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Gardening Newbie.HELP!!!!

Posted by destinee242 Massachusetts (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 13, 12 at 0:01

So I am pretty much a first time gardener.I have tried and failed a few times before and I dont know what I did wrong.I had spent all this money on plants and the only one that was successful each time were tomatoes.The only tomatoes that grew in the ground were cherry ones and the others I grew in pots from plants started from a nursery.I had planted the other stuff(cukes,zuchini,summer squash) in a little area close to the house so I'm not sure if the soil was bad or what.The flowers came then died.This year I want to go all out and be able to live off my own produce but I don't want to waste my money again by resulting in failure.I have a huge yard,part with a hill and a lower field next to a brook.I bought some soil and started a lot of the seeds in pods.I want to grow peppers,cucumbers,melons,tomatoes, lettuce,herbs and pumpkins.I really want zucchini,summer squash,onions and corn too but I feel like I'd realllly fail at those.Helpppp! I just don't know what I am doing wrong and I want a garden so bad! There's no classes around here to learn and no one that I know gardens.
-Clueless in MA

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Gardening Newbie.HELP!!!!

There can be many reasons that a plant dies, but the fact that those you mentioned were cukes and squash makes me wonder if it was the transplant. Cukes and squash do NOT like their roots disturbed and can be a challenge to transplant. I already KNEW this, and still lost a lemon cuke that I purchased at the store. Tomatoes on the other hand, are very forgiving. In fact, they recommend you plant them deeper than they originally grew so you have a better root system.

They usually recommend that if you're going to transplant cukes or squash, to buy them in the type pot that you can plant right in the ground (peat or whatever). Last year I successfully transplanted a squash my daughter gave me, but it stunted it a lot and it took awhile to recover.

Since summer squash grows quickly, I've learned to just wait until it's warm enough and seed directly into the soil. I live in the state of Washington just North of Portland, OR. In your state, I don't know how long your growing season is. Maybe someone else can advise you on that.

Good luck!

RE: Gardening Newbie.HELP!!!!

Hi Destinee,
I'm in MA also. Have you amended your soil?
An easy (and cheaper) way to start from seed is Wintersowing - you could check out that forum for seed starting.
What other types of tomatoes did you try? I have good luck with the Beefsteak here (and yes, cherries galore).

RE: Gardening Newbie.HELP!!!!

It's hard not to go "gung-ho" when you first start gardening, but if you do too much too soon, you can be overwhelmed. Let's take it step by step and see if we can help you succeed.
Is soil amended(as questioned above)?
How much sun does your garden area get(how many hours a day) and what gardening hardiness zone are you in?
What are you fertilizing with(if at all)?
How is the 'traffic' in your garden area(kids, pets, wildlife)? I only ask this because my DS wonders why he has trouble with his garden area, but allows the GKs to walk and play on the raised beds which compacts the soil.

RE: Gardening Newbie.HELP!!!!

Hi, Destinee! What is your dirt like? How is it to dig in? Hard to dig?

Are there rocks? How big were the holes you made to put the plants in? You need to give the plants a really good start when you put them out, by adding in stuff from nature, but the right stuff. If you haven't added anything, your plants could have just starved to death.

What's the watering situation? Is it a wet area, a dry area, or do you know? Any details will help!

How much sun is there where you plant? Veggies need a lot of sun.

Let us know on this stuff and then we can tell you more things to do to give your plants a better start in life. You can do this! :D

Maybe you could pick the top three things you need to grow happily, and we can show you how to do those, then we'll add the other ones in as we go. You can't learn it all at once. It simply can't be done. But a lot CAN be!

A Teacher
(Not of gardening...grade school!) :D

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