john12ax7

Planting and Growing Vegetables
« on: February 14, 2020, 06:25:42 PM »
I have a small piece of land I can use (20-30 sq ft)  so thinking of planting and growing some vegetables and herbs.

Thinking of things like tomatoes,  lettuce,  basil,  onions, peppers.  What are good choices and tips for a newbie? Lower maintenance and higher success rate crops would be good.


PRR

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 07:03:59 PM »
Crabgrass works well here. So does Spruce, if you are patient.

Stuff which is "invasive" most places, and possibly banned where you are (the reed that infests Lower Topanga, Arundo donax L.), has not spread an inch. Eradication?? I hope it survives every winter/spring.

Sorry to not be much help. It's 5°F (-15°C) here just now and I'm not in the mood.

john12ax7

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 07:15:12 PM »
Ah forgot about that.  I grew up with cold winters,  hard to go back.  Here February is planting season,  at least for some crops. But the hard part is finding any actual land to use.

JohnRoberts

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 07:37:15 PM »
I have grown hot peppers from seeds the last two years but not much of a harvest.

It is still a little early to plant outside here... (29' forecast for tonight's low).

I have a small greenhouse built inside my laundry room and will be starting this years seeds very soon. 

Plants require attention and can be hurt by too much or too little water, I have killed them both ways.

Just do it... two years ago I got a decent crop of habanera grown in a large flower pot...

Lest year I got some bell peppers and thai peppers.

I will try again this year.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 05:20:30 AM »
I have a small piece of land I can use (20-30 sq ft)  so thinking of planting and growing some vegetables and herbs.

Thinking of things like tomatoes,  lettuce,  basil,  onions, peppers.  What are good choices and tips for a newbie? Lower maintenance and higher success rate crops would be good.
Tomato is the easiest IMO. I would not put more than three in you case. Tomato plants spread large. The reward is enormous, home grown tomatoes are sooooo much better than hydroponics...
I don't have a green thumb, but I always succeed with tomato.
You can do basil, parsley, thyme, also easy.
You either buy plants or seeds, in the latter case you have to germinate them inside before planting.
Then you breed a buffalo and you can make your own caprese.  ;D
As JR wrote, water sparingly, let nature do the work.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

shabtek

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2020, 08:41:10 AM »
lettuce is pretty easy and fast; succession plant . lots of ideas on u tube--trellis systems for tomotto, raised bed, drip irrigate. I like livestock panels for tomato cage and trellis, cut panels into 2-3' length and hinge together with keychain split rings so they will form square or zigzag and fold flat for storage. fabric  weed barrier is useful but is plastic based so it will break down into smaller particles of plastic eventually. mulch can often be found free where tree-trimmers dump but you may be innoculating your area with tree disease. it is ideal for weed suppression and moisture control.
its 10º here today, come August I'll be pulling weeds and be bummed that there is no time for DIY.
"really fine players do not use stomp boxes or master volume, they match the amp to the room and turn it up to 11.  Stevie Ray, BB King, Albert King, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Louis Armstrong"
   -CJ

JohnRoberts

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2020, 10:03:22 AM »
I bought a cheap soil moisture meter and it has helped me avoid under/over watering.



Watering is especially important with young trees the first season before they establish a deep root system.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Squeaky

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2020, 02:46:08 PM »
As suggested, tomatoes are a good option (if you like tomatoes). Heirloom varieties may be more disease susceptible but the rewards are worth it. I plant them in among some lavender and it seems to help (co-planting works). Make sure they are well staked with at ealst 6 foot of solid stake above the ground. Even then I end up tying them upright (I have eaves above). Remove laterals and water at the same time every day (my dad swears by this).

It is late summer here in NZ and my vines are groaning. I like arugula (rocket) and that self seeds all over the place (intentionally). Spinach is good, as are fresh herbs (basil, coriander, dill, thyme, mint (for middle eastern and asian food and drinks)). I collect wild mints from the local river beds. Zuchinnis/courgettes (again if you like them). I let some stuff go to seed and then throw seeds around and let stuff come up when it wants. Works well for some of the annual herbs.

Best of luck, very rewarding (to the taste buds). Something as simple as an omelette with home grown tomatoes, basil and  free range eggs can set your taste buds alight.

Scodiddly

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 03:37:08 PM »
I mostly do just tomatoes and green beans.  Tomatoes are easy, especially the smaller fruited varieties.  Big beefsteak style tomatoes can be a little fussy and go rotten halfway before they're ripe, but cherry tomatoes are pretty quick and durable.

