Newbie with Questions

bonanzavalleyboyDecember 31, 2008

Hello Everyone in Nevada. Glad I found this great site. I was bit by the gardening bug in 2008, though I grew up on a dairy in central MN, and have parents/grandparents who were extraoridinary gardens. My Dad is a Master Gardener. Unfortunately, what works in MN doesn't seem too here.

Here's my dilema that I would greatly appreciate some advise on. I live with a postage stamp backyard. In early June I decided I was going to try some vegetables. My only available space was on the east side of my house. So I built a small test plot. 4 x 6 roughly. This area only receives a little over 5 hours direct sunlight in the summer. I was concerned about this. But... low and behold... my plants started growing. Pole Beans, Zuchini, Squash, Radishes, lettuce, and a few herbs. In fact, I've never seen such a big bushy flowering squash plant. The Bean vines shot up the poles and all seem well... even with only 5 hrs sun. But then... NO produce!!! I got one monster zuchini, and three beans of varying sizes. The lettuce was ok, the radishes a bust.

Now... behind the house on the north fence... I had three 5 gallon containers... each had a tomatoe plant. Roma, Celebrity, and I forget the third. They got full days of sun and heat. I planted peppers in with the tomatoes, as well as some basil, and merrygolds. The tomatoes did great, especially Roma and Celebrity. The basil did great! The peppers looked as though they'd take off, but petered out after after producing a little tiny fruit.

I'm wondering if my east side plot simply needed more time?? If I had planted my beans (for example) when they were supposed to be planted, I would have enjoyed more success. Just planted too late, and got way too hot. Any thoughts on my situation?

Also... to add to the pot for 2009... I'm thinking of heirlooms. I've already gotten my Baker Creek Catelog. Waiting on Seed Savers. I'm intending to expand my east plot, but I'm nervous about heirlooms and want to know if any of you have any recommendations for northern Sparks, Nevada.

Again... I'm happy to have found this group. I'm eager to learn, and thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Especially regarding the sunlight!!!


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Hi, sounds like you are doing quite well! The only thing I would add is if the area you are talking about is a true eastern exposure, I would be looking at more cold hardy plants like lettuce, chard, kale, brussel sprouts, etc. for the area. Peppers would go in the other plot. Heirloom tomatoes do very well here. For limited space, check out some of the patio varieties.

Good Luck! dRahme

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:11PM
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Hey, Greg! All the lush growth with no produce of your eastern exposure plot sounds kinda like maybe excess nitrogen feeding the green growth at the expense of flowering/ fruiting. Did you amend the soil or fertilize or is it potting soil?
Lettuce & radishes are "cool season" veggies so when it gets too hot they wanna go to seed. I don't know about the others, though, but I'm planting my snow peas & spinach now. The cooperative extension folks at the office on Mill street are a huge resource and have a lot of hand-outs on veggie growing around here.
Good luck, Katie

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 6:39PM
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Hello all.

I am new to these forums and to gardening. I found this sight while looking for info on getting started. I am puttimg in a raised bed garden the last week of March. It will be about 280 sq feet in all. This is my first garden so I don't have too much of an agenda this year. Trying to learn as much as I can.

I built a compost tumbler this past weekend, and I'd say it came out pretty good. I'm planning to start my first load of compost on Saturday.

Look forward to talking and sharing info this season. I have been thinking of getting down to the extension, but just haven't made it yet. Have to move that up the list.

Rob in Sparks

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:04PM
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