I'm wanting to start a small, organic garden and would like tips.

band_geekJune 6, 2010

I'm 16 and live in north florida. For years now I have been wanting to start a garden for several reasons and I think I might actually get to get started soon. I would like to grow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peas, corn, watermelon, and morning glories. I would have a pot of tomatoes, a pot of peas, and a pot of morning glories on the porch and the rest around my trailer, with the morning glories filling in the empty spaces. I was planning on using the morning glories as a natural bug repellent. Does anyone have any other tips for natural bug repellents? I'm not too fond of the idea or using chemicals. Also, does anyone have any tips for gardening for beginners and what I'm planning on growing?

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You can use google to find what plants are good companion plants to repel pests for each of the items you want to plant. You will have both herbs and flowers to choose from.

Also, Mother Earth News had an article this month about using flowers to achieve an organic, pest-free garden. You can access that article on their website.

Tomatoes like to be planted deep. If you are starting your own from seedlings, try to repot them as many times as you can. Each time you repot them, plant them deeper into the soil. Those little hairs on the stem will turn into roots. If you are planting plants from the store directly into your growing pot, plant them as deep as you can into the pot, leaving the top few stems poking out the top. You can find more information on encouraging your tomato to be strong by googling for how to pinch off the suckers, and possibly by pinching off the first few set of flowers to encourage your plant to become large and healthy before it tries to set fruits.

Corn likes to be planted with lots of friends, for pollination. Because you usually need a lot of plants for them to pollinate well, I'm trying out the square foot method this year. Otherwise, you'll need rows of at least four plants deep.

Your peas and your morning glories will need a trellis to grow on.

Google and the search function on this website have been the most valuable tools for me to find the information I need. Most of the things you want to know will be out there, and if you happen on an idea that no one else has written about, try it out and let us know how it goes!!!

Oh, and take lots of pictures. It is so much fun to see how the garden progresses over time.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 12:55PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Check with your local extension service for planting dates in your location. It's pretty late, you know, to start a garden. VERY much too late for green peas, if that's what you are interested in.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 4:22PM
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joellenh(6b Jenks)

I planted Marigolds with everything this year and I think it really helps. I have also heard Tansy is great, but I can't find seeds anywhere!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 4:22PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

joellenh - beware the innocent-looking tansy. It has rule the world tendencies in some soils. You're probably better off looking for a plant division, than seeds.

Planting in pots - line them with well-soaked newspaper without the colour supplements. About twelve sheets thick and leave the drain holes clear. Make sure the paper is covered with dirt. If it sticks up it dries out and sucks moisture from the soil (also known as 'wicking').

Instead of peas you could look for dwarf beans with coloured flowers. There are some which have bicolour (red-white) and would make a nice addition to the porch. They don't cascade, though.

Another 'pretty' veggie is raddiccio (I hope there are enough d's and c's in there!) It has attractive dark red leaves and is fairly heat resistant. Has lovely blue daisy-like flowers if you let it go to seed.

If you have a shady spot think about starting your own worm farm. Choose or make one that you can draw off the liquid from as well as the worm casts. You can use it, diluted to the colour of weak tea, to feed your plants. You can use the worm casts as an amendment in your potting mix, too. It seems to have a strengthening effect on plants - makes them less tasty to pests. (It's also known as vermiculture, if this is new to you.)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:02PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

If you want peas - have you tried Asparagus Peas? They prefer the warmer weather. They have pretty red flowers, too. You start them from seed and they take about 65 days to picking time. You can pick them for over ten weeks. They're kind of a gourmet item but you might find the seeds at an outlet that deals in specialist plants/seeds.

Tetragonolobus purpureus - asparagus pea.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 3:37AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

What is the purpose of all that newspaper in a container??

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:29AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I'm wanting to start a small, organic garden and would like tips.

I would go to GW's Organic Gardening myself.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 4:13PM
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