It is currently Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:18 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 752 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 32  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:31 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
This thread grew out of the gardening adventures of two posters in the Poor Man's Prepping thread. We hope that other noob gardeners will come forward to share their frustrations and successes and that the "garden savvy" will come to share their knowledge and experience.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Last edited by prepper7 on Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Google+
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:31 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
The post that started it all.

zombiepreparation wrote:
Today I planted two different kinds of tomatoes and two different leaf lettuces in containers for my tiny balcony that has only direct light until 10:30am. I'm off to the store in a minute to make the only purchase I will make for this year's garden. I have older seeds for about 10 things (including, I find, two different kinds of radishes :D as was recommended here).

Who knows how my garden will grow. Some of the seeds are four years old, the rest are a year old, but my budget does not permit more seed purchases or any other gardening thing this year other than soil for my containers so I'll make do with what I have this year and get some experience under my belt. I have way over planted the seeds so there's a relatively good chance some of the seeds will turn out to be viable. Four years ago I did a first time study of square foot gardening and had a pretty but only a 50% successful harvest... but that 50% was really good. This is my first container garden & first balcony garden & only my third garden in my life I've been committed to, but I am now highly motivated to learn to garden on my balcony because I've learned over the past few months that my choices in a long term bug in Event might have my garden as the only 'fresh' produce available to me, and in a long-term worst case scenario my storage preps might become inadequate, so this container gardening might turn into my only safe suplimental food source. I will be doing this like I did learning to make Bannok bread, don't really get it at first but I just kept practicing while the need wasn't critical. And like learning Bannok cooking I figure I'll be much a more competent balcony gardener if an Event ever needs me to be if I just keep practicing. And maybe, like what happened with learning to cook bread in a pan on a campfire, I'll get relatively good, develop a new survival skill, and find I'm having fun too. (and like learning to cook Bannok, I'm expecting some real flops before I get there. :lol: )

I am using only 'containers' and pots I already have and those I find that are free or that cost maybe 25 cents.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:32 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
prepper7 wrote:
zombiepreparation wrote:
Today I planted two different kinds of tomatoes and two different leaf lettuces in containers for my tiny balcony that has only direct light until 10:30am.

Congrats! I will be watching this with interest so I can learn from your experiences. You might find Urban Organic Gardener useful.

What are your growing zones?

Given your light situation, I assume you went with small-fruit tomato cultivars; which ones are you using? I'd love to grow tomatoes, but assumed my limited light was a barrier.

I began my own microfarm (balcony garden :) ) in January and have learned enough to know some of what I don't know. :wink: Researching things such as potting soil mixes was surprisingly interesting and I have found a high-quality, OMRI-listed organic "bargain" soil at $5/1.5cf (Kellogg's Patio Plus) that I can mix with a "premium" potting soil (Gardener & Bloome's Blue Ribbon Blend) to maximize my investment.

I found non-GMO flower, herb, and veggie seeds at the Dollar Tree store. I also picked up a nice transplanter, some hanging basket frames and coco liners there.

I'm growing bibb and mesclin mix lettuce and some bright lights chard--over which I am engaged in a death-battle with aphids--growing well and have started dill, sweet basil, sweet marjoram, and roquette from seed and they're being hardened-off in preparation for transplantation to the balcony.

In addition to having it in a pot, I'm inter planting the dill with the lettuce, as it's said to be a best friend to lettuce. Flowering dill is also said to attract beneficial insects (as are the nasturtutums-- in addition to being an "aphid trap" and a repeller of whitefly, the flowers and leaves are edible--, mint, cilantro, and sweet alyssum, I've started for the garden.

Chard shouldn't be grown w/ herbs, so for it, I'm inter planting scallions / green onions I've sprouted in water.

My zones are-
Arborday.org hardiness zones: 9 - 11
AHS Zone 3
PlantMaps Hardiness Zone: 10a
Sunset climate zone: 22
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 10b / 11a

My next big thing is to create some EarthBox-type, self-watering containers with my scavenged buckets. This is the methods I will use Global Buckets

Mistakes and frustrations aside, I'm having a great time. I feel like a kid playing garden/house when I go out to harvest lettuce for a salad or sandwich, chard for an omelet, or mint for my hot cocoa. :D

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:34 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
zombiepreparation wrote:
prepper7 wrote:
zombiepreparation wrote:
Today I planted two different kinds of tomatoes and two different leaf lettuces in containers for my tiny balcony that has only direct light until 10:30am.

