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Keessh
01-19-2012, 01:00 PM
I've been interested in starting a garden but I have no idea where/how to begin. I have a nice size back yard but it's not fenced in and I don't want an overwhelming size garden just a small one. Enough for maybe collards, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

OHR
01-19-2012, 01:53 PM
^Boy, oh boy are you in the right place! Whereabouts are you? If you're down Souf [yeah, I said it!] you're in luck b/c you'll have 2 growing seasons. Oh yeah, if you haven't already, check out the other gardening thread for ideas. Welcome!

Keessh
01-19-2012, 02:05 PM
I'm in Atlanta... "Eastside"

OHR
01-19-2012, 02:10 PM
^would you happen to have a pic of where your garden will be? It might help us offer ideas.

Keessh
01-19-2012, 02:14 PM
Not at this moment, i'm at work lol. I will take a pic today and post it.

Thank you!

empowered
01-19-2012, 07:56 PM
Welcome Keessh! You have chosen some great things to grow. Since this will be your first time, a small yet satisfying garden is best and then you can add on one or two things to grow as you are comfortable. Container gardening is very easy to do. You can use just about any container to grow things in. From regular planter pots of various sizes to trash cans can be used, as long as there is enough room for your veggies to grow. I'll try to help out as much as possible.

You are in Zone 7, like me. All that means is that your first frost free date is around April 15th and you last frost free date is Oct. 30th. If you are starting from seed, you want get the timing right.

1.Get some good soil. I prefer the Miracle Gro. They have a brand that is used for vegetables and you mix it with your native soil.
2. Make sure that the spot you choose has at least 6-8 hours of sun.
3. Water as needed.

Tomatoes:

I suggest purchasing tomato plant(s) from your local gardening store. Lowe's and Home Depot also sell them. They start selling seedlings around April or May. Tomato plants are very easy to grow. It is as simple as planting, watering, and go! Once your seedling starts to flower you want to prune the stems that are just below those flowers. One reason is that you don't want your plant to put too much focus on branching, instead of producing fruit once it matures.

Potatoes:

I ordered my tubers from Burpee. These are a little tricky to start. You want to have at least 2-3 "eyes" on each cutting. It's best to cut the potatoes the night before you plant to allow the exposed area to scab over. Potatoes are prone to disease so, make sure you use only certified tubers and not the ones from your grocery store. Also, because they are prone to disease, adding a little acidity and good compost in your soil wouldn't hurt. You can actually grow potatoes in a trash can. Just make sure you put enough holes on the bottom and around the lower part of the trash can so excess water can drain. You then want to push the tubers down at least 6 inches into the soil. As the potatoes grow,you want to check periodically to see if you see any potatoes poking through the dirt. At that point, you want to add more soil. Potatoes grow in a chandelier formation. So, the more soil you put on top as they grow, the more potatoes you have. Once the tops began to flower, you can harvest those potatoes for your "new potatoes." If you want fully mature potatoes, just wait for the green tops to die back.

Peppers:

Like the tomatoes, I suggest purchasing the seedlings from the store. Peppers are very easy to grow. Just plant with good soil, water, and go! Pepper plants love the heat, so they will thrive during those hot summer days.

Collards:

These are a cool weather crop. You can sow the seeds directly in the soil in the beginning of March and again at the beginning of August. Collards can withstand a light frost. These hardy greens are not fussy.

empowered
01-19-2012, 08:09 PM
If you decide to start from seed, the beginning of March is a good time to start indoors. Your garden store should have those seed starting kits. Just follow the directions to get started and you are on your way to a delicious garden. When the seedlings are big enough and there is no sign of frost, the seedlings will be ready to transplant (beginning of May). A week or two before your are ready to transplant you want to harden off the seedlings. That basically means that you want to get your plants used to the outdoors. So, leave the seedlings outside in a sunny spot for a few hours during the day and bring them in before night. I hope the information helps. Please keep us posted on your progress. Remember, gardening is trial and error.

