100 lb. Club - Thinking of spring - anyone else planning a garden?

03-04-2009, 11:58 AM
Ok, so with the world in an upheaval I've decided to start to plan something positive. I've really been down with the state of the world, family sickness and hardships, and money woes and I'm sure many of you have been too. I'm itching for winter to end and the snow to melt and have that feeling of spring newness and still struggling for some sort of revitalization to get me moving and on plan with my weight loss goals. I'm having trouble finding anything positive these days and have not been doing anything.

I've decided to give myself a healthy food challenge...by starting a garden. I'm really trying to be careful with money at the grocery store, be careful about what goes in my mouth, broaden my horizons etc. My mother has been an avid gardener for years - but I think it will help teach me some added respect for my food if I grow it myself and do the work myself (not to mention the positive meditative results that can come from gardening :) ) So thus my garden has begun. I sent away for my seeds, which with shipping cost me about $40. (I have a lot of space and some help so this was a lot of seeds) I got some advice from my mother and chose things that are happy in my northern climate. I'm really going all out...though I have a pro on site to help me if I start killing my kale!

SO I was wondering....is there anyone out there in our 'club' that is a gardener or is thinking about it....I thought I'd create us a thread where we can share ideas, progress and then maybe fun healthy recipes when things start to grow? I know it's totally crunchy, but hey, I'm totally a crunchy person and I thought it would be helpful to find something really positive in food instead of the negative that I usually feel about it...and hey if fresh produce isn't positive food then I don't know what is. I thought if I was looking at enjoying something fun and positive with food then other people here might be interested too :carrot:

So, anyone out there with a field of greens or a tomato plant in their window?

03-04-2009, 12:03 PM
I am planning on growing lots of tomatos, which is all I can do cause I live ina subdivision. But my inlaws put out a garden and I want them to grow me some green beans, i will pay for them. Oh and I want all fresh garden veggies too!!! You could start a group on here, but I belong to a great site where you can swap seeds and plants, and ask questions, share ideas, etc. You should check it out! Go to www.plantswap.net/forum and see if you like it!!!

03-04-2009, 12:07 PM
I was on the phone last night with a girlfriend confirming that she's coming in about a week to build me my container garden (4x8 raised beds). I'm doing her taxes in exchange. :)

We have a family of four, and I was our only wage earner until I was laid off about 6 weeks ago. We'd planned to start a garden this spring anyway since we had just bought our first home last April and the yard is perfect for it.

We plan corn, potatoes, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, onions, carrots, herbs and lettuces and more.

I figure at this point it will serve the additional purpose of giving me something to do besides bemoan the fact that there are seemingly no jobs out there in my field. Heh.

03-04-2009, 12:20 PM
I really really want a garden, but it would have to be a container type garden as my yard slopes and the ground is very hard with clay. My only problem...how do I keep the deer out of my garden while still keep things looking nice for the HOA? I'm not sure they'd appreciate me building a huge fenced lot in the middle of the yard.:D Any ideas?

03-04-2009, 12:23 PM
We have a lot of limitations as we live on a beautiful piece of property, 5 acres, but most of it is protected wetlands so we can only plant certain kinds of plants in our yard due to runoff...so I'm with the other ladies here, hoping to do a bit of container vegetable gardening if it all works out!!

03-04-2009, 12:42 PM
Yes I am an avid heirloom gardener. My space is very small so I use the Square Foot Gardening method. You can google that if you are interested; it's really neat and it works great. I also compost heavily. I try to eat most of what I grow raw ~ much better that way. I generally stick to salad vegetables. One day I plan on having an extensive garden but can't do that here in town.

03-04-2009, 12:56 PM
I do a garden every year! I love, love, love it!

Raspberries, Rhubarb, Tomatoes (several types), and Spices are standard for me. I also like to mix it up with squashes, peppers, etc.

03-04-2009, 01:13 PM
I really really want a garden, but it would have to be a container type garden as my yard slopes and the ground is very hard with clay. My only problem...how do I keep the deer out of my garden while still keep things looking nice for the HOA? I'm not sure they'd appreciate me building a huge fenced lot in the middle of the yard.:D Any ideas?

If we are talking flower garden there are things you can plant that deer general won't eat unless they are starving.

As for veggies... obviously fencing is the best option to keep deer out. However, I looked into it online and they gave the following info:

"There are many deer deterrents, and effectiveness varies largely upon how quickly your particular deer adjust to them. It's typical for many techniques to work for only a few days. Some common deterrents that are spread around the plants include:
thorny branches
decaying fishheads
blood meal
fabric softener
repellent sprays
processed sewage
repellent plants "

----I knew a friend who used hair to keep rabbits and other animals away. After family haircut they would collect the hair and spread it around the outside of the garden.