Oddly enough I haven't had much luck with squash.  It may be the high water table in my neighborhood, the tomatoes love having wet feet but other vegetables can have problems.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 04:14:16 PM »
I mostly do just tomatoes and green beans.  Tomatoes are easy, especially the smaller fruited varieties.  Big beefsteak style tomatoes can be a little fussy and go rotten halfway before they're ripe, but cherry tomatoes are pretty quick and durable.

Oddly enough I haven't had much luck with squash.  It may be the high water table in my neighborhood, the tomatoes love having wet feet but other vegetables can have problems.
Cucurbits require too much attention, you need to elevate them from the soil, never had any luck with them. And those I can buy at teh market are good enough... not worth it IMO.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.


john12ax7

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2020, 05:16:23 PM »
Definitely a tomato fan,  nothing  quite like it fresh from the vine.  It seems April is ideal for them out here.  So might start with some leafy greens for now.

I've heard that aphids really like herbs like basil.  Is that a big concern?

Squeaky

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2020, 02:20:51 AM »
Hi John, the aphid problem with basil may be location/region/climate specific. I have had problems with aphids on tomatoes before even though I co-planted basil (which was recommended to distract the aphids, which infers that aphids are known to like basil), but where I am living currently I have had no problems with aphids on basil or tomatoes. I can't be sure but, as I previously posted, I think the proximity of lavender to the tomatoes in my garden might be helping. The basil (I have two varieties growing nowhere near the tomatoes) has been fine (it gets a bit munched by things from time to time) except that it is racing off to seed now. Tipping the flower heads will only get you so far.

Have a look at Campari tomatoes if you decide on planting some tomatoes, I quite like that variety. Someone galso ave me a type of heritage (German I think?) green tomato plant this year and I quite like the resulting fruit.

I live in a well-known (in NZ) stone fruit, pip fruit, vineyard and cropping region, which means it is a great place to grow stuff, but it also probably means that the bugs, molds, weeds and other undesirables are pretty street hardened.

If you don't have much prior knowledge of the growing season where you live, I think it might take at least a couple of seasons of experimentation to work out what to plant when and how. At least that is what I have found. General planting guides will only get you so far and in any event they are slanted towards encouraging you to buy more seedlings/seeds, &c. Sounds like you might have full sun which is more often than not essential.

Cheers,

Nick.

PS. Apologies John, I just reread your first post and realise now that you only have about 30 square feet to work with. I would almost consider planting that size plot exclusively as a herb garden (given what herbs contribute to cooking) with a few other things thrown in from time to time (leafy vegetables, a tomato or maybe something else that likes to climb). Sprawling ground plants are no good and even a courgette would have too big a footprint (unless, I suppose, you were mad for them - like my wife but unlike my children).  Best of luck to you.

rob_gould

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2020, 02:31:32 AM »
I think tomatoes are a good bet because they're so much better than shop bought, but in that smallish space you'd have to grow them exclusively to get a really big haul.

I like doing stuff like mange tout - it's really expensive in the supermarket but grows fantastically well and keeps coming the more you pick it. I did a few tomato plants last year but I think I'll skip them this year because I grow them in tubs and they never do as well as I hope.

I agree about herbs. Rosemary and sage are hardy and hard to kill once they get going. Thyme, parsley and coriander are just fantastic to have on hand in the kitchen.  Basil too if course, but I've never had as much success keeping a plant going as I have with the others.

ruffrecords

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2020, 04:01:19 AM »
we grow runner beans most years. I have a 7ft tall dome shaped frame I use. It crops enough to supply us and our neighbours throughout the summer. There is always a surplus which we blanch and freeze. My wife loves radishes which are quick to grow so we usually get several small crops in a year. We also grow carrots in wooden boxes. The flavour knocks the spots off anything you can buy.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

JohnRoberts

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2020, 10:14:04 AM »
Hi John, the aphid problem with basil may be location/region/climate specific. I have had problems with aphids on tomatoes before even though I co-planted basil (which was recommended to distract the aphids, which infers that aphids are known to like basil), but where I am living currently I have had no problems with aphids on basil or tomatoes. I can't be sure but, as I previously posted, I think the proximity of lavender to the tomatoes in my garden might be helping. The basil (I have two varieties growing nowhere near the tomatoes) has been fine (it gets a bit munched by things from time to time) except that it is racing off to seed now. Tipping the flower heads will only get you so far.
When I was getting my new fruit trees established, I bought a batch of lady bugs (they like to eat aphids). Now years later I still see ladybugs around my yard.
Quote
Have a look at Campari tomatoes if you decide on planting some tomatoes, I quite like that variety. Someone galso ave me a type of heritage (German I think?) green tomato plant this year and I quite like the resulting fruit.