Congrats! I will be watching this with interest so I can learn from your experiences.
Okay. #1. You're going to learn to have a better plan than I have this year. :) My basic goal for this first year is to just get started so expect to learn little from me this year. I usually learn best in layers. My first layer is "get the pots, get the soil, put seeds in the dirt, if the seeds don't come up the first time put some more seeds in the dirt, learn-as-I-go how to water effectively, get my gray matter working on a better plan for next year", repeat as necessary. If I get some pleasing green things to look at I will consider this year a successful because I have probably learned how to water. If I get anything, anything at all, that produces anything edible I will be dancing the victory dance of the very surprised.

Quote:
You might find Urban Organic Gardener useful.
Hey, thanks for this. I checked it out, in fact I checked out everything you post included. And started panicking about all the things I don't know yet and know my learning curve usually needs as much hands-on and it does gathering information to get my brain to start organizing and learning. Keep feeding me info you think could be useful. I'll need it. But like strawberries, my learning curve usually has me becoming successful in my endeavors on the second time around.


Quote:
What are your growing zones?
This has to do with time of year, right? I tried to find out, I googled, looked again and again but I swear one map says one thing, the next something else, another map won't come up, another one I have to subscribe to see, etc. I just don't know.

Quote:
Given your light situation, I assume you went with small-fruit tomato cultivars; which ones are you using?
The intelligent answer would be "Of course I went with small-fruit tomato cultivars" (whatever cultivars are). However.... I'm going with old seeds I have on hand from my garden (that I luvvvvved) a few years back. The prob in the 'seeds' area for me is $$. So this year I'm practicing with seeds that I've kept in the fridge the last three or four years and that work for a full light in ground garden with space for full size tomatoes, squash, eggplant, etc. plants. Next year I'll have a better grasp and will venture into seed purchases applicable to my bucket garden/tiny/light deprived balcony. This year it's "I've got the balcony, I've got the buckets, I've got the soil, I got some old seeds, I have running water". :lol:

Quote:
I'd love to grow tomatoes, but assumed my limited light was a barrier.
Tomatoes, the fruit of the gods. I have had only two gardens, ever. The first one, way back when, would have been a better success if I had had ready access to internet information that could have kept me motivated, but I didn't know what I was doing or where to go to learn, I was a parent, I had a spouse, dogs, a cat, and a job. When bugs began eating some of my plants I just gave them the garden. My last garden (three or four years ago when I lived in my house) I planned for, googled about, found the right books for what I envisioned (Square Foot Gardening & Bug Off), began months and months early, and had a plan when I started. And the tomatoes I got, and kept getting, and getting, and getting gave me the first year of my life I ever ate as many tomatoes as I wanted. It was a wonderful garden, it had a lot of other things but it is the tomatoes I remember most.

Quote:
I began my own microfarm (balcony garden) in January and have learned enough to know some of what I don't know. Researching things such as potting soil mixes was surprisingly interesting and I have found a high-quality, OMRI-listed organic "bargain" soil at $5/1.5cf (Kellogg's Patio Plus) that I can mix with a "premium" potting soil (Gardener & Bloome's Blue Ribbon Blend) to maximize my investment.
I was still trying to figure out how to make a useful BOB in January. :gonk: I'll know more about this stuff (like OMRI-listed and Kellogg's Patio Plus, etc.) next year. How about posting a couple of pics for me (us) to see how your garden grows?

Quote:
I found non-GMO flower, herb, and veggie seeds at the Dollar Tree store. I also picked up a nice transplanter, some hanging basket frames and coco liners there.
GOOD LEAD! BIG THANKS!

Quote:
I'm growing bibb and mesclin mix lettuce and some bright lights chard--over which I am engaged in a death-battle with aphids--growing well and have started dill, sweet basil, sweet marjoram, and roquette from seed and they're being hardened-off in preparation for transplantation to the balcony.

In addition to having it in a pot, I'm inter planting the dill with the lettuce, as it's said to be a best friend to lettuce. Flowering dill is also said to attract beneficial insects (as are the nasturtutums-- in addition to being an "aphid trap" and a repeller of whitefly, the flowers and leaves are edible--, mint, cilantro, and sweet alyssum, I've started for the garden.

