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 Post subject: New Garden
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:00 pm
Posts: 4
I am wanting to start a new garden in my back yard. Don't even know where to start. Any ideas are welcome


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Where do you live?
Have you gardened before?
If so, how much experience do you have?
If you have gardened, have you gardened organically?

Give us a little more info and we'll be glad to try to point you in the right direction. Or, at lease some direction. :shock:

:D

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God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:00 pm
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Grew up in East TX therefore sandy soil. My Dad had a large garden but my experience is limited to picking off potato bugs and pulling weeds.
I now live in Garland, black dirt, no experience and really don't know where to start. I'm sure my Dad is bowing his head as I type this.


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Nice! You never know -- you may turn out to do your father proud! :D

Ok, more questions:
Have you read the basic organic program?
How much time do you want to put in?
Have you prepared any of your soil yet?
What do you want to grow?
How much space do you have?
Do you know how much/little sun you'll get in the spring?

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:00 pm
Posts: 4
Have read some on organic gardening but not as part of starting a major project.

Time to spend. 2-4 hrs a day.

The 20x30 plot is now part of the back yard. St Augustine and Bermuda grass.

Sun: direct. only two or three hours a day.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Well, at the very least you can figure out how you want to handle clearing the grass to start your beds.

This http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/2724/ is a good starting place.
Although it is hard work, we actually cleared all our garden space without the use of a tiller. You'll see in the article that Howard says to "scrape away existing grass and weeds". My husband uses a shovel and digs up a plot, then goes through and sifts out the grass with his hands. I use the garden fork, mark off about a 1' square, and slice off the sod with the fork.

Again, this way is hard work, but we're getting really strong and we're finding we like to work this hard. :o

Obviously this step is going to take you a while so you probably can't get started too soon. One definite advantage we've found is that the grass really doesn't come back. We have a mix of St. Aug and Bermuda, too. You have to fight with the Bermuda at the edges a little, but not in the middle.

I don't know about the sun you get.
Do you want to grow food? Or flowers?

If you want to grow food, maybe some others with shadier yards will join this discussion. I really can't think how to handle that issue, as we get LOTS of sun -- 6-8 hours direct during the summer.

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 3:00 pm
Posts: 4
Thanks for the help. I am getting the show on the road. Hopefully I can grow enough food to keep me digging.
I really do thank you for the guidance.

John
Fact: Heat makes things expand. Therefore I am not fat I am just overheated.


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 2
Location: GRAPEVINE,TEXAS
I found this topic in my search, as I am starting a new garden this year and was having questions about grass removal. I have read one of Howard's books about Texas gardening and knew I would have to remove the grass the hard way, so I've started. My spot is about 220 square feet and gets at least 6-8 hours of sun a day, so I think it will work well.

I appreciated the link to Howard's discussion about grass removal and also your description of your own method. Mine isn't working so well so far.

Thanks.
Todd
Northeast Tarrant County


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:18 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
I'm glad it was helpful, Todd.

One side note, if you decide to try it the way either my husband or I do it, be aware that it is a LOT of work.
That said, hard work is good for you! :shock:

I like to remove the whole piece of sod which, when bermuda is in the mix, can be quite difficult. I found it a lot easier if I water in the late afternoon/early evening the day before I want to remove sod. That makes it go a lot faster.

One other thing to consider is the kind of soil you have. We have sandy loam -- which is great, both for growing food, and for removing grass/weeds. If you have a heavier soil, you may have special problems to deal with. I suspect that watering the day before, and using the yard fork, will help you get it done.

Happy gardening!

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 2
Location: GRAPEVINE,TEXAS
'ppreciate the help. I watered pretty heavily one day this week and went out the next day after work, hoping I could "scoop" it up with a square shovel. Nearly threw my shoulder out of joint! :lol:

Tomorrow I start with the fork. One of the most beneficial things about this, for me, is the exercise. At age 56, I was getting pretty lazy. 8) I'm enjoying it a lot right now, but of course, it's not the dog days of August either!


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 Post subject: Re: New Garden
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Arlington, Texas
Ha ha! Yes, my husband and I can both relate to wearing yourself completely out removing sod. Last year, not only did we attack a 10' x 20' plot in our side yard (removed grass from the whole thing), we also "discovered" a surprise left by a previous owner. There was once a huge holly tree growing up right next to the foundation. :roll:

I was in a hole, up to my knees, fighting with holly tree roots several inches thick. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was totally nuts! :oops:

But you're absolutely right: it is fabulous exercise. We are both so much healthier, stronger, and have more stamina than we ever thought would be possible to recover.

Nice visiting with you. Happy gardening!!

_________________
God speed!
Cara
**
Take time to stop and smell the flowers!
(or... as my ladybug refrigerator magnet says
"take time to stop and eat the flowers!" :D)


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