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First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Posted by SneakyP none (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 16, 11 at 9:36

I am going to be planting a garden for my mother to give her something to take care of during the day. I have no clue what I am doing and need all the advice I can get. I am interested in growing a garden year round if at all possible.What vegetables and fruit bearing plants are best for the Atlanta area and when is the best time for planting them to have a year round garden? The yard gets full sun pretty much all day and the ground is fairly loose and has pretty good soil. What type of ground prep is needed? What are the best type of fertilizers and weed killers for vegetable and fruit growing?

If you need more information please feel free to ask me for like I said I am beyond new to gardening.

Thanx for any and all help that you can give.

Follow-Up Postings:

Re: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

With lots of sun some of the easiest to grow could be things like watermelons, tomatoes, peaches, and if you are into greens the easiest are lettuce, spinach, beans. Obviously a weed killer would kill your plants also, so what you want instead is a weed preventer type thing. About fertilizers I'll let others talk since I'm still newbie myself so would like to hear what the wise people say.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener


What a nice thing to do for your mother! I'm sure she'll enjoy it. Sounds like you need a lot of basic information to start off with. How about you try doing some reading on Walter Reeve's website and then see what specific questions you have. It's hard for us to tell you everything all at once, so you'll get better responses for specific questions. Also, start reading the vegetable and maybe square foot garden forums. Atlanta has pretty mild climate and most things will grow here. You can plant cool weather vegetables around St. Paddy's day, And Warm Weather vegetables around April 15(tax day). Then for the Fall crop, you'd be back to cool weather vegetables again -and would plant them in Late summer. (no later than Labor Day). These dates are for Transplants. You would start seed indoors about 8 weeks earlier.

Best of Luck,

Here is a link that might be useful: Walter Reeves

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Walter Reeves is an excellent place to start. I recommend looking at a garden schedule like the one on the link below, and if you are still unsure, taking an introductory class. Many extension offices (that are still operating) have a class, as does Farmer D organics in Atlanta and Oakhurst Gardens in Decatur. I'm not sure where you are located.
For a first garden, I think annual fruits are the way to go, as well as easy vegetables such as lettuces in the spring. There are many other great spring vegetables too. You might want to try some broccoli and cabbage, and they are great to get starts of. Lettuce is so easy from seed.
For a perennial fruit I recommend blueberries. They do not need spraying of any kind, and I find peaches a challenge, personally as they do not particularly like my Atlanta climate. It takes some good learning to know about spraying peaches in the Atlanta area.
One thing you should decide (with the questions you are asking) are you going to garden traditionally or organically? It makes a huge difference with advice on fertilizers etc.
Walter Reeves has an excellent vegetable book, your local library probably has it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable Gardening in Georgia

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Gardens can be productive in all but the coldest of months. Here in Atlanta, cold crops such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and onion can be planted in February with great results. The cold keeps insects at bay, reducing the need for sprays. As these crops produce and fade away, replace them with summer crops of peppers, tomatoes, beans and squash. After these crops fade, replace them with cool fall plantings of turnip and salad greens along with broccoli and cauliflower for fall.


RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Thanx for all the advice. Unfortunately I am a everybody in the pool type guy. So far I have planted Yukon Gold Potatoes (they don't seem to be doing very well). Two different onions Texas Sweets and (not sure of the others name). Broccoli (seems to be growing fairly well). Cabbage,Cauliflower,Romaine,head and red curly top(not sure if thats the right name) lettuce. Sweet Peas, Asparagus,Radishes,Basil.

Just planted a row of Bell Pepper,Jalapeno and cayenne pepper, Did a row of Better Boy will be doing five more rows of 8 plants each one at a time and Cherry tomato plants (already have flowers on the cherrys).Also planted some Strawberries in a half whiskey barrel.Also did a mound each for Honey Rock Cantaloupe and Sugar Baby Watermelon (will be trying to grow them up my mothers fence to take up less space) will do more as they start to grow so she can have them throughout the summer. Just planted some seeds for some bush beans.

Just built her a trellis for her Cucumbers will be growing 2 different kinds one for slicing and one for making pickles. Also will be planting some beets and carrots under where i am growing the sweet peas and string beans that I will be trying to grow up strings anybody able to tell me how to train them I would appreciate it (couldnt see leaving that space empty,hope it works).

She had a Bing Cherry tree (I know they arent supposed to do well in Georgia,but has anyone had any luck with them if so I would appreciate any advice you can give. I planted a Gala and Golden Delicious apple trees, a Bartlett Pear,Burbank Plum,Peach( not sure what kind it was grown from a pitt) and a Nectarine tree. I know some of them need another variety of the one I have but am trying to decide what kind to use for cross pollination plus want to see how they do first. Also planted a couple Blue Berry bushes and might get a couple blackberry and raspberry bushes also.

Wish me luck as I will surely need it as the chances of me going down in flames is probably pretty good....LOL.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

My garden is super productive all year, including winter in any month! I use tents to cover my beds, and grow all sorts of greens and lettuces. We eat from the garden 12 months a year, and rarely buy vegetables.
Good luck with your new garden SneakyP! I can't wait to get warm weather veggies in the ground, right now I'm just fixing to mow down on the 2nd round of winter/spring lettuces and greens, radishes, carrots, perennial onions and fava beans. The strawberries were fertilized 2 weeks ago and are blooming up a storm, so we should have some fantastic berries this year. I'm going to get a PVC screen dome made soon, to protect 'em from the critters we've seen roaming around in the yard (the fence guy found a den in a neighbors empty tree stump).

