Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Garden? This May Help...!

I know that many of us are itching to get started in the garden.

There may be a few that are putting in their very first garden, and if that's the case...let me just offer some advice, if you don't mind!

Some of these tips come from my own eye-opening experience with a garden that was WAY too big...but I have to admit that I learned a lot of tomato recipes that year! My ex-wife's uncle owned two plant farms in East Texas, and they thought we needed to put in more rows!

I ended up with four rows, 100 feet long, of tomato plants! That, my friends, is a whole lot of tomatoes indeed! Anyway, like I said...I learned a lot and that's the reason I thought it would be good to put a few suggestions in today's post

A good-size beginner vegetable garden is 10x16 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, planted as suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing (or giving away).

Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips. For the plan below, your rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.

Make your garden 11 rows of 10 feet each of the following veggies:

Tomatoes — 5 plants staked
Zucchini squash — 4 plants
Peppers — 6 plants
Bush beans
Lettuce, leaf and/or Bib
Marigolds to discourage rabbits!
Leave 2 feet between bush beans, 1/2 foot between bush beans and lettuce, and 1 foot between all of the rest.

(Note: If this garden is too large for your needs, you do not have to plant all 11 rows, and you can also make the rows shorter. You can choose the veggies that you'd like to grow!)

If you're interested in planting potatoes, just remember that tomatoes and potatoes are not ideal companions and need "distance" to be successful.

So, now I've done my good deed for today...we can get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. Maybe we can draw out some garden plans.


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Really good advice! Most people starts with to big vegetable gardens!

But way up here in the north Tomatoes and peppers are a bit difficult to have like that. Better to put them in pots and place them towards a wall heading south. Our summers are to short here.

Since we up here love our potatoes I would plant that there instead. Otherwise most of the rest would work here too.
Have a great day now!

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
Lots of fo0lks here do grow potatoes, and do quite well with them. We're much more fortunate here because we have a much longer growing season then you do in Sweden.

I appreciate your input and the suggestions...and also the time you took to visit!

Anonymous said...

Thanks HermitJim. Last year, our garden was put on hold because we had a lot of other tasks to accomplish, but this year, a good idea to plant SOMETHING to eat. Might end up needing it really badly.
I'm thinking three sisters, but I've never grown squash before.

Thanks again.

TEAM HALL said...

400 feet of tomatoes!! LOL
Jim that's soooo funny! That's going to be me this year with potatoes. I can't wait to get diggin' in the dirt - just waiting for the snow to move out!
Have a good one Jim!

Sissy said...

I love squash! Squash relish is out of this world tasty (will post recipe). Reading you post this morning has my stomach rumbling in protest. Where's my breakfast? Potatoes? My staff of life. Don grows hundreds of bushels at his riverside garden...I'd steal his dirt if I could!

Momlady said...

I've tried to have a vegetable garden but, alas, the deer got to eat everything before I could harvest anything. This year I'll be sticking to herbs and sunflowers and will depend on K and J for the veggies.

LizBeth said...

I love chard and spinach. We're putting in extra this year. And squash, fried, good eatin'. But never rutabaga again -- stinketh to high heaven! Thanks for the row plan. Gotta go get the coffee now! Have a good one. ~Liz

Beth said...

Hey Bubba,
Was reading your post about molasses. Have you ever tried Grandma King's "Stone Jar Molasses Cookies" (pg. 45 in family cookbook)?
Considering the price of tomatoes today, the ton of tomatoes you had in Jacksonville sounds pretty good, huh?
In case you are interested, tomorrow is Jimbo's b.d.
Have a good day. Love you.

HermitJim said...

Hey Anon 7:10...
Never hurts to have something you can eat growing in the garden. If necessary, veggies can be a very good barter item!

Gotta have food...just better to grow it than pay a ransom for it!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Cath...
Had more canned, juiced, stewed, raw, and any other kind of tomato recipe you could imagine! Bet I gave away about two tons of tomatoes that year!

Still, I wouldn't mind having some of those tomatoes right now...considering the price!

That many potatoes, maybe you'll have to make some vodka!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Sissy...
Yellow squash rolled in corn meal and fried! Food good enough to eat! Fried taters? Just gotta have them, for sure!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Momlady...
Why don't you try a hanging tomato planter? You know, the topsy turvy one? Maybe that would work!

Guess the deer gotta at as well!

I sure appreciate you coming by today!

Hey LizBeth...
Never had a Rutabaga before. Never tasted one, as far as I know!

Guess if they are that bad, I don't need to grow 'em! Plenty of other stuff I do like!

Good luck with this year's garden, my friend!

Hey Sis...
Price-wise, that big ol' garden was worth a lot of money by todays standards! Some pretty good eating came out of there, too!

Does J's Birthday make you feel a bit older? Time sure flies, doesn't it?

Thanks for coming by today!

Mechanic in Illinois said...

We usually stick to tomatoes and peppers. My wife cans tomatoes and tomatoe sauce,my mother'e recipes. Also there's nothing like fresh tomatoes. The marigolds also help for the rabbits because you can't eat them until after the first frost. Thanks for the great lesson.