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?