New to Gardening

TraceyTheN00bNovember 25, 2013


I am interested in growing some vegetables. I have never had a garden before. I live in an apartment complex and may move in the summer so I am wanting to use planters/containers.

After browsing a few posts I read that seeds must be placed far apart, depending on the plant. I'm totally clueless on this.. and do containers need to be how deep? I don't know anything about this kind of stuff, Can someone link me to some good online resources?
Where do I get seeds? When do I plant them? Do I need to water them or let the rain water them?


This post was edited by TraceyTheN00b on Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 13:41

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Welcome, Tracey: Can you give us a little more information please? What vegetables do you want to grow specifically? How much time do you want to spend caring for your plants? How much money do you want to spend? Do you have a place to put your containers that is close to a hose and gets six or more hours of sun a day?

There is a book called The Bountiful Container that many people have found helpful in covering all the basics when getting started. Many of us on the Container Gardening Forum prefer to make our own soil mixes, but that can be overwhelming for beginners. There is a wealth of information on Gardenweb and even more on the rest of the Internet, but it helps if you ask specific questions, like "How do I grow a tomato in a container?"

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Thanks, Ohiofem!

I will be picking up that book. I looked it up online and it seems to be full of information exactly to what I need.
I am thinking about growing peppers, tomatoes,grapes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, not sure what else. Mixing soils seems complex. My backyard gets very sunny, I'm not sure for how many hours, and has a water spout. I have 2 young kids that I want to maybe include in helping taking care of the plants (probably not since they are 1 and 2 and won't be interested, but I want to try..) I could probably do 1hr a day,

Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 9:25PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

OK. The things look more clear now.
You want to do gardening outside, in the backyard in containers. That sound simple enough. We don't know yet where you are located and what your gardening zone is. Unless you live in the Southwest or in Florida, probably you will have to wait til next spring to get it started.
As a newbie, you can buy the seedlings and plant them in containers. Now, your next mission is to study container gardening which will include container size for different plants, container potting mix, watering, fertilizing. You have plenty of time to study.

Good Luck !

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 6:44AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Tracey: Here's a very simple plan you could start with. Plan to grow one determinate or bush type tomato like Early Girl, one dwarf cherry tomato and one pepper of your choice, each in a 5-gallon bucket available cheap from any hardware store, and two or three ever bearing strawberry plants in a 14-inch hanging basket. (Grapes probably can't be grown in a container in one season, so forget them.) You will need to buy the plants as starts and won't need to start anything from seed. You will also need to buy a big bag of good quality potting mix, which is usually about 2.8 cubic feet or about 20 gallons, that doesn't include "moisture control" additives. Feed the growing plants with a fertilizer like Miracle Gro All Purpose 24-8-16 soluble fertilizer according to the package directions. You will need tomato cages or stakes for the tomatoes. You can probably start such a container garden for $40-50 if you buy everything. You may be able to find suitable containers for free somewhere. Large containers with drainage holes (which you may need to add if you use the 5-gallon buckets) and good quality potting mix (not soil of any kind) are probably the most important things you'll need to acquire. The next thing to acquire is information about when to plant, which will be a couple weeks after all danger of frost in your area.

One of the biggest mistakes new gardeners make is trying to grow too many plants in their first season. With only a few plants you can grow them well and get enough tomatoes and peppers for your little family with only a couple hours of work a week keeping everything watered and fed as needed. With small children -- who can "help" you water -- you don't need to be a slave to a garden. With a little knowledge and success under your belt, you can do a lot more next year.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 8:00PM
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