Happy Gardening!

Keessh
01-20-2012, 03:18 PM
@ empowered.. Thank you soooo much : - ) You have given me great tips and advice! I'm so excited lol. I think container gardening is probably the best starting point for me as I have never grown any type of plants before. I can't wait till April to start planting. I will keep everyone updated on my progress and post pictures. Again thank you!!!

empowered
01-20-2012, 04:11 PM
^^No problem. Do keep us posted.

creativity
03-26-2012, 03:11 PM
Keesh--How is everything going?

Empowered--Great advice! I didn't know you should prune when you see flowers on the tomato plant.

OHR
03-26-2012, 05:15 PM
Empowered--Great advice! I didn't know you should prune when you see flowers on the tomato plant.
Yes indeedy. But don't prune the branches w/flowers to heavily...pinch off some of the branches w/out flowers...that way the plant is forced to use its' energy in producing fruit...at least, this is what I do.

OHR
03-26-2012, 05:17 PM
Collards: These are a cool weather crop. You can sow the seeds directly in the soil in the beginning of March and again at the beginning of August. Collards can withstand a light frost. These hardy greens are not fussy.
^I"ve got collards waiting for me to cut that wintered over the wintertime...these I planted last year in April. Collards and the like are better tasting when the light frost hits 'em.

Michele4905
03-27-2012, 01:52 AM
Would you all suggest growing stuff in pots or from the ground?

OHR
03-27-2012, 02:01 AM
There are plants that do best in the ground [right now, I can't tell you which ones :(]....I'd try most herbs in pots...they are contained and won't run rampant in a garden.

Fedyfro
03-27-2012, 02:13 AM
Welcome. You came to the right place. I started my first garden last year. I purchased those seed starter kits with the intention of planting in ground. It turned out my soil was poor so I ended up moving everything to pots and using Miracle Gro. Things got super easy from there.

This year I plan to stick with pots and plant tomatoes, collards, kale and peppers. I hope to yield larger fruit this year by using all the right stuff from the beginning. I really appreciate all the advice.

creativity
04-08-2012, 01:58 PM
Yes indeedy. But don't prune the branches w/flowers to heavily...pinch off some of the branches w/out flowers...that way the plant is forced to use its' energy in producing fruit...at least, this is what I do.


THanks OHR I appreciate it.;) Oh and is it too early to have flowers already? I have them on both my strawberry and tomato plant.

I have some seedlings I started. Only progress so far are the zinnas and the cherry tomatoes are trying. I hope I didn't do something wrong.

creativity
04-08-2012, 02:00 PM
Not at this moment, i'm at work lol. I will take a pic today and post it.

Thank you!


Hey Keessh! I'm in Atlanta--Westside!

Keessh
04-23-2012, 01:34 PM
Hey Creativity! I actually haven't started the Garden yet. I've been swamped with school and work. I plan on starting next month after the semester ends.

creativity
04-23-2012, 07:00 PM
Oh cool Keesh.. looks like you will still be able to have a nice garden during that time. Bundle up.. its chilly and windy huh? Brrr... I hope my plants will be okay.

Keessh
04-24-2012, 12:13 PM
@ creativity... Yessss the wind has been crazy! I had to pull the Peacoat back out the closet yesterday lol

empowered
04-24-2012, 03:13 PM
^^Cool weather indeed. I'm a little worried about my tomato plants though. They seem to be growing...I just don't want there growth to be stunted because of this last minute cool weather.

Thanks OHR for responding about the pruning tomato plants.

7VeriRasta7
07-02-2012, 06:47 PM
I have a huggge backyard and I want to start a full garden with everything......So I will be with you on this one....I think I am going to start this weekend. I want to start a community garden, with all kinds of fruits and veggies. I am a pescatarian so majority of my diet I want to produce in my back yard. So Keesh I am here with you.

Keessh
10-02-2012, 01:55 PM
Hey Wizdom,

How is everything working out?