Advice For the beginner?

JadedBaroness(7)February 7, 2014

Hello!
I have never gardened before. Things that might seem obvious are not obvious to me, I can't even keep house plants alive! I would like to plant a small vegetable garden in a raised bed this spring (summer??)

I want to grow tomatoes (are those upside down planters any good?), jalape�os, red peppers, green peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and not sure what else. Suggestions? I also want to create an herb garden, preferably in a large pot so that I might move it indoors in the winter and maintain it year round (is that even possible?).

I found a tiered raised bed that looks easy to put together and is a good size for the area I wish to plant in. The area I wish to plant in gets full sun and is near my shed for easy access to tools.

Tell me what tools and supplies I need, when to plant, tips and tricks...talk to me like a five year old (because I'm going to teach my five year old as I learn ;p )

Thanks!

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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Welcome! You're going to have a fun time :)
Without getting too complicated (there are plenty of books for that) here's what I would do:
Full sun spot, close to water source. If grass grows well there, veggies should too.
Raised bed is a good idea. Even if you screw a few pieces of lumber together that should do the trick, but a kit is also a good start if you don't mind spending the money.
Soil is important. A raised bed will need to be filled and this could be costly if you buy bags of soil. You might want to ask more questions on this depending on what you're thinking. Topsoil from elsewhere in the yard, topsoil delivered, potting soil bought in bags.....
Don't overdo it the first year. Once frosts are past buy some tomato transplants (4 or less), pepper transplants and plant them. But a packet of zucchini seeds and cucumber seeds and try them, they're so easy! Get a pack of bean seeds (get a bush type, not pole beans) they're also easy. Then pick something else to experiment with.....
There's a start and a couple of things to think about, I'm sure others will add on!
Enjoy

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:52PM
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demeron(Zone 6)

I've read the upside down tomatoe gadgets are too hard to keep watered and stress the plants.

Google square foot gardening-- some nice tips on how to space things and avoid planting too much.

I have been at this long enough that basic information has started dropping out of my head in favor of esoteric new stuff and I make rookie mistakes after fifteen years, lol But it's all good.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 2:19PM
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poaky1

The above posts deal with veggies already, as far as house plants in the winter the most important thing is hydration. Don't water too much, or too infrequently. The furnace will dry them out through their foliage. I only keep houseplants with succulent leaves upstairs in winter. The rest are in the basement away from the dry furnace air. My dad is always cold so it is always too hot and dry indoors for winter. My houseplants only need watered about 6-8 times in winter when in the basement, near a south facing window. Any houseplant I have killed in the past was watered too often, I have learned my lesson now, though.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:34PM
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