First Time Gardener


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Old 01-04-02, 01:55 PM
SwEetAngL
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First Time Gardener

I've recently moved in with my boyfriend into his new house. This spring I'm going to start landscaping. I've never did it before and this is the first opportunity i've had to get to do whatever I want to the front and back yards. Any advice on what site to visit for first time gardeners? or a book even? anything that would point me in the right direction would work wonderfully!
Thanks,
Tristina
 
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Old 01-04-02, 04:10 PM
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Welcome aboard Tristina! What type of gardening do you plan on doing? Vegetable, herbs, flowers, or all 3? We all have different fields where we can help you
 
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Old 01-04-02, 04:54 PM
SwEetAngL
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Thanks! I'm going to start with flowers around the house and yard, more like landscaping I guess you would call it. Any advice you may have would be great!!!
Thanks again,
Tristina
 
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Old 01-04-02, 04:58 PM
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lst Time Gardener

You have plenty of time this winter to head to the library and check out the gardening books. The problem is you will want to grow one of everything so you will need a plan. And, you will need familiarize youself with the yard. Hot, sunny spots vs cooler, shady spots. Dry areas. Damp areas. You will need to pick plants that will grow in the conditions that you have. Another consideration is how carefree do you want the garden to be. If you are busy and travel quite a bit, you might want to avoid annuals and plant flowers and shrubs that can survive without you for a few days. Perennials are pretty good friends if you can't be home to water every day. A selection that has different blooming times will assure you of a long season of color. Flower beds take proper soil preparation. You will need to know how deep and far apart to plant. (Put the tall ones in the back of the bed.) You will also need to familiarize yourself with insect pests and diseases and what to do about them. I always liked the Ortho Books. They have one on annuals, perennials, lawns, shrubs, shade gardening, as well as others. You can find them at www.amazon.com and I have seen them at home centers, too.

You have come to the right place for gardening advice. I am sure Gami will be along soon as well as others to bend your ear.
 
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Old 01-04-02, 05:10 PM
SwEetAngL
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Thanks again Twelvepole, you've been of such great help to me this evening!!! Keep up the good work! I'm sure I will need more advice from you though! hehe
 
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Old 01-04-02, 06:30 PM
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First Time Gardener

Hey, Sweet Angel, you will find that this forum is one of the most friendly and professional on the internet. I frequent many homesite forums and none compare to this one. When I make my posts, I would just love to tell everyone to go to www.doityourself.com, but I am sure they would ban me. I promote this site as much as I can. There are some really wonderful, dedicated people here. After a while, they become your family. Welcome aboard! I can't wait until you meet Gami. She has the greenest thumb in the universe. She denies that she is Martian......Gami, where are you?
 
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Old 01-04-02, 06:40 PM
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hehe... well i can't wait to meet gammi either hehe I'm sure i'll visit these forums daily. I never knew there were such wonderful people on here. I mostly just chat from time to time.... but this is great because you get two things done at once.. .if not more!! hehe
 
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Old 01-05-02, 04:19 AM
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Twelvepole,
Sometimes you have to dangle a carrot in front of Gami's nose to get her to come out Shes kinda like Bugs Bunny in that aspect, but yes, she does have a greener thumb that the Incredible Hulk. Once we start getting into specifics here in this thread, she will come out, I promise. All of my posts have cut straight to the chase and she has shown up right away (see eggplant flowers and lemon verbena)
 
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Old 01-05-02, 04:47 PM
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Hello Tristina

Twelvepole is wise beyond words. YOU are the one who will be living with your garden and looking after it when it is done, so you should know what you are facing.

When I used to design, the most important thing for me to know was what my clients liked, disliked, loved and hated. After that, we could start looking at the details. I used to tell them to look at books, magazines, television, other peoples' gardens - anything and anywhere they could to decide what tickled their fancy (and it is just as important to know what you dislike), then we could look at incorporating or ignoring those elements.

Depending on how permanent you want your landscaping to be, you may or may not want to read on... (flower beds and vegetable gardens require planning, but can be changed when you tire of them, trees and hard landscaping will require a bit more commitment to be successful)...

One of the other things I used to tell clients (and still urge people) to do is draw up some sort of master plan indicating focal points, views, desired uses, etc. and prioritizing the areas in that plan so if you can't afford to do everything at once (and who can now-a-days?), you will have a defined path to eventually get to your finished goal without wasting a lot of time, effort and money on things that catch your attention on an impulse. There are obvious logical sequences which you should follow (ie: do the hard landscape before planting), but you don't have to landscape your whole yard at the same time. This way you can do the thing(s) which you value most first, then add on as you can afford the time or cost.

I like to use the "rooms" analogy when creating a master plan - when you stroll from one part of your yard or garden to another, it is like moving from one room to another - they should flow together while being different from one-another, thereby creating and maintaining interest... there might always be a surprise around the next corner... Your master plan does not have to be so specific that individual plant species or numbers are included, but should label desired uses and features such as (these are only examples) "access/egress, patio area, lawn, feature flower bed, vegetable garden, pond/water feature, areas/views to highlight or screen off, etc".

Btw, I, too have no doubts that Gami is just around the bend... She's the Queen of links and is probably getting ready to post as I type this...

Good luck with your landscaping and have fun with it!!!

