Author Topic: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden  (Read 3797 times)

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Offline FilthyRich

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Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« on: January 05, 2013, 01:47:54 AM »
My first tip is start off small.
If creating a garden bed then a good size is approx 1.3m x 3m. You need to be able to reach into the middle of your garden bed from either side. 3m long is a good length. Any longer, moving from one side of your bed to the other is a pain. Allow enough room between your garden beds to fit a wheelbarrow. If you are into growing food, only grow what you eat.  Don't get obsessed with being organic. Improve your soil and obsession will come.

Offline Raymondo

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 06:56:24 AM »
A good book for a beginner is Lolo Houbein's One Magic Square.

I'd also start a compost pile. Nothing fancy, just a pile in a quiet corner of the yard - lawn clippings, kitchen scraps, the twiggy parts of prunings, autumn leaves etc. Stir it occasionally. It doesn't have to hot compost. Once a year, autumn's a good time, rake off the top layer of the pile, scoop up the dark loveliness underneath and add to you garden plot. Reform the pile of course. Actually, every time you mow, sprinkle some directly on the garden, just a thin layer, less than 1 cm thick.
Ray, gardening on an old flood plain with clay loam from 30 to 60 cm deep over clay.

Offline Barbara B

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 09:18:30 AM »
Hi,
I wouldn't have the garden bed 1.3M wide.  I'd have it only wide enough that I could reach the middle of it without standing on the soil.  I never walk on my garden beds.  This is just personal preference, I suppose.
I would also have a compost heap from the beginning.  We have three, made of treated pine and about a cubic metre and a half each.
We also put in a few tall posts at each end of the bed, in the centre of it and we strung strong pig mesh between them and about 30cm up from the ground.
I can grow anything in the beds still because the pig mesh doesn't reach the ground, and if I want to grow tomatoes, or beans, peas, etc., the support is already there.   xxoxx
Barbara B

Offline palerider

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  • Armidale, Nthn. Tablelands, N.S.W.
Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 07:10:27 AM »
I would reiterate what FR said about only growing what you eat. If you don't eat more than 3 or 4 tomatoes daily, don't cram in 12 plants.
I don't eat capsicums, but, every year, I plant them. And then I always have a moment when i think I could have grown more of something I like.
I live my life like a child running with scissors

Offline jayendra

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 07:37:47 AM »
Preventative Measures for the lazy gardener!
1. Prepare your soil with the right stuff so things don't look dead
2. Mulch if your soil drys out, don't if you don't like slugs and snails
3. Get some Multi Guard Snail Bait
4. Self watering Pots or dripping hose on a Battery powered Holman timer or manual timer.
5. Learn the art of transplanting form seedlings (gentle root and stem treatment, Plant into a small hole with water)
6. Buy small seedlings that aren't root bound
7. Plant things that your good at to start out i.e. silverbeet is easy

Offline Sanctuary

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 10:35:31 PM »
Ditto all the things Jayendra listed, especially the mulching and purchase of slug and snail killer.

Beetroot, red onions, eggplants and garlic I've found to be easy to grow for the first time this season in my veggie bed.
I place a small path of  6 old bricks form one edge towards the middle, this enables me to access the centre without stepping on the garden bed.

Offline jayendra

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 11:42:09 PM »
I place a small path of  6 old bricks form one edge towards the middle, this enables me to access the centre without stepping on the garden bed.

Thats a good one! this season we layed sleepers down dads vege garden and he had much more success with the plants and friable soil.

Beetroot is a staple at our house.
Eggplant easy to grow? whats your secret?

Offline Sanctuary

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 05:50:04 PM »
Thats a good one! this season we layed sleepers down dads vege garden and he had much more success with the plants and friable soil.

Beetroot is a staple at our house.
Eggplant easy to grow? whats your secret?

