Vegetable Garden

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by HiddenLacey, May 8, 2011.

  1. HiddenLacey

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    Does anyone here plant a vegetable garden? While I'm quite good with flowers and growing individual purchased seedlings, this is my first year growing a large sized garden. I've been researching all over the internet and I haven't found an answer on thinning seedlings that I care for.

    Should I always thin back to one seedling per mound? Some of the postings I have found indicate that it's ok to leave two vine bearing plants per hole (cucumbers, squash, zucchini) as long as I have enough room for their vines, but I wasn't sure if this was a good idea since the plants would still be fighting each other for nutrients? Every hole I planted three seeds in has three plants.

    Does anyone know if I should leave two per mound or cut back to one? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. B_Hickboy

    B_Hickboy New Member

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    When starting things from seed, I plant four and thin the two least vigorous plants, trying to leave two. The exception is sweet corn. It needs a lot of nutrients and two plants will sap each other if they are too close.
     
  3. HiddenLacey

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    I planted corn as well, 16 plants in a 4x4 pattern following the directions on the package. I was going to do one row until I read about cross pollination of corn plants. I had to make a special section for them. This is the first time I've ever tried vegetables from seeds by myself so I'm hoping it turns out well. Thank you for your help!
     
  4. Guy-jin

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    I do thin them out to one per spot. If you don't, you end up with smaller plants in my experience and it kind of defeats the purpose. Usually grow tomatoes and peppers, 16 plants in a 4'x4' garden evenly spaced. Both grow like gangbusters.
     
  5. HiddenLacey

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    I didn't know that every single seed would come out. I've since read that if the seeds are new 99% will actually sprout. I did four long rows with a hodgepodge of plants, 4-6 of each type (and 3 seeds for each hole.) Then I made a different area for the corn and extended two of the sides out of the corn's shadow for watermelon and cantaloupe. Hopefully everything turns out good. Okay I'm off to thin back, thanks again!
     
  6. B_Jordan85

    B_Jordan85 New Member

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    I plant really strange seeds in my head and then they make my head grow to the size of a watermelon turning me into something that looks like an alien.
     
    #6 B_Jordan85, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  7. midlifebear

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    If you are planning to grow watermelons (or any kind of melon) plant them as far away as possible from cucumbers and things like summer squash. They cross pollinate and there's nothing like cutting open a beautiful, ripe melon that tastes just like a cucumber.

    As for you European-types who are following the back of the seed packets to grow small crops, yes, corn needs to be 4 to 8 inches apart. In the western USA when we grow a couple acres of corn, we set the seed planter we drag behind a tractor to spaces kernels 5 inches apart and we never thin them when they sprout. But that's because we deep irrigate acres of corn and all sorts of good stuff getting in the irrigation water naturally fertilizes the corn rows. However, for small patches, try planting a pole bean with each kernel of corn. This does two things: doubles your small gardens crops and the bean attracts nitrogen in and around its roots which benefits the corn. The corn will be taller and you'll have green beans growing up the stalks within easy picking as well. Typically, pumpkins and things like butter squash will also do well planted next to your patch of corn (but not in the corn patch). But they'll happily creep into corn patches for the semi shade and also something to climb up on. By the time the corn is ripe and you've picked it, pumpkins and squash are a welcome sight scrambling all over the harvested, and dying, corn stalks.

    And for those of you city dwellers who have never grown anything, invest in a bushel-size decorative pot and a red clay pot that fits neatly inside the bigger one. Pu the terra cotta pot inside the other, fill with a giant bag of fortified potting soil and plant two tomatoes. I do this in both Buenos Aires and Barcelona and people gawk at me like turkeys standing in rain. In four weeks I have enough tomatoes that I have to give them away while my neighbors are paying almost an ounce of gold for two or three hot house tomatoes. And tomatoes are indeterminant vines, which means they will continue to grow as long as you water and occasionally feed them some ferilizer. Still, I replace the soil and tomato plants once a year.
     
    #7 midlifebear, May 8, 2011
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  8. outletforfun69

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    I am in a condo and don't have the space for a large garden, but in my boxes/pots I plant to evenly space and then thin down a few at a time, leaving the strongest plants for last.

    Usually I wind up with two or three plants (depending on vegetable type) per container, which I'm guessing would be the equivalent of one per mound for you.

