Friday, March 6, 2009

Are you a Gardening Newbie?

Never fear, you can still have garden success.

Plant choices for the first timer:

Squash
Green Beans
Cukes

All very easy, all very tasty. The squash family is huge and can be a bit confusing for the first time gardener. There are summer squash and winter squash. My picks for summer squash are scallop, crookneck and zucchini of course. 1 of each is sufficient. Unless you want to load your harvest up in a baby stroller and deliver them to every neighbor on your block. Winter Squash is the variety that is grown to store throughout the winter months. My picks for the winter squash is butternut, acorn and sphaghetti. I still have 20 butternuts in my basement. Pumpkins are winter squash as well. Very easy and you will need some space to let them spread out.

Green Beans: There are bush and pole. So if you have limited space, poles are wonderful but you have to be diligent in picking them and you will have a nice harvest of them. I have used 1 and 1/2 inch tree limbs as my poles salvaged from a pile during community park clean up. Easy peasy. Bush beans are just as easy and I found if I sit on a childs hopper ball it makes picking easier, I get my little ones to help me with this and they are good about assisting. I usually plant 2 wide rows of Blue lake beans about 12 feet long. I have plenty for fresh eating and for freezing. So this year I am going to do one row of bush, and one of poles.

Cucumbers: Slicers for table eating and Pickling for what else but pickles. So do pay attention to the label. I am not to particular about these varieties. I have had great success with everyone I have tried. Picklers can be used in table eating but can lend to the bitter at times.
You can trellis cukes with a tomatoe cage for simplicity and space saving as well.
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Gardening is not hard, the key is not to make it difficult. You need dirt, water, a bit of compost, seeds and some mulch. You can successfully garden in flower beds, whiskey barrels and right in the ground or in raised beds. You will have to water your garden on a regular basis. Duh! I am flabbergasted by some that do not comprehend that bit of information that plants need water. Be for warned.....I say this with much apprehension.....it has come to my attention the gardening is becoming "trendy" these days. Huh? Trendy?OMG I am trendy?! Surely you jest. If you are a person the falls into "trends" and are doing things because "that's what everyone else is doing" you will be sorely disappointed. Define why you want to give this a try...is it because you love the taste of fresh cukes, are not willing to pay $6 for one butternut at the grocer. Geez who knew I had a tiny goldmine last fall growing right in my back yard. If you are doing this with false expectations that it will wipe out your grocery bill. Think again. It will help your grocery bill but it will not just miraculously wipe it out. Somewhere on the internet in the form of a book there is the story of the $64 tomato. To start gardening there is an investment in your supplies and those will be paid back over time, easily the first year. So please know there is an initial investment, it is no different than any other hobby or project you start. Be creative in your round up of supplies, check craigslist, freecycle for things you may need, then proceed at the thrift and retail stores, with some caution. Its really easy to go hog wild when one is in a greenhouse, okay maybe that is just me, the other end of the spectrum is just being flat out overwhelmed. Be patient as well, you instant gratification types just might fizzle out the first 2 weeks.

TGIF sistahs and brothas of the dirt!
Val

3 comments:

Penny Pickles said...

amen sister- we just ran out of tomatoes and i'm bummed. there is NOTHING on this planet better than walking out to your garden, picking veggies, coming in making a salad and a stirfry or saute and eating the fruits of your labor! dirty girls unite!!

Val said...

Yes indeed!! there is nothing like being a dirty girl!!

Tammy said...

Oh yeah, I am excited to get my garden in the ground as well. Need those greens and tomatoes in
my diet. I only wish I had much more land to use to garden.