New Gardener-Planning for 2011

Discussion in 'Small Spaces' started by scmelik, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. scmelik

    scmelik Smoke Blower

    I have been thinking about doing this for the past few years, and now that I own my house this year I am going to make it happen.  The only problem is that I have never grown a garden before and I am not really sure where to start.  I am going to be doing raised beds since I think I am going to have to have a couple of different locations to accommodate the different needs of different plants.  I am hoping that all of your experienced gardeners can help me in my planning and the needs of the different plants and which varieties that are good to use.

    Right now here is what I am planning on planting.


    Onions (red, yellow, shallots)

    Green Beans

    jalapenos (obviously haha)



    Bell Peppers






    I know that the peppers can handle full sunlight so I think I know what I am going to put them, as far as the rest goes I have no clue. I don't want to get in to deep on this and find out that I don't have a green thumb at all, or end up with 40 bushels of everything and have to spend days upon days canning everything (gonna have to learn how to can too).  I am not trying to feed a family with all of this, just me.

    What advice, tips, suggestions can ya'll give me?
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    All vegetables require full sunlight and good moisture.  Your biggest mistake would be to plant vegs where they will not get at least 8 hrs of sun during the day. 

    Square foot gardening is a good idea if you are just trying to get a start.  You can even grow tomatoes, peppers and your herbs in pots with considerable success.  If space is limited you may not want to mess with green beans and onions.  You need to plant about 25 ft. of green beans to get a decent harvest.  Yellow or white onions need good deep soil.   Green onions are easy to grow and can be used many ways.

    In addition to the sites given to you by Beer-B-Q look up your state agricultural extension service.  They will be familiar with the soils in your area and give you dates as to when to plant specific vegetables.   I don't know how long your summer is but if it takes 120 days to harvest eggplant and you don't get a good 4 months of hot weather it is probably best to avoid them.  The extension service can help a great deal.

    If you buy large transplants the grower has to deal with getting the plants established during the winter time and all you do is prepare a nice home for the them with the weather warms up.  You spend a bit more starting out but the results are a lot more predictable then trying to start seed indoors.

    Most hot peppers I grow require a very warm, long summer. 

    Good luck, it's a lot of fun and you can't beat the flavor of that first ripe tomato of the season.

  3. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    Plant all the veggies in the sunlight.Make sure your planter is able to drain excess water.And be sure to stake and tie up those tomatoes.Keep us posted on your progress!!!
  4. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     You may want to amend your soil before planting, the plants will need nutrients and good drainage. Also consider how/when you will irrigate. It's all good my friend.
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    On irrigation, consider installing some drip.  It doesn't cost a lot, and it can save you a lot of time and work while conserving water as well.
  7. scmelik

    scmelik Smoke Blower

    wow you all never cease to impress me with your speed and information when someone asks a question.  Thank you very much I appreciate it.  Like I said this garden is going to be completely experimental, I have never attempted to grow anything other than weeds in my yard but I am dang good at that.  I am not doing it to save a bunch of money but more because I like the taste of fresh vegetable more than I do the store bought processed crap ( I mean who doesn't) and if I can learn a few things in the process well all the better.

    Thank you I really like the idea of the SFG, I have done alittle reading from the first sight you put up and it makes a lot of sense and looks like it would be perfect for me.


    Thanks for the information.  As far as the sunlight I am more worried about finding a good spot in my yard that doesn't get TOO much sun where it will bake the plants like it does my grass every year.  I think I have a few ideas but unfortunately right now I am about 800 miles away from my yard so I will have to wait till I get home next month to really make a firm decision, I bet I can figure something out.  

    When you say you need to plant about 25' of beans to get a decent harvest, what exactly do you mean by decent?  I do not have a family so its just me so if I can get 10 or so pints sized jars that is more than plenty for me.  Of course I have no idea how much a typical bean plant yields so I may not be able to get that for 3 or 4 plants.  On the onion comment how deep is deep 6", 12" more?

    I HATE eggplant so I won't have to worry about that ;).  And I should have a good climate for growing peppers, my buddy grew three different peppers last year and he ended up giving away a ton of them because he had such great yields so I know we get the right weather for those.

    The dirt is a bit of a concern, but I will not be digging into my yard now that I have found out about the Square Foot Gardening idea, but I will have to get my soil from somewhere, but having it tested is a good idea and I think I will do just that before I plant anything.

    Thanks again for all of your help I really appreciate it, and if you think of anything else please let me know.

    How much sunlight is to much?  Is there such a thing?

    I don't think my neighbors would be overly happy with chickens running around, but that is a great idea haha.
    I will definitely be having my soil tested as I will have to buy it from somewhere else.  From what I have read today it looks like most if not all suggest mixing in cow manure and peet into the soil along with compost.  Compost won't be a possibility for me this year, but I may start a heap and have it for next year.  As far as irrigation goes, I have not thought that far ahead YET ;), but I will be coming up with something as far as a drip system goes, I am just not sure what yet.
    do you have any types of plans for this?
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    We figure about 30lbs of beans per 100ft row.  You can take it from there but 25 ft is about 7lbs.  Pole beans will give you a better yield.

    There is no such thing as too much sun for vegetables.  If it is very hot you need to keep them well watered.  That is one reason to consider a drip irrigation or soaker hose system, put the hose on an inexpensive timer and water every day during the dry season and summer.  

    If you are just getting into gardening I suggest you concentrate on hi yield vegetables.  Onions are cheap and require a good deal of space in the garden.  That is why I suggested green onions if you want fresh onions, they are easy to grow and you can use the entire plant.   Tomatoes, hot peppers, cucs, cantaloupe provide a good yield in the container style garden.  You can trellis cucs or let them spread out on the pathways between rows or planters.  Same with cantaloupe, plant them in the good soil but let them spread out over the lawn.  Yellow squash is easy to grow and very prolific but the require some room.   Herbs will do fine in pots and the biannuals will overwinter inside giving you a head start the next spring.  They are also very expensive in the grocery and it does pay you to grow fresh.

    Like you said, if you don't eat it don't grown it


    I just started tomato, bellpepper, eggplant, herbs, jalapenos, Anaheims and banana pepper seed under lights inside.  Got my first seedlings a couple of days ago.
  9. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All good advice. I restarted gardening last year now that I have more time. Used a raised bed made with 2x8x10's to start. GF hates most veggies so was more of a hobby for a semi-retired guy than for food. Did lots of jalapenos, serranos, thai chilies, 3 tomatoes, 1 cuke and some Japenese eggplants. Had 2 yards of loam/compost mix delivered from the nursery for about 50 bucks. The jalapenos got nice & big...made some awesome poppers. Lot of green tomatoes here in the NW that don't ripen. Pickled them in pint jars and gave as Christmas presents in a basket. Everybody loved them. BTW, a garden is just a big all-you-can-eat salad bar for Laid in some Sugar Snap Peas on New Years Day and they are starting to sprout even though it's still pretty cold and wet here. Same with garlic cloves starting to pop up albeit slow but Spring is on the way.

Share This Page