Primer for Beginners?

bookwyrm(7)April 17, 2008

I'm getting ready to move in the next few months and (should) have a yard with which to garden, for the first time in adulthood. My problem is that I know that the seeds go in the ground, and they need water, but that's really it.

I'm very fond of reading, as the name suggests, so I was hoping y'all could help me out by suggesting books, websites, threads, and the like that could function as Dallas/Fort Worth Area Four Season Gardening 101.

I'm also interested in herb gardening, but I don't have a problem cross-posting a request over there if the materials are likely to be different.

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sfallen2002(z5 IA)

Not your neck of the woods but I recommend Eliot Coleman Four-Seasons Harvest. He has done this for a living. You can apply the principles to any zone, and his planting guides can be tweaked to suit your area.

I also recommend his New Organic Grower 2nd Ed.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 11:53PM
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weenerdogg(Zone 7b)

Hello from fort worth!

I could go on and on since I am right there with you. We just got our first house in February and have been going strong since. I have been reading a ton and your library will be your best friend but I have also done my part to put the amazon kids through college lol so here is a shortish list and let me know if you want more suggestions in no particular order:

Anything by Howard Garrett
Eat More Dirt (fun anecdotes and highly informative)
Animal Vegetable Miracle (for inspiration)
The Garden Primer

Let me know if you are looking for anything else in particular and I can point you in the right direction. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 10:28AM
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computergardener(z7 NC)

I suggest Organic Gardening Magazine... I have had a subscription for years and I really enjoy it. It is filled with many great tips, most geared towards beginners. My other suggestion is to learn how to post digital photos to your posts on this forum. I find posts with photos get answered more often and by more people. Last but not least, learn how to make homemade compost via the compost forum. Nothing with help your garden grow then the benefits of worm filled fresh compost.

Best of luck in your new adventure...

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:30PM
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I went to my library and checked out just about every book that looked interesting. About 1/3 of the books were really dry, 1/3 had some interesting tidbits, and another 1/3 I read from cover to cover. It's amazing what you'll find there!
I was focused on vegetable/herb gardening and edible landscaping.
My favorites were 'Square Foot Gardening' by Mel Bartholomew. There he talks about vegetable gardening in beds, which was neat cause I always thought the row thing was silly. (Why weed your walking path?) His book was clearer than the ones I read on potager gardening, which is nice for a beginner.
Lasagna Gardening (forget the author) was another fun book.
There is also a large book on Edible Landscaping. The entire back half is edible plants organized by ornamental characteristics. It contains a note on the zones the plants grow in too, so you know whether you should bother with a particular plant.
Another thing I'd do is look at the title of the forums here, and see if there is a book on it. (Or do an internet search on it.) I've gotten so many crazy ideas by doing that! :P

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 10:31PM
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    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 3:49PM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

All those suggestions are great. You can also check out aggie-horticulture website or your local county extension services website.

As to square foot's just another version of french intensive gardening....been around for years. It does require intense irrigation. Row planting spaces the plants for little or no irrigation and allows the plants to grow a large root system in order to survive. It also allows for automated farming. Using row planting at home is just a carryover.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:22PM
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tom_n_6bzone(Western Maryland 6b)

My favorite read on gardening is John Seymour "The Self-Sufficient Gardener". And for a invaluable reference book on how things were done: Carla Emery "The Encyclopedia of Country Living: An Old Fashioned Recipe Book"


    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 8:29AM
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