How to plant the Garden

Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:15 pm

On another post of mine ( My Goofy Garden). I have apparently planted my garden wrong. Would some of you guy tell me how to do it right or at least where it will produce well. I am also wanting to know the correct depth for corn. Thought I was doing pretty good with what I had, but I assume that is why my Gardens have never been over productive. First time with a tractor. If there are any old post or videos that I haven't found please let me know. Any help would be appreciated.... Mandel.

Re: How to plant the Garden

Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:50 pm

I'll see if I can give it a shot. I am no farmer, but have picked up on the things that the old timers have shared with me.
I am currently building up a garden spot (approx 50x100) at my fathers house for next year.
The things I kept in mind were:
-sun exposure, no shady spots from overhanging branches, the ones that were there were cut back.
-even though the area was treeless, there has never been any dirtwork done there so I knew I would find some stumps underground (which I did, and more than likely you will too), I removed them and suggest you do the same
-water access, close enough to the house to run sprinklers, but not at the back door.
-drainage, no low areas were water collects after a shower (which is hard to find here is NE Florida)

So, I got the perfect spot picked out, but since the area has never had a garden I knew I would have to build up the soil, even though grass grew real well there. I dumped leaves over the entire area and then turned them in. I covered the area again with leaves and then burned them and then turned it again. Next week I plan to broadcast some peas to put some nitrogen in the ground, then disc in after they die off. Later in the year, I will add some good rich, slimey black dirt from a low area that a friend of mine will convert to a pond along with manure and then turn again. This should give me a good area to plant next spring. I an going to try to add as much compost as I can along and along to keep from having to buy so much fertilizer.

I know you don't have the time to do all this this year, but something to keep in mind for next year. I plan on doing most all the work with my Cubs, not because it is a must, but because it is fun for me and I got 'em for this reason. I more than likely will give most all the stuff away. As far as producing, I would say that the richness of the soil, water and weed control are the biggest things. You can't have weeds stealing the food or your crops may starve (so to speak) and get crowded out.
This is just me and how I am starting things, which may me way out of line, but I'm still a greenhorn newby compared to most of the experts here. I'm sure they'll jump in to give you some good advise.
Good Luck, let us know how things turn out.

Re: How to plant the Garden

Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:01 pm

I appreciate your response and your input. It drains ok, terrain drains well also. I just had a goof up in the planting. I am just starting the Gardening deal. I have had small gardens for years, used tillers and garden tools. Done ok.

Just bought 2 tractors where I could learn how to do it with them. Trying to get the implements and learn how to set em up correctly for the best results. I just keep running into so many snags with them and not able to use them. Like I said earlier, I used just a center plow and just started digging. Have done got so disgusted with all the little snags. Was trying to get prepared for a good garden spot with plenty of time and prep. Then when I do get a little spot tore up enough, I plant it wrong. lol, I guess this just aint for me, I guess I need to stick to working on the tractor instead of working with it. I know we all do things different and we all have different results. I guess it all comes with the territory and I just need to go walk around and cool off for a day or so. You reckon? LOL. I do appreciate the input though...... Mandel T.

Re: How to plant the Garden

Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:24 pm

remember it is easier to quit then to succeed. However the reward is greater when you accomplish your task. Each area is different and farms or gardens in a different way. planting in the valley is fine if you work your soil right. you have started off small and as you learn and gain equipment and experience you can expand. There are a ton of books out there on this new found term (organic) farming or gardening. This isn't something new, 60 yrs ago it was called farming. a list of some things you can do to be successfull.

1. compost - pick an area on the edge of the woods an make it 3 sided about 6ft x 6ft 4ft high. side will be made of some sort of wire fence. fill it with leaves, grass clippings and any biodegradeable food scraps. about once a month go out and turn it over with a pitch fork. This will turn to nice black soil in about a year. Apply this to the garden every year, it will build up your soil and make it rich with nutrients.

2. site prep work - Pick your area, try to have as much sun as possible. try to subsoil it the first year, this helps with drainage. Then plow deep if possible. work the ground till it is nice and useable. Take a few soil samples and send out for testing. Make sure you are able to get water to the area, but it is not under water after each rain.

3. Weed control - if you do not control the weeds, your crop will be show it. Weeds grow faster then any plants you plant. They also use the nutrients that your plants need. If they get big enough then they shade your plants. This is where alot of gardens go down hill. You have gotten this far, keep weeding even if it is hot and sucks.

4. pest control - keeping the bad bugs out is just as important as the previous 3. when the eat the plants it injures the plants. Now the plants are trying to heal verses growing fruit. Lady bugs are good, I buy some every few years and release. I also use Sevin. I watch my plants everyday for signs of bugs.

5. pick your veggies

6. disc up and put in a cover crop.

thats is it, it is not rocket science. it is just learning what it takes and keeping up with it. Lots of manual work and keeping records of what you did. when you find something that works repeat it. If it doesn't work try something new. once you get it all going right, you will have a blast. Nothing you do is totally wrong, maybe just not the best way.

Corn goes down about an inch.

Re: How to plant the Garden

Fri May 01, 2009 6:06 am

Screwstick and Smigelski said it right. You will always hear me holler about a soil test. Without the proper balance of nutrients and Ph don't expect much. Start with your county extension service. They usually handle the test and will give you more information than you may need. You will probably have access to the county agent. Local knowledge is invaluable. Co-Op, local feed stores, and the farmer down the road have the experience. Work with Mother Nature and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results. You may huff and puff and cuss all summer long but when you dig into that first pickin of sweet corn and butter beans, well, you know the rest.

Re: How to plant the Garden

Fri May 01, 2009 7:08 am

If you drop seed by hand, just cover them about an inch or inch and a half, and tamp the dirt over them. This puts the seed in good contact with the soil. Keep the weeds hoed out or cultivated with the tractor. Everybody has to start somewhere. I won't go into my first try.


Re: How to plant the Garden

Fri May 01, 2009 8:25 am


DanR is right. Start with a soil test and a visit with your County Extension Agent. You can find your Extension agent here and soil testing information is here Your Extension Agent can help you avoid mistakes and make this gardening thing a pleasent experience. Good luck.


Re: How to plant the Garden

Fri May 01, 2009 11:34 am

Not good at explaining things but once the planting is done , the real work begins. I try to plow as early as I can without covering the plants with dirt. Sometimes I may even have to come back and uncover a few. If you find any skips between plants now is the time to replant these spaces. And don't forget about the hoe. It is very useful in a productive garden. I have a neigbor who spends a small fortune every year on seeds. He plants, the seeds come up, and he never steps foot in the garden again. Then he wonders why his garden never produces much. Agree with everyone about soil test. Just trying to make the point that even if seeds come up that there is still alot of work to do to have a productive garden.