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Any vegtable gardeners?

Hey, just curious if there are any gardeners around here? My wife and I are buying a new house (close at the end of the month) and just put in a new garden. [It is currently vacant (older lady now living in a retirement home) and we were allowed to trespass so that we can get it going so we can garden this summer...] We are excited to get started, but know next to nothing.

We have a decent sized spot and planted squash, zuccini, cucumbers (not to much of any of these, they will likely provide way too many for us anyway!), carrots, beets, green beans, tomatoes, green peppers and 1 lolely little habanero plant. Any good tips?

At this point, we are already realizing that we will be lookign into pickling/canning as well... I am sure that we will figure it out... or not. :huh:
Sure...we have a little plot in the back yard that we devote to gardening. Its about 25' x 15' and we manage to get in a perenial garden, and herb garden and a vegetable garden. We go with all the standards except this year we are giving brussels sprouts a try. In the past we have had some success with corn, scallion and garlic, as well, beyond the regular tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash and lettuce which we grow every year. My favorite thing is the scallions that I have missed that keep coming back.
Beware of cats burying poop, I have that going on in my area and saidly the smallest gun I own is a 243 Winchester, a might to loud to take care of the infestation...
Having your own vegetable garden can be wonderful. There is a real sense of satisfaction to be gained being able to eat things you grew yourself.

With that said, there are some crops that make for better home gardening than others.

Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to grow sweet corn, potatoes, etc. in a home garden. The quality of what you can buy locally (such as from a farmers market) is going to be much better than you can at home. And the low cost of these items bought at retail doesn't, IMHO, make the backbreaking work growing them at home requires, worth it.

Tomatos, on the other hand, can make an excellent home crop. Fresh-picked, vine-ripened tomatos will make most store-bought, CO2 ripened things seem like tasteless bags of water. Tomatos do require a fair amount of care, but can provide a tasty steady crop for several months. Pick out a good "indeterminate" variety that will yield the longest possible season for your locale.

Even the smallest home garden can provide space for herbs: Basil, chives, parsley, mint, arrugula. These fresh herbs can be expensive to buy at the grocery store (Ever try buying just enough parsley to garnish a steak? You end up with a huge bunch that quickly wilts in the refrigerator, and 80% goes to waste!). Chives, Rosemary and sage are perennial plants - so plant these with the expectation that they will return again next year. Parsley and basil can be grown from seeds - but this is not recommended for the beginning gardener.
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" Chives, Rosemary and sage are perennial plants - so plant these with the expectation that they will return again next year. Parsley and basil can be grown from seeds - but this is not recommended for the beginning gardener.

Chives need to be divided after a while...they take more space then they are given. Sage, ime, keeps nicely to itself. My rosemary dies every year...I buy 3 plants, they do great and I move them in in Nov.. Over the winter they usually die, but I have managed for the last 2 years to keep 1 alive...alas they died after transplanting in mid-spring.

Funny...my curley parsley has decided to be a perenial and comes back every year.

In addition, be aware that mint is a weed and will take over your garden. If you get some make sure to plant it in a pot in the ground so it doesnt expand. I have been fighting with a horrible culinary lemon-mint plant for the 11 years I have been in my house! The same holds true for horse-radish, but that is a great culinary herb.

I would suggest that I have had spectacular success with lemon grass in my zone, six, and some other slightly exotic herbs...thai basil being one of our favorites (to go with the lemon grass!).

Be aware not to let your herbs flower, nip them in the bud, as they taste better that way...especially Basil.
In addition, be aware that mint is a weed and will take over your garden. If you get some make sure to plant it in a pot in the ground so it doesnt expand. I have been fighting with a horrible culinary lemon-mint plant for the 11 years I have been in my house! The same holds true for horse-radish, but that is a great culinary herb.

That is the reason we are currently weighing our options for the herbs-- mint is especially dangerous but the others may run as well. We are looking at doing just a basic herb garden (mint, cilantro, basil and oregano). We did a bunch a different year and then realized that we don't use the others (such as thyme) very often. I want to just start with those few that we end up buying in the store and then expand later as needed. Chives we already have (as do we have a ton of rhubarb...).
I find that lining the pathways and in between rows with a thick mulch of grass clippings works great for keeping moisture in the soil and cutting way down on what you'll have to weed. At the end for the season I just till the mulch back into the garden, or if it's especially thick I'll let it sit all winter and scoop it off before planting the following spring. It comes off easy because it's all packed down and matted together by then. It fertilizes fairly well, too.