03-04-2009, 02:07 PM
We use blood meal. You can find it at garden centers. Sprinkle all around the garden and down the middles. You have to reapply it when it rains. Also repels rabbits. Works pretty good for us.

03-04-2009, 02:12 PM
I know last year I had a ton of flowers but I don't know if I can grow veggies in windowsill boxes. If they would be viable, I would.

03-04-2009, 02:25 PM
I'd LOVE to have a garden, but we're renting our house and hoping to move sometime this year. I'd hate to put all the effort into a good garden only to move away and leave it...

03-04-2009, 02:30 PM
I'm planning on using the Square Foot Gardening method to do a small garden - mostly salad veggies. This will be my first year trying it.

03-04-2009, 02:51 PM
Daimere, you can totally grow veggies in window boxes. When we were living in an apartment, that's how we grew carrots, onions and peppers. You can also grow potatoes in a deep container (one of those "big" tree containers" works best in my experience.

03-04-2009, 02:58 PM
I have 2 aerogardens which are growing herbs. I also have a very shady container outside of our fence. Whatever I plant may get eaten but not really too concerned, just want to try it.

03-04-2009, 09:32 PM
I love to garden. I live to garden. Up until two years ago I had an acre garden. It was a lot of work but we harvested the majority of our yearly food from it. Now that I have gone back to college, including summer classes, the acre garden has become a pasture for our milk cow and the new smaller garden is now raised beds throughout the front, side yards and orchard. The raised beds are done in the square foot design as so many of you have mentioned. My sons built the boxes for me. This year my sons are going to help me keep up with the garden, hopefully we can still pull off raising a lot. Container gardens are a great idea. I have known people with very little yard that still raise an amazing amount of garden. Apartment dwellers have to be a little more creative but still have some options or there may be a community garden they can join. Raising healthy food is a wonderful thing to do. The more I read about what is done to the food in the stores the more I want to raise my own.

Have fun

03-05-2009, 12:14 AM
First off, I'd like to say that I have a lot of respect for what you are trying to do Yogagal!

My husband and I have serioulsly been thinking about having a garden this year. Normally we plant about 8-10 tomato plants to have tomatoes to make home made salsa with. But this year we are thinking of broadening our horizons. I remember helping my grandpa as a child and I remember how much work it was to look after a garden. We live in a sandy climate and would have to have topsoil and organic matter hauled in.

I have decided what I want to grow, now I just need to decide were I need to grow it. We live in a sub division but we only have neighbors on one side of us. We have no neighbors behind us or on the other side of us. So essentially we can get away with planting a garden that no one will see. :)

Let us know how things are working out for you and I would definitely be interested in swapping info with you. I don't know what advice I could give to you because I live in NC but I can do my best. :)

Happy Gardening!

03-05-2009, 05:43 AM
I'm big on self reliance and grow most of my own food:D
Here's a link to my blog if you'd like to read more about it.


03-05-2009, 09:37 AM
I'm branching off from my family garden (we all do an acre garden) and trying to see if I can do it on my own :) I'm still going to help at the other one though esp since my PawPaw is sick.

I have my seedlings inside and patiently waiting for the beginning of April :lol:

03-05-2009, 11:57 AM
Ugh... you guys are making me miss Spring even more. LOL. I can't wait to be rid of all of this snow and get outside!

03-05-2009, 12:03 PM
Me me me! I am starting a garden this year too ;) we just bought a new home and there is some space that would be perfect for some plants! I want to do tomatoes, peppers and scallions for sure (we use those things a lot) I want to try out some watermelons and cucumbers maybe try some some pumpkins for the kids too.

we are planting a pear tree in the back yard and an apple tree is already there (at least I think its an apple tree lol) and I also want to plant some blackberry or mulberry bushes way out back on our property line which borders a wooded area.

I am curious as to what exactly you are planting as we are in the same zone I believe (I am in CT) good luck with your garden this year! maybe we can both have some fresh garden veggies in a few months ;)

As Ever

03-05-2009, 12:07 PM
How can I prevent birds from eating? Last summer/spring, all these birds ate my herbs and flowers. If they were red or pink, the birds wouldn't eat it. I'd be afraid birds would eat the veggies/herbs I grow this year

03-05-2009, 01:06 PM
Oh, me me me! I just bought my first house in November and I have had spring fever ever since. I am going to have an herb garden as well as a small veggie garden. It will mostly be for making salsa hehe.. garlic, onions, tomotoes, bell peper, and jalepeno. I may through in some squash though. I'm so excited. Still about another month before I can start on it bc of the weather though.

