Author Topic: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(  (Read 2137 times)

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Offline cdev

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My sweetie and I have finally decided to make a small enclosed garden frame to grow herbs, high value veggies etc. In order to keep deer out we're basically making a box with open sides out of wood thats covered with a screen material so they cant nibble which they will do if we let them. . (They tend to eat other plants we've grown like flowers and bulbs,killing them rapidly, this has been a real downer although if I was a starving deer I would probably eat tasty sprouts too, we cant blame them for doing what comes naturally.. .. 

 We have lots of deer here and also lots and lots of cute squirrels. There are also rabbits, groundhogs, (large rodents) and chipmunk (tiny, lightning fast rodents with racing stripes) And lots of birds, including crows,sparrows, etc.

So we're making an enclosed little frame to grow our own food plants in. First we have added some basil so we can have fresh pesto.. What would you plant and why?   We live not far from New York City and tomatoes (both the big beefsteak tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are definitely going to be grown here. Also we like cucumbers and asparagus. Also I like the little purple potatoes..

What are your favorite vegetables for growing, and seed companies?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2022, 05:01:34 pm by cdev »
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Offline xrunner

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2022, 04:59:45 pm »
Funny you should ask. I just started a garden this year, haven't had one since I moved in here. I eat salads all the time so I wanted to start off simple. What you see is radishes. I planted four rows (two different varieties), then 10 days later four more rows, and ten days later four more rows. That's all I have room for now. In the heat of summer I will try banana peppers, then in fall ... who knows?
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Offline cdev

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2022, 05:09:26 pm »
Radishes are pretty.. I used to have a friend out in California on the north coast (where gardening is just so fruitful because of the ever present moisture and fog.. ) and she grew lots of rhubarb, which is sort of related to celery, but its red and sweet. She used this to make rhubarb pie which was just delicious.. Pretty too because of the red color.

There are all sorts of amazing widlflowers that grow around there., Its one of the best areas for local food.. Also fish, like salmon. There is nothing like fresh caught salmon for taste.. And they also can sometimes be just huge. Enough to feed a large group of people.

The Eureka area is good for local food goodness..  Deep in the redwood country.
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Offline Microdoser

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2022, 05:13:20 pm »
Oregano, put it in a tub, and it comes back every year. Cut it when it's growing and dry it out. A big tub will give you a whole years worth once it's established. You can do the same with thyme. Plant out a Basil every year for the same.

Butternut squash grows like mad and keeps well over the winter, we still have some from last year.

You'll always get a good crop from Runner or French beans, they grab nitrogen from the air so when you compost the plants, you end up with more nutrients in the soil than you started with. They grow tall so put them at the north side so they don't shade other stuff.

I'd only grow Asparagus if you have loads of space, they take up a lot of space for what you get, and you have to keep them undisturbed and well fed for a couple of years before you harvest them.

Tomato varieties I love are BrandyWine to get a perfect burger slicing tomato, baby plum for eating, San Marzano for sauces.

You can get winter lettuce which will grow fine as long as the temperature is warmer than freezing. You can even plant 2 inches off the root end of a Lemongrass stalk in spring and get 10 fresh stalks by the end of the summer.

I've just started off my extra hot chillis, stir-fry chillis and jalapeños for pickling.

We are lucky that the main animals we get are foxes and badgers. They mainly eat the sweetcorn (out of what we plant) so we don't plant that.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2022, 10:36:34 pm »
chipmunk (tiny, lightning fast rodents with racing stripes)

 :-DD

Brilliant!
 

Online jpanhalt

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2022, 11:04:02 pm »
I grow rosemary and Italian oregano.  Italian oregano is milder than the common oregano in stores and seems very hardy. It is similar to marjoram and drys and stores well.  I grow mine in a pot that moves indoors in the Winter.   As for rosemary, my mom had a huge bush that was as tall as me and wider than I could reach (in SoCal, so winter was not an issue).  It had silver leaves and had a very mellow taste compared to the green pine-like taste of fresh rosemary you find in stores.  My current bush is in  between.  I am still searching for a more mellow variety.  It is fairly hardy, grows well from cuttings, and in Northeast Ohio, I have it in a large pot that I move into the garage in the Winter.  It will stand a little freezing, but not like we get up near Lake Erie.

Chipmunks are a pain, but they are very dumb and "walk the plank" traps are effective.  Sunflower seeds work well as bait floating in the water.  Groundhogs don't seem to bother the herbs much, but I trap and eliminate them because they are a nuisance in other ways.  Squirrels are tougher to deal with.  A ≥ 800 to 900 fps (i.e., subsonic) air powered pellet gun is all you need.  I also use poison bait, but that would not be permissible if you have any pets or other domestic animals around.
 