Chard shouldn't be grown w/ herbs, so for it, I'm inter planting scallions / green onions I've sprouted in water.
This is... way ahead of me and big-time inspiring!

Quote:
My zones are-
Arborday.org hardiness zones: 9 - 11
AHS Zone 3
PlantMaps Hardiness Zone: 10a
Sunset climate zone: 22
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 10b / 11a
I looked and looked but never came up with anything about this that made comprehensive sense to me. Help! PM me about this if you want to.

Quote:
My next big thing is to create some EarthBox-type, self-watering containers with my scavenged buckets. This is the methods I will use Global Buckets
I looked at this! Brilliant! And the EarthBox, self-watering containers, everything! I got so excited with all there was I could do, then overwhelmed at how much I won't be ready for this year, and had to bring myself back down to "I've got the balcony, I've got the buckets, I've got the soil, I got some old seeds, I have running water" to give me some reachable goals for this summer. :)

Quote:
Mistakes and frustrations aside, I'm having a great time. I feel like a kid playing garden/house when I go out to harvest lettuce for a salad or sandwich, chard for an omelet, or mint for my hot cocoa. :D
I know what you mean. I get excited about cutting one stalk of asparagus out of my "garden" every day or two, washing it and walking around munching it. I know I'll get lettuce to grow. I just know I will. And I will put it on some bread I made in the skillet that day and will be thinking I'm having so much fun!

Please, keep posting and I'll keep trying to learn.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:35 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
prepper7 wrote:
zombiepreparation wrote:
<snip> My basic goal for this first year is to just get started so expect to learn little from me this year. I usually learn best in layers. My first layer is "get the pots, get the soil, put seeds in the dirt, if the seeds don't come up the first time put some more seeds in the dirt, learn-as-I-go how to water effectively, get my gray matter working on a better plan for next year", repeat as necessary. <snip>

Your approach seems well designed to avoid being overwhelmed (or discouraged, if results are...less than optimal).

Quote:
<snip> The intelligent answer would be "Of course I went with small-fruit tomato cultivars" (whatever cultivars are).

Sorry-- I'm still a virgin gardener and I'm already jargoning :oops: --I was simply inquiring about the tomato varieties you planted.

Quote:
<snip> Next year I'll have a better grasp and will venture into seed purchases applicable to my bucket garden/tiny/light deprived balcony. This year it's "I've got the balcony, I've got the buckets, I've got the soil, I got some old seeds, I have running water".

I admire your 'jump in and do something now' attitude! I'm an information/research junkie and it's so easy for me to fall into 'analysis paralysis'.

Quote:
<snip> My last garden (three or four years ago when I lived in my house) I planned for, googled about, found the right books for what I envisioned (Square Foot Gardening & Bug Off), began months and months early, and had a plan when I started. And the tomatoes I got, and kept getting, and getting, and getting gave me the first year of my life I ever ate as many tomatoes as I wanted. It was a wonderful garden, it had a lot of other things but it is the tomatoes I remember most.

Wow. It sounds like a delightful experience.

Quote:
How about posting a couple of pics for me (us) to see how your garden grows?

I'm getting a camera soon and will do just that.

Quote:
This is... way ahead of me and big-time inspiring!

:shock: You gotta be kidding. I just Googled and learned from people who know what they're doing. :)

Here's an extremely easy and useful one (if you like scallions). The next time you buy some, just save the root with an inch of the green stalk remaining and put it in water and set the dish in your window. They'll grow well and you can simply snip off what you need. Here's how

Quote:
I looked and looked but never came up with anything about this that made comprehensive sense to me. Help! PM me about this if you want to.

Yeah, there are lots of different zone types, but the information is important for determining what to do when (and making sense of the info on seed packets) and for when you ask questions or make suggestions of/to others. Apparently Sunset magazine used to be "the" designation but that has changed. In gardening forums, if you haven't mentioned it in your post, most likely you'll be asked your zone (I'm going to put them in my sigs). This allows someone to provide specific answers to your questions.

Just visit these sites and use your zip code to find your zones. I did as many as I did because whilst it seems everyone uses a different zone type, there is a lot of info out there and I wanted to garner as much as possible

USDA Hardiness Zone Finder Good description of "zone maps" and their usefulness and their shortcomings.

What is My Arborday.org Hardiness Zone?

