Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gardening Year One

We've learned a lot over this year. Mostly we've learned there is a lot more to try and much more to learn. Here are a few things we found useful.

Lettuce (leaf)
  • Seeds are cheap
  • Easy to grow
  • Suggestion: Watch your spacing so the leaves have room to get big
  • High yealding
  • Once established, you can not kill it unless you're trying
  • Used in almost everything
  • Suggestion: Start in pot then plant outside once it's 3 inches tall or higher
  • Suggestion: One bunch is enough.. it gets huge
  • Used in almost everything
  • Easy to grow
  • Suggestion: every time you start a new clove, plant two pieces of it
  • Used in almost everything
  • Easy to grow
  • Suggestion: Remember to space your onions so the bulbs have room to grow (they just stop growing in tight spaces)
Bell Peppers
  • High yielding
  • Easy to grow once established
  • Suggestion: buy 1 red & 1 green bell pepper plant from farmers market ($1 each). That's all you'll need.
  • Plant once and grows year round
  • After 3 years, has good yield
  • Suggestion: Pick up 2-3 year old plants from walmart or farmer's market so your time till harvest is less
Soy Beans
  • Fast growers
  • Good yield
  • Easy to grow
Planting Tips
  • Forget row planting, plant in clusters (squares) to prevent weeds
  • Don't forget to rotate your crops
  • 7 dust is awesome!
  • You don't have to water every day. You'd probably be better of watering fewer days for longer periods of time.
Plants that didn't work
  • Carrots: hard to get started. Next year we will try using sand/ash combo in pots then transplant
  • Celery: Also wouldn't start. We probably waited too long between watering and killed it.
  • Cilantro: Seeds molded before they germinated
  • Pumpkins: Easy to grow but we planted 2 months too late. We'll plant in July next year.
  • Spinach: Didn't work for some reason. We probably killed that when we killed the celery.
  • Chives: Didn't grow for some reason.
There you have it. Nice and simple what worked for us. Anything that is high yielding is perfect for home growing because the price of the seeds and dirt are quickly recovered by the product produced. If you don't have a lot of time, you'll want something that survives event NC heat. If you stick to the plants above, you'll have a nice first year garden. Use that as a base and add one or two plants a year after that. next year we plan to add melons, squash/zucchini, tomatoes. I hear they're all easy to grow.

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