was composed of visqueen and wood put together with scotch staples. The structure was not that big and it definitely was not fancy but it must have worked.
[/quote]Not rocket surgery. Probably worked great, until the plastic yellowed. Greenhouse film works better, and lasts 3 times as long.

Just for fun, somebody bring up from YouTube some of the DIY’s of Red Green, the one that came to me yesterday is making your own outdoor corner table to hold your drink.