American Horticultural Society Heat Zone Finder

PlantMaps Interactive Hardiness Zone finder

Sunset Climate Zone Finder

Quote:
<snip> I got so excited with all there was I could do, then overwhelmed at how much I won't be ready for this year, and had to bring myself back down to "I've got the balcony, I've got the buckets, I've got the soil, I got some old seeds, I have running water" to give me some reachable goals for this summer.

Avoiding catatonia is good. :) Don't think of the ideas as something you must be ready for now... think of them as hints about useful things to keep an eye out for -- for whenever you are ready.

BTW, here are the folks who sell seed to Dollar Tree: Meadows Harvest. I rang them for advice about some of their seeds and they were nice and helpful. I forgot to mention that the seeds are $.25 a packet! When I found them, I was transformed into that greedy kid in the Wonka factory.

Here is helpful info on container gardening from the Arizona Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture

Quote:
I know what you mean. I get excited about cutting one stalk of asparagus out of my "garden" every day or two, washing it and walking around munching it. I know I'll get lettuce to grow. I just know I will. And I will put it on some bread I made in the skillet that day and will be thinking I'm having so much fun!

I know what you mean. Sometimes I want to chortle with glee...and then I have to battle the aphids. :(

Quote:
Please, keep posting and I'll keep trying to learn.

Back at you; but I suspect we might need to relocate our gardening discussion to avoid (further?) hijacking this thread...

ETA: more zone info.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Last edited by prepper7 on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:39 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
I am moving this link you posted in The Poor Man's Prepping over here too.
prepper7 wrote:
I think that this money-saving gardening tip fits here. :D
Don’t Throw it Out: Grow this Vegetable from Trash
Great article! I rarely have $$ to buy luxury foods (I call them) like green onions. After reading this article I will now view them as a sustainable item, therefore affordable. The next time I grocery shop I'm buying several items like this including leeks, which I've always wanted to learn to use but always thought them too expensive to use for my trials and errors. How exciting! I'm going to have my own sustainable green onion and leek bucket containers in my balcony garden. How decadent I feel. To me these items are like the tomatoes I mentioned; having only once had as many tomatoes as I wanted... because I grew them myself that one year. Now I can duplicate the tomato experience with the green onions, and leaks too I think. Well, eventually.

We're in our third day of drizzle & rain (the weather people say we have two more to go) so balcony gardening is not exactly miserable but it is definitely less than inspiring to stay out there figuring out where to set up the bucket containers to maximize what little light is available, making drainage holes in the bottom of the buckets, using my hand trowel (from my BOB) to load the dirt... in the damp and unappealing atmosphere that is currently my balcony.

Now I have bags of soil and a pile of buckets waiting on my balcony while the drizzle fizzles my inspiration on designing this project. Come on blue sky. Just a little would help. :) Think about green onions, think about leaks. And lettuce and spinach and, wait, now what am I trying to grow with these four year old seeds that might not even still be viable? brb....

Okay, I'm back. I have:

leaf lettuce- Black Seeded and Ruby Red

radishes- Cherry Red and Sparkler White something

spinach- Bloomsdale

mustard- Southern Giant (I have no idea what to use mustard for except when it comes out of a bottle)

beets- Cylindria

green onions- White Lisbon Bunching (I had zero success with harvesting these in my garden that produced all those tomatoes three or four years ago, but I still have the seeds so I'm putting them in a bucket container and willing them to grow for me)

3 kinds of tomatoes from four year old seeds that are all huge plants that need more light than my balcony will offer but I'm putting the seeds in a bucket container anyway just to see what they will do- Super Sweet, Roma, & Beefsteak

bell pepper- Canary Bell and California Wonder

parsley- Sweet Curly (I just remembered, since January I've developed an enormous fondness for parsley. I've only used dried. Ever. But I used to have a roommate from New Zeland who cooked with fresh parsley allllll the time. Said it was a big thing over there. And since I've now been eating lots of parsley every day I think I should plant a whollllle lot more than I had originally pictured me planting. Alright!)

eggplant, two kinds of yellow squash, cucumber, & zucchini; all huge in-ground full light garden plants, but this is what I have to practice with this year so I'm putting them in a bucket container anyway. Just to see what they will do.

dill- Long Island Mamoth (I don't know how to season anything with dill except for fish. Maybe if it comes up I'll learn)

and last but not least:
oregano

Okay. I have a little armchair inspiration going again. Now, let's see if it will get me onto the balcony shoveling dirt into buckets in the drizzle.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:26 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
My current recurring mental dialogue is "Just put the seeds in the dirt. It doesn't matter if nothing comes up or everything dies. Pick up the seed and put it in the dirt and keep putting the seeds in the dirt until something starts working! It's not life or death yet, this is just practice. Just put the seeds in the dirt."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:55 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
zombiepreparation wrote:

Good move, thx!