03-05-2009, 02:08 PM
I have a 2 boxes (4 x 16ft) and a small green house. This is my 5th year I will have a garden. We start planting now, inside in trys and after the last frost usually end of May or beginning of June we transplant from trays to garden or green house.

My usual fair is:
green beans
suisse chard (sorry now sure how to spell that)

green house is for tomatoes and peppers ( I get tons of these)

Last year my dad even gave me turnip, brussel sprouts and rutabega to try in my garden with 1 or two plants of each.

This year I'm cutting out the corn and I'll concentrate on this that grow well and what we eat more of.

So this year it will be

I'm going to build a small box for herbs.

I'll do tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and peppers in the green house this year.

My dad had a garden all my life and still does though he's more expanded than I am with about 12 boxes and 2 green houses. He does most of my starts for me and we get lot's from him through out the summer. Because we live in Northern Canada our growing season is very short.

03-05-2009, 02:27 PM
My husband and I have had a garden for 4 years. We've never had the luxury of being able to plant in the ground between our first rental and now a condo situation, but we've always had containers. We grown climbing roses, a grapevine, moonflowers, morning glories, blueberries, all kinds of annual flowers, tomato plants up to the gutters, herbs, hot peppers, and spring bulbs all in containers. We have much less space in our current condo situation and they are very very strict here about appearances, but we will still grow a few things in containers by the side of the house tucked in among the association approved shrubs and on the cement slab in back of the screen porch and on the screen porch. This year we will grow salad tomatoes, plum tomatoes, sugar snap peas, pickling cucumbers (I make pickles and relish), herbs, flowers, hot peppers. This year I am going to make marinara sauce. We use ALOT of that, and I learned to can by making jams and jellies last summer.

03-05-2009, 06:05 PM
Wow.... i knew you veggie growers would be around here!

SO, we have multiple gardens all over my yard...mostly my mother's (I live above their garage so we have separate buildings but share a yard) So anyway...she does miles of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, beans, peas, pumpkins, fruits, peppers etc.

I've been doing my research and have decided to try:
okra, asparagus, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, purple beans, snow peas, a variety of dried beans, lots of pumpkins, alaska melon, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, parsnips and then all my spices. I've started my okra as it has a long growing time and will start others indoors in the next few months. I've got a space for everything although I"m not sure how much time i will have to develop it so I may end up with a lot of containers here.

I've got a bird that insists on making a nest in my window box on my deck in the middle of my basil every year...but other than that we are ok with birds. We have rabbits so we fence to keep them out, we have a groundhog that comes back every year that we try to keep out, and our biggest problem...moles...tunneling under the garden eating the plants from the roots up! I'm trying to brainstorm how to beat them all this year!

03-06-2009, 12:08 PM
and our biggest problem...moles...tunneling under the garden eating the plants from the roots up! I'm trying to brainstorm how to beat them all this year!

We don't have a mole problem at my house... I keep the bunnies out with fencing but birds and squirrels are a big issue for me.

I have read that you can try to divert diggers by putting the fencing a foot or two underground when you install it... to try to divert them. I don't know how effective it is but it's a thought...

03-06-2009, 03:13 PM
What a wonderful thread. My family is starting a garden this month. We have fruit trees: two apples, a plum, loquats and avocado. My husband grows heirloom tomatoes. Last year he had 50 plants. I love tomatoes and recipes w/ tomatoes, esp. gazpacho in the summer. We have artichokes growing. We are going to make a panter for my kids to care for some veggie plants and let them harvest and cook the veggies, as well. We are going to do a pumpkin patch, green beans, carrots, squash (esp. patty pan because they are so cute), well, all sorts of different veggies. Of course, everything in its season, but I'm just excitable right now. Have fun everyone.

03-06-2009, 03:35 PM
I'm also doing some Square Foot Gardening this year - building the beds this weekend in my new house! I have a ton of seeds from Seed Savers International, all heirloom varieties shown to do well in my area. I have my planting schedule all mapped out and my square feet decided...I just need the last frost date to get here!

