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Beginner with Questions

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Beginner with Questions

Postby Moondog » Mar 28, 2014 12:53 pm

Hi there,

I hope to start an organic vegetable garden in my backyard in Halton Hills, Ontario. I have grown a few plants in pots before but other than that, I am very new to gardening.

I'm looking for some recommendations for books to get me started. I have a copy of 'Country Wisdom & Know How', which has a fairly large gardening section, but it has many articles from different authors', sometimes with conflicting info. Also, it isn't a beginners guide, so its a little overwhelming. So far I've read that the 'Reader's Digest Guide to Green Gardening' and 'Gardening for Geeks' are both good books, but not sure if they're for beginners. Any recommendations?

Since its almost April, is it too late for me to start my garden this summer? I am starting from scratch - both in terms of my space - a grassy backyard, and my experience level - slim-to-none. I have read lots about pH and acidity and how necessary determining the type of soil I will be growing in is, so I'm wondering if I will have time, after checking and regulating the soil (if need be), to start the garden this year? I am thinking it might be best to do lots of research this summer, get seeds and equipment, start a good outdoor compost and start next summer.

Feel free to correct me - I am super new! Any info and advice is welcome.

Thank you in advance
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Re: Beginner with Questions

Postby Justanotherider » Mar 29, 2014 12:08 am


The most helpful gardening book I've read is Lois Hole's "Northern Gardener", (I hope that's the precise title - we're renovating, and I can't find my copy right now). Lois gives lots of really simple and practical advice that has helped me immensely over the years.

As for starting out, I'd say dig up your dirt and plant some veggies. The sooner you start, the sooner you can kill off the many weeds that are lying dormant in your yard, (new gardens are almost always full of weeds).

I wouldn't obsess about ph and soil type; but just get started. You will find you have great success with some veggies, and crap from others. Keep growing the successes, and try to learn what caused the failures, doing research and learning as you go, (it took me years to finally trick parsnips into cooperating).

Good luck, have fun, and let me know how you make out.
Just when you learn how to garden really well, you're too old to do it anymore...
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Re: Beginner with Questions

Postby soccermomof3 » Mar 29, 2014 9:49 am

I agree with the reply above. I'm a new gardener with two summers now under my belt. When you read about gardening I find there are too many recommendations to undertake all at once. I just began with no knowledge, and continued to read as I went. Once I get a certain skill or piece of info into my brain, I will then add another one and so on. I have a terrible memory and all the info available can be quite intimidating. If you think you have to garden "properly", doing everything the experts recommend, it can paralyze you. So just jump in and get your hands dirty. It's fun!
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Re: Beginner with Questions

Postby Moondog » Apr 01, 2014 10:32 am

That is great advice, thank you both!

I will post some updates as I go.

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