new to gardening

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Old 12-28-10, 06:16 AM
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new to gardening

Well, I have decided to enter the world of gardening in the spring. ( Indiana hardiness zone 5-6)
Me and my black thumb...

This whole thing is actually a little complex.
I was going to start some plants indoors, maybe in February, to be moved outdoors in spring.
Cannot decide on what lights to use.

People I know tell me that I should use raised planter boxes, which is fine, just curious as to why. ( folks answer me with things like...because they work better...not really an explanation in my book LOL)

Oh and then we get into rotation...
planting early finish plants in the spring so that then something else can be planted in their place for the balance of the grow season and get Max use out of the garden...
...and yields...dear lord, this is where the brain begins to hurt a bit. (LOL)

The wife LOVES cherry tomatoes so I know I will be planting those...what I do NOT want is to end up with 400 tomatoes I have to find someone to take ( like most folks I know who grow tomatoes)...so how many plants?
3????
Is there a website out there that gives you an average yield for plants of different varieties?

I want to plant garlic, but an told it will likely not do well here...but my wild garlic planted in the native garden does famously.
I wanted to plant just a couple corn but an told it is a bad idea...

ANYWAY....
I am going to need some help developing a plan.
Is there a gardening for dummies website? LOL!

I know I want a few things...
Garlic
Corn
cherry tomatoes
regular tomatoes ( for canning)
cabbage ( ewww but wife likes it)
beans ( eating and canning...wow are there alot of varieties of beans)
broccoli

what are some other good canning veggies????

I would also like to plant some blackberry bushes...maybe Raspberries...
 
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Old 12-28-10, 07:18 AM
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I built a 4 tiered rack for my wife to seed her plants, with hanging double bulb grow lamps (fluorescent). You will get the "look" when you buy them, but don't worry. Most grass growers use larger lamps
Hanging the lamps from chains allows me to raise and lower the lamps to the desired level for growth. Don't ask why, since light travels at 186,000 miles a second, but because my wife says so.
She uses the individual seed "pans", black, that have a clear dome to start her seeds, removing the dome as the plants begin to grow.
Don't just start seeds in February and hope for the best. Figure your last frost date (here it is April 15), and back date your germination time so the plant will be ready to put in the ground without harm from frost.
Cherry tomatoes, you can probably grow all you want to eat on 7 plants. Canning tomatoes, we usually put out 20 or so, but we can alot of them.
Cabbage is 19 cents a pound in the store during season. Question arises, why grow it, when you can buy it for pennies. You either have to make sauerkraut of it of pickle it to preserve it. Eating it fresh is best, and if you grow 10 plants, you will allow 7 to rot, because you will tire of it quick.
Beans are directly ground planted (no seeding), after the first frost. Yeah there are a lot of varieties, both bush and pole. I prefer pole beans, mainly because I don't like bending with bad knees. Brocolli is a "cole" plant and can be harvested all year long. It must be seeded, then transplanted.
Corn, you must have two rows and at least enough plants to allow for germination which takes place using wind, bees, etc. Two plants will only provide 4 ears of corn, total, anyway. You can freeze corn, so plant what you want. It is direct planted, also. One trick, plant your corn, and when it is knee high, plant beans beside it. That gives you a pole for the beans to grow up on.
Garlic, elephant garlic is probably the least pungent. I prefer Ischeum red (sp). Large globes and a pleasant garlic flavor. I hate puky small garlic globes. They are a PITA to shell out.
So much for the 1st grade primer in gardening.
We utilize the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service as our advice source. A plethora of information The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
Depending on your location, your local university probably has one suited for you.
You could probably use the space where you are planning on your shed for a good garden spot
 
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Old 12-28-10, 08:14 AM
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thanx chandler
the shed is either moving( wife preference)...or being rebuilt( my preference)...so we have room for the garden, but I guess you caught that. LOL!

good info, thanx...I will look at the Univ of Georgia for sure. I already use their information for some other things.
 
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Old 12-28-10, 08:28 AM
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Raised beds keep you from having to bend over as much to work on the plants
 
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Old 12-28-10, 09:27 AM
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I always thought the purpose of a raised bed was to heat the dirt better allowing an earlier start........ not that an aging back doesn't appreciate not having to bend as far
 
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Old 12-28-10, 09:43 AM
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Quicker heating could be another reason, I didn't say not bending over was the only reason for a raised bed
 
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Old 12-28-10, 01:05 PM
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Raised beds allow you to control weeds, fertilization and watering better as well as bad knees, hips and other maladies old age brings with it.
 
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