Talking about gardens. Seeds vs. Plants and Pest Control.

I started typing this huge return comment after I put up my garden plan from last year and decided to make it into a post so you can chime in and share any more tips on pest control or planting successes.

Debra said: I was considering a smaller garden this year because of all the mosquitoes last year but since we’ve decided to go gluten free I’ll have to step it up a bit to balance out the higher cost of food. It’s a good thing I enjoy gardening

Life at the Circus said: My thumb is not green AT ALL. Each year I try a garden, and really compared to yours, I mean, I try a row or two of plants and then I forget about it, grow a ton of weeds and by summer’s end am thrilled with a vegetable or two

Gina said: I so want to be a gardener…Okay, I lied. I want to reap from a garden, just not do the work. We tried gardens for several years. My idea of gardening, plant the pants from Home depot, turn on the sprinkler aimed at the garden and wait!!! The first year we were successful. The rest were flops! Birds would get our tomatoes, rabbits ate the lettuce and let’s not talk about he bugs…and I refused pesticides! I think it’s hopeless, but I’m not giving up.

I love gardening Debra because it is THE most inexpensive way to eat (especially gluten free) if you can succeed. Besides that, even ME (picky eater that I am) will eat almost everything I grow! Somehow it just tastes different when you’ve worked so hard at it. Plus home grown has SO much more flavor.

Life at the Circus, another cool thing about vegetables is once you get them started, many will survive and thrive with little attention. If you get the right varieties for your situation you can “fix it and forget it” to a degree!

I feel your pain Gina. I have an 9′ + fence around my garden to keep out most of the varmits, two huge dogs to deter the rest and some kleenex close by for the ones that sneak in. 🙂 Boo Hoo!

I don’t do pesticide either but there are some tricks to get by. One is the time of day and how much you water. Soaker hoses get right to the root and minimize bugs/mosquitos clinging to soggy leaves. They also preserve water which is necessary for me with a slow well.

Marigolds also help repel bugs and deer don’t like the smell. Unfortunately they will happily munch over them. 🙂 I’m planting a wider row this year hoping to fool them. Ha!

One other thing… some plants really DON’t like to be transplanted and do well sewn from seed. I used to be afraid to try but had better success once I did.

Cucumber, corn, beans, peas, lettuce, squash, pumpkins, carrots, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds (to help repel pests), grass (with patience).

Things I  buy and transplant (because I don’t have a green house) are Tomatoes, strawberries (only have to buy once they come back), peppers (except bell peppers did amazingly well from seed last year), herbs (most come back), onions, garlic, potatoes.

Good rich compost keeps the weeds away and if your soil is rich, it will be full of worms that help with the bug population. I start ot with terribly hard, clay soil and one year I dumped a whole bunch of horse manure over the whole area and the next spring tilled it in. Ever since it’s been great. Growing things actually improves soil quality as well. Compost includes, horse manure, chicken manure, cow manure, even coffee grounds or ash from a wood stove are all good for the garden. Just don’t put fresh manure directly with your new plants. It has to decompose and get tilled in or it will burn your plants so plan ahead!

Any other tips you red thumbs? That begs the question… if you don’t have a green thumb what color is it?



Filed under Gardening, Random, Reality, Ruse

12 responses to “Talking about gardens. Seeds vs. Plants and Pest Control.

  1. debra

    Oh! I love this topic. Smart Gal!
    I sing the praises of compost too. I started small (yard/grass clippings and veg table scraps) and it grew; paper products, lint from the dryer, I even compost our guinea pig bedding. We shred excess paper (with homeschooling we have plenty of that) and mix that into the guinea pig bedding. That cut down the cost of buying all the wood chips (which can cause lung problems for guineas anyway).
    Wish I could do a Soaker Hose. We have an underground sprinkler system but the main issue is the neighbor’s water runs into my garden causing pooling. Tissue please…

    • LINT! Cool 🙂 Wow you are frugal. We are really going to get along I can already tell!! Darn neighbors. Haha, my closest one is barely visible. Still we have an occasional prob. Guess it goes with the territory. They are awesome though.

