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Advice for my veggie garden =)

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  • Advice for my veggie garden =)

    Hi everybody. I live in zone 6, and plan on having a vegetable garden this late spring and later in summer.
    I haven't ever gardened before, except many years ago I had several tomato plants that did very well.
    I live in Kentucky, and the soil is mainly red clay. I also think I remember adding a little lime time to time around my tomato plants.
    Anyways, I have started the seedlings for tomatoes and peppers and the rest I just plan on directly sowing the seeds in.
    I just wanted to join the forum because Im sure I'll have plenty of questions my first gardening season. But for now wondered if anyone can give me any tips and advice for:
    - starting seeds: I have them in a jiffy starter kit
    - Kentucky soil
    These are the vegetable seeds I have bought:

    1. Jubilee Tomatoes
    2. Beefmaster Hybrid Tomatoes
    3. California Wonder peppers
    4. Kentucky Wonder pole beans (anyone prefer lines over tee pees or have other ideas?)
    5. Great Lakes lettuce
    6. Cocozelle Squash
    7. Evergreen Bunching Onion
    8. Brocoverde Cauliflower

    I know several of these vegetables I won't be working with until later this summer, but I would appreciate any advice in advance.
    I plan on starting my garden in April, and planting the tomato plants that I hopefully get from my seeds and the peppers and onions. In May I'll start the beans and squash. And in late June or early July the cauliflower and lettuce.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Originally posted by TbethU View Post
    ... tips and advice for:
    - starting seeds: I have them in a jiffy starter kit ...
    How many hours of light will you be able give them? My tomato seedlings need 17 hours per day.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi TbethU,

      I was trying to find a garden veggie calendar for planting in your state, but many of the state extension services have changed the way they share info, so I clicked around for a bit. Here's their main page for publications on gardening.
      http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/homehort2.html

      Here's what I found for veggies.
      http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/homeveggies.html

      Here's where you can find your average first and last frost dates.
      http://www.victoryseeds.com/frost/

      This first site has a planting calendar (scroll down) for Missouri which has zones 4 to 7. I'm including a zone map so you can see where zone 6 would be for planting dates that would correspond to your zone 6. I find that to be the later planting dates for the southern part of the state.
      http://extension.missouri.edu/explor...ort/g06201.pdf
      http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/c...ps/MOhardy.jpg

      My other advice would be to add lots of organic matter to the planting bed. Compost would be great for that.

      I'm not sure what other advice you are seeking, but I hope that helps.

      Newt

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Thomas W View Post
        My tomato seedlings need 17 hours per day.
        Thomas, I think the reason your tomatoes need such a long period of sunlight is due to your northern location and the fact that your average summer temperatures are about 63*F (17*C). That is MUCH cooler then both TbethU and I experience. We can get summer temps of 95*F (35*C) to 105*F (40.5*C) for days on end. You do have longer days of sunshine, but it's not as intense in your northern location as it is here.

        Newt

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        • #5
          Newt-
          Thank you very much for the calendars. I also have found a planting guide from the old farmers almanac on their website. If you put in your zip code it gives you a guide for your area. It has 2 set of dates, the first are dates for the expected time after the last frost, and the 2nd set are dates that are "moon favorable".

          There are many farms around here, so I am sure I can find some manure and probably compost at a local nursery or farm supply store to add into the soil.

          I had heard to add some sand and peet moss into clay type soils for better drainage also.





          Thomas-

          I haven't been keeping track of how many hours of light my seedlings have been getting. The past couple of days I've been putting them outside during the day (its been around 65-71 degrees and sunny). But this early into spring the weather changes so often tonight and tomorrow it could be 43 degrees and cloudy, so at night I just bring them in the house or garage. I had started to worry they'd rot, without using a heat mat or grow lights- But several have sprouted.
          I will probably set up a light in the house to put over them on cloudy cooler days because the forecast calls for some possible snow showers next weekend.

          And as Newt said, the summers here are very warm and also very humid.

          Comment


          • #6
            TbethU, you are so very welcome!

            Originally posted by TbethU View Post
            There are many farms around here, so I am sure I can find some manure and probably compost at a local nursery or farm supply store to add into the soil.
            Just be sure that the manure is well aged and not fresh. A 4" layer of compost added to your soil and mixed in would be a good place to start. Here's a compost calculator so you'll know how much you need.
            http://www.cedar-grove.com/compost_calculator.asp

            I had heard to add some sand and peet moss into clay type soils for better drainage also.
            I would agree with adding 1" of sharp sand and mixing it in if your soil is heavy clay, but I do not recommend the use of peat moss. Peat moss is highly acid and can change the pH of your soil, once dry it's difficult to rewet, once wet it can retain too much moisture, it's low in nutrient value and is bad for the environment.
            http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/fac...ndex.html#peat
            http://www.wildlifetrust.org.uk/facts/peat.htm
            http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/ksheets/peat.html#help

            You might also find the rest of this site helpful.
            http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/fac...ter/index.html

            Newt

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