How to Till

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  #1  
Old 04-10-02, 10:50 AM
collectsfrogs
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How to Till

I just bought a new house last august and this year i would like to start a vegetable garden. How would I go about starting to get the ground ready? I dont have a tiller as of yet so also how would I go about tilling by hand. I havnen't tended to a garden in 10 years, and then I was only 10, so I'm a little shaky. Thanks in advance
 
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  #2  
Old 04-10-02, 12:01 PM
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Hey collectsfrogs,
Welcome to DIY! The easiest, well maybe not the easiest, but a good way to get the ground ready is to first check the pH value. I am about to sound like a hypocrite, but check w/ your local agriculture dept of agriculture and see what soil type, and the pH level you have. (Liz.... quiet there girlfriend! I dont wanna be hearin yall tellin me that you and I jus discussed this very topic earlier in the day on dat dare IM thang. Shucky darn, I find me to be doin duh stuff I was sposed to be shine away frum

Secondly, no tiller doesnt present as big a problem as you might think. A pitchfork will do the work of a tiller, but of course, that is manual labor. Get as deep as you can with the fork, turn the soil over, and bang out the clumps with the back of the fork. The lightly water it when it is turned over. Wait about a week and repeat the process.

What are you going to be planting? As everyone here will tell you, I love veggie gardening and would be more than happy to help you out! Welcome again!

Eric
 
  #3  
Old 04-10-02, 12:16 PM
collectsfrogs
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Thanks for all the help. I am not really sure what Im going to be planting yet now that i can start tilling. Ill let you know what I decide. If i was home right now I would starting tilling now. I agree with the ph testing. i believe that we have a lot of acid because we have a lot of pine trees and just getting the pine needles up is a nightmare. any suggestions for any seeds is welcome. thank you.
 
  #4  
Old 04-10-02, 12:22 PM
northgardengal
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Hi Collectsfrogs!

As Bomber said, "Welcome"!

In case you didn't catch it, Bomber's a brilliant gardener especially in the vegetable department! He's also one of our most promising comedians here ) at DIY!!!!

My back started hurting thinking about hand tilling - but I almost resorted to the same thing except that my housemate bought a small rototiller.

Just posted a very basic question regarding machine tilling almost at the same time you posted your question.

Good luck with your gardening - and always, always feel free to ask questions here. I have a knack for feeling silly when I ask questions most of the time - but not here. These folks are more than glad to help! And Bomber's a great help!

North garden Gal

PSSST, Eric, I was easy on you, now wasn't I? LOL
 
  #5  
Old 04-10-02, 12:27 PM
collectsfrogs
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thanks for the welcome. im only 20 but im really excited about gardening. i never really had the time to do i before. i will probably get a small tiller when my taxes get back, but i want to get started now, i am so excited. any suggestions are always welcome
 
  #6  
Old 04-10-02, 12:45 PM
northgardengal
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Collectsfrogs,

You sound just like me when I got started this winter! And, actually, I'm still excited!

We are all looking forward to your questions and about your successes with your garden. You'll get so much positive input here. Keep us up to date on everything!



North Garden Gal
 
  #7  
Old 04-10-02, 01:03 PM
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Hey,
It's good to see another youngan with the spirit, excitement, and enthusiasm for gardening that I have. Yes folks, I will be all of 25 years old in October

Collectsfrogs, vegetable gardening is an absolutely wonderful, relaxing hobby, not to mention very rewarding. You've had a small taste of the group so far (myself, and that southern belle named Liz), but there are more wonderful people here: Fred, Gami, Howie, just to name a few. We are glad to have you as part of the group!

Eric
 
  #8  
Old 04-10-02, 01:43 PM
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Hello and welcome Collectsfrogs.
This is Collects-snakes, aka Fred. Collected a five foot black snake today on the 14th Tee. I lightly put my foot on him and he nailed me in the heel. Picked him up and amazed the two optometrists I played golf with. Then, as I released him he got me in the right forefinger. Some thanks. After the bleeding stopped I was able to tee off.
Anyway, if you're considering a garden with any decent size, you probably need to have it machine tilled. I used to do it years ago with my Troy-bilt, but I've retired from that. Doing it by hand is back-breaking! Check your local papers for small ads, maybe you'll get lucky and find someone cheap like I was.
good luck,
fred
 
  #9  
Old 04-10-02, 02:04 PM
florajo
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eeewwww....Fred, you are now my hero......next to Eric, who is a "tech support" guy

Hi, collectsfrogs! (I have a thing for frogs, too)....I'm pretty new on this board, but have been over at Sierra a while (you'll hear (see) that site mentioned here alot!)....Lots of friendly folks there!

Anyway, everyone here is so helpful and friendly. You're gonna love it! So much great info from lots of experienced people!
 

Last edited by florajo; 04-10-02 at 02:35 PM.
  #10  
Old 04-10-02, 03:21 PM
Rusty Can
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well hello there ... collects frogs?? (no princes yet, huh??) Anyhow, welcome I collect Rusty Cans ... wait a second - no I don't, just kinda thought it was clever

I envy you starting your garden this year ... alas, mine must wait until next year (fencing challenges!) Oh the madness!

This site has become a life saver for me ... the insight and of course the HUMOR


Welcome to the Club ...

~The Rusty Can
 
  #11  
Old 04-10-02, 04:26 PM
Gami
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Hi Collectsfrogs,

Welcome! Since you live in NY, unless you just sent your taxes in, I'd wait for that tax return and buy a tiller. No way, shape or form would I hand dig a garden. One little caution, do NOT till when your garden is wet. You'll end up with clods similar to concrete.

Eric, you'll have to do a little reading between the lines here, but I agree with you.

Fred, why didn't you just let that "harmless" snake slither away?

