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Thread: Gardening

  1. #1
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Gardening

    Tips and tricks, please.

    I'm starting my first garden this year. The fruit and veggie kind.

    Priority: Get rid of the grass. With a shovel and my hands. Any ideas how to make this easier without having to put any money into it? I'm talking 10x5 feet of grass or so...

    Also. I live in Iowa. I'm thinking tomato, squash, radishes, lettuce, peppers (the bell and the spicy kind). Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry. Maybe some cantaloupe and maybe some grape vines. Sweet corn, like one or two rows. Maybe some sunflowers for the color. And I'm planning to put in some marigolds to help keep the bugs down. I want to put in one of those potato boxes I keep seeing all over facebook and maybe some onions cause we use a lot of onions. I'm not really sure about herbs. I would use them, but I think I might confuse them for weeds...

    So, what are your tips and tricks and the odd things you do that make you garden work for you?

    ETA: Without adding pestacides, herbacides, or MiracleGrow etc.
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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    For a first time gardener, imo don't buy from seed if you can help it, buy seedlings when you can. Also, steer clear of buying from big shops and buy from the markets instead or a proper nursery. All the plants I've ever bought from big stores like Bunnings have died.

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    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    I've got a little experience. I've helped with family gardens. But it's not the same. And I was working with ground that had already been prepared. I have several plants that I'm starting from seeds just because I can't find them as seedlings around here. I've got the little starter containers and will see how it goes. At worst I wasted $15 on seeds, dirt, etc.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

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    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
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    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    Oh, well done! I wish you the very best of luck. What did you end up deciding to plant? Do you know how to propagate?

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    Re: Gardening

    Shahaku I have 2 words for you... Sheet Mulch

    Acquire a pile of manure (cow or horse preferably). Enough so that you can spread it a few inches thick over the entire area you want to grow in.

    Spread it directly over the grass - no digging or weeding, just spread it with a shovel.

    Then cover all the manure with newspaper or cardboard a few inches thick. Avoid using the glossy coloured stuff as the pigments are toxic, but the plain old newspaper is fine (the pigments are soya based). Wet the paper as you go so it it thoroughly wet through when you finish.

    Then cover all the newspaper with a thick layer of hay / straw. This doesn't need to be clean. Rough slashings and spoiled hay is fine. Just make sure all the newspaper is completely covered (including the edges) otherwise it will wick moisture to the atmosphere.

    Now take your seedlings and make a small hole through the hay and cut a small hole through the newspaper and plant the seedling in the hole along with a bit of compost.

    You're done. No digging required. This garden will get better and better. It requires 1/10th the water as a normal garden and weeding is quick and easy.

  6. #6
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    It might be worth considering renting a tiller from Home Depot (or Lowes or somewhere like that)...my dad recently rented one (not sure where) to put in his garden and it was a whopping $35 for the day, and took him a couple hours. Vs by hand...ouch! I once helped dig a trench by hand to put our electrical in for our backyard pool... It took myself, my dad, and the neighbor about a week, 2-3 hours a day.
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    It might be worth considering renting a tiller from Home Depot (or Lowes or somewhere like that)...my dad recently rented one (not sure where) to put in his garden and it was a whopping $35 for the day, and took him a couple hours. Vs by hand...ouch! I once helped dig a trench by hand to put our electrical in for our backyard pool... It took myself, my dad, and the neighbor about a week, 2-3 hours a day.
    I used to turn over a quarter acre with a shovel.

    Don't even try it... You'll pay the hard way, eventually.

    If you use Don's poop method, you'll be weeding alfalfa out of your garden for the next ten years.

    Better to compost it. But old newspaper does make a nice mulch.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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    Re: Gardening

    Where does the alfalfa come from?

    Not from the soil because the newspaper is an effective barrier. Not from above either, because the newspaper prevents seeds from developing root systems.

    Here's a good example of some kids using this technique:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWHSzGDItBA

  9. #9
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    It comes straight out of the cow's ***.

    They are fed it, and the seeds come out undigested.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  10. #10
    lady sings the blues DanieMarie's Avatar
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    Re: Gardening

    It's actually really hard to confuse herbs with weeds. They look different and have a strong smell If you're still worried, you can grow them in containers. This is a good idea for things like mint and lemon balm anyway because they tend to take over.

    Also, for your strawberries: http://urbangreenspace.wordpress.com...-tube-planter/
    I'll be trying it this year!

    I have a book called "The Self-Sufficient Gardener" by John Seymour. I love it! He's a UK writer so he offers a lot of advice for British climates, but I find that he does throw in some US tips as well. I highly recommend it.

    I've grown potatoes in containers before, but this is the first year I'm trying starting from the bottom up. I don't have a very large container so I think my haul will be limited, but it does work

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