Quote:
I rarely have $$ to buy luxury foods (I call them) like green onions. After reading this article I will now view them as a sustainable item, therefore affordable. The next time I grocery shop I'm buying several items like this including leeks, <snip>

I never thought of leeks, they're the same family! I am dying to try them (they are always featured on cooking programmes and look drool worthy) but not knowing how to cook, I've been hesitant. But if I am growing them, that's another story. I have read that chive and garlic can be grown this way (garlic cloves being planted and chives being sprouted in water). After reading that article, I'm going to spring for some celery, too.

Quote:
Okay, I'm back. I have:
leaf lettuce- Black Seeded and Ruby Red
radishes- Cherry Red and Sparkler White something
spinach- Bloomsdale
mustard- Southern Giant (I have no idea what to use mustard for except when it comes out of a bottle)
beets- Cylindria
green onions- White Lisbon Bunching

3 kinds of tomatoes from four year old seeds that are all huge plants that need more light than my balcony will offer but I'm putting the seeds in a bucket container anyway just to see what they will do- Super Sweet, Roma, & Beefsteak

bell pepper- Canary Bell and California Wonder

parsley- Sweet Curly
eggplant, two kinds of yellow squash, cucumber, & zucchini; all huge in-ground full light garden plants, but this is what I have to practice with this year so I'm putting them in a bucket container anyway. Just to see what they will do.

dill- Long Island Mamoth (I don't know how to season anything with dill except for fish. Maybe if it comes up I'll learn) I've only used dried. Ever.
oregano

That's quite a list.

Your mustard will probably be good in salads. I fell in love with a mustard called mizuna. It was in the mesclin salad mix. I went to the garden centre to buy seed for that alone, but they don't sell it.

I started some Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seed and it's germinated nicely. I found the seeds on clearance in the grocery store last year but never got a garden started. I didn't expect them to grow as they were supposed to have been planted in 2011. I'm going to succession plant the rest of the seed to ensure a constant harvest.

I planted curly parsley (it was in the kit, I would have gone with flat-leaf) I've read that parsley can be difficult to germinate. My clearance table Chia Herb Garden instructions say to pour hot water over the sown seeds, other sources say to soak seeds overnight. In addition, the seedlings can take 4 to 8 weeks to appear. If they appear. I'm seeing nary a bit o' green in my pot. :(

I've only started using parsley, and dried, at that, but somehow it makes dishes seem...done. Perhaps it's watching Julia Child on PBS, but I find that tossing some dried parsley on an omelet, pasta or potatoes makes them look like "grown-up food".

When your dill flowers, it should attract beneficial insects to your garden.

Do you have farmer's markets in your area? Here in Los Angeles, we like to think we invented them. If you can find some, try visiting--it's where I met the Urban Organic Gardener guy--you might meet people involved in the urban garden movement and discover the best places to buy supplies, resources such as seed/cutting exchanges, product trades, lectures, and more.

A suggestion, but firmly in the "YMMV" category... After reading about EarthBoxes and their clones, I got the idea to use a "mulch cover" (plastic bin liner cut open and tied on the planter, with x-cuts for the plants to poke through) on one of my two 30" window box planters. The evaporative loss is so much less than in the other planter and the plants don't seem to be experiencing any adverse results. It also has prevented mushroom spores from my chard planter (I seriously over watered) from taking root.

Good luck with your weather and getting inspired. Try setting a timer and telling yourself that you can do anything for half an hour.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:57 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
zombiepreparation wrote:
My current recurring mental dialogue is "Just put the seeds in the dirt. It doesn't matter if nothing comes up or everything dies. Pick up the seed and put it in the dirt and keep putting the seeds in the dirt until something starts working! It's not life or death yet, this is just practice. Just put the seeds in the dirt."

