View Full Version : Growing Veggies..

03-22-2008, 07:50 AM
What all you grow?
I gotta start my veg. seeds today! I've had pretty good sucess w/flower seeds, Zinnia, Dahlia, etc. But w/the prices of foods, hmm. I keep looking for bedding plants, but they're not here yet in the frozen tundra:'( .
Anway, I'm going to try lettuce, artichokes, snow peas, & God knows what else!:-\


03-22-2008, 09:07 AM

As you may or may not already know, I have been a fairly serious vegetable gardener for years. I typically grow the following ...

pole beans
snow peas
sugar beets
summer squash
zucchini squash
leeks (tall onions)
banana peppers
green peppers
sweet corn

besides these veggies, I also grow my own cooking herbs


With this year's food prices set to go into orbit, I plan on planting a really big outdoor vegetable garden (like 12 ft by 100 ft). I plan on planting twice as many of the particular vegetables which will see the highest price increase this year i.e. corn, beets, tomatoes.

Because of both cost issues and nutritional issues, I garden more or less 'organic'. The only fertilizer that I use is composted humus. The only 'pesticide' that I use are insect traps (i.e. no chemicals). I have been very successful doing 'companion planting' for pest control i.e. placing certain plants side by side in the garden so that one plant repels the pests that would ordinarily affect the plant next to it. A specifically grow plants like chives, oregano, marigolds, lavender etc. in my garden because of their natural 'pesticide' properties. If you'd like to learn more about companion planting check out

Because projected food price increases will be SO high, and because I live pretty far north where the growing season is fairly short (like memorial day to the end of september), this year I also invested in a 'hobby' greenhouse. While I can't afford the heat bills to run the greenhouse year-round, it will definitely help me get my seedlings started as soon as all of the snow melts (within the next two weeks, hopefully), and will allow me to keep growing and harvesting veggies right up to the middle of November (hopefully).


03-22-2008, 10:43 AM

03-22-2008, 03:35 PM
You are AWESOME Melonie. I am so jelous, i want a garden but I have no yard :(

03-22-2008, 03:57 PM
^^^ do you have a porch / balcony or a rooftop available ? These new plastic greenhouses are really inexpensive, and work just as well on a rooftop. There's even smaller versions specifically designed to work on a porch / balcony ...

03-22-2008, 04:44 PM
I'm also VERY interested in growing my own food but have no idea how to get started. Is it easier to plant them from seeds? Will they actually grow and produce? I'm in Florida so it's a tropical climate and I've looked on websites that sell fruit trees; I would like to plant some mangoes and lychees. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks.

03-22-2008, 05:21 PM
gardening in Florida is a 'whole different animal' than gardening almost anywhere else in the continental US ! It has some unique problems, but also has some unique opportunities ... like your fruit trees !

03-22-2008, 05:28 PM
I dont have much room,but I do have a small patch on the side of my house that isnt used for anything that I'd like to grow on. Problem is..I have a serious black thumb. I cant keep plants alive to save my soul.

I desperately want a lemon or lime tree. I had one pink lemon tree that I got exactly ONE lemon off of before it died. I chose this house partly because of the gorgeous orange tree in the yard. The city came and tore it out a few months after we moved in because citric cancer was found in the area. I cried.

I want to grow tomatoes,berries,peppers...

There are wild strawberries that grow along my back fence,but the birds eat up the berries as soon as they grow so nobody ever gets any!

03-23-2008, 06:20 AM
Cam, can you put netting/fencing around the berries?
Aww, so sorry about your lemon tree! I can relate, I had a little fig tree, & the jackass bf I had at the time, put it in a shed in winter.
Anyway, I'd try a plant nursery in your area, they are usually great for advice, & product selection.

04-22-2008, 05:42 PM
How the hell did I miss this thread?

If you live in an apartment or home with a small yard, the answer is flower pots!

Start with herbs, cilantro etc.
Check with your local university, there is usually a agricultural extension office that will tell you what is good for your area.

