I want to start a vegetable and fruit garden this spring, but I've never gardened before. Does anyone have any tips? Can or should I start the seeds a couple months before (inside) to get a jump on the season? I want to plant potatoes, tomatoes, onions, scallions, lettuce, cukes, zukes, squash, and lettuce.
Also, how do I keep bunnies and deer out of the garden? We have a lot around here, especially the bunnies. I don't want to hurt them.
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By Crazy Amy from Rochester, NY
Read the first time gardener guide. (12/02/2009)
You need to call your county Extension office. Ask them to send you all info on gardening in your area. It's free, you may also search online for info and on this site, thriftyfun, good luck.
kffrmw88 mentioned the first thing that came to my mind. Go to the County Extension Office and they can give you a list of what will grow and what won't, when to plant it and other valuable info for free.
As for growing from seeds, my dad and mom have been planting a garden for years. They buy all their plants as seedlings. I asked my dad what he planted from seed and he said nothing. It wasn't worth the time or the effort. The price of buying the plants doesn't cut into the savings for what you reap. If you buy seeds and they don't grow that's just time lost.
You can also try your local Farm Bureau for info. I'm sure they would be a lot of help.
There are things you can buy to keep the deer out. My dad had a fit with a bunny this year. He never had that problem before because he always had a dog that kept critters away: bunnies, deer, skunk, possum, and moles (it tried to anyway). The dog passed away 2 years ago.
I heard on the radio some time back about the Circus of the Stars; a circus where all the performers were actors and actresses. One of the things I thought was cool was that one of the actresses (can't remember who, but popular she was) volunteered to clean the lion cages. She kept the lion poop to put around her garden because it kept all the critters away including the Beverly Hills coyotes. Just something cute, but if you can get your hand on some lion or tiger poop your critter problem is licked. (12/03/2009)
We made a 30x20 foot garden in our back yard with plastic and cement blocks. You do not have to remove grass. Put down plastic or a thick layer of newspapers, and place cement blocks on top around the edge of the space. Then, fill it with compost or manure. You have a garden without weeds or grass for years. Add more compost as needed every year. I get manure from Lowe's in 40 pound bags, I have a garden all the year, I also make flower beds the same way. Good luck.
If you start them inside, don't spend the big bucks on the jiffy trays. Make your own.
Put your potting soil in egg shells and place in an egg carton. Save any containers that cake or salads come in, the kind with the dark bottom and clear plastic dome lid. Then set your egg cartons (cut to fit) inside them. Now you have a free homemade greenhouse. (12/04/2009)
I've never had good luck starting seed inside, just wait till it's warm enough to plant outside. You will have time to plant 2 crops of summer veggies. When they are gone from the heat you can plant a winter garden, all kind of greens, onions, garlic, lettuce, etc. Good luck. (12/04/2009)
There are several things, like human hair from the beauty shop, trimmings, the smell of human hair deters deer and rabbits. Other things that work are: moth Balls, or Irish Spring soap on spikes or shich kabob sticks. You can use left over pieces, too.
Don't plant too early outside make sure to read the package for your area. Miracle Grow really helps. Wind chimes for the birds and squirrels. Mark your plants to know where and what on Popsicle sticks.
I even grew celery and broccoli and freeze most my over crops. Tomatoes blanched in hot water, 2 minutes, take skin off after cooking and slice without seeds for chili, sauces, etc. in the winter. Good luck.
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