I live in a well-known (in NZ) stone fruit, pip fruit, vineyard and cropping region, which means it is a great place to grow stuff, but it also probably means that the bugs, molds, weeds and other undesirables are pretty street hardened.
there are a number of remedies for fungus, mold, et al...  copper, neem oil, etc...  I am waiting for a warm, dry day to spray neem oil on my pecan trees while still dormant. The neem oil kills the unhatched insect eggs.
Quote
If you don't have much prior knowledge of the growing season where you live, I think it might take at least a couple of seasons of experimentation to work out what to plant when and how. At least that is what I have found. General planting guides will only get you so far and in any event they are slanted towards encouraging you to buy more seedlings/seeds, &c. Sounds like you might have full sun which is more often than not essential.

I am still on the steep part of the learning curve... the first year I planted habanera seeds outdoors much too late, I had a plant full of peppers when the first frost hit.  2nd season I started seeds indoors, but mishandled the transition outside... I hope to do better this year.

JR
Quote
Cheers,

Nick.

PS. Apologies John, I just reread your first post and realise now that you only have about 30 square feet to work with. I would almost consider planting that size plot exclusively as a herb garden (given what herbs contribute to cooking) with a few other things thrown in from time to time (leafy vegetables, a tomato or maybe something else that likes to climb). Sprawling ground plants are no good and even a courgette would have too big a footprint (unless, I suppose, you were mad for them - like my wife but unlike my children).  Best of luck to you.
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

ruffrecords

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2020, 05:29:42 PM »
When I was getting my new fruit trees established, I bought a batch of lady bugs (they like to eat aphids).

JR

We get a lot of aphids (green fly) and black fly on our roses. I have not seen a lady bug (UK = ladybird) for years - we had a plague of them in the late 70s. I was not aware you could buy them.

Cheers

ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2020, 08:19:01 PM »
A bay leaf plant is a great addition to all of the already mentioned herbs ,
can be grown to a modest size in a pot , its one of the key ingredients in a bouquet garni ,which is in turn an ingredient in many stocks soups stews and sauces. 

You will have to consider what kind of soil your dealing with ,
Raised beds are another option worth looking at , I have one made from scaffold planks around 3ft high ,eight feet long and 4ft deep, it eliminates a lot of bending and crouching .

I usually put some of the store bought basil out doors in spring ,  at a certain point in the season buds and flowers form up on the plant , Ive made pesto off the flowering plant a few times ,its the best I ever tasted.
 


JohnRoberts

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2020, 09:53:08 PM »
We get a lot of aphids (green fly) and black fly on our roses. I have not seen a lady bug (UK = ladybird) for years - we had a plague of them in the late 70s. I was not aware you could buy them.

Cheers

ian

Maybe $15 for 1500... but I have no idea about availability in UK....

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

JohnRoberts

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2020, 09:55:05 PM »
A bay leaf plant is a great addition to all of the already mentioned herbs ,
can be grown to a modest size in a pot , its one of the key ingredients in a bouquet garni ,which is in turn an ingredient in many stocks soups stews and sauces. 

You will have to consider what kind of soil your dealing with ,
Raised beds are another option worth looking at , I have one made from scaffold planks around 3ft high ,eight feet long and 4ft deep, it eliminates a lot of bending and crouching .

I usually put some of the store bought basil out doors in spring ,  at a certain point in the season buds and flowers form up on the plant , Ive made pesto off the flowering plant a few times ,its the best I ever tasted.
I have started using bay leaves in some of my slow cooked meals... Interesting flavor notes.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Squeaky

Re: Planting and Growing Vegetables
« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2020, 11:13:07 PM »
We have a couple of bay trees at the back door as well as a Kaffir lime. I use both frequently (the former earlier today - currently slow cooking a venison shoulder). Bay is also great for Indian cuisine (slow cooking joints in covered cast iron pots with onion, shallots, tomatoes, cardoman, ginger, garlic, a masala, &c). I often make wild goat curries this way.  After (quite a long) a while an almost homogenous gravy forms on the bottom of the pot to which you can add cream or coconut milk if you so choose.

I have found bay wood a wee bit strong for BBQing.

Tubetec - interesting to hear about using the flower heads for a good pesto (homemade pesto using a good quality grana or reggiano is a big favourite around here). I use some flower heads with the leaves but never just flower heads. I have a brother that swears by the use of flowers from herbs and I have started adding them more frequently (thyme flowers as well). What I have now with some of my basil is more like seed heads (see photo). Too far gone for pesto? (The mint in the background I collected from the wild on river banks. I have about 6 or 7 different wild varieties that I have collected so far. They are not native but naturalised, I suppose. I need to pull a fair bit of it out. I have been considering writing a short monograph on the variety and concentration of different volatile components contained in these naturalised mints. Some are spearmint like, others more like oregano and others with almost cinnamon notes. Some are just minty.


 

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