04-22-2008, 11:05 PM
I live in a second story apartment, so I built planter boxes to do some above ground gardening.

This is my second year growing on my patio, and I am growing the following:

Pole Beans
Bush Beans
Beefsteak Tomatoes
Yellow Baby Pear Tomatoes
Green / Red Bell Pepers
Lemon Verbena
Gotu Kola
Catnip (for my babies)

I posted a pic of the planter boxes I made.

I am also looking into puchasing a couple of these: http://topsyturvys.com/

04-23-2008, 07:07 AM
This is my garden (taken from my window) and these are some of the things that are going to grow there- its an aerogarden. this year i have: strawberries, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, cukes, peas, chives, onions, pumpkin, squash, cauliflower, lettuce and radish. and i also have a huge pear tree, but i take no credit for that, since it came with the house.

04-23-2008, 10:31 AM
I am moving next month (yay!), and I plan on getting a few tomato plants and some herbs for my new kitchen garden. I love love love cilantro, so there will be a lot of that.

Magenta: those topsyturvy things look awesome! I think I might get some.

I am kind of worried b/c I tried gardening last year and everything died! :-\ I don't know what I did wrong... This year I will stick to potted stuff, so hopefully that will be easier, right?
The only plant I have currently is my macho fern (his name is Arnold). He is in rehab right now though b/c my cats keep trying to eat him....

Does anyone know how to keep cats from eating house plants?

04-23-2008, 02:40 PM
I use similar 'upside down' techniques for tomatoes, as well as for zucchini and cucumbers. But I like this stand-alone style much better than the hanging 'cans', since you can also grow different plants on the 'top' like peppers and because you can 'hang' four different plants on the underside of this unit instead of one plant per inverted can.

Does anyone know how to keep cats from eating house plants?

I broke my cat by bringing home a potted cactus !!!


04-23-2008, 03:03 PM
^ wow cool , i was wondering if these things actually worked, and melonie, i love your little green house thing, what a great idea, btw what zone are you?

04-23-2008, 03:14 PM

I am totally going to try the Hammacher one!! Thanks! You are just full of great suggestions!!

04-24-2008, 12:21 AM
btw what zone are you?

Zone 5, but close enough to the edge of Zone 4 that I can get 'surprised' if spring or fall weather patterns drift a bit too far in my direction. For example, last year I took a nasty freeze the week before Memorial Day, which wiped out 50% of the new plants I had put out the week before (zone 5 should have been 'safe' by mid May) !!!! All the more motivation for me to go the greenhouse route.

I am totally going to try the Hammacher one

I'll actually have four of these units set up side by side along the southern wall of my greenhouse this year ! We'll see how they work out through the summer and fall. Actually, I was prompted toward the Hammacher units not only by cost ( cheaper than four of the Topsey Turvey hanging planters needed to grow an equivalent number of plants to one Hammacher unit) but also by the comparative ease of watering and adding liquid fertilizer.

Not intending to 'slam' the Topsey Turvey inverted can style units, but they don't contain very much soil at all compared to the needs of a tomato plant. Therefore you have to water and fertilize them constantly. The Hammacher units hold 4 plants but also hold say ten times as much soil for them to grow in.

I posted a pic of the planter boxes I made.

beautiful job on the planter boxes. They really work well too. I'll also have a couple of these units along one side wall of my greenhouse. Boxes are a lot better for plants like bush beans, peas, root vegetables etc. that like to be planted in rows.


04-24-2008, 09:35 PM
Melonie, being a serious gardener, have you tried the square foot method? If so have you had any noticeable differences in yields.

04-25-2008, 04:44 AM
^^^ first time this year I'll be using the 'square foot' method for my 2ft by 12ft greenhouse planting boxes ... where every square foot of space counts major !

However, with my outdoor garden I have more than enough land / space to plant whatever I want, thus yield is actually less important to me than spacing my rows so that my roto-tiller fits between the rows easily (saves a ton of back pain from weeding). And as you can see, in my case back pain is a serious consideration !