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Vegetable Gardening - Zone 7 "Red Clay" District

Vegetable Gardening - Zone 7 "Red Clay" District

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  #1  
Old 03-01-02, 08:25 AM
northgardengal
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Vegetable Gardening - Zone 7 "Red Clay" District

Hello everyone:

I am a brand new vegetable gardener. Just moved into a farmhouse complete with a 14 x 25 foot veg. garden and have lost my mind, hopefully only a temporary matter... You see, I am going to do this from seed. And it's really dawning on me I need some good solid, Zone 7 help! The main issue at this moment is the layout. The more I read, the more contradictory the information. I have "designed" what I THINK will work at least 6 times. So far I plan to put in sugar snap peas, sweet corn, squash, cukes, radishes, swiss chard, spinach, scallions, and cantaloupe.

Help!

North Garden Gal
 
  #2  
Old 03-01-02, 09:03 AM
Gami
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Hi North Garden Gal,

Welcome! I'm sure someone will come along and give you specifics, but in the meantime, you can search for gardening tips specifically for you zone by using Google . Type in Zone 7 gardening and you'll have plenty of reading.

http://www.google.com/

I'd like to suggest you save websites to a floppy, CD or document so you can keep adding to them. You'll be amazed how many times you'll refer to them. I set mine up in categories, i.e., roses, nurseries, perennials, etc.

Happy gardening!

Gami
 
  #3  
Old 03-02-02, 09:07 AM
northgardengal
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Thumbs up

Gami - Thank you! I have of course been using the internet, but after trying your recommendation, I realize I was barely scratching the surface of the more specific information available! Again thank you, thank you, thankyou!!!!


North Garden Gal
 
  #4  
Old 03-02-02, 03:34 PM
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Hi Gami,
Word is getting around!!
fred
 
  #5  
Old 03-03-02, 05:10 PM
Gami
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Hi North Garden Gal,

You're very welcome! Since Fred (Fewalt) told me about Google, I have never failed to find what I was looking for. Thanks again, Fred. Yep, the word is spreading!

I would think that you could be starting peas and other cold weather crops. Veggie gardening is fun, not to mention a lot more tasty than what you buy in the grocery stores. When the insects appear, give us a holler. Someone will surely help you out. WHEN you're successful and find you have more than you can eat, if you need help with canning or freezing, we're also here to help. It's not as hard as it seems.

Gami
 
  #6  
Old 03-06-02, 09:01 AM
northgardengal
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Cool

Hi Gami!

Sorry it took so long to send you my thanks - again!

I have started some seeds already in my window sills- just some herbs and bell peppers so far. I think in another week, maybe two, I will do some direct planting. Our temperatues are still a bit on the iffy side (like so many of us throughout the country!), so I am playing it safe.

I have done a lot of reading on garden pests and boy oh boy there is so much to know and watch for. I am quite certain you all will be hearing from me, but I will "scour" the bulletin board before I whine too much, knowing I will not be the only one with pest headaches! As for canning and freezing - you are really being optimistic for me! I hope and pray that you are as good a "fortune teller" as a gardener!!!

You're a blessing, Gami!

North Garden Gal
 
  #7  
Old 03-06-02, 01:55 PM
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Northgardengal,
I have said this before, and I will mention it again...

The book "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" is an absoultely FANTASTIC reference if you are seriously interested in making your garden a successful one. The ISBN number is 1-58017-212-1

I purchased this book, and have found myself constantly referring back to it. I have been doing veggie and herb gardening for the past 4 years, but my grandfather has been doing it for well over 50 years, and he found this book to have some tips in it that even he was unaware of. I highly recommend getting to your local bookstore to see if they have a copy of it.

