May 31, 2011,
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX on May 25, 2011
What Is the Easiest Way to Plant a Basic Garden?
Good Evening Ladies!
My husband and I are wanting to plant a basic garden- we've never had one before so we would start with the basics. What's the easiest way to get started? Do we just dig holes and plant seeds? lol! I have a "Gardening for Dummies" book but its just too much info. Do I make a raised bed? What do I plant this time of year? We're in North TX if that helps.
How did you get started??
D.R. answers from New York on May 25, 2011
hi, i have had an awesome garden for years, all organic, mostly from seed i saved myself. sorry, but i was told that miracle gro is awful for tomato plants, that you get big bushy plants with a lot less fruit. use fish emulsion , bury the tomato plant with at least half the stem in the hole, roots will grow along it. or seaweed, coffee grounds, compost, something like that. you can do a soil analysis pretty easy, they have little kits at home depot or wherever. but chances are your soil is good enough. i strongly advise you to use some kind of mulch or fabric, or the thing will be a chore. i used garden fabric in rows and put some newspaper between the plants, it fit perfectly. either dig it up or make a raised bed. i wish i had a raised bed too. i would do lettuce there and things like that that are such a pain to wash and stay smaller. anyway, i could go on forever. there is a lot to learn, but you dont have to learn it all to get started. grow what you eat. check out your local cooperative extension, they probably have a gardening website that is custom to your area. gardenweb.com is a great website. i am all about stress free gardening, and every year i fix the things that annoyed me last year. i have found that the best thing is to lay down a soaker hose, attached to a timer, and its all automated. you will have to play with the amount/timing of watering. the best time to water is early or later. not the hottest part of the day. ...you can plant some basil with the tomatoes if you use it, they grow nicely together. you can put some marigolds in there for bugs. or mint. herbs are great. mint will spread like crazy, you can just bury the pot. you will have to stake the tomatos, some of them get really big. it will say on the package/stake. this year im using the posts from our old stockade fence.in tx i bet you can grow beautiful lavender. i keep trying, and its ok. but they love hot and dry. i would grow a ton of it if i could... anyway, ill talk gardening with you any time :) have fun
F.H. answers from Phoenix on May 25, 2011
AZ is tricky and I don't have a green thumb but my mom does. All I have in our yard is rocks and cactus...and I'm not kidding!!! When she moved here she went to Home Depot and chatted with the people in the garden center and got a lot of great info as they know what grows here well and what doesn't. Maybe you can start there. What I wouldn't do for a home grown tomato like I had in Calif...mmmm....good luck!!!
D.D. answers from Denver on May 25, 2011
Go to the library and borrow the book called Square Foot Gardening. I did it last year and can't wait to plant my garden this year. It is a great way and super easy to start a garden. Basically, you build a box that is 4'x4' and six inches deep. Fill it with a mix of composts, section off one foot spaces, and plant! You can also look it up on the web.
It is cool because there is no tilling, no soil amendments to add, no hassle of figuring out how far apart to plant things.
B.M. answers from Dallas on May 26, 2011
I've had best results with raised beds. Texas clay is just not easy to dig into. One of the other posters mentioned "square foot gardening". I can reccommend that as well. I had fairly good success with those techniques. There is a lot of information and it can get overwhelming. Look at your garden as an evolving project. Pick a one method and just do it. Don't worry if everything is perfect. If you like the results, do it again next year. Don't be afraid to experiment. Surprises happen. (For example, the best canteloupe I ever had grew out of my compost.) Check with the local a&m extension to see what to plant. Or Google "master gardener" for your area. I live in Kaufman County and they have a great website. Don't over worry it. My first garden I did everything 'wrong' and I still managed to get quite a few things out of it.
D.W. answers from Philadelphia on May 25, 2011
The first thing to do is to till the ground. I would make sure you turn the ground around, get rid of any rocks or anything else. make sure to have some nice rich dirt. May be go to lowes or home depot to buy some. you can also buy some nice tomato plants there. you could also grow some squash or eggplant also. you will need a cage for the tomatoes to support them for when they get bigger. use some miracle grow on them when you water them. do not over water them. water them early in the morning or in the evening before the sun gets too hot. you do not want to scorch the plant. good luck
S.J. answers from St. Louis on May 31, 2011
Square Foot Gardening - google it - you will be surprised how easy it is.
You could always go buy a book related to the topic, but if you google "sqaure foot gardening" you should be able to find all you need for free!
S.S. answers from Daytona Beach on May 25, 2011
i live in FL, so what my husband and i did was roto tiller a piece of land about 20ft long by 10 feet wide or so. then we pulled all the grass out and dug a trench around it so when we watered it or it rained it wouldn't flood the garden. he threw out the fertilizer and then i raked it into all the tilled land. read the directions on your seeds, see how deep and how far apart to plant them. did that. got some miracle grow potting soil and planted my tomatoes in pots. if you look at the back of the seed packs it should tell you what time of the year to plant things. i know that in my area, it's too late to plant most things until the fall. i would do a raised bed, as we have had both (ever since the first year i told my husband to do this, but he just this year listened) and the first year our garden drowned :), the second year they did raised rows, but the rows kinda went down as the water hit it. in the FL heat, we have to water about every two days. we planted corn, squash, watermelon, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and some flowers to draw the bees. if you don't have bees then your garden won't do well.
S.B. answers from Redding on May 25, 2011
You need good dirt, seeds, water, and that's about it.
Go to a local garden supply store. They're really nice and will know exactly what time to plant certain things in your area.
Things like carrots, green onions and squash (zucchini) are almost impossible to fail at. I live in a very damp climate so we have to be careful about leaf mold, but in TX you shouldn't have that problem.
Gardening is really fun and it's so neat to be able to go out in the yard and bring things in to eat.
T.K. answers from Dallas on May 26, 2011
Buy the 3 to 5 inch plants and put them in your raised bed that you have filled with Miracle Grow Moisture Plus garden soil. That is the easiest way. But it is also the most expensive way!
Sams and costco both have raised bed kits for $20-40, depending on the size. They are the easiest beacause you wont have to break the ground up with a rototiller and get out all the grass and put down garden barrier. Just snap it together, fill with dirt, dig a hole, and stick some plants in. Salad in 6 weeks. Seeds are cheaper, but should be established before you plant them, so its so much harder, takes longer, and more work! It's late in the year to be starting seeds anyway.
J.B. answers from Tyler on May 26, 2011
Start by not using your garbage disposal. Put everything in a place where you can start a compost pile. Grass clippings, garbage, anything that will decompose. Next year, you'll have rich soil to add to your garden.
This year start with a small patch first, good soil, adequate sunshine. Grow things that don't take up too much area. Corn requires lots of area and you don't get that much produce. Tomatoes (but you can't plant these after it gets hot. They will bloom,but not make tomatoes), cucumbers, squash usually produce more in a smaller area. Onions grow well in your area, I think, so that would also be good. Then pray for rain. Watering will keep things alive, but rain really makes gardens thrive and produce. Many things need early spring planting. Just research each veggie to know.