Starting a Organic 4 season herb garden

catareenSeptember 11, 2009

Hello everyone, I am begining to research for information on planting an organic herb/veggie/flower/berries garden that will produce in all 4 seasons for next year. I will use these plants to make all natural orgainic bath stuffs, teas, and grow veggies for the many peaple I know (including myself) that have developed or been born with many allergies or are chemically sensitive. Any extra edibles I will weekly donate to a food bank in my home town. I understand this will be a HUGE undertaking.

I am planning on building a greenhouse (16'x20') and having a box garden (60'x80') divided into 4' or 6' wide sections 10' long with 3' paths around them for easier access and 3 composters. Any info, garden planners, sorce links, and books titles are very helpful! I lack experience so I am asking you :) also anyone got information on BioChar?

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My suggestion is that you start with a small vegetable garden and herb bed. Make your mistakes there, figure out what you are doing, and expand slowly. Instead of the 16x20 greenhouse, look up "hoop houses".

Check with your state's master gardeners, books on gardening in the mid-west, and asl local farmers at the farmers' markets.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 8:23AM
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Get lots of books from your library and start reading. Then start slow. Invest the $15-30,000 you are talking about for start up costs until you have a lot more practice.

I agree with hoop houses rather than greenhouses to start with.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Check out Eliot Coleman's books, especially, "Four Season Gardener".

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 6:14AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I can't say how much I agree with "starting slow." Gardens are great places for second chances and learning as you go. But you can make some very costly mistakes if you are investing lots of cash into something you really don't know and understand yet.

Visit your local library. Google can offer up reams of info on any given topic. But get some firsthand experience on a smaller basis before going bigger. You'll be happier and more successful that way.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 9:00AM
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I agree with FataMorgana. If you know what you want, research it very thoroughly and then decide if you still want to try this. It sounds like a lot of fun, but a huge undertaking.

Have you talked to other people who have a similar set up? There are a lot of people who grow their own herbs, flowers, vegetables and berries and make organic bath stuff, teas, etc. Ask them specific questions regarding initial costs, as well as on-going expenses. Is this something you're doing to make money or just for pleasure? That makes a big difference too.

I helped my husband start a business (not gardening) five years ago and had to create a business plan, do lots of research and figure out all the costs involved with daily operations. It was a lot of work (and I didn't want to do it) but it helped us understand what we were in for. We're still going strong five years later, but there is a lot to consider if you're trying to make a profit.

If you're doing it for fun (retired/independent income) then that's a little different. I'd do the research and if you still want to do it, I think the greenhouse is a great idea. Just check out the post I put in about favorite teas. There's a good response about the dangers of "dabbling" in herbs without the proper research...good luck with your garden!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 1:27PM
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You might want to visit the Organic group for their suggestions.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 8:50PM
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I too feel you better start a small garden first from that you can learn better than theoretical knowledge. but dont feel very attached to it because you are just going to experiment.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 1:26AM
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It sounds like you know what you want with your garden design, but you might want to check out the American Kitchen Garden by Jennifer Bartley. It's based on a potager type garden, which combines vegetables with herbs, fruits and flowers. It might give you an idea of how to start on a smaller area, while still providing room for many types of plants. Companion planting (vegetables with herbs and flowers) brings in beneficial bugs, which helps with organic gardening. She has some beautiful pictures and designs in the book, even for larger scale gardens. I admire your initiative and wish you luck with your project.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 12:56PM
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