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Subject: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/22/09 at 11:51 pm

I am planning on planting a veggie garden for the first time this spring. I would like to plant the following: tomato, lettuce, bell peppers, summer squash, zucchini, and snap beans.  I have never done this before...and any help/suggestions/ideas/hints would be greatly appreciated. :)

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: karen on 01/23/09 at 6:56 am

I've grown tomatoes before.  Usually in a grow bag or a pot.  They need watering once or twice a day every day.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: 2kidsami on 01/23/09 at 7:01 am


I am planning on planting a veggie garden for the first time this spring. I would like to plant the following: tomato, lettuce, bell peppers, summer squash, zucchini, and snap beans.  I have never done this before...and any help/suggestions/ideas/hints would be greatly appreciated. :)
Buy your tomatoes and bell peppers as plants at the local garden center.  All the rest are better if grown from seeds.  Do not set out plants too early, as frost will kill them (the frost free date - safe date - is determined by your area).  Tomatoes you can not plant too deep (unless you cover the plant completely of course), but do not plant peppers any deeper than they already are in the soil. 

Invest in some good compost and rototill it into your existing soil - packed full of nutrients and organic.  You may put some bone meal in the hole with each plant to get them established well and help "set" fruit.

Not sure what other advice you need - just ask

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: danootaandme on 01/23/09 at 9:05 am

I can't grow anything from seed, don't know why.  I always get plants that have already been started.  Choose the tomato plants wisely, different varieties have different needs.  Some garden centers will sell some that may be easy to grow, but don't taste good at all.  Always check how much sun they need, full sun means at least 6 hours of sun, some people think they need to be in the sun all day, but 6 hours is enough.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: Gis on 01/23/09 at 10:27 am

I always grow my tomatoes from seed, much cheaper!
If you slice open a tomato and spread the seeds on a piece of kitchen towel/paper towel. Let that dry, fold it up and seal in up in a container or plastic bag.Then in the spring fill a seed tray with soil, lay the paper on the top and cover with a light sprinkle of soil a few weeks later you have your tomato plants! They need to be germinated under cover so a window sill will do if you don't have a cold frame or glass house. It is better to grow them in large pots or grow bags because they do need a lot of water and once the first truss of fruit has set you need to feed them once a week. You also need to pinch the side shoots out so they put more energy into growing fruit and not shoots! Finally when the tomatoes start to go red cut off the bottom leaves, again it puts more energy into the fruits. 
Of all the plants you mention, apart from the lettuce, I start them all in seed trays and transplant them out when they have established and the soil has warmed up. Lettuce is best sown dirrect where you plan to grow them.

I collect the seeds from tomatoes, beans, squash and zucchini, dry them out and plant them the next year. 

My veggie patch this year will have potatoes, onions, sweet corn, french beans, peas, radishes, carrots, squash, zucchini, lettuce, beetroot and strawberries. YUM!!

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: wildcard on 01/23/09 at 12:51 pm

Just that each plant takes out a different nutrient in the soil.  If you planted tomatoes one year in a spot,  you wouldn't want to plant something from that family in the same spot next year. 


Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: loki 13 on 01/23/09 at 5:17 pm

Erin, if you are planting lettuce you'll want to plant it a little earlier than the rest of the vegetables. Lettuce is a cool weather
vegetable, it can handle a Little frost. If you're planting from seed it's best to plant mid to late March or Late August for a fall
crop. Some varieties of lettuce can stand summer temperatures but most grow best in spring and autumn.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: danootaandme on 01/23/09 at 5:25 pm

If you are a first time gardener don't be shy about getting a book about gardening for children.  That is what I did.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: loki 13 on 01/23/09 at 8:37 pm

Erin, the best tip I can give for tomatoes is to get yourself a truck take a little trip here to South Jersey and
grab a ton or two of good old Jersey top soil because there isn't anything better than big juicy home grown
Jersey tomato.  ;D

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 01/23/09 at 9:17 pm

Organic compost.  Don't throw away banana peels and stuff like that.  It's better than chemical fertilizers.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/23/09 at 9:43 pm

wow guys! Thanks for all of the good tips. I definitely do not have a green thumb, yet this spring/summer I am planning on planting a garden AND doing some landscaping out front! Wish me luck! :)

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: wildcard on 01/23/09 at 11:20 pm

^ good luck

I actually don't know how much of a green thumb I have.  I'm just good at asking a lot of questions and looking up answers.  Over the years though I missed that full sun means 6 hours of sun and part sun/shade means 3.  I'll be watching the movement of the sun over my dirt lot.  I'm a butterfly gardener, but have grown tomatoes and parsley together once.  I also have an orange tree I've never got to fruit.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: Gis on 01/24/09 at 4:19 pm


Organic compost.  Don't throw away banana peels and stuff like that.  It's better than chemical fertilizers.
Roses love banana peel.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: Reynolds1863 on 01/24/09 at 5:17 pm


Roses love banana peel.