:lol: Yep. it sounds so simple, doesn't it? Why the hell is it so hard to "just do it"?

I hope we can inspire gardening noobs to get off the fence -- and that we can get the pros to give us some guidance. I was finally motivated to act when I heard Jack Spirko's podcasts Episode-182- Gardening is Patriotic Our Nation is a Net Importer of Food and Episode-73- The Patriot Garden the Last Defense Against Globalism and finally understood the importance of every person growing at least some of their own food (even if only a pot of herbs).

The idea captured my imagination and still, I found myself paralyzed with fear (that I'd screw up, nothing would grow, etc.). After months (and months) of research, I told myself, "this is it! Plant something--anything--this week. Even if EVERYTHING dies, so what? The investment is equal to a few overpriced Cobb salads; take a chance, for heaven's sake!" So, I bought a 6-pack of lettuce seedlings and, as they say, "the rest is history". :wink:

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:42 am 
Offline
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:51 pm
Posts: 5904
Location: Not Here.
Has thanked: 41 times
Been thanked: 127 times
Every year of my life my family grew food of some sort. Even when we have lived in small apartments. My grandmother was a lifelong gardener and I've spent many hours working in her garden and in our own.

I helped set up and grow vegetables in terrible clay logged soil at university on an allotment and last year managed a respectable crop of tomatoes, peas and runner beans on a balcony plagued by incredibly high winds.

I'd still say I'm a very far way from being an expert.

What I'm trying to express is you can read all you want but you won't start really learning anything until you plant those first seeds.

I've never germinated my seeds but I know people do - try doing both!

Basic prep for growing stuff as I do it now:
Check your soil quality. You can run some PH tests if you want. Also check for bugs in your soil - no point in planting in pots or earth if you have an infestation of bugs that will eat the root systems

I buy and use potting soil at the start - no point in me listing brand as we are on different continents.

I use egg boxes for seedlings they are free! Make sure to provide plenty of water but don't drown them.
Image

Add sunlight!

Make sure you transfer a little early if you are worried - this will help the root system. I usually repot twice (growing on a balcony) - once to a medium pot then to the large full pot.
Image
Tomatoes here been repotted but I actually directly potted the peas because I felt they were stronger.

Image

A lot of gardening is kind of trouble shooting when you have issues and noticing what you did wrong. Basic reading obviously really helps to learn what certain vegetables like.

Enjoy!

_________________
Man is a beast of prey


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:33 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
the_alias wrote:
<snip> What I'm trying to express is you can read all you want but you won't start really learning anything until you plant those first seeds.

THIS! Truer words were never spoken. That's why I so admire Zombiepreparation's bravery in just jumping in and seeing what works.

It seems as if your grandmother gave you a wonderful foundation to get you on the road to some sort of self-sufficiency, Alias. Thx so much for the advice and great pix!

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:54 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
If my eyes aren't deceiving me, if it isn't the clover I allow to grow in the asparagus tub, if I'm not just wishing it so, I think my Black Seeded lettuce seeds are viable and peaking through the dirt. I must be calm because I'm seeing only the tiniest of plants growing and I haven't enough evidence yet to say with authority it is the lettuce, but I am further encouraged these tiny green plants might be the lettuce because they are growing in a row, not a full row at this time but it really does look like a row and it is in the place I planted a row. The clover does not grow in a row, it just pops up here and there, and I am fairly certain I am seeing a row of something just breaking through the soil. Is my garden giving birth to lettuce?! Poor garden, it will be investigated too many times before I sleep tonight. I must remain calm. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:26 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
Okay, breathe... slow and steady, that's the ticket. <keeping fingers crossed for the plants actually being lettuce whilst re tasking a keyhole satellite to check on ZP's location>

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:44 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
It's ALIVE!! And it's LETTUCE!!


Last edited by zombiepreparation on Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:19 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
Well done, you!! :D

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:34 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
:idea: Through its county agents, the Cooperative Extension Service gives individuals access to the resources at land-grant universities across the nation. These universities are centers for research in many subjects, including entomology (the study of insects) and agriculture. Each county within the United States has an Extension office, which is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control.

One of the most exciting things is the Master Gardener programme. By calling the coordinator of Master Gardeners in your state, you’ll find out how to get in touch with a local expert. He or she may have experience and locally based knowledge about how to deal with a specific pest that is giving you trouble.

find your County Extension Office here.