VARIETIES: Shining Light Watermelon, Waltham Butternut Squash, Calabrese Broccoli, Summer Crookneck Squash, Green Zebra Tomatoes, Genovese Basil, Rossa Bianca Eggplant, Amish Snap Pea, Purple Beauty Pepper, Scarlet Nantes Carrot, Early Scarlet Globe Radish, Seed Saver’s Lettuce Mixture, Copenhagen Market Cabbage, Kentucky Wonder Bush Bean, Five Color Silverbeet Chard, Bush Habit Red Swan Bean

03-06-2009, 03:36 PM
We moved to a new house last fall and I'm hoping to put in a couple of beds this spring (for spinach, lettuce, maybe potatoes, watermelons and giant pumpkins) and some containers for different tomatoes. Still trying to figure out the how and what. I've never done gardening myself (except for the digging) and not sure this will work.

But I'm aiming for the heirloom seeds (particularly tomatoes) -- I found a really great watermelon called "Moon and Stars" for the splotches on the skin. My youngest has decided she like baby spinach (I think mostly to gross out her older sister) so there will be a lot of that.


03-09-2009, 01:51 PM
I'm excited! My friend who is building the garden boxes for us will also be buying, and setting, all the plants/seeds. (I'm doing some accounting work for her and her husband in exchange). This Friday!


03-09-2009, 01:58 PM
This CA girl officially has plants IN THE GROUND (Carrots, Radishes, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Broccoli, and Snap Peas). I also started my peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and cabbages inside, and got a container on my porch going with herbs. Quite a productive weekend!

03-09-2009, 02:13 PM
We are planning our garden now. We usually plant tomato, okra, green beans, peas, butter beans, squash, zuccini, watermelon, cataloupe, honey dew, peppers, and mustard greens. This year I think I'm trying brussel sprouts, lettuce (though it doesn't do well in our climate), garlic, onions, corn and some other stuff we find that's interesting. I also plant snow peas in my front yard and trellis it, and it looks really pretty, and will produce for a long time (nearly the whole spring and summer).

For those with deer and other larger pests problems, I have a solution that is going to sound sort of gross, but it's cheap (lol) and works. Urine. More importantly, human urine. You can either collect some of your own and sprinkle it around the perimeter of your yard, or you can wait until everyone tucks in for the night and send your boys out to write their name in the yard. You just have to keep it up if you have a sprinkler system or rain.

03-09-2009, 04:08 PM
This CA girl officially has plants IN THE GROUND

Jealous! I live in MN and we have more snow on the forecast this week… I won’t be doing any planting for a couple months.

03-09-2009, 11:24 PM
We will be having a garden again this year. We have a plot in the back yard where we grew tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, jalapenos, eggplants, green beans, cantaloupes, and butternut squash last year. DH has been working out there this afternoon getting the ground tilled. I am planning what will go where, but I have to find some blight resistant tomatoes this year. We had blight last year, and my garden isn't big enough to be sure that they won't get it again this year. Here's a snapshot of part of our garden early summer last year. I enjoyed it so much, getting out in the garden in the early morning before work was so peaceful.

03-10-2009, 07:10 PM
I'd really like to have a vegetable patch, but I know nothing about gardening. Is is just as simple as figuring the right time to plant for your zone and following the directions on the seed package? Do you have to till the ground, add fertilizer etc? Any tips or books or websites you can recommend?

03-10-2009, 10:20 PM
I'm soooooo jealous of all of you in locations where you can get stuff in the ground. We had a weather tease this past weekend with some beautiful 60* weather...melted a lot of snow...and I firmly believe that I jinxed it by putting my shovel away and washing my car cause it snowed again on Monday!! Us New Englanders are a ways off from seeing the ground yet. I'm anxiously waiting my seeds to be delivered (I ordered from Pinetree Garden Seeds in Maine)
In the meantime I'm still planning and plotting and waiting for my Okra to sprout...that much I've had a chance to get started indoors!

03-10-2009, 10:25 PM
Thinpossible - have you looked at Square Foot Gardening? It gets great reviews, and while this is my first year doing it, it gets high marks from me for ease in setup and available information.


This is my first veggie garden, and I was so overwhelmed because I had no idea where to start. This method is straightforward and explicit...gave me a starting place to launch from.

03-11-2009, 03:34 PM
Thinpossible - have you looked at Square Foot Gardening? It gets great reviews, and while this is my first year doing it, it gets high marks from me for ease in setup and available information.


This is my first veggie garden, and I was so overwhelmed because I had no idea where to start. This method is straightforward and explicit...gave me a starting place to launch from.

03-17-2009, 05:30 PM
I have sprouts! Radishes are up, lettuce is just starting to come up, and snap peas are clearly visible. Also, my tomato and cabbage transplants have sprouted and are happily growing and awaiting transplant to larger containers.