Your Questions About Gardening Vegetables For Beginners

Sandy asks…

Good vegetable gardening website for beginners?

I’m in desperate need of a good website with lots of information, more specifically for Ontario, Canada. I went to the library to get some books but they wouldn’t let me take any out because I don’t live in town. I don’t want to spend money on books, and I can’t seem to find any good websites.

How the hell am I supposed to learn about gardening?

Glenn answers:

Hi there,

I don’t know whether this site would be of use:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/cangard/

I hope it helps. Good luck and happy gardening :-)

Jenny asks…

Vegetable gardens for beginners, any suggestions?

I live in the southern third of Arkansas, and have a big backyard with no landscaping. It gets a reasonable amount of sunlight during the day. I would like some advice because I never have grown a garden before. I have enough room to make a 12 x 16 plot, maybe a little more. Is this enough room? What do I need to add to the soil? It is just grass, nothing special. I would like to grow carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers – basic stuff. Any suggestions and tips? Thanks!

Glenn answers:

Good Evening Tareksgirl64,

Your first garden. One thing about gardening, you learn as you go. My first and most important tip would be: If you are going to be a gardener, than grow the best. What does that mean? Ninety (90%) per cent of the vegetables and fruits in
the grocery stores are not the best as far as taste.

Commercial farmers grow a variety of vegetables which can import and export better. Examples: garlic. Most garlic is imported from China. The taste, smell and flavor is not
the best, but it does export better than other varieties of garlic. Also, most people would not know the difference. They have nothing to compare.

Cooking with good garlic is awesome. There are many varieties of garlic. It is my favorite vegetable to grow. Try and get some garlic bulbs from Gilroy, California. They grow one of the best in the world. Their garlic festival each year draws people from all over the world. Hopefully, web site below can link you to a supplier.

Http://www.Gilroygarlicfestival.com

Corn is another vegetable which is grown commercially. The taste of grocery store corn is terrible. But the variety is easy to ship and export. I grow a Honey Corn. The corn ear is white, but every third kernel is yellow. It is the best tasting corn I know of.

I grow a purple green bean, because it has less insect problems and the taste is great. I grow a yellow bell pepper. Again, less insects and easy to grow. I could go on but I hope you get my point. Some varieties are getting harder to find. But it is worth searching and hunting for.

I grow a Japanese eggplant. They are very very easy to grow. They have a beautiful purple flower. As you note, I read your profile. You can get some great recipes for eggplant.

You will love to grow yellow tomatoes. They are easy. Again less work. They will come out great. They will be a great conversation piece around your house.

You can grow almost any vegetable you like to eat. Follow the directions on the package for planting distances and times to plant. Again, look for the better varieties. Remember, most gardener learn from their mistakes. A mistake is not like the world is going to end. You will get better with (not a joke) age. Carrots do better in the fall and winter months. Plant them around September in your area.

Second: Soil. Buy a Ph soil test kit. Soil ph is very important to plants. Your plants are healthier. With good soil, you get twice the yields and less insects. Good soil also draws earthworms. Earthworms continuously help your plants and improve your soil. Therefore test your soil. Most plants like a ph of 6.5.

If your soil is too acidic add lime. If your soil is too alkaline add pine needles. Changing soil ph can take two years. Test your soil Ph every two or three years. Do this now before spring. The rain will help soak in materials needed. They have a nice ph soil testing meter at Home Depot for $9. It measures your soil Ph level and your fertilizer level. It is easy to use, and it will last you for years.

Http://www.gardenersnet.com/atoz/ph.htm

I hope you know about compost and fertilizers. I use chicken
manure. It is the best. I mix the chicken manure in my home make compost bin.

Put out your chicken manure now. The rain will also help it to soak in the soil. Also, it will be ready when you get ready to plant. Make sure you till your soil about three to six inches deep a week before you plant. The deeper the better.

Best advise: Start with a small garden. 12×16 feet is a little big for one person whom is new at gardening. You may want to start with something a little smaller. A garden is work. You need to discontinue your membership (again smile) to your gym.

I do not use pesticides or chemicals. Chemicals kill helpful insects. I go out at night with a flashlight, and I hand pick or cut the few worms and insects with scissors. I only have to do this once a month. Between the good insects and my own work, my plants stay healthy.You will also notice a good healthy garden has wasp flying from plant to plant. These are good insects which hunt the leaves for harmful worms and caterpillars. Wasp really fight for you and your plants.

Also plant some herbs to attract more wasps. I plant Dill. Dill will grow about two feet tall. The plant will have nice looking flowers. Fresh dill is very good on fish. We use a lot of dill seeds for canning. Try these two things before using chemicals. They do work.

I hope these were the tips you needed. You received these tips from a gardener with sixty (60) years experience. I started learning at the age of three (smile) from my uncle in the hills of Kentucky. I have a 20×20 feet garden and nine (9) rare fruit trees.

Good luck new little beginner (smile). I love to help new gardeners.
You and your family have a great New Year, from Los Angeles.

Donald asks…

Gardening For Beginner?

I plan to start a new vegetable garden soon. The location is in a sunny, area, which is basically a valley , but close to a river. Rich soil, plenty of sunlight. Any suggestions on which would be the easiest vegetables to plant (as a beginner)? And are there any guides on how to start a garden? All organic garden, no pesticides or anything unnatural/GMO’s. And does anyone know how to build a fence? There’s a lot of deers. turkeys, birds etc…

Glenn answers:

Http://www.gardening.about.com This site will tell you how to raise a garden. And tell about bugs and pests. Putting a strong smelling bar of soap like Irish Spring on a sick or where ever will keep deer away. A scare crow will scare birds.

Laura asks…

Organic Gardening for Beginners?

Can anyone recommend a good gardening book for complete beginners – who want to use organic/environmentally friendly/chemical-free methods.

I want to try and grow some vegetables in pots and grow bags, but I know nothing at all about gardening.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Glenn answers:

Simple question, long and complicated answer–learning gardening is a life-long process–but I’ll keep the answer short. Basically, buy large plastic containers or use bushel baskets which are best for tomatoes. There is less evaporation from plastic than clay containers. You will need “potting soil” which is very different from top soil which has a clay base and will turn hard in a container. Next read labels til you want to drop dead. A lot of feeds and pest control bottles will say if the product is environmentally friendly. Water frequently, sometimes twice a day in August.
Frequent nurseries and talk to employees about organic pot gardening. Go to a bookstore and flip through books. Surf The Old Farmer’s Almanac website, http://www.almanac.com. Hope this gives you a good start.

Thomas asks…

What is a good gardening book for Southern California?

I wanted to start a vegetable or even a fruit garden and did not have any idea on how to begin. I’m looking for a good beginner’s vegetable gardening book that is focused on Southern California- any suggestions would be helpful, thanks so much!

Glenn answers:

The Sunset Western Garden Book is the Bible for all California gardeners. It has extensive information on all the microclimate zones in both southern and northern California, and what to plant there. It has an indispensable plant encyclopedia with information on thousands of plants, as well as plant lists (with pictures) for particular gardening situations (e.g., coastal gardens, shade, dry inland gardens, high desert, etc.). If you don’t have one, get one, you’ll use it probably more than any book specific to southern California.

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