As far as planting goes, I live in zone 6, and I have already started my cool weather veggies:

-peas
-broccoli
-lettuce
-radish

A word about a couple of specifics. You mentioned radishes and spinach. Both are relatively simple to grow. However, you need to be fast, especially with radishes. They need heavy watering, and full sun. As soon as they are ready to harvest, typically 30-40 days after germination, pull them up. The longer they remain in the ground past maturity, the more pithy their texture will become, and they will quickly lose their flavor. Spinach does not tolerate warm weather very well at all; I learned that the hard way. It will very quickly "bolt" (go to seed) if the weather gets too warm. As is the case with radishes, you will need to harvest your spinach quickly to prevent bolting.

A number of your veggies also are good companions, meaning that certain ones will grow well together. For example, plant the corn and the cantaloupe together as they grow well near one another. You might want to consider putting the cantaloupe in front of the corn however so the corn doesnt shade it. Another good consideration is to buy either lettuce seeds or seedlings and plant the radishes in between them. You will be surprised at the flavor the radishes have when you harvest them.

Personally, I have never grown swiss chard; Im not too crazy about the taste. But I do know that spinach and swiss chard are BAD comapnions; avoid any proximity with these two plants.

What type of squash do you plan on planting? If you choose zucchini and/or summer squash, make sure you only get one plant of each. As anyone who has grown zucchini will tell you, once it starts producing, it aint gonna stop until you or nature kills the plant And youve gotta stay on it also. If you leave a fruit on the plant even for an extra day, you will find that they can exceed 18" in length, especially the zucchini. Be on your guard Spaghetti squash, at least in my experiences, send out a very long vine; longer than a traditional cucumber. I have never grown butternut or acorn squash, so I cant help you there. Pumpkins are relatively simple as well, just give them a lot of room, plenty of light and an adequate amount of water, and they will be happy. If you want to grow larger pumpkins, leave only one fruit per vine. All of the energy will then be transferred to that one.

Cukes are relatively simple, and very rewarding for the new gardener. They come in both the traditional vine, and a more compact bush type plant. If you go with the vine, either build or purchase an A-frame or a trellis. Trellised cukes have a much better flavor, and are less susceptible to rot and disease. You will also notice that trellised cukes tend to have less deformities, whereas a vine creeping along the ground will almost inevitably produce at least one mishapen fruit.

If you want to grow scallions, I recommend onion sets. While its true, and someone correct me if I am wrong, that you can purchase scallion seeds, onion sets produce a "two for one" special. For as long as the root is living, the scallions will continue to shoot out from the top. You can cut the scallions at any point, and the bulb will continue to grow. However, as it gets later in the season, I use the scallions as an indication of when the bulbs are ready to be harvested. As soon as the dry out and flop over, the bulbs are mature.

Good luck with your endeavors this spring and summer. The pests will come, dont worry about that And when they do, come back. I dont have too many answers for pests, but Gami and the rest of group does. If you need more specifics, feel free to drop me a line at ebromberg@us.bnsmc.com, or send me an instant message ('bomber_095' at yahoo and 'Bomber095' on AOL instant messenger). Ill be more than happy to help you out in any way I can!

Eric
 
  #8  
Old 03-08-02, 11:58 AM
northgardengal
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Hi Bomber:

Thank you for bringing that book (Vegetable Gardener's Bible) to my attention. That sounds like a must.

I sure am getting a lot of help on this forum - I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

I've printed your post so I can put it with my other notes - you brought up a lot of interesting things - like companion planting.

I have a feeling you will hear from me with questions, so thank you for the e-mail address.

Well, it's about 70 degrees outside so I'd better get outside now and enjoy it! Hopefully, you are having the same nice temperatures.

Bye for now.

Northgardengal (Elizabeth)
 
  #9  
Old 03-08-02, 12:41 PM
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Elizabeth,
Youre quite welcome. I love talking about gardening, so I dont mind at all if you email me; it will make work go by much faster Nor do I mind if you send me an instant message.

Youre also welcome for the mention of that book. Definetly try to get it. Also sign up for sierra. We are all curious to see how you make out this summer. Look forward to hearing from you!

Eric
 
 

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