It's great to have you "young folks" here--that includes Eric! With all his gardening knowledge, I would have thought he was MUCH older! He's still wet behind the ears!

Gami
 
  #12  
Old 04-10-02, 05:05 PM
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Gami,
Any experienced amateur herpetologist would have picked him up. It's in our blood. I sorta had to move him out of the cart path.

Florajo,
I probably wouldn't pick up one of dem black ones down your way. I once ran into a cottonmouth in SC -- I'm no "Crocodlie Hunter". I've got more sense. I had fun with armadillos though at Ft. Polk.

Just so there is till some subject matter here. Another tip: many gardeners like to put leaves on their garden in the fall. A big mistake! Thwy won't decompose over winter, and they will keep the spring garden from drying out properly.
fred
 
  #13  
Old 04-10-02, 06:13 PM
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Gami,
Yeah, I'll bet you werent the only surprised when to find out I'm only 24, but like you once said to me, age doesnt matter when people have a common interest

Believe me, I was not recommending a pitchfork over a rototiller. Even someone as young as myself (sorry guys) doesnt have the energy for that But it is an available alternative. Collectsfrogs, make sure than if you get a tiller, it is REAR tined. Last year, when tilling my grandfathers garden, we made the mistake of getting a front tined one. Hell, the thing was in charge of us it was so bulky By the time we finished, which, by the way, took all afternoon, I was ready to sleep for 7 weeks straight. I wouldve had more energy left if I had run the Boston Marathon twice!

Hmmmm.......... where in northern New York are you? Upstate, or way the hell up by Plattsburgh? If you tell me, I can let you know what zone you are in. That will help you be able to determine what you can plant, how much, and when.

See everyone tomorrow!

Eric the kid
 
  #14  
Old 04-10-02, 06:47 PM
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Gami,
Oops... neglected to give you thanks for the compliment so.............. thanks for the compliment GLad to know I'm thought so highly of around these pots!

Eric

PS. Liz, that last word was for you
 
  #15  
Old 04-11-02, 05:36 AM
collectsfrogs
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Well, first of all i am about 15 minutes from canada in massena. I started marking out where i wanted my garden i decided on a 6X8 area i figured its small enough to till by hand until i can get a tiller. i just have one question what do you do with the sod?
 
  #16  
Old 04-11-02, 06:22 AM
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collectsfrogs,
6 X 8 and you may not ache.......too bad.
If you skim off the sod with some roots you can transplant it to another area. If you just spade/fork over the soil, it's best to shake/knock off as much dirt as possible. Hopefully, all you'll have left is roots and green tops. You could add it to a compost heap or fill in a low spot in the yard, or you'll have to bag it and toss it.
Better yet, ask a neighbor if they'd like to have it, may be they'll help you dig.
good luck,
fred
 
  #17  
Old 04-11-02, 06:26 AM
collectsfrogs
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thanks for the tip i never thought of composting it. i will probably do that. i dont know my neighbors. they arent too social i think its because of the age difference and jealousy i bought my first house at the age of 19 so who knows
 
  #18  
Old 04-11-02, 06:32 AM
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Collectsfrogs,
You can just discard the sod (after you bang all the dirt out of it, of course). If you leave it, you stand the risk of having it reroot.

Massena...... hmm.... I believe that is Zone 4a. Shorter growing season than down here. Check out the following link:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

(may have to copy and paste it)

There should be a lot of good information on those listed sites. In doing a quick check of your climatology on weather.com, it appears on average you dont get much above 80 degrees on average during the summer... Therefore, the real heat loving veggies such as eggplant, are probably not recommended. Peppers, eh, you could try but they will probably require a lot of attention and extra nurturing than they ordinarily would. Tomatoes and cukes should be ok. Lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and spinach would probably be good ideas for you as they dont tolerate heat very well. And from the looks of it, heat isnt something you really contend with every summer. Peas are also a very good idea. Basically, if you to your local nursery, you will have an enormous amount of knowledge, provided you go to a lil mom-n-pop type place and not some big extravagant nationwide chain that will say to you, "oh yeah, we got dem dare veggies over thar. yalls can grow whateva yall wanna grow" (Liz, I'm doing it again :P )

As Florajo mentioned, and as you may have already seen... here is the link to the now famous sierra site:

http://community.sierra.com/[email protected]^[email protected]

(again, possibly have to copy and paste)

A lot of us cross our paths on both boards. Personally, I have my discussions here and post pictures on sierra. All you have to do is contact Marilee and she will set up a gallery for you. We look forward to seeing pictures of your efforts! Remember this, especially for beginners... "The only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked"

Eric
 
  #19  
Old 04-11-02, 06:36 AM
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We're almost IMing again.
If you see the neighbors out, ask them if they'd like some sod.
It's a great ice-breaker. At my first house, one neighbor was about thirty yeas older. In the end, I tilled the back of his lot more than he originally wanted, with his permisson, and was able to plant a 15 x 40 foot plot of corn which we both enjoyed.
fred
 
  #20  
Old 04-11-02, 06:43 AM
collectsfrogs
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Bomber, thanks for the info and no i doesnt get much over 80 here in fact we have 8 months of winter thats why i dont want to wait any longer to start my garden. if i wait it will be too late. although we did reach 98 degrees last summer but who knows about this year.
 
  #21  
Old 04-11-02, 08:48 AM
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Collectsfrogs,
Then if you dont want to wait, its a good idea to try to get either seeds, or even better, plants for the veggies I mentioned ASAP. Just keep an eye on overnight temps. If you are going to experience a light frost (33-39), cover seedlings with a sheet. If you are going to have a light freeze (27-32), cover with a blanket. If it's a hard freeze (below 26) cover with a heavy quilt.

Eric
 
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