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Hello from Northern Virginia

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Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  mellowcalico on 4/6/2011, 3:37 pm

Hi! I live in Northern Virginia (near Washington DC) and am hoping to start a square-foot garden this year. I am under contract for a townhouse that I won't own until June however, so I hope it won't be too late to get started. I am still reading the book, but it sounds like I can plant for seasons, so maybe I will be in time to start a fall crop of some sort.

I plan on starting with a 4x4 square and seeing how it goes. I have some gardening experience from when I was a kid and a teenager. My parents had a 1/2 acre garden that we ate out of all year it seemed. We grew just about everything (corn, potatoes, tomatoes, greenbeans, wax beans, beats, onions, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, melons, squash... we even had three different kinds of apple trees, a plum tree and a peach tree.) We canned a lot of stuff too. But where I live now, I have a postage stamp backyard--so there isn't a lot of space. Plus, I really don't have the time for a big garden. My biggest worry is the backyard faces north--so I am worried about good sunlight (the HoA doesn't allow for gardens in the front yard).

Anyway, just wanted to say hello. I will continue reading the book over the summer and dreaming. I really hope I can get things to work out with my north facing yard. I was there today at noon and there was just one strip of sunlight along the back fence--that's it. And I would have to tear out a Japanese maple to plant a garden where that light was.


Last edited by mellowcalico on 4/6/2011, 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed a typo)

mellowcalico

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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  greenmama on 4/6/2011, 3:42 pm

Welcome from the Woodbridge area! This is my first year setting up a garden, so we'll be learning along together!
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Location : Northern Virginia--Zone 7

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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/6/2011, 7:56 pm

MellowCalico

How nice to have you here. Congratulations on your new home. What a great thing to anticipate, and starting out small is a great way to go.

We have at least one member who gardened in a North facing yard and did well. Once you get moved in, you will better be able to determine exactly how much sun you will have in the back yard during the day.

Keep reading, keep dreaming and enjoy!
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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  Goosegirl on 4/7/2011, 7:04 am

flower flower flower

Welcome from South Dakota!
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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  mellowcalico on 4/7/2011, 9:23 am

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome! I will probably lurk for the most part since it's hard to ask questions and comment on things when I don't actually have the house yet. But I am eager to learn! Greenmama, yeah! Another NoVa person Smile! You will have to let me know if you find a good gardening store. I am thinking about Merrifield since I know them, but that's kind of out of my way.

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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  WardinWake on 4/7/2011, 9:26 am

@mellowcalico wrote:Hi! I live in Northern Virginia (near Washington DC) and am hoping to start a square-foot garden this year. I am under contract for a townhouse that I won't own until June however, so I hope it won't be too late to get started. I am still reading the book, but it sounds like I can plant for seasons, so maybe I will be in time to start a fall crop of some sort.

I plan on starting with a 4x4 square and seeing how it goes. I have some gardening experience from when I was a kid and a teenager. My parents had a 1/2 acre garden that we ate out of all year it seemed. We grew just about everything (corn, potatoes, tomatoes, greenbeans, wax beans, beats, onions, carrots, strawberries, blueberries, melons, squash... we even had three different kinds of apple trees, a plum tree and a peach tree.) We canned a lot of stuff too. But where I live now, I have a postage stamp backyard--so there isn't a lot of space. Plus, I really don't have the time for a big garden. My biggest worry is the backyard faces north--so I am worried about good sunlight (the HoA doesn't allow for gardens in the front yard).

Anyway, just wanted to say hello. I will continue reading the book over the summer and dreaming. I really hope I can get things to work out with my north facing yard. I was there today at noon and there was just one strip of sunlight along the back fence--that's it. And I would have to tear out a Japanese maple to plant a garden where that light was.

Howdy and Welcome:

Most veggies and flowers will do well with 6 to 8 hours of sun. North facing should be fine. Also if you have a front yard flower garden you can slip in a veggie or two and the "old hussies" on the HOA will never know. Better yet become a member of the HOA or even president and change the rules.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
Wake, Middlesex County, VA
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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  greenmama on 4/7/2011, 9:35 am

Yes, I went to Merrifield Garden near me, and that was the only place I found the coarse Vermicullite.

As for compost, I drove myself crazy driving around for 5 types, but I finally found them all!
-Wegmans and Whole Foods have lobster compost.
-Found the most compost varieties at those little parking lot garden vendors in front of stores. No other place around me at least had true compost.
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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  Old Hippie on 4/7/2011, 10:54 am

@WardinWake wrote:
Howdy and Welcome:

Most veggies and flowers will do well with 6 to 8 hours of sun. North facing should be fine. Also if you have a front yard flower garden you can slip in a veggie or two and the "old hussies" on the HOA will never know. Better yet become a member of the HOA or even president and change the rules.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
Wake, Middlesex County, VA

The dreaded HOA. Yes well, do like Ward suggested and slip a few veggies in amongst your flower beds. Lettuce plants tucked in among the flowers looks great. Oregano has wonderful purple flowers that the bees love. A pretty collection of basil looks great too. Parsley makes a nice edging plant. Northern lights swiss chard has wonderful leaves that are very striking. Radishes grow fast and can be tucked in here and there, harvested and eaten before the HOA knows what is going on. There are all manner of ways to get around them. But the best is to become a member. It is easier to affect change from within. Twisted Evil



Gwynn
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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

Post  dizzygardener on 4/7/2011, 3:46 pm



So glad to have ya!

I think you'll be fine with a north facing garden. I also think you will be fine starting in June. Just seek out fast maturing summer crops and start your fall crops. You'll still get a good sized harvest.

Don't forget that you can ask questions about what to grow and how much. You don't have to have a box in order to participate. Also, check out the regional forums. I think you are probably in the upper south region, but feel free to stop on by the other regional forums as well. I'm in the middle south region. It stretched into VA some, so a lot of the information there may be relevant as well.

Take care, good luck with your home purchase, and happy gardening!
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Re: Hello from Northern Virginia

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