I know, my Mom makes sure she her roses are well fed.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: loki 13 on 01/24/09 at 6:17 pm

Erin, I forgot to mention, if you're going to grow zucchini and summer squash make sure you have the room for it. The
gourd family of plants are very aggressive and will take over a garden. I plant cucumbers, I have a round cage made of
chicken wire that I use to contain the vines because I don't have a lot of room, it works really well.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: Tam on 01/25/09 at 11:09 am

Hey Erin!

Here is something I never understood until I got in really bad trouble from my Grandmother (Noma).

She used to keep a chicken wire fence around her garden, about a foot and a half high. Inside this fence, she kept 2 toads (not frogs).

I made the mistake of trying to free the toads when I was 12, and Noma flipped out!!! She whooped my butt and told me she kept the toads in there so they would eat all the bugs that like to destroy her crops. I would assume that the number of toads depends on the size of your garden. ;)

Also, Noma always put her coffee grounds around the base of some of the plants, as well as her tea leaves. (she would open the used tea bag and just dump the tea leaves out into the soil.)

Best of luck to you with your garden! 8)

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/25/09 at 10:16 pm

those are great tips! Thanks again guys!

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: danootaandme on 01/26/09 at 9:42 am

I keep something on the counter top to catch all of my cofffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, and vegetable leftovers.  Sometimes I grind it up in the blender and just pour it out, sometimes I throw it into a 20 gallon tub I have.  I have some topsoil in the tub and and stir the stuff in and keep a lid on it.  It all ends up breaking down and is good compost.

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/26/09 at 7:46 pm

i started buying some seeds today for certain vegetables.


Oh..I also wanted to ask...has anyone had experience with growing pumpkins? Is it difficult?

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: 2kidsami on 01/26/09 at 7:57 pm


i started buying some seeds today for certain vegetables.


Oh..I also wanted to ask...has anyone had experience with growing pumpkins? Is it difficult?
Pumpkins are in the squash group - they are easy, just throw the seeds in the ground when potential of frost has passed. 

Just be careful they take lots of room.  We had pumpkins one in an area they grew to the drive - I parked somewhat in the middle of the drive.  I left plenty of room for my husband to maneuver so that he could get out.  HE HIT MY VEHICLE and then blamed the pumpkins (oh like they made him back up without looking) ;D

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/26/09 at 8:06 pm


Pumpkins are in the squash group - they are easy, just throw the seeds in the ground when potential of frost has passed. 

Just be careful they take lots of room.  We had pumpkins one in an area they grew to the drive - I parked somewhat in the middle of the drive.  I left plenty of room for my husband to maneuver so that he could get out.  HE HIT MY VEHICLE and then blamed the pumpkins (oh like they made him back up without looking) ;D



hahah....thanks for the warning! 2 years ago, our next door neighbors must have had a small pumpkin patch. Anyway, before the pumpkins actually grew, the vine grew up over our fence....and this HUGE pumpkin ended up growing in our backyard..it was awesome! Nice and orange and ready to carve just in time for Halloween! :D

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: 2kidsami on 01/26/09 at 8:29 pm



hahah....thanks for the warning! 2 years ago, our next door neighbors must have had a small pumpkin patch. Anyway, before the pumpkins actually grew, the vine grew up over our fence....and this HUGE pumpkin ended up growing in our backyard..it was awesome! Nice and orange and ready to carve just in time for Halloween! :D
Did you keep it, or did you give it to your neighbor.  I am telling you they take a lot of room - 20 feet on either side :o

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/26/09 at 9:37 pm


Did you keep it, or did you give it to your neighbor.  I am telling you they take a lot of room - 20 feet on either side :o



shhhh...we kept it. ;)  I probably won't have enough room to plant them. I mean...we have a larger sized backyard...but our yard is longer than it is wide. I don't want the whole yard ending up to be a mess of a garden. :D

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: Gis on 01/27/09 at 6:32 am



shhhh...we kept it. ;)  I probably won't have enough room to plant them. I mean...we have a larger sized backyard...but our yard is longer than it is wide. I don't want the whole yard ending up to be a mess of a garden. :D
My Mum planted one at the edge of the veggie patch and everytime it grew she moved it so it ran along the border of the patch, I think it ended up circling the patch about 3 times!  ;D

Subject: Re: Gardening Tips

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 01/27/09 at 10:52 pm


My Mum planted one at the edge of the veggie patch and everytime it grew she moved it so it ran along the border of the patch, I think it ended up circling the patch about 3 times!  ;D


that's funny, Gis! What a sight to see! ;D

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