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Planning my organic garden


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#1 Misha

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 08:37 PM

So, last year was my first year having an organic garden. I pretty much bombed out--I yielded approximately 6 sugar snap eas and 1 half eaten strawberry. It didn't exactly provide us with food for the whole Winter:lol:

Anyway, I'm in a bit of a Winter slump and thought the best way to get out of it would be to start planning my Spring garden. A couple of question:

What are some of the easier veggies to grow?

What is a good, natural repellant?

Do you used raised garden beds?

I've read some good gardening books but also LOVE personal experience.

Any tips for a novice?:smile:

#2 Smiles

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:19 AM

Look for blight and/or pest resistant varieties. I'm not sure if this seasons seed catalogs are out yet but you can look at last years to get an idea. You can start them indoors which will let you begin your gardening fun earlier. You'll also avoid some of the pathogens that come with nearly all nursery stock. A 4 foot 4 bulb T5 flouro will likely allow you to start your whole garden inside.

Zuchinni grows super easy, yields lots too!

Peppers are easy, just make sure you protect their tender leaves against bugs. Cold pressed neem oil works well for this. Einstein Oil is a good (expensive) brand. Lowes/HD neem works too.

My cherry tomatoes never suffer from blight like my bigger varieties. The right cultivar fed well will yield lots too.

Watch your zuchinni, tomatoes, squash for powdery mildew. This can be cured with a slightly akaline water or diluted milk spray. My favorite organic way to take care of and prevent PM (as well as botrytis on your strawberries) is inoculation with Bacillus subtilis. Its a helpful bacteria that will keep the nasties at bay. In can be purchased in the form of Serenade Garden. Warning: it does smell like if a foot had an ass, and the foot never ever washed his ass. Spray your seedlings before they go outside and every other week after. The smell dissapates outside within a couple hours. A cheaper way to innoculate is with aerated earthworm casting teas. Plants absolutely love this stuff.

Plant some herbs like cilantro, dill or caraway, maybe some white cosmos to help convince some ladybugs to come rage in your garden. They will help keep aphid populations low.

#3 Erinisme

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 04:05 AM

I hear caynne pepper mixed with water spayed on the plants is good, and planting lavender bushes also...oh how I love them!

As for growing things....I know nothing (although our beanstalk in school grew a bean! It grew a bean!) but my neighbors always did well with cucumbers and tomatoes.

For strawberries I've been told by many that those pots are really key to growing them.

How about some herbs like basil or cilantro (I bought a window box 2 summers ago and have to actually get the herb plants!)

I'd suggest getting in touch with hemptress...not sure if she's on these boards anymore...but she has a kick ass garden!

#4 china cat

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 04:20 PM

I was volunteering on an organic farm this past summer. The owner is a master gardener and I just sent him an e-mail with your questions. Hopefully he will get back to me with some answers for you :)

#5 china cat

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:50 PM

Hey Misha

Give Roger a try. Here is his e-mail: vegies@verizon.net

He loves helping out. Tell him you're friends with Kris, the professor and let him know your questions. He's a wealth of information :smile:

#6 Misha

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:30 PM

Thank you so much you guys! Kris--I'll e-mail Roger--thanks!:smile:

#7 seany

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:40 AM

Do a search on "Square Foot Gardening" and buy the Mel Bartholomew book. Even if you have a lot of room, I would highly recommend reading this book. It doesn't focus purely on organic, but you can get all your organic nutrient/pest control/soil amendment stuff from any organic gardening book. This book really clues you in to the timing of planting, space needs, companion planting, etc. of small intensive gardening. I've done it and you can really grow a lot in a small space and be more efficient in doing so. Well worth the read. There's also a foundation and store that have sprung off from these concepts.

Good luck!

#8 Tim the Beek

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:25 PM

Barbara Damrosch's Garden Primer is a wonderful resource.

#9 Misha

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:10 PM

Hey Misha

Give Roger a try. Here is his e-mail: vegies@verizon.net

He loves helping out. Tell him you're friends with Kris, the professor and let him know your questions. He's a wealth of information :smile:


I'm full fledged planning the garden now so I'm going to print out this thread and write to Roger!

I got a wonderful seed catalog from a company called Fedco! It's as blast to read--they include all kinds of stories and opinions:lol:

#10 mayfly

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:01 PM

updates ? ? ?? I have my snow peas, tomatoes and lettuce in - picking up the peppers this week. Freakin slug ate my tiny lil basil plant, even with all the mulch around it ! Prolly gonna keep the rest in pots indoors.

#11 MeOmYo

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:26 PM

updates ? ? ?? I have my snow peas, tomatoes and lettuce in - picking up the peppers this week. Freakin slug ate my tiny lil basil plant, even with all the mulch around it ! Prolly gonna keep the rest in pots indoors.


I've used crushed egg shells around the base of plants to deter slugs. Works pretty good but does not stop them all.

#12 JBetty

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:30 PM

I've used crushed egg shells around the base of plants to deter slugs. Works pretty good but does not stop them all.



My grandmother used to put out bottle caps of beer and salt to kill slugs.

#13 mayfly

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:30 PM

yeah they love fresh beer and drink and drown in it, only had the one thus far, also had a real problem last year with those big green tomato worms / catapillar looking things. going to need an organic way of dealing with them besides constantly pulling them off and crushing them

thanks for the egg shell idea, I head about DE powder and beer before, we'll see how bad it gets. I'll hafta post a pic of it tonight since the sun came back out for a bit today