Howie
 

Last edited by howiek; 01-05-02 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 01-05-02, 05:42 PM
SwEetAngL
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Howiek,

Thanks for the advice! You guys are great! Any ideas how to find a site online that will tell me what flowers are best for this wonderful OHIO weather???
 
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Old 01-05-02, 06:13 PM
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At the risk of suffering the wrath of twelvepole for suggesting it, try this link:

http://community.sierra.com/

then click on the "Gardening" link in the SierraHome Forums box at the top right corner of the page.

You'll get a lot of good advice and meet a lot of friends there, too!

Just remember to keep coming back here, too!!

Howie
 
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Old 01-05-02, 06:19 PM
SwEetAngL
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Thanks howiek!
 
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Old 01-06-02, 06:39 AM
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Gardening

Thanks, Howiek! I added the site to may gardening favorites. We can't have too much info.

Best regards,
 
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Old 01-07-02, 03:37 AM
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Hi Tristina and all,

Gee! I loved reading all your nice comments, and I really got a good laugh out of them. I'm just one those struggling gardeners like everyone else. One of the reasons I enjoy helping people (if I can) is because I found Sierra (the site Howie gave you earlier) about 4 years ago, and learned everything I know from those gracious gardeners. It's a very friendly site, and I hope you'll all visit. I know Howie hesitated to give that link because we don't want any of you to leave here either. The nice thing about that site is that you can post pics. If you need help identifying a plant, a disease, or bug problem, it sure helps to be able to see the plant. (...and Tristina, I see you made it over there. We're happy to have you there and here! )

I've had a problem getting into DIY. I get a message saying it's taking too long, so I haven't tried for a few days, and don't have as much computer time as I used to.

Anyway Tristina, they have about covered it. It sounds like you just need to make some decisions about what you want. You should be in zone 5. If you buy plants locally, they should do well in Ohio. If you order from nurseries, make sure they are hardy for zone 5. I'm in the same zone, and there are a wide variety of plants we can grow.

I would like to suggest that before you plant anything, fortify your soil with compost. I made a big mistake by not adding enough and our soil is hard clay. I'm still trying to rectify that problem by adding compost as I divide or move plants. It's much easier to do it up front. It's been a nightmare.

Remove the grass from your planting areas and compost it. It will save you LOTS of time when it comes to weeding.

Decide what you have to spend this year. After figuring in compost and mulch (enough for a 3-4" layer), then start buying plants. We all have to start out with our resources and add each year. Eventually, you will be able to divide your perennials and move them in other areas. You can save seeds to start your own plants. That requires some kind of lighting, so it may be something you'll want to look into later.

You'll probably want some vines. Clematis would do very well for you and come in lots of varieties and colors. They require a trellis. If you're handy, you can build your own and it would make a great winter project. There are lots of books in the library and sites with plans. More about that later if you're interested.

Let us know if you have shady and/or sunny areas, and I'm sure we can come up with some plants you'd like. I have a few favorites, but most of our yard is sunny. You can never go wrong with lilies of all types. They come in all colors and sizes. The advice to check out gardening books from the library is a great one. Jot down the flowers you like, or the color combinations, etc.

I'd also suggest that when you start buying plants, buy the small containers. The larger containers are more costly, and the smaller plants will soon catch up.

Again, they've pretty much covered everything until you decide what type of garden you want. The main thing I wanted add is be sure and allow enough money for compost and mulch. The hours I spent weeding are so unnecessary, and if I can save one person from making the same mistake, I'm a happy gal! Mulch also adds nutrients to the soil as it rots.

You picked a great place! Good luck with your first garden! As you can see, you'll have lots of help along the way! Then you can go to Sierra and post pics of your efforts!

Gami
 
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Old 01-07-02, 03:10 PM
SwEetAngL
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Thumbs up great advice

Gami,

Thanks for your help as well as everyone elses. I would deffinately be interested in the sites with how to plan your garden. That is probably my first concern right now. I haven't a clue as to the "how to's". Then again, I don't have a clue about gardening at all. But you guys have helped tremendously. Atleast now I know to check for sunny and shady spots, i'm in zone 5, I need compost, and much more that you all have shared.

If you could enlighten me on some of the planning sites, it would be much appreciated. I've also heard something about programs you can download online to help you along the way? Any suggestions there?

Thanks once again,
Tristina
 
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Old 01-08-02, 02:20 AM
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Tristina,
www.programfiles.com has the applications you can download that help you with landscaping and garden designing. I have Grow2000, Plant Studio, and Sprout and I am going to be using all of those for next years planning. I think the help you have gotten here so far is superb, but just wait until spring actuall comes and we all get to share our knowledge regarding specifics with you. Have fun!

Eric
 
  #17  
Old 01-08-02, 02:58 AM
Gami
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Hi Tristinia,

You're welcome! The main thing to remember is that you can't make a mistake. Basically, anything you plant can be moved to just that right spot. Most of us are probably STILL doing that. Some plants grow taller than they claim; some grow shorter; and some aren't even the color they say it will be.

I'm going to start a new thread of some of my favorite plants that would be good for your zone. I hope everyone will add theirs to it.

I start babysitting my 5-year old granddaughter today in the afternoons until school is out, so my time on here will be limited, as we are also working on our house getting it ready to sell. I'll add to the list as I have time.

I also have some favorite links that have garden projects and general info on gardening.

Gami
 
 

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