    A lot of what I've learned has been through trial and error, so if you're not getting the results you want, you can always give it another go.

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. HiddenLacey

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  10. B_jdunhill

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    I always plant marigolds amongst my tomatoes and peppers and cabbages, anything moths seems to like. If there's marigolds around they leave it alone. Another trick I found handy is laying a lattice or chicken wire of some sort overtop of my peas/cucumbers and anything other than squash that wanders well on its own. I have always had pretty good luck, with zero chemicals used.
     
  11. midlifebear

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    Yup, marigolds are great for interspersing between vegetables prone to aphids, thrips, snails, and slugs. And if you can find find a nusery that carries them, it doesn't hurt to plant pyrethrum chrysanthemums. They're on the small side, come mostly in blue (sometimes pink or white) and are perennial. The great thing about planting several pyrethrum throughout a small vegetable garden is they are a natural pesticide. Dig and divide them every year in the spring, planting them as a small hedge around a huge back yard vegetable garden almost prevents any insect or invertebrate from causing problems. However, you don't have to worry about butterflies. Butterflies are bascially immune.
     
  12. HiddenLacey

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    I have an abundance of flowers in my yard, but I've always kept away from mums and marigolds because I thought they were both annuals and I hate to spend money on flowers that don't return. Looks like it's just the marigolds that are annuals. This is a great idea since I'm trying to stay pesticide free, thanks again for the advice.
     
  13. joyboytoy79

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    I'm gonna have to disagree with you, here, midlife. Watermelon (Citrullus) is not at all closely enough related to cucumber (Cucumis sativis) to cross pollinate. Additionally, pollination influences only seeds. Watermelon fruits are determined by the genetics of the plant to which they are attached, not the plant that pollinated them.

    There is nothing that is commonly grown in European or American gardens that will cross-pollinate with either Watermelons OR true melons (Cucumis melo). Now, if you happen to be growing pumpkins and any sort of squash (zucchini, summer squash, winter squash) AND you want to save seed from year to year, you have to be very careful. They WILL cross-pollinate.

    As for Watermelons that taste like cucumber - this happens from time to time because there is a recessive trait for bitterness/blandness in watermelon. It has absolutely nothing to do with cucumbers (I promise!).

    For some help, see this: Gardenweb Discussion About Cucurbits
     
  14. B_Jordan85

    B_Jordan85 New Member

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    hello people look at the website you are posting this on? I am sure Home Depot Retirement Fund has some sort of chat page set up.
     
  15. Drifterwood

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    I plant the veg seed you mention in trays and thin till I have one healthy young plant in each which I then transplant to the ground in its own appropriate space.
     
  16. luka82

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    It`s how it`s usually done where i live. But we have bought some healthy tomato baby plants now, and my mum (she spends the summer in our family village house) will plant them like that. There are specialised markets here where you can buy semi-grown plants here.
     
  17. midlifebear

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    Thanks for the suggestion, joyboytow. I'll definitely read the Gardenweb article. I'm only basing my cucumber-tasting watermelons on several years of early gardening experience when cucumbers escaped their part of the garden and
    made serpentine adventures through the melon patches. And, of course, all my neighbors and friends explained that the reason I had melons that tasted like cucumbers was because of the cross pollination. I haven't had that problem for many years. I always buy new seed, except when it comes to pumpkins and squash.

    Back in the 70s I was modestly famous for growing an embarrassment of tomato riches in San Francisco. I lived on a cold and often fogged in hill above north beach. It was great for peas, especially the floral variety. Carrots and beets did well, too. But I was the only person to have any success with tomatoes in that cold, damp, foggy part of town. The trick was growing them in a bank of cold frames along the foundation of my apartments.As they became too large to cover with the cold frame I attached vinyl covering from the screens of the side of the house. South side of the the house, of course.

    On the outside wall of my currnet back yard we're a bit high in elevation from down town Barcelona. But this week I'm going to have the soil turned deeply and amended for large planting of water melons and standard "American-style" cucumbers. It's a large sunny area with ten foot wall stone walls that catches lots of heat that slowly radiates away during the night.
     
  18. HiddenLacey

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    I started my peppers and eggplants inside, everything else I started outside. I was already thinking that next season I might start more inside even earlier.
     
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