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Old 01-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
madebymommy
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Okay, preparing for my first garden, help!

I posted a while ago that we are going to have our first garden, a raised bed in our back yard. We have really shallow soil and a layer of rock underneath, so we decided on raised bed and we were offered all the fertilized soil we wanted . I've figured out what plants I want, that grow best here... now a few questions:

Is it hard to grow from seeds?

How would I go about growing from seed - ie, should I plant them inside and then transplant the plants that grow, or should I throw seeds in the dirt and pray? LOL

If buying seeds, how many packets should I buy? I'm looking at the Gurney's website, and their packets have around 50 seeds per packet. Is that enough, or should I buy more than one? I don't have a ton of room for a garden so I'm only looking for a couple of plants each. I'm going to be canning everything.
Give me any advice you have! I'm really nervous, and everyone keeps telling me to buy plants from the nursery and plant them, but they are SO expensive!! Seeds can't be that hard, right?!

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Old 01-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Okay, preparing for my first garden, help!

Seeds are easy to start inside but I am horrible at transitioning them to outside so I am just throwing seeds in the dirt and praying.

I have no clue how many seed packets to buy. I just pick up a couple at a time and hope for the best. If you end up having extra seeds you could always keep them for next season or trade them with someone for a variety.

My biggest tip that I learned the hard way: Plant your tomatoes separately from everything else. I planted them in my raised beds and they exploded and took over my whole garden. I got great tomatoes but nothing else grew because the tomatoes would shade them out. Either plant them in a separate container or make sure they have more than enough space to grow.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:01 AM   #3
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Ooh, good advice about the tomatoes! I'm thinking of growing them in pots on my patio instead of the garden - when DH's grandma passed, we moved into her house and she had a TON of huge clay pots she left behind.

I also came across this - I think this is really neat and that I will try it, it should work for veggie plants, right? : http://www.agardenforthehouse.com/20...-sowing-101-6/
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:03 AM   #4
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Re: Okay, preparing for my first garden, help!

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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Re: Okay, preparing for my first garden, help!

We never had any luck transferring seedlings, but tons of luck with small established plants. All of my seedlings died once transferred but the small plants I bought thrived. We had gigantic yummy produce for at least a year per plant (we're in Texas so it's always growing season). I'd consider getting at least one plant per "crop" that you really want to succeed. That way you don't get discouraged if the seedlings die after transfer
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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I have it had much luck with seeds. The trick is to "harden" them. You have to take them outdoes little but at a time until they get stronger. You can google it to find better information. 1 seed packet is plenty if you only want a couple of plants. I assume a few will die so if I want 2 jalepeno plants, I plant 3 containers of seeds with 2 to 3 seeds per container. Then I thin out the weaker ones so it is 1 per container. Mu theory is i try seeds and if they die, i buy plants. Just keep in mind squash and tomatoes take a bunch of space.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: Okay, preparing for my first garden, help!

I have raised beds also. I use 75% compost (hot) and 25% river/creek sand (coarser than play sand). I am in zone 7/8 right on the NC/SC border. I have two 4' x 10' beds, I made them narrow so I could reach the middle comfortably. Tomatoes would grow well in large pots on the patio or even by the garden (so you only water in one place) and you could move them to shade plants that actually need it. Keep in mind that clay pots dry out fast in the sun so you should get some cellulose sponges (new/clean ones) from the dollar store and cut them into cubes and toss with soil. You can buy water beads that do the same thing but they are more $. If you can, I would paint the pot a light color too. I grow Kale, Lettuces, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Peas, Beets, Carrots, Onions, Potatoes in the spring season and tomatoes, beans, squash, cucumbers and peppers in the summer. I will do a fall/winter planting this year, last year I had a baby in November and knew I wouldn't want to work the garden...LOL. A good book for you would be No Green Thumb required ( http://www.instantorganicgarden.com/home-garden-products/no-green-thumb-required/ ) Don Rosenborg is the author and the book is geared toward raised beds only. The soil is more nutrient dense (if you use compost/sand mix) so you can plant crops more dense. When I plant my peas I do a triangle pattern, if all of them grow I thin them out. Squash plants are HUGE so only plant a couple (I do 2 seeds per hole and usually 3 holes of each: straight neck squash and zucchini) plants. In one bed I plant my peas (along back row with trellis) then on one end I have the squash/zuchinni plants, then to the right of them are tomatoes (peas need shade in the hot climate I am in) and to the right of the tomatoes are the lettuces/greens/spinach (it's closest to my patio door, quick salads) in front of the tomatoes are peppers and eggplants. In my other bed (in front of previous bed -- short stuff that wont shade the other bed too much) are Strawberries (stay there all year), beans, onions, potatoes, carrots, edamame, beets, and I MAY put lettuces and greens here this year...not sure. I hope this helps. I totally OVER SEED and thin what needs it. I will can veggies this year and hopefully have some good maters to make gravy! PM me if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help if I know the answer!
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