No secret, first time growing and I just bought a punnet of seedlings. Each one is now huge with lots of flowers. They are planted next to the beetroots which have also done well. The are planted near the south side fence and get the hot afternoon sun  - perhaps it the sun exposure which has helped them along. I've mulched with Lucerne and put a handful of dynamic lifter when I planted the seedling.
I suppose proof will be in the tasting once big enough ( as long as the possums and other visitors don't get them first! )

Offline littlegarden

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 09:23:34 AM »
My tip is this: if you don't have room for a veggie patch and you have to grow things in pots, don't bother with flower pots.  Start with tubs - they don't have to be fancy, you can even get free polystyrene boxes from a greengrocer (make drainage holes).  But even if you're only growing herbs they need lots of room for roots.  I tried far too many generations of tomatoes, herbs and spring onions in small pots and it's like night and day when you give them a bit of room for roots!

Offline Raymondo

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 09:09:04 AM »
A nice little video, mainly on composting but there are plenty of other useful tips below. In fact, if you type Eliot Coleman into the Youtube search box you'll find quite a few good informational videos. Not all the information is relevant to Australian conditions as Mr Coleman and his wife live in Maine in the US. Nevertheless, there's lots of useful stuff.

Ray, gardening on an old flood plain with clay loam from 30 to 60 cm deep over clay.

Offline Grub

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 01:57:58 AM »
Don't skip on the potting mix for container. I bought some "bargain" potting mix from Woolworths for $2.50 a bag. Result: rubbish growth for most things (chillis somehow did okay, but they did get plenty of fertiliser). Bump up to some Debco "Vegetable and Herb" for $8 a bag and you're in business and can grow a lot more. They also have a terracotta and tub one for $12 or so, supposed to be even better.

I would like to start making my own mix though, with a mixture of the good potting mix, compost, worm castings, coconut coir and vermiculite. For example I grew radishes which were all leaf and a stem with no bulb underneath.. suspect the potting mix is too dense.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/

Offline Sydney Grower

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2015, 08:50:11 PM »
Hi Grub,

I have started making my own mix too. I tried my own version of the famous “Tapla” mix (basically bark fines, Perlite and compost/worm castings). Then I read somewhere, I think on Tomatoville, a really helpful summary. The guy said a good mix needs three things. Something for drainage, something for water retention and something for fertiliser. He suggested Perlite for drainage, coco coir for water retention and worm castings for fertiliser. I have adopted that mix and found it to be excellent. It is very light and fluffy.

With your mix the Vermiculite and coir are both water retainers. If you swapped the vermiculite for Perlite you would increase drainage and oxygen flow, which might help a little.
Growing in a sandy backyard near the coast in Sydney

Offline Grub

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2015, 11:39:31 PM »
My current mix is whatever "premium" mix I can get cheap (Debco, Osmocote etc.), few handfuls of finished compost, one rehydrated coir brick per 25L bag, plus some slow release blood & bone and water storage crystals.

Growing some mean radishes while I wait for the weather to warm up enough.
Cool region, Canberra. Courtyard and balcony gardener.
http://actgarden.blogspot.com/

Offline MurrayTart

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 07:26:20 PM »
2016/17 garden 8 yr old grandson helped plant.

People who love to eat are always the best people! ~ Julia Childs

Offline Templeton

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Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2016, 07:49:44 AM »
Looks great MT.
Very green.... what are you doing?
T

Offline MurrayTart

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  • Murray River, NSW
Re: Newbie tips on how to set up a garden
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2016, 08:20:02 AM »
**&& What the veg patch or lawn? DH got his first ride on mower this yr so the lawn is tidy plus last wk we got a total of 29ml rain in 2 rains so I didn't water veg patch last wk. Have started thinning & put the hoe thru the whole veg patch end of wk!! Lawn never gets fertilsered, veg patch gets the newspaper & heaps straw mulch from summer garden dug in, spring blood & bone, lime & a little all purpose. I put a little organic slow release around veg that have a long season. Early days, dang beetles on cucurbits!!
People who love to eat are always the best people! ~ Julia Childs