Knowledge is Power, always leverage the accumulated knowledge of others!

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:44 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
prepper7 wrote:
Knowledge is Power, always leverage the accumulated knowledge of others!
Always leverage the accumulated knowledge of others. What a good thing to learn to do.

Now, I don't quite understand how I can use my County Extension Office. Like if I get aphids like you have? Or how to find out the ph or something of my soil so I can know what to add to make the soil better? Do they charge for their services? Can they help me find a handful of Red Wrigglers for composting rather than the pound a person has to buy off the internet. I have made lots of calls to bait shops and gardening centers trying to locate these worms. I am unable to find them here... and I know someone in town is using them in compost too. I just can't find out who they are. Are they helping you with your aphid problem?

My Firstborn (the lettuce) gave me the big surge I needed to get the last of the containers filled with soil. And to make some decisions on what I will plant together/singularly in the pots. I'm even getting some new ideas:

-a beginning structural design thought for the tomatoes to climb on that is different from the pot trellises, homemade/found/bought
-a beginning idea of how to possibly keep the containers cooler in the summer to delay them going to seed when the heat becomes too great if I can

Though the very first thing I thought of after I confirmed there was indeed lettuce growing in my garden was "Is that a bug walking around on the soil? Where did that bug come from?"


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:38 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
zombiepreparation wrote:
Now, I don't quite understand how I can use my County Extension Office. Like if I get aphids like you have? Or how to find out the ph or something of my soil so I can know what to add to make the soil better? Do they charge for their services? <snip>

Different states/counties will have different resources (budgets) and people with different and varied experiences. You'd have to visit your local office site to see what's available in your area.

I have found a wealth of useful publications (such as the container gardening article I posted from the Arizona Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture) from states all across the US. There are classes and lectures offered by Master Gardeners, too. There may be a charge to take the classes, but you'd have to inquire of your local office. In addition to what you can learn from the staff, you'll have opportunities to meet other gardeners.

And yes, some of the information I located about aphids did come from the Extension programme. :)

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: My balcony garden
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:53 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
zombiepreparation wrote:
If my eyes aren't deceiving me, if it isn't the clover I allow to grow in the asparagus tub, if I'm not just wishing it so, I think my Black Seeded lettuce seeds are viable and peaking through the dirt.
Yup. I have lettuce growing. What an exciting moment for me in this, my first effort at a balcony garden using containers. Lettuce! Which means foooood to me.

It gives me energy to move forward; as I mentioned it gave me interest in working in the drizzle to put the soil in all the containers, and today (another drizzle day) I put all the seeds into their various pots so everything is planted. I opted out of using the seeds I have for the big plants that need an actual in-ground full sunlight garden: zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, eggplant, and Beefeater tomatoes. <sniffle> I find there just isn't room for containers for them in the first place. I still don't really know how to arrange the containers I already have, besides I now seem ready to wait and see what's going to happen with the the seeds I planted today since the balcony 'feels' like it is full to me. It might just be because of the drizzle. Next year I'll figure out something different. But if I actually find all or most of my seeds grow this year I'll be encouraged to start planning next year's balcony garden months ahead and have time to discover the bush size zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, eggplant, and tomato plants that are designed for container/balcony gardens.

Although... today a person I know in my apartment building offered to spring for a couple balcony size tomato starter plants if I will share the tomatoes. I think I'm going to go for it. At least that would give me two plants that will be for sure giving me food this year which would certainly make me feel a bit more successful if nothing else grows from the old seeds I'm using this year.

I am looking forward to the weekend because the weather report says the drizzle will leave for a while. I hesitate to 'wish' for sunny weather for fear of jinxing the weather pattern and bringing down extreme heat with an accompanying drought for the rest of the summer. :)


Last edited by zombiepreparation on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:57 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
zombiepreparation wrote:
Though the very first thing I thought of after I confirmed there was indeed lettuce growing in my garden was "Is that a bug walking around on the soil? Where did that bug come from?"

That's an important one (I find that I'm the tiniest bit insect-phobic about the garden). It's important to correctly differentiate between "good" and "evil" so that you can--

1. Act promptly to address destructive pests (if I had not misidentified (and ignored) aphid casings as wood fibres from a wood-working neighbour's balcony, I would have been able to prevent them from destroying so many of my plants and becoming so firmly entrenched in the garden).