  2. Well, this new house has not yard for growing a garden, so we might try container gardening. Any tips on that?

  3. Maybe you can do a post on compost…

  4. Thanks for the tips and inspiration… I have a small spot of land that tends to get a lot of shade from neighbors shrub… there is a tiny spot of full sun. So, let’s say one was doing a small garden…. and wanted it rather easy…. what would be the “must grow” veggies that would be strong and yield the most bang for our time?

    Also, if I put manure down now… how long do i have to wait to plant seeds? Love Gina’s idea on posting about compost.

    Again thanks for your help and inspiration!!!

    • Bush beans (I bought mine at Ace Hardware) huge yield! Shade is ok. Freeze extras. Stringless green been variety.

      Lettuce is fun and easy you can even keep it on the kitchen table. Shade is ok. You can even grow lettuce under a trellace with something else. I put cucumber vines over my lettuce. But I do have almost full sun there.

      Tomatoes – one plant will usually yield a good crop and they are low maintenance if purchased and planted (not seeded). FULL SUN though! Also expensive to buy so they are good to grow and keep into the fall (just pull the whole plant and place in the garage.

      Need more?? Not sure how big your plot is. 🙂

      Manure compost is the main one that needs to be well mixed in so the acid is not too high. If it is good and dry (like last year’s manure) you can mix it into good soil and probably get away with planting right away. If it is fresher I would put it in a pile off to the side, add leaves and other non acidic things and add it throughout the season in small amounts. The very best way is to put it down int he fall and till it under in the spring. 🙂 Chicken manure is the highest acid so choose a different animal if you need it soon. The stuff you buy at Home Depot is usually older and ready to go if mixed with good soil. Hope this helps!

      • debra

        Just a note when starting compost: To make compost all you need is CARBON + NITROGEN. Carbon sources are cardboard, shredded paper and/or newspaper. Nitrogen source is coffee grounds or tea grounds. Make a Compost Lasagna by layering your Carbon and Nitrogen (Cardboard first) you can also add your kitchen scrap and other extras in the nitrogen layers too with your top layer being grounds and some soil (soil will help “jump start” your processing). The hotter the surface you pile on the quicker the processing (a slab of hot cement would do). The last step is to water the pile down. (Again, watering will speed up the process.) HAPPY COMPOSTING.

        • Good tips Debra! You should do the compost post 🙂

          Wanna know how I compost? Feed my chickens, horses and pigs then collect the manure. Ha!

          Either that or I simply dump various goodies (like you mentioned, leaves, stemy hay, coffee grounds-stuff the animals don’t eat) into a pile and let it sit in the elements until next year. Mine is a very unattentive way to compost.

  5. Here in so.california we can spray plants with cayenne pepper mixed in water in a spray bottle and it will keep tomato worms and aphids off of plants. Don’t know if it would work for the kind of varmits you all are talking about!

  6. katya

    I too have a small garden area, not even full sun, too many trees; have only about 5-6 hrs.
    but i can grow some tomatoes, and chard, beans and peas are great!
    the biggest problem is that one has to rotate the crops each year on a 3 year schedule or increased risk of disease.
    But i have worked out a plan: one year chard (fresh, home grown chard is so tasty and so good for you! next year beans or peas, and the next year i will try squash.
    I have read that tomatoes can be grown in same spot for 3 years and then move to new spot.
    I grew my tomatoes from seed this year, just in a south window. Also grew marigolds, zinnias and basil from seed.
    My marigolds and zinnia are getting eaten by some pest. I think it is earwigs. (darn critters!) will try to capture in rolled up newspaper).

    • What do you make with the chard? I’ve never grown that one. Good luck with those tomatoes! I am terrible with starting things inside. I’ve got tomatoes, watermelon and sweet peppers in a window right now. 🙂

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