Starting my first garden and so intimidated! Please help...

Carrie2013May 21, 2013

Hi everyone

I would like to start my very first garden and have been researching how to proceed for awhile now. I have been researching for so long that it is now late May and I still haven't started anything. I intended to start seedlings months ago but...it all sounds so complicated. I have finally purchased some small starter plants (tomatoes, green beans, cucumber, butternut and summer squash, zucchini, california and jalapeño peppers, basil, thyme, and parsley - I also have some cilantro seeds) in the hopes that this will get me going. I have the plants, they need to get transferred in the next week or so, so now I'm under the gun! I live in the South Bay Area in California, so the weather is pretty nice most of the year, and I have a yard that is all concrete. It gets a lot of sun especially after 11am. I am thinking of purchasing some very inexpensive raised beds but don't know if they will drain properly if I put them directly on the concrete? (I understand this is an issue? I'm totally new to all of this.) And won't they stain the concrete? I'm renting...

I am also considering something like this "city pickers" product: http://www.homedepot.com/p/CITY-PICKERS-24-5-in-x-20-5-in-Raised-Bed-Patio-Garden-Kit-with-Watering-System-and-Casters-2340D/202563845#.UZlKRRzUqPT

Does anyone have any experience with it? I like that it is portable since we don't own our home.

And now I'm trying to figure out what kind of potting mix to use and whether to buy it or make it myself. I want everything to be organic and have the least possible environmental impact and now I'm getting caught up in the peat moss vs. coconut coir debate. Argh...

Can't anyone just tell me exactly what to do? Should I make the financial sacrifice to hire someone to come help me? Did I mention I'm a new first-time mom with a 4 month old who never wants to be put down? Please help!!!!

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Carrie, Just reading your post was making me anxious. Relax. Seems like you might be biting off a bit much. Raised beds on concrete don't work. The self-watering container you linked to at HD will work. For a first time gardener with your hands full with an infant, I would suggest starting small and slow. This supposed to be fun. Maybe get a container or two and plant a couple of things to start and see how it goes. As long as you use potting "mix" and not potting "soil" in containers you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 2:32AM
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