I find a Gillette Red Tip works great as a vegetable peeler, too. In fact, it's probably the only thing they're good for, so if any of you have some laying around feel free to send them to me. I eat a lot of vegetables. Thanks.
Yah! I just got mine planted yesterday as a matter of fact. I dont have any land to plant, but I did build 3 redwood planters 5'x2'x2' that work well. Maybe I'll post some pics of 'em today.
I'm in a condo, so I don't have any plants in the ground. But I've done basil and cilantro the last few years in pots on the deck. This year I got a bit more ambitious and am doing basil, sage, hydroponic cilantro, and tomatoes. If all goes well by this time next year I'll be in a house and can do a proper garden with all the above plus peppers, beans, strawberries, and a few more herbs.
We are planning on canning and pickling from our garden this year as well, so if anyone has any good recipes please post them.
Ditto on the mint. Put it in some kind of container or it will take over your whole yard. My wife is the gardener; my back is not up to all that bending. But I do have my little personal garden...a couple of big pots on a table in the patio where I am growing jalapenos and cherry tomatoes. Home-grown veggies make the supermarket stuff taste like cardboard. And no worries about salmonella or whatever.
Back in my home back in MN we had a nice garden in our yard. We grew cucumbers (those things can get massive), tomatoes, some jalapenos that I added, and a long row of rhubarb. It wasn’t too difficult; the worst problem we had was the dog peeing on them.

We also pickled cucumbers ourselves (we usually bought pickle cucumbers instead of trying to grow them small ones). Making the brine was fun, but getting the jars sealed was a bit of work. We'd let them sit in the basement for a few months and then eat. Man they were tasty.

One word of caution: beware of catnip. My mom planted ONE catnip plant one year for our cats, and every spring they would multiply till we had a fairly decent patch of catnip. We started potting them and giving them away to the neighbors so it wasn’t hard to manage, but they do spread quickly.
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yeah, there's a thread here: http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=81291

I ripped up most of my herb/vege garden plot today, none of veges doing too well, and what was left of the herbs the caterpillers were finishing off. (winter just started here, but it never goes below 5°C here anyway)
I've already got heaps in pots still doing OK, just going to take care of the plot with root knot nematode treatments plus digging in more nutrients/compost/manure and planting some green manure crops like beans to add back some nitrogen.
After that I'll plant some of the things in pots back into the ground in a few months time.
One of lifes pleasures (to me) is planting caring and harvesting a garden.
watching those tiny plants and seeds grow and produce good fruit is good for the soul.. :smile:

Only problem we have is here in Sask it is zone 2!
You have to be careful with planting dates to avoid frost and be watchful to plant those varieties which are tolerant of the cooler temps...
still though... it is great fun.
Here it is June 3rd and we had to cover out tomatoes and peppers to avoid a killing frost we had last night...
It is a struggle to live in Sask for man, beast and plant.:cool:
still... its all good.
Here is a snap of my folks helping take the garden off this last fall. :smile:
We like to put wire cages around our tomatoes to help support the branches when full of fruit, the same goes for cukes as well.. the garden is small so we let it grow *up*... works well..
I don't garden, even though I had a beautiful plot in the back yard. I got sick of the cute little bunnies sneaking out from the many evergreen trees that my grandfather thought he needed to plant to surround the entire back yard and into my garden. I tried it one year and didn't want to put up a fence to keep the cute fuzzy creatures out. So I get some fresh produce from my mom's garden or else I buy fresh produce at the local farmers market. So I'm sorry that I don't have any advice in that way.

But instead of canning so much have you thought about freezing more. It's bit healthier and your nutrients are locked in and well just tastes better in humble opinion. Guess i'm not a fan of soft veggies I like them tender crisp.

But on another side when it comes to canning certain things like a salsa you do need to be very careful. You can't use just any recipe there needs to be certain aspects to it. But you can contact your local county agent for more info on that. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you have on that. Tomatoes might also fall into that same problem as salsa. If you use a pressure cooker to can anything be sure to have the country agent inspect it first for safety. They can be deadly, literally if you don't know how to use it properly.

Another thought is to contact NDSU. I thought they had an extensive AG department. My Nieces hubby use to do a lot with the AG dep at NDSU so that is another thought and they have some great info on their website even.
Nice-looking little plot Tpoof! I wish I had a similar space. Since I love to cook, I stick to fresh herbs and grow them in pots or a half-barrel. As mentioned, plants in the mint family (oregano, spearmint, etc) really spread, so containers are the answer. I seeded a couple varieties of basil, chervil, and catnip for the pets. We look for bedding plants for our flat parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
I've had trouble finding really good culinary herbs locally, so last year I ordered seed from J Scheepers. This year, I got a catalog from an outfit called "A Cook's Garden" that has somewhat less offerings at a higher price. Hopefully, my next step will to be getting on the ball pre-season and starting my plants indoors!


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I don't recommend peas, takes forever - hit the frozen food section instead. Same for corn as mentioned in the earlier post, corn takes up too much room and if you have racoons in your area, they will strip the stalks.

Besides a 200 x 50 garden, we also had about 30 apple and pear trees when we lived in Wisconsin. I either canned or froze everything. A hot water bath is fine for a lot of canning but you will need a pressure canner for some.
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