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Starting my first vegetable garden. Any tips on where to start, look for resources?
 
Posts: 310
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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You will get more responses if you can narrow it down a little
- what climate zone are you in?
- what size garden?
- what kind of things are you interested in growing?
- what kind of soil and sun exposure do you have?
 
steward
Posts: 4384
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Howdy Crystal, welcome to permies!

Just look around the forums here . There is all sorts of info.
 
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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Step 1: Rid yourself of your chemical fertilizers and (herb/pest)-icides.

Step 2: JUST START PLANTING STUFF! Seeds will come with all sorts of directions on them about the best time to plant and spacing and yadda, yadda, but don't be afraid to defy those conventions.

Step 3: Watch what happens! Stuff will fail! Stuff will succeed! Stuff will surprise you! Watch it so you can learn.

Step 4: While you're garden is busy failing in some parts and thriving in others, spend a bunch of time here looking for info to; amend what you're doing, correlate what is working and not working with others, get ideas for things you haven't tried, and generally get smarter about what's in your yard.

Step 5: Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you feel a little smart about your growing.

Step 6: When you finally feel smart about your little patch of land, share with others to help them get smart.
 
gardener
Posts: 2452
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I would start with easier vegetables first. Peas are easy, as in easy peasy lemon squeezy. We're getting into the hot part of the year. Of course, I don't know where you live, so I would ask someone in your climate which are the easy vegetables to grow starting this time of year.
John S
PDX OR
 
pollinator
Posts: 1362
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I find that gardenate is a good site to follow. They give you the sowing time.
Silverbeet is the easiest thing to grow. And simply direct sow some rows of lettuce.
Write up a list of sources of organic materials you could collect like leaves grass clippings, manure etc.
 
pollinator
Posts: 459
Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Charles Tarnard wrote:Step 1: Rid yourself of your chemical fertilizers and (herb/pest)-icides.

Step 2: JUST START PLANTING STUFF! Seeds will come with all sorts of directions on them about the best time to plant and spacing and yadda, yadda, but don't be afraid to defy those conventions.

Step 3: Watch what happens! Stuff will fail! Stuff will succeed! Stuff will surprise you! Watch it so you can learn.

Step 4: While you're garden is busy failing in some parts and thriving in others, spend a bunch of time here looking for info to; amend what you're doing, correlate what is working and not working with others, get ideas for things you haven't tried, and generally get smarter about what's in your yard.

Step 5: Repeat steps 1 through 4 until you feel a little smart about your growing.

Step 6: When you finally feel smart about your little patch of land, share with others to help them get smart.



Yes to all this -- especially Step 3. Go look at your garden every day -- you'll be surprised at how quickly things change, what works and what doesn't.

And double yes to Step 2. As I've learned, what is easy in one environment isn't necessarily easy in another. And some things that might be hard in some places could well be easy for you. By trying a variety of plants and then going to look at the results every day, you'll figure this stuff out quickly and year 2 will be much better than year 1.

I would also suggest Step 4.5: Add nice organic matter -- compost, clippings, etc., ideally from your own yard so you know it's free of pesticides. Building good soil is the key.
 
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
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Rodale Press has lots of stuff. An "Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening" would be helpful...

Was me, I'd look for a successful garden in your neighborhood, ask that gardener what works best....

Good luck & welcome!

Best, T
 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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It can take at least a couple of years to build up a healthy soil ecosystem
and there may well be issues with insects etc until things come into balance.

When my garden was new and my soil basically sand, I had all sorts of issues.
After feeding it for years, I only have a few slugs and snails.

 
Crystal Peters
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This piece of land is very limited on locations of garden. Im thinking a 10 X 5 keyhole garden, plenty of sun, cool temperate climate zone.

Thanks for all the feedback. Appreciate it immensley
 
gardener
Posts: 1467
Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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1) Know your resources: neighbors, loggers/arborists, local groceries, colleges, etc
-These are wonderful people to talk to for seeds, compost/mulch material, soil tests
-Connections and friendships are great for keeping costs low
2) Know your land: observe!
-What is your soil like? What is there? What is the layout of the land (climate, soil, pH, etc, contours of elevation, etc)? What do you envision?
3)Vision and Analysis: what would you like?
- I highly advise using the zone-and-sector thinking method for this.
-Vegetable gardens typically are highly cared for; so place it in Zone 1 (right outside your home) for easy access. Then, take note of what forces are coming onto your property and which ones your vegetable garden is in the way of (this is the sector analysis).
4) Design, implement, and evaluate: make a plan, do it in manageable peices at the right time, and observe the results

5) All else, just try something and things are bound to come together!

These tips paraphrase some of the advice from Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway. I highly suggest reading his book; it is chocked full of useful information.
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