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Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2022, 10:57:19 am »
My partner, who has a veg patch and fruit patch out back, suggests:

Rhubarb (low maintenance other than regular watering and annual manure/fertiliser)
Swiss chard, especially the rainbow variety
French beans (they grow up a wigwam or other structural support so don't take huge amounts of ground space)
Raspberries (can be trained along a wire so don't take up too much space)

And she says a personal favourite is jostaberries, but they are vigorous growers so require space and annual pruning.
 

Offline fperona

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2022, 01:22:23 pm »
Hello,

Last spring I started with gardening as well. This year I'm growing my "Combo Salad", which is tomato, basil and coriander. Also, a couple of varieties of chilli, artichokes and sunflowers.

But be aware of the risk of starting seeding tomatoes and, after a couple of months, finding yourself designing a complete system to germinate and nurse seeds in a temperature and humidity controlled environment :).

Success!
 

Offline Siwastaja

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2022, 01:44:02 pm »
Tomatoes. You can make your own ketchup. Very healthy.

Raspberries. Store-bought jam sucks because it's 30% berries, 20% water and 50% sugar. Maybe you could get something better by paying premium, I don't know, but we just make our own jam (2/3 berries, 1/3 sugar) and oh boy it's so good.

Strawberries, for the same reason.

Apple tree or two, but that will take a long time to start producing.
 
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Offline cdev

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2022, 02:02:40 pm »
We definitely plan to grow tomatoes because we eat a lot of them. So we know we would be saving money. Also making jam would be just great, would love strawberry and blueberry raspberry jam, for muffins, homebaked sourdough bread, etc.

We know Berries and apples grow well here because this neighborhood previously was an apple orchard, lots of berries also grew wild here, when I was a kid, and also I was surprised to find out when reading up on its past that it used to be the site of an airport! Way back in the 1930s and earlier.

Don't know the history, this was some time ago, before the aerial photos that I have were made. It was during the early days of aviation in the US too.  There used to be a lot more small, owner-operated airports here. Many of them were bought up and around here, two were turned into shopping malls.

I am sort of an aviation buff also.

Wish there were more historic photos of NJ out there so I would know more about land use in the past around here.

Seaking about living near airports.. Does anybody know about Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles, CA?  Its right underneath the takeoff runway for LAX! That was one of my favorite beaches when I was a kid spending my summers in LA. I used to paddle surf a lot. Also loved swimming a lot, even long distances on my little paddle board. I used to basically almost live in the water.

https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=617
« Last Edit: April 03, 2022, 02:34:35 pm by cdev »
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Offline cdev

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2022, 02:39:19 pm »
I have heard of jostaberries.. They are a hybrid a cross between black currants and gooseberries. I have had drinks served around here made from them. Its popular during the summer.  They say it takes as much as 3 years of growth before they produce. The beries are also a good antioxidant. So pretty healthy. Good for ones eyesight.


We are starting to consider various means of scaring animals away from our garden and its kind of funny seeing what works and what doesn't.

Some of the various decoys to scare off animals seem to almost attract them, perhaps they want to make the pont that they are not stupid enough to be fooled by them! Some of the gadgets advertised are kind of funny. For example, fake owls with terminator style red LED eyes that flash when they detect motion!

Looking forward to the challenge.

I grow rosemary and Italian oregano.  Italian oregano is milder than the common oregano in stores and seems very hardy. It is similar to marjoram and drys and stores well.  I grow mine in a pot that moves indoors in the Winter.   As for rosemary, my mom had a huge bush that was as tall as me and wider than I could reach (in SoCal, so winter was not an issue).  It had silver leaves and had a very mellow taste compared to the green pine-like taste of fresh rosemary you find in stores.  My current bush is in  between.  I am still searching for a more mellow variety.  It is fairly hardy, grows well from cuttings, and in Northeast Ohio, I have it in a large pot that I move into the garage in the Winter.  It will stand a little freezing, but not like we get up near Lake Erie.

Chipmunks are a pain, but they are very dumb and "walk the plank" traps are effective.  Sunflower seeds work well as bait floating in the water.  Groundhogs don't seem to bother the herbs much, but I trap and eliminate them because they are a nuisance in other ways.  Squirrels are tougher to deal with.  A ≥ 800 to 900 fps (i.e., subsonic) air powered pellet gun is all you need.  I also use poison bait, but that would not be permissible if you have any pets or other domestic animals around.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2022, 02:51:49 pm by cdev »
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Offline david77

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2022, 10:58:11 am »
If you're into tomatoes & jams, try tomato jam. Soooo delicious!
 

Online jpanhalt

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2022, 11:40:59 am »
RE: Pest repellants

Most do not work, particularly for rodents.  The phrase "annoy and ignore" applies.  However, annoy can be enough to make them relocate. 

My pole barn has a loft around about 2/3 of its perimeter for additional storage.  The original builder included an office over one section with glass/rock fiber insulation on top and sheet foam between interior and exterior walls.  There is no food or grain stored in the barn, but the top of that office was a nest for rats.  Lighting in that area was with overhead fluorescent lights (a total of 12, 8' bulbs in 6 fixtures).  That used  a lot of electricity, so I turned them off when I was not there.  With no lights at night, they had favorite "watchout" locations on overhead rafters.  The concrete floor under those areas was disgusting.  Poison bait didn't work.