And

2. Avoid harming (or creating an environment hostile to) beneficial insects (the creatures that will put a smack-down on the crop-destroying insects just waiting to get a foothold in your garden). The InterWebz is a great source of identification aids.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:17 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:21 am
Posts: 1120
Has thanked: 104 times
Been thanked: 128 times
prepper7 wrote:
zombiepreparation wrote:
Though the very first thing I thought of after I confirmed there was indeed lettuce growing in my garden was "Is that a bug walking around on the soil? Where did that bug come from?"

That's an important one (I find that I'm the tiniest bit insect-phobic about the garden). It's important to correctly differentiate between "good" and "evil" so that you can--

1. Act promptly to address destructive pests (if I had not misidentified (and ignored) aphid casings as wood fibres from a wood-working neighbour's balcony, I would have been able to prevent them from destroying so many of my plants and becoming so firmly entrenched in the garden).
Thank for this info. I promptly went to the InterWebz as you suggest and found this ominous article: The Aphid Life Cycle. Drat. Tomorrow I call my County Extension Service and see if I (at this stage in my gardening education) can even understand what they are talking about, see what is available from them (that I can afford and/or get to on my bicycle), and hope for something like maybe finding a thriving balcony gardening bunch of folks in my neighborhood.

My area of town is a large eclectic neighborhood full of creative and alternative ideas. There is a 'house' of people in the neighborhood who are a Mother Earth type of group, turning the yard into sustainable everything, building their carts out of found things, doing all the We Are The World things I like but they also talk way over my head at this point. (And I find them rather smug in their humility. I must be seeing something in them I don't like about myself. :lol: ) There are two other homestead-like gardeners I've found in the neighborhood who do this grow all the food you can in your entire yard. One has several of those big winter garden boxes and starts summer season gardening in February every year. The other house is another incredible back-to-the-land adventure. When they talk in 'simple' terms it might just as well be string theory for all I can understand. I enjoy string theory but I don't really grasp it. This balcony gardening thing is gonna be a roller-coaster ride for me; thrills... and stomach churning. Drat.

Ack! My overwhelm alarm just went off. Back to the basics. Lettuce. I have lettuce. Tomatoes. I am going to get tomatoes. I have put seeds in soil in my containers. Those seeds will need to stay moist until they peak through the soil. I think I'd better put off the call to the County Extension Service until next week. Here is a LINK to a YouTube balcony gardener who is casual enough for my kindergarten level of balcony gardening comfort. She has documented her garden in five or so videos. I like her balcony garden and I need her calm attitude. A couple of months ago I discovered her videos and said "Well, I can do that." And that's how I got started this year.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Virgin Gardener
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:29 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
Well don't panic... yet :) You may not even have aphids (or any other destructive pest).

One of the things I've discovered in my aphid research is that ant control is vital. Aphids (and some other pests) secrete honeydew (sugary, sticky liquid) which ants love. They will "farm" aphids, moving them from plant to plant and even protect them from predators. The honeydew also supports the growth of sooty mold.

Another is the idea that one doesn't have a pest problem so much as a plant problem. That healthy plants are less likely to be targeted. So, keep your plants healthy. lettuce is an heavy feeder, so make sure you remember to fertilize your firstborn.

And yes, we're in for a ride. :wink:

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:57 am 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
zombiepreparation wrote:
Here is a LINK to a YouTube balcony gardener who is casual enough for my kindergarten level of balcony gardening comfort. She has documented her garden in five or so videos.

Thx for this link; I enjoyed the vids. I also have balcony envy (so much space, such a nice view). I like how she doesn't hesitate to transplant things from one container to another. I also got some ideas for containers, such as that hanging bucket she made.

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Beginner's herb class
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:48 pm 
Offline
* * * * *

Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:43 am
Posts: 1015
Location: The Magnited States of America
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 32 times
A fun beginner's course on growing herbs. She even provides pdf "handouts".

_________________
Where will YOU Appleseed?
phil_in_cs wrote:
Get your rice and beans now, when you don't have to pay for them in blood.
squinty wrote:
You wear "chaps" to break a bronco, you wear "assless chaps" because civilization has collapsed and you've gone feral.
Blacksmith wrote:
That is an excellent topic for another thread. You should start one about that. Really.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 752 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 32  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group