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Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

Posted by cauldeb z6 VA (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 27, 09 at 8:04

I am looking for some kind of comprehensive gardening calendar to help me get through all the chores of managing a three season vegetable garden. I live in western Loudoun County and have 250 square feet of raised beds. I grow great tomatoes and asparagus.
However, when it comes to growing just about everything else I can't multi-task to get it all done. Instructions like "plant indoors so many weeks before frost", "thin after two weeks" "sow six weeks before frost", "sow conintuously for next four weeks" etc apply differently to each plant and I can't keep up with it becasue I dont' have the intuitive knowledge of how and when. I have yet to grow brocolli because I always miss the window of opportunity.
Does anyone know such a guide/calander that would apply to my zone.
Determined to have brocolli this year! Thanks, debby

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

Honestly, I would get the Farmer's Almanac. You can get an online version now too. I have signed up for this year's online and it is AWESOME! Tells you when to do what and under what moon.. it's so cool. It tells you soo much about your zone, etc.

Also, recently someone got me into gardening by the moon and this is also a cool site. You can learn a lot at the site below without buying the calendar. At first I was like.. whatever. Then I had some seeds that were just not doing anything at all. A couple days before the full moon... BAM! They went crazy and I changed nothing.

So basically, I am using what I can get at this site in conjunction with the Farmer's Almanac and am really looking forward to playing with dirt. I figure, be open minded to different techniques and theories but still have fun!

Can you tell I have Spring Fever? LOL!

Take care, Erin

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening By The Moon

RE: Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

VA Tech has a good publication with a chart that gives planting and harvesting dates for lots of different veggies based on when your frost dates occur. If you don't know the dates, check with your local extension office and they can help you. There's a link to the veggie publication at the bottom of this post. I use this chart all the time. It won't give you answers to all your chores but it's a good starting point.


Here is a link that might be useful: VT veggie guide

RE: Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

The VA tech guide is very good. It also lets you know that there is a range of OK times, not just a certain day.

The guide disagrees on the frost date for my area compared to most other sources, including local nurseries.

What I'm doing is planting outdoor containers or starting indoor seedlings over a varying span of time. Then I guess when something dies cause it is too early, I will have room for something else. That will work until I run out of containers and balcony space. I can always yank something up at some point.

You can also try writing stuff down in a gardening notebook, or bookmarking it in your web browser, or saving stuff in a folder on your computer.

The problem is multiple sources are contradictory. Just pick a couple and stick with them?


RE: Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

That's good advice from Alice: just choose a couple of sites for growing tips or things can get confusing. Ever listen to Andre Viette's "In the Garden Radio" program on at 8:00 am to 11:00 am on Saturdays? Search your dial for this show. He's very common sense and a great nurseryman. You CAN get through to him and get answers fairly easily.

I would suggest you not get too ambitious and take on more than you can handle. I think we've all done it. Gardening is suppose to be enjoyable and good for the soul!

Check your plant selections out by seeing what kind of care they need and just add those that fit your time or capacity. Green beans are forgiving and yields are great from the bush variety. I freeze scads. Good luck!

RE: Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

I posted this in another thread in this forum.
Below is a planting guide for our region from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange located in Mineral, VA. It gives a date range for each plant for the "coastal", "inland plains", and "mountains" regions. I figure Im in the inland plains.

Here is a link that might be useful: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Planting Guide

RE: Vegetable gardening for the lazy novice

Thank you for all your help. So far The Southern Exposure Planting Guide is the easiest to follow. I like the way they have the fall plainting times too. I'm about to plant some brocolli, caulflower, potatoes and onions - things I've never tried!

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