In early Spring, 2021, I installed 8' LED bulbs -- a total of 4 in two strings of 2.  Watts used by a single string hardly made a difference in the electric bill (a separate meter with minimum charges).  I leave one string on constantly and the mess on the floor is greatly reduced.  I suspect the rats are not gone, but have simply moved to a more friendly location.  This Spring will be the litmus test of whether that annoyance has worked.  If not, the office nesting ceiling will be removed.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2022, 11:51:26 am »
If you're into tomatoes & jams, try tomato jam. Soooo delicious!

Do you have a recipe for that? Asking for a friend...
 

Offline david77

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2022, 06:09:44 am »
I made it last year for the first time.

This is straight Tomato jam: https://www.ichkoche.at/paradeisermarmelade-rezept-219469

Here with Tomatos & plums: https://www.gutekueche.at/zwetschken-paradeiser-marmelade-rezept-34411

Sorry, only German.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2022, 09:23:45 am »
Thank you  :-+
 

Offline geggi1

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2022, 10:44:34 am »
onions and garlic are a pretty safe.
If you plant it along the edges of the beds it will also to a degree repel slugs.
 

Offline Jester

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2022, 12:06:00 pm »
Tomatoes and cucumbers.

My late grandfather rode his bicycle until he was 99, probably partially because he ate the fresh vegetables from his garden. He would plant 100 Beef-Steak? tomato plants from the previous years 10 best plants in the windows every year while the snow was still on the ground. From those 100 seedlings he would pick the best 10-15 and move them to his mini-greenhouse while the temperature outside was still too cool at night and then finally to the garden when it was safe.

The best tomatoes ever, delicious so much flavour. I miss gramps tomatoes 🍅
 

Offline madires

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2022, 02:12:31 pm »
Grow what you like and the environment supports. Many vegetables prefer a specific soil, location (sun-wise), humidity and what have you. For example, tomatoes don't like rain. Put them under a roof. Make your own compost! No need for expensive fertilizer. Some combinations of vegetables help against pests.
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2022, 07:13:32 pm »
parsley and cilantro are super robust, you can leave it alone pretty much after throwing seeds in the ground and they will outpace the weeds etc.. They also will last you past thanksgiving. Other herbs will get obliterated if you don't maintain them, but these are some tough customers. Sage too, but you need to figure out how to use it well.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2022, 08:54:48 pm »
First batch of radishes.  8)
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Offline TimNJ

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2022, 03:26:10 am »
Tomatoes for sure, if you like them. We all know supermarket tomatoes are trash, mostly because they need to be hearty enough to withstand transit etc, which coincidentally makes them pretty bleh tasting. I bought a Sunkist tomato from....Michigan (!) the other day, and let's just say underwhelmed is an understatement.

The heirloom varieties like Cherokee Purple or Mortgage Lifter are incredible, if you've never had them.

My father really become an amazing tomato gardener over the years. I would say his biggest 'secret' is good soil. No food scraps go in the trash, everything goes in compost. Mix in some 'brown matter' into your food waste (dead leaves, etc.) and you'll have some great soil.

 
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Offline tkamiya

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2022, 06:03:36 am »
We grow our own herbs.  (Oregano, chive, basil, dill, etc)  There is nothing like fresh herbs but bunches at stores are relatively expensive and most go wasted.  By growing our own, it's available and we can pick the amount we need.  Selection can be tailored to your likings of food.  Someone above said dills are hardy.  My experience is they are rather delicate in Florida.  They flop over easily as major root ball always grows above ground for some reason and leaves are left unsupported.

Just one word of caution...  Oregano grows like crazy and takes over the whole space killing off more fragile plants.  We always have a dedicated pot for this.

We also grow a Meyer lemon tree.  We get over 100 fruits each year, but all in a span of 2 months or so.  We can only use a few ourselves.  Most are given away to more than willing friends.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2022, 06:10:03 am by tkamiya »
 

Offline HwAoRrDk

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2022, 08:33:51 am »
I would imagine trying to grow cucumbers in New York state without a greenhouse would be challenging. Wrong climate, isn't it?

In my experience it's pretty difficult not to be able to grow blackberries and raspberries. :) Those suckers will grow practically anywhere. Build a frame and/or string some wire to tie them to so they don't drape on the ground or get damaged by wind. Also, with blackberries, have some self-restraint when it comes time to pick the fruit. They may look nice and dark and ripe, but will still taste tart. They're ripe only once the berries are no longer firm - i.e. they're slightly squishy.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Starting a garden, what should I grow? (Favorite seeds, etc?)(
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2022, 10:16:27 am »
Just one word of caution...  Oregano grows like crazy and takes over the whole space killing off more fragile plants.  We always have a dedicated pot for this.

Lemon balm grows like weed over here. Also thyme.
 
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