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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Mamas,<br>
This is my first year gardening and I am very very stuck on my first seed order . . .<br><br>
I am in Zone 7 with a Ph of 5.4. I have several plots, a very large one for Corns/Beans & Squash, one for Medicinal Herbs, one for Onions/Garlic/Shallots, and one for mixed vegetables. It is the mixed vegetable one I am struggling with . . . I know vaugely what I would like to plant (I mean really there are not too many vegetables I don't LOVE), but I very much want to plant the right crops and interplant them correctly . . . We are amending with composted Manure and may also be sheet mulching . . . I am open to adding Lime but I am scared of that! My plot is Full Sun and is in the South East in a region that has had drought last year. I want to plant as if I am expecting drought again.<br><br>
I know I want Tomtoes and that is where it stops! I also want a few kitchen herbs, but IDK if they should be in my vegetable plot or not! Anyway, I am ordering from Southern Exposure.<br><br>
TIA!!!
 

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With all that corns/beans/squash and tomatoes I would plant some peppers, some mild and some medium or hot. You'll probably want some parsley and cilantro as well.
 

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Tam Jalepeno is a good mildly hot pepper. You'll want to put some basil, nasturtiums and african marigold in with the tomatoes for companion planting. <a href="http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/finder/cultivars.php?sname=Tomatoes&submit=Go" target="_blank">Go here</a> to see if tomatoes you are eyeing will thrive in your zone. I know stupice tomatoes will be fine in your climate, they like hot or cold climates. You could do some okra too. How big is this mixed veggie plot?
 

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Oh, and where are you ordering from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am ordering from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange . . .<br><br>
I am ordering Medicinals from Horizon Herbs and also ordering Blueberries from IDK where!!!
 

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Ooh, a good book for you to get your hands on is Gardening when it Counts by Steve Solomon - some really nifty recommendations for when watering all the time just isn't always possible and such. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
What I do is figure out what I want to make/eat from the garden. Like I plan to can enough green beans to last the year, I want to make enough strawberry jam to last the year (still working on this one - the strawberries hardly ever make it inside the house!), get enough tomatoes to can a bunch of 'em, and lots of stuff for fresh eating like zucchini and cucumbers (oh, and to try canning pickles again), lettuces, peppers, radishes, carrots, and onions and potatoes and celery and turnips to supplement my soup and stock-making efforts. Just because something totally random looks really neat, think hard about whether you'll actually eat it or not. I've planted stuff we never touched, which I feel a bit goofy about to this day.<br><br>
Oh, if you're looking to maximize your crop to some degree, think vertical. Like instead of bush beans which sprawl over a lot of ground, take a look at pole beans. I had three 8-foot double rows of pole beans last year, and canned a bunch. Not sure if we're going to finish 'em before this year's crop. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> And maybe look at staking/trellising your tomatoes if need be so they can go upwards and leave you more garden space. My backyard neighbor planted her pumpkins against an old chicken coop fence to support them, and I think the largest pumpkin they got weighed in around 74 pounds. Yikes. I also vine my cucumbers because they're quite sprawly, and it's easier for lame me to find the ripe ones when they're in plain sight rather than hiding under a bunch of leaves and such (those ones tend to become baseball bats).<br><br>
And fwiw, I think I'm ordering a few more blueberry bushes and asparagus crowns (and maybe raspberry canes if we have enough tilled ground by then) from <a href="http://www.simmonsplantfarm.com/" target="_blank">Simmons Plant Farm</a>. A guy over on idig recommended them and has been super impressed with the quality. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Or my second choice is/was <a href="http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/" target="_blank">St. Lawrence Nurseries</a> because if it can survive there in zone 3, it can survive in my zone 5 yard (and they have tons of neat sounding apple trees!!). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Oh, as for the herbs... you can stick them off to the side in their own little spot if you want, or just intersperse them wherever you have a little extra room. Last year I had basil in between the tomatoes, parsley in between varieties of carrots, dill and cilantro among the lettuce and radishes, chives with the roses and zucchini, and thyme is up front with some roses and last year with zucchini and a volunteer tomato plant. The thyme and chives and parsley aren't moving again, at least so far... We'll see what the spring brings. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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something eles to think about too is companion planting. I always plant basil with my Tom's. They do awsome, geez I dont even remember the reason why LOL. Someone yrs ago mentioned it to me and I havent gone back since.
 

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I 2nd or is it 3rd? the peppers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Bells, bananas, hots, milds, all/any. How about some Lima beans? or Swiss Chard? Melons love the SE...lots of heat and a long growing season for them to ripen. oooh and some Eggplants!<br><br>
Your PH is a little low (do you have lots of pine or oaks around you? Blueberries love lots of acid <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">btw). DOn't be afraid of the aggy lime, its what its for. And as for the drought...I got a feeling that the worst is behind us and this season will be closer to what "normal" is supposed to be us...or maybe that is my hopelessly opptimistic gardener coming out
 

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i'm doing theme gardens (i have my backyard plot plus a few community garden plots) so i'll have one bed for salsa (tomato, onion, cilantro, corn) one for pickles (hella lotta cukes & dill) spaghetti sauce (tomatoes, onions, basil) and a bean & corn bed. hopefully i grow enough of all of all those things that i don't have to buy any for a year.<br>
what do you love best home-made? what are the ingredients? do you want to can something yummy for gifts for everyone?
 
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