New at Gardening - Knowledge is a better garden

comments (1) December 13th, 2009

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yankeefan61 yankeefan61, member
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I figured since the economy has been tanking for the past couple of years that I would try and cut corners every way possible. So I did. I got a pair of scissors out one Sunday morning and started cutting. I cut articles out about vegetable gardening, berries, friuts and citrus. I cut articles out for recipes, to make from our garden. Homemade bread, canning and freezing. My wife calls me a packrat, I call it smart saving-- O.K. ladies, it is a clottered small mess under my endtable-- But, I have started to go through the articles and made a scrap book / log  on gardening.

I have learned some things by way of the school of hard knocks, as I'm sure everyone has at one time or another. Last year I planted nine tomato plants and 2 green pepper plants, in 10" pots, purchased at Walmart. I thought this would be a breeze, some potting soil, starter plants and water. Easy, right? Heck yes! My plants took off. Miraclegro and a green thumb and I was on my way to being a small veggie gardener. I watched our plants grow, Was excited when the first blossoms popped out. Then the beautiful little green tomatoes and peppers started growing. I checked them everyday , when I got home of work, I watered them at night, unless we got rain that day. Every Sunday, I watered with Miraclegro. I kept all the dead leaves clipped off.

When the fruits of my labor ripened and where ready to pick, everybody helped. About the first month, I got great-tasting tomatoes, about average size, used for salads, sandwiches and our granddaughters' favorite, slice them up and eat them with salt sprinkled on them. Our yield up to this point was about three dozen tomatoes. After this my tomatoes got about the size of cherry tomatoes. They still tasted great, but where small. This went on for about a month, then the bugs attacked, the plants started to die.

My pepper plants, the first 1/2 dozen, large, green, delicious and where used for stuffed peppers. After this they were very small, so I used them in omlettes on weekends, and the rest were cut up and frozen for future use in relish. I asked several different people about my deflated garden. I started reading more articles on gardening, plant disease, insects. I found out that my tomatoes have roots that grow about 18" to 24" deep, hence my pots weren't big enough and my tomatoes choked themselves, as did my pepper plants.

This year, however, I have built three 4 x 8 raised gardens. I built mine out of 2 x 8 x 96. Double stacked. I used black garden cloth in the bottom, filled them with organic compost and topsoil mixed together. I have planted zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, brusselsprouts, onions, carrots, beets, tomatoes, green peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers, and red peppers.  Two of the pepper plants I had planted before have been transplanted into my raised garden box. All of the small peppers have been picked either by us or mother nature's little critters. Now the peppers are starting to come back like a real pepper, full size. We had the first few yellow squash yesterday, steamed with zucchini and onions (not from our garden, yet). Everything seems to be growing great, so far.


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Comments (1)

Ruth writes: Hello, yankeefan61, and welcome to the site. Your tomatoes did a lot better than mine last year, and I've been growing them for decades. Gardening is all about perseverance. If one thing doesn't work, try something else, right?
Posted: 9:28 am on December 14th
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