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newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

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newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

Post  meghory on 3/4/2012, 3:13 pm

Hello everyone! I posted a while back about being a newbie and overwhelmed. I still am a little bit but still want to give it a shot with at least one 4x4 box. I know what I would be interested in growing now and would like your thoughts on it. Where should I start with what I want to grow. Also, this time around I would like to not fool with growing anything indoors first. I'm ok with transplanting or planting the seeds myself. I also am not sure if everything I want to grow is a good place to start with my first box, if there's enough room for all of it or if I need to add stuff hence why I'm posting it here. Any thought would be greatly appreciated! We're headed to Worms Way today for supplies! Thanks!!!

I would be interested in growing:
tomatoes
sugar snap peas
garlic
oregano
basil
spinach
lettuce
strawberries
This go round. I read in the book where some people do a whole box of just strawberries so I'm not opposed to this.
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meghory

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Re: newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

Post  efirvin on 3/4/2012, 5:11 pm

I like your list of things you want to grow! I'm new here too but would recommend you make you a little blueprint of your sfg box(es) and see how much room you will need for each plant. The sfg book has some planting grids in the back you could use to help you. I will be interested in how it "grids out" for you!

Good luck planting!

Evelyn
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efirvin

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Re: newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

Post  laurainwinona on 3/4/2012, 5:17 pm

Welcome to SFG! Your list of plants, except for the garlic, are all good things for a newbie. You can buy tomato plants and put them in your SFG at the right time, and the rest you can just sow seed in your SFG at the right time. Peas will need a trellis, though, and tomatoes you might want to train up a trellis, too. Some other plants I've found to be very easy (this is my 4th year) are bush green beans and carrots. Strawberries you might want to devote a whole box to. Have fun.
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laurainwinona

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Re: newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

Post  Lemonie on 3/5/2012, 9:53 pm

Welcome! This is only my second season, but I started similar to you. At this point, it may depend a lot on your trellis space and the rest on how crazy the weather gets. I started everything way too late last year but still got some good munchies. It's perfect timing now to put on a plastic cover and start your peas, spinach and lettuce. In fact, I still have my onions, garlic, broccoli, spinach and lettuce from fall that has overwintered with the slightest TLC. Will be planting my carrots this weekend and even some cauliflower. I like to keep them tucked in the back to middle squares and then add some bigger plants in front to try to block some of the heat when it warms up. I managed to keep some lettuce and spinach growing during some intense heat because it was covered well under the squash leaves. I had a few strawberry plants that I started in a little 1x5 last summer and that seemed like enough to give them a good start. They're already coming back big and bushy and I will be transplanting them to their own box this summer and let their suckers go a little wild until the box is full. The wonderful thing about the Mel's mix, is you can easily transplant to different squares between seasons....just a little dig and gentle lift and you can move the whole plant outta that beautiful, friable soil to it's new home.

With your cold crops, you can usually "over stuff" a square between the cycles too. For example, I threw some lettuce around my peppers and by the time it was warm enough for the pepper plant to take off- it was also getting to warm to let the lettuce go any further. My basil shared with the spinach for a bit and then earned a full square by mid summer as it went crazy.

And don't let garlic scare you. It's not difficult, just takes patience. I started a few in spring last year and only manage to chop some good greens off of them a few times (I use them like chives on my taters, yum!). I dug 'em up and relocated in fall and just left them all winter to do their thing. They've remained green on top and plump on bottom and I've already dug down a bit to see that they should be a wonderful harvest by late spring/mid summer. From now on, I'll stick with just planting them in the fall to save on my spring garden space.

Best advice I can give...accept that your first year will be mostly an experiment and lots of learning....have fun with it!
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Lemonie

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Re: newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

Post  quiltbea on 3/5/2012, 10:22 pm

Welcome meghory.....You could trellis peas on the north side and stake 3 tomato plants on the west side and still have 9 squares left for oregano, basil, spinach, garlic and lettuce. I would put strawberry in its own bed unless someone gives you just a couple of plants to try. Usually when you buy them there are a dozen or more in the pack.

Its smart to start with one box if you're a little leery. I started with nine 12" deep boxes right away because I had someone offer to make them for me so I bought the lumber, went away to a weekend quilt conference, and came home to 9 beds all made.

Good luck. Its a great way to garden.
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quiltbea

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Re: newbie needs help with my gardening plan!

Post  Rhianna78 on 3/5/2012, 11:52 pm

Welcome! You have a good list of things to grow. The only issue I see is the garlic - it LOVES cold weather so you may be fighting nature on that one. It does make a fantastic overwinter plant though. You may need to go with garlic chives during the summer/fall this year at least.

I suggest some graph paper, a pencil and lots of imagination. If you want to companion plant some of those can go in the same squares. If not, just remember to put the taller things to the North side (peas & tomatoes) so they don't block out the lower plants.

Good luck & I'm sure you'll have a great time gardening & learning. Smile
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