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  1. #1
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    Red face I need help starting a garden!

    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.

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    ^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!









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    I'm in Atlanta... "Eastside"

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    ^would you happen to have a pic of where your garden will be? It might help us offer ideas.









  5. #5
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    Not at this moment, i'm at work lol. I will take a pic today and post it.

    Thank you!

  6. #6
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    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.
    Make every moment, a teachable one.

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    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!
    Make every moment, a teachable one.

  8. #8
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    @ 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!!!

  9. #9
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    ^^No problem. Do keep us posted.
    Make every moment, a teachable one.

  10. #10
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    Keesh--How is everything going?

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

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