Do You Have a Garden?

Updated on May 21, 2012
L.L. asks from Austin, MN
11 answers

If so, I'll take your best advice!!

We've always grown flowers, and I've done jalepenos in a pot (turned out well) but this year we decided to go all out and do a veggie garden. After three days of back breaking labor (removing all the sod, sort of tilling the ground, etc...chucking the sod into the woods...oh my, I feel like I'm 80!) we finally planted today...carrots, peppers, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and watermelons.

Have you planted any of these things? Any helpful hints? After reading some stuff just now, I'm worried nothing's going to grow!!! I didn't pH balance my soil, I probably didn't turn it "well enough", I didn't fertilize, I'm not 100% positive I'm going to have great drainage...and I will be so sad if this all goes to waste!!!

(At least it was a fun Mother's Day and beyond project with my oldest...)

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I did plant everything from seed. :) Ah, the wait...

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement. I am so excited to see what comes up!!! :) I really want it to produce really will mean a lot for our family as a whole because budgets are tight and I would love to be able to "afford" more fresh veggies...TA DA!!

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answers from Minneapolis on

We have a garden and grow mostly stuff for salsa, tomatoes and lots of kinds of peppers. We also plant cucumbers. All of these have done very well and I am also in MN. We did not have good luck with watermelons or onions. Lettuce grows like crazy. I have not tried broccoli but my daughter did in pots and it grew well. You will get stuff, just keep it watered and feed it once in awhile. Enjoy it, it is really great fun watching how many vegetables you get from very few plants. My grandchildren eat the cherry tomatoes as if they are candy.

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answers from Columbia on

Don't worry about the pH or any of that. It's virgin ground, it'll be ok.

Watermelons will need a slightly more sandy soil for drainage, and more water than anything else. (and you know that each one plant can grow several 10 foot or more arms from which the watermelons bloom). Oh, and don't turn the watermelons.

The rest (in my experience) will either grow or not. But I rarely have luck planting in the ground from seed - that's about the most difficult thing to do.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Did you plant seeds for everything? If so, you could add some plants from the garden center to get a quicker start so at least something will be growing.

I guess in your climate, the garden season might start later. It helps to plant cool weather or warm weather plants at different times. Here in Austin, TX, it is already too hot for broccoli and lettuce. Peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon like warm weather. For carrots, the saying goes that if you plant carrots and radishes at the same time, the radishes will be done by the time the carrots even sprout. And some people start several batches of carrots so they will be ready at different times.

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answers from Honolulu on

I garden all the time and have since I was a kid.
I grow things from seed.

Just leave it be.
See what happens.
It will probably be fine.

Carrots, peppers, onions, lettuce and broccoli and melons, are easy.
I have grown that.
And I didn't do anything special.

But hopefully, your soil is nice and good and not hard.
Should be nice since you tilled it.
Did you add compost or good soil to it and then till that all together?
No fret.
It will probably be fine.

You can always fertilize later. With liquid Miracle Grow or just a general all purpose granular fertilizer.

As you can see, I don't do my gardening like a scientist.
Just by gut.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have a garden too - we had a big one at our first house, and since we moved in 2009, we started a new one last spring (with the sod cutting, rolling, and tilling)... I didn't pH balance my soil, or fertilize and everything grew great last year! We rented a tiller to turn the soil, and did the same this year.

My parents have always been huge gardeners. Here are their pointers.

Fertilize with composted manure (you can buy it in a bag). Once your plants are up, just put some around each plant. My mom also mulches with grass clippings.

I always start with some plants and some seeds. I buy tomato plants, broccoli, peppers.. but use seeds for carrots, scallions, lettuce.

It's been dry, so I'd plan on watering daily until your seeds germinate and the plants are well established.

Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

oh, my dear! so much work!
i will never till again. raised beds (including hay bale beds) are all i will ever do. i just lasagna the beds with kitchen compost, very aged manure and newspapers, and my garden soil is magic!
don't be discouraged if your garden is a little sketchy the first year. i don't ever do PH tests, but you do want to add organic material. you can do it in the autumn and let it percolate all winter.
some stuff will do great from seed. some you might find are worth investing in plants from the nursery. but whatever does come up will be so fresh and wonderful, you will thank yourself a gazillion times in spite of your current backache!
:) khairete

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answers from New York on

I have a garden, too. I started it last year, and here are some things I learned.

Mix in some compost. We go to the recycling center in my town and get it for free. Break up the ground really well. My carrots looked like pancakes because the ground was too hard. Watch out for slugs! Those little suckers have a devil may care attitude and will eat everything in the garden, especially after a good rain. Pay attention to what zone you're in. It will help a lot. I'm in zone 6. Tomatoes and peppers should be started indoors about 2 months before the last frost. Last year, I barely had a plant before the frost hit. You're good with the broccoli, onions, lettuce though....I don't remember about the carrots. You should grow some cabbage and kale if you like it. They're pretty cold hardy. Oh yeah, careful with fertilizer. You can burn your plants! I completely torched my lawn by using too much fertilizer.

That's all I can think of! Happy gardening, it's a great hobby.

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answers from St. Louis on

One thing I can tell you is if you don't have really soft soil the carrots will not grow well. They needs really loose soil.

I use Preen, other than that it is totally organic. The Preen doesn't touch the actual plants I just use it between the rows because when I is a hundred out I have no desire to pull weeds out of soil that has the consistency of rock!

Oh, drip irrigation systems are an easy DIY project. The beauty of them is the water is targeted. It doesn't hit the leaves which can burn them. It goes directly into the soil so you don't get a lot of evaporation. Plants love it, the water bill loves it, win win!

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answers from Chicago on

It should be fine. Most of those things will grow almost anywhere, as long as they get good sun.

I don't pH my soil. I do throw in compost once a year, but that's it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

i dont think you have much to worry about-sun and water is primary-you said your close to the woods-i strongly suggest this-put a fence up around your garden-then around the outside of the garden-put moth balls-will keep all the wild critters out of your garden-works like a charm-good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Duluth on

A few random things...

--make sure you thin your carrots or you won't get anything.
--watermelons need LOTS of heat; you might be able to grow them there (we are in northern MN and can't); we have friends who put them in old tires, which retain heat well
--try it the easy way and see what happens! We haven't had good luck with onions and I'm not sure why. Some thigns just don't do well in certain regions because of soil type or acidity or heat or whatever. Talk to neighbors and see what grows well by you. If something you really love doesn't grow well by you, learn what it needs to be happy and figure out whether you're willing to do that.

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