Veggies garden

With the economy being what it is, I’m thinking this is a good time to start investigating growing some veggies behind the house.

I had to give up - between the voles and the deer, I couldn’t raise anything. Besides, the soil here is not conducive to good growing. I might try again, if I can get some soil modification in place. I’ve got a fence to keep the deer out, and a mole-chaser to keep the voles and other burrowing critters out.

Economy in the can or not, growing your own always has it’s advantages! It’s better for you, you know there are not pesticides or chemicals in there. Also, you can grow exactly what you want.

I’m really looking forward to starting the garden this spring.

i spammed here

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I purchased my parents one of these. They did not plant everything but they had fun over their usual okra/tomatoe/pepper crop they plant every year. Also find your local Master Gardenerprogram for free educated answers to any of your questions.

There is a great book called square foot gardening that I think would help you out.

If this is dealing with space issues, I have plenty of space. I just have poor soil and too many varmints. Right now, though, I’m working (slowly, a little bit at a time) to improve the soil. Cardboard and shredded paper - I put some shredded paper out there several years ago, and there is a distinct difference in the quality of the growth -should I say weeds? Actually, it’s peppermint that’s taking it over, but anywhere, where I put the shredded paper, it is a nice dark green, and elsewhere has a sort-of yellowish cast. I put strawberry plants out there once, and the squirrels got most of the strawberries.

Anyway, I’m hoping to be able to plant a little bit of something next year. I have several garbage bags full of shredded paper, and I have a Hillary Clinton Evidence Processor, so shredded paper to improve the soil isn’t a big problem.

[quote=“jgc, post:1, topic:16531”]
With the economy being what it is, I’m thinking this is a good time to start investigating growing some veggies behind the house.
[/quote]I have never been good at growing vegs so I stay away from doing it. I tried growing tomatoes and got such a poor crop while my next door neighbor has no problem.

I happen to do super good with Tomatoes.

The common problems are fertilizing them and uneven watering.

When you plant Tomatoes,use the 50-50 ratio of compost/manure to soil,in the hole that you plant them in.DO NOT FERTILIZE THEM! They get all they ever need from the soil amendments you gave it at planting time.

I first dig my holes and fill in the compost or manure for the plants,then take each tomato plant and STRIP ALL THE LEAVES FROM THE STEM except the very top leaves,be careful of those white hairs you see all over the plants stem,they will become the roots.Plant all but the top leaves into the ground.

The idea is to triple or more the area of root growth from the plant.

After they are planted,I use plastic containers such as one gallon milk jugs,for use as mini greenhouses,using the caps at night and taking them off in the day time.This greatly reduces the effect of those cold spring winds,that can shock them into sulking for a long time,before they finally grow.

When the weather warms up in may,I use grass clippings around 2" deep around the plants with a tiny open soil ring right around the plant stem (later you can cover it).You can use hay or alfalfa too,just be sure it is not over 2"-3" thick to prevent slimy mess from developing.This serves a purpose of keeping soil temperature from getting too warm or too cold,it is a moderating tool.It also greatly reduces “blossom end rot” problems,by keep soil moisture levels more even,thus preventing the “temporary” droughts that occurs on a hot day that sucks moisture out of the developing fruit.

Hopefully this will help.

I do great with Beans,Carrots,Peas and Parsnips too.Ask me and I could help provide helpful tips.

Tommy, that was very interesting. We used to grow tomatoes so well we had 'em coming out our ears. The last few years have not done very well at all. Although we’ve rotated, I think we sucked the soil dry of all it’s nutrients. Next year they’re getting moved clean out to the field where our larger garden did very well this last season.

Question: How large in diameter is your ‘soil ring’?
What planting zone are you in? We’re in zone 6.

Suzanna, hope you see this as it’s been a while since anyone’s visited.
Start a compost pile, or at least get you one of those tight-lidded trash cans for all your table scraps. If you have a grass catcher on your mower, throw those in, as well as leaves you rake this fall. When it fills, keep dumping it onto your garden area.

Table scraps? What’s that? We rarely have any. Occasional potato peelings. We do have organic stuff in the yard - I’ve been raking a bunch of stuff up - and I should probably get a grass catcher, since we have some spots in the yard where the grass grows extremly fast. Although normally, it’s best to leave the grass clippings lay, or you will milk your lawn of nutrients.

I don’t know about some of the stuff I’ve been raking up, though, because there are a lot of pine needles (high acid). I suppose, though, that once they decompose to make good soil, that will outweigh the acidity.

Good for you. I hate waste, too, especially when it comes to food. But there are generally things like egg shells, bones from meat, coffee grounds, tea bags, orange peels, corn cobs, any veggie you clean prior to eating, (carrots, onions, celery, lettuce, i.e.), and the occasional leftover that spoils in the fridge.

We do have organic stuff in the yard - I’ve been raking a bunch of stuff up - and I should probably get a grass catcher, since we have some spots in the yard where the grass grows extremly fast. Although normally, it’s best to leave the grass clippings lay, or you will milk your lawn of nutrients.

I don’t know about some of the stuff I’ve been raking up, though, because there are a lot of pine needles (high acid). I suppose, though, that once they decompose to make good soil, that will outweigh the acidity.

Pine needles, like you said, are acidic, but they hold up well and are great for drainage. I’d be leery of over-doing it, though. A book I have says pine boughs make an excellent winter mulch. That suggests to me that they lose their acidity over time. I’d have to double-check that ‘fact’ before I tried it.
The ‘expert’ in the family, however, is at work at the moment.

I don’t know about some of the stuff I’ve been raking up, though, because there are a lot of pine needles (high acid). I suppose, though, that once they decompose to make good soil, that will outweigh the acidity.

If you are raking up pine needles from under pine trees,I suggest that you leave part of it there to help the soil around the pines.

The acid compounds readily leaches out of the needles,thus using them in the compost pile should be fine,especially if your soil is alkaline.Just try not to add too much of the needles,at a time to the compost pile,to avoid excessive temporary high acid levels.

If you just add the 50-50 compost to soil ratio in the planting holes,that should be enough for the year,to keep the Tomato plants happy.

Tomato plants are part of the Nightshade family and therefore thrives in ordinary to poor soils.

The soil ring is about 3 feet across,or that having the plants 2 feet apart a continuous row.

Using the Sunset book,I am in Zone 3 with average date of last frost in the spring in mid April and first frost in late October.

I don’t think that can be planting zone 3, I’m in 5, and those dates are close to ours; actually, our frosts are often later in the spring, and earlier in the fall. 3 is much colder.

I AM in zone 3 according to Sunset planting zones:

LINK

I live in the Columbia basin area of Kennewick Washington,where we enjoy around 190 day of frost free weather.

Sunset Link

Here you can view the map,where it shows that I am in zone 3.

You might be using the US climate zone maps?

Yeah, I think that’s what’s shown in all the seed and nursery catalogs I’ve ever seen. In the one you linked to, it shows me in either zone 40 or 42 (not sure which one). In the one I’m familiar with, there are only about 10 zones in the entire country - and Canada.