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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a clueless gardener. In years past I've thrown out seeds, barely watered, never fertilized or prepared the soil, and have gotten veggies.

We're in a different home now, and the soil isn't as good as I was used to. No soil prep last year got me no veggies.
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This year I want to get serious about gardening. We live on almost 4 acres, so I've got the room, but I'm seriously lacking in knowledge. I've read a gardening book, but I'm thinking I need something more like a "Gardening for Dummies" deal.
For instance, I'm in zone 6 and the weather is beautiful. Shouldn't I be doing *something* in my garden? Probably so. But I don't know what it is that I should be doing.

Any other zone 6ers who'd like to tell me what they're doing in their gardens?
 

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I think I'm borderline zone 6/7. Last year I had my first "real" garden, and had so much fun! The garden is organic and the soil had been greatly improved over years of use, so we got lucky when we bought this house.

Last year my main crops were green beans, tomatoes, and potatoes. Those all did pretty well. I planted by the moon for about 90% of my stuff, but only planted "hot" veggies after about May 10th, our last frost date.

http://www.farmersalmanac.com/gardening/gardening.html

This year I discovered that I can plant a whole bunch of things now! I put some sugar snap peas in the ground yeaterday, and I'm itching to get in some turnips, beets, carrots, collards, swiss chard, spinach and kale...a lot of the root crops and leafy greens can be planted now or soon, including lettuce, onions and cabbage I think.

http://www.almanac.com/garden/plantingtable.php

What I'm changing from last year...using mulch around everything. I put down newspaper for one row and piled grass clippings on top, and the weeds stayed at bay for a long time. This year I'm going to try to kep that mulch going, which will also encourage the earthworms and improve your soil at the same time, not to mention keep the moisture in.

I haven't done it yet, but love the lasagna gardening principles. I want to cover the garden with leaves this fall to break down over the winter. It's better than the red clay my family has, but can still use improvement. Their soil is "terrible" by many standards, but many quarts of veggies are canned every year with no soil improvements. I don't know how they do it!

Some people who start their own seeds are getting those ready to go. I tried a few last year and didn't have much luck...maybe this year though.

Anyway...that's my little ramble on the subject. Hope it helps and good luck!
 

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I would recommend the Vegetable Gardener's Bible. It describes general gardening topics like soil preparation, controlling pests, etc. Then, the best part IMHO, is several pages on each vegetable with specifics about growing, selecting varieties, etc. It is an organic gardening book - so no recommendations to thrown down Miracle Grow and pesticides.

So jealous of 4 acres - that is enough space for fruit trees and growing enough food to feed a couple of families for a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies, mamas! Dh and I talked through some ideas earlier tonight. I'm thinking about going with beds - sort of the square foot method but larger. I'd like to have walking paths through the garden.

annekevdbroek, I should have mentioned that our property is partially wooded, so that really cuts down on usable land. Dh and I don't want to part with any of our woods, and in fact are letting one side of the yard "return to nature." We call it our reforestation project!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by operamommy View Post
Thanks for the replies, mamas! Dh and I talked through some ideas earlier tonight. I'm thinking about going with beds - sort of the square foot method but larger. I'd like to have walking paths through the garden.

annekevdbroek, I should have mentioned that our property is partially wooded, so that really cuts down on usable land. Dh and I don't want to part with any of our woods, and in fact are letting one side of the yard "return to nature." We call it our reforestation project!

Well, it still sounds like you could have a HUGE garden. I have a 1200 sq ft garden and can produce more than we can typically use. I give A LOT away. So, even a small portion of 4 acres would be a lot of fun (and a lot of work)!
 
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