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Op, as a newbie, you want to cover a lot of grounds in your first attempt. You, and any newbie for that matter, need to start small and slow. Plus, your mother also needs to learn how to care for them.
But here are few basic things that I recommend:
some herbs: chives; cilantro, parsley,basil, thyme, oregano,...
some fruiting veggies: Tomatoe , peppers, summer squash
Also , it depend on what you like and prefer and are really into eating/using them. Do you like peas/beans? do you like okra?... with peas/beans, although it is easy to grow them but generally you will need some trellis/support. Okra is even simpler. Just follow the instructions on the seeds package.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Okay I guess its time for an update. The lettuces did very well and have been eaten along with the radishes, still have some onions in the ground. I gave up on the potatoes, I think the area I had them in was to wet. The Cauliflower did pretty good although they were on the small side. The fruit trees are coming along and I expect to have some peaches, nectarines and blue berries this year.

For the summer plantings I have really outdone myself and found extra bodies to jump in the pool with me.

I'm Italian and everybody knows we grow tomatoes(yeah right) anyway I find myself with 51 plants in the ground (I just couldn't stop myself)There are Marion,Rutgers,Better Boy,Black Prince,Lemon Boy,Mr Stripey,Pink Girl,Pink Brandywine,Grape Cherry and Plum. I'm really proud of their progress and will be picking the first of them in the next week or two. How are everyone elses doing?

Peppers I have 12 each of Jalapeno, Cayenne, Sweet Bananna and Bell (different colors) 2 Cubanelle 4 Big Bertha and 2 the store calls Luigi The Italian in me made me do it.

I have some Collard greens,Okra, String Beans, Blue Lake Bush beans, Zucchini,Straight and Crooked neck Squash and Black Beauty Eggplant,Sweet Potatoes,Asparagus,8 Sugar Baby and 4 Charleston Grey Watermelon and 8 Cantaloupe plants. I also have 30 cucumber plants divided between Straight Eights, Burpless and Boston Pickling.

There may be something or things I have left out.

Trying to find room for some seedlings I still have to find a home for.

Hi my name is Pete and I have an addiction....I've been told the first step to solving and addiction is to admit you have one.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Sounds like you have the same addiction I have, I got hooked building a small garden for me and my daughter last year. I can think of worse things to grow addicted too. Good luck to you buddy.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden Blog

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

  • Posted by cozy NE GA 7 (My Page) on
    Sun, May 29, 11 at 14:04

It is a bad bug indeed. There is no cure and afore long you'll find yourself in deep. Good Luck!


RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

LOL, that is too funny! I have been telling my wife that I just want to buy an acre of land somewhere near our house just so I can garden on it. I know that it will be too much for me and that I will have to buy equipment etc. to work that much land and then I always snap back to reality.

I have told her though, if we ever hit the lottery, that would be my dream. To buy a small farm and work on it for the love of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

chris..good blog. Read few postings. You should really look into vermicomposting and composting (hot or cold), since you have a large space and huge garden.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Well its time for another update.

Just got done making some Bread N Butter and Kosher Dill Pickles out of the Boston Pickling cucumbers. That was roughly 15 pounds of cucumbers, hopefully I will be able to make one more batch. The straight 8's and burpless variety are coming on fairly strong now.

I have picked 1 bell pepper so far and a few more are coming. Been picking the Jalapenos and Cayenne peppers for awhile now (anybody have any good salsa recipes also looking for some good things to do with my cayennes already made some pepper sauce with it). Getting ready to start pickling some of the Banana Peppers that have come in so far.

The green beans are coming along quite well and have been picking them for a few weeks now.

The tomato plants have all pretty much overgrown the tops of the cages except for the cherry (but they're trying their hardest). Have gotten some Rutgers and quite a lot of the Black princes picked and eaten. I picked 2 Lemon Boy's and I have to say I really like the taste.

The 2 Zucchini plants went nuts and I must have picked around 25 - 30 so far. The yellow squash (straight and crook neck) have produced pretty good have gotten about the same number from them. I think they are all getting pretty played out now. I may try planting a couple more of each (anybody got any good recipes for them?)

The cantaloupes are doing pretty good and I have several that are getting pretty big.My watermelon is coming right along have the sugar babys on a trellis. Has anybody had any luck growing them that way and not using something to support the melons like stockings? (as I have 12 melon plants and 12 cantaloupe plants and that could get a little on the costly side). The Charleston Grey and Jubilee plants are running right along and are starting to flower up. The pumpkin I planted also seems to be doing quite well.

The Eggplant is coming right along and have lots of flowers and I am getting ready to pick the first one.

There's probably something I've missed but thats all for now. I may take some pics and post them later as I have to say that being a first time gardener I am rather proud of the way its coming along. I hope everyone is having the same luck I am.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Hey fellow Georgia veggie gardeners. I have a question. We are doing veggies in pots. We have a zucchini plant that we bought quite large from Home Depot. It immediately put out some fruit. We had two large zucchinis that we grilled and they were delicious. However, there were two smaller fruit that just shriveled up. I realize now that they were not fertilized. However, I didn't fertilize the ones that did grow! I guess helpful insects did. I have been going out each morning trying to fertilize the female flowers, but they never seem to be open. I also now have a cucumber plant that has plenty of female flowers but hasn't put out any male flowers that I can see. What can I do to make sure I get lots of fruit from these plants?

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Buford, you just have to let the bees do their work! Zuccini and summer squashes can be a challenge in Georgia with the vine borers, cucumber beetles and everything else. Hang tight.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

I was watering the veggies yesterday and saw a zuke that just wasn't there before ! I know they grow fast, but I had no idea this one was even there. It was on the side in the back and it is very dark (or zuke is black beauty). The color blended in with the pot color and it was almost in the pot next to it.

RE: First Time Vegetable and Fruit Gardener

Wow SneakyP! It sounds like GREAT success for a first time gardener! Good job!

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