Growing fruits and vegatables

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Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Phoenix6570 » Sun May 23, 2010 2:19 pm

So recently I have taken up the hobby of gardening to an extent. I've mainly been buying plants which can be used for food. As of right now I have a grape vine, a raspberry and blackberry bush and a blueberry plant. I've noticed great progress with my blueberry plant it looks like it will start producing berries soon. All of my other plants are progressing well and look healthy.

In addition to that I started germinating a bunch of vegetable seeds. To be specific I have lettuce tomato cucumber radish and carrots. They're all fully sprouted now and are doing very well. I'm going to have to re-pot them quickly.

I'm really excited to get all of this going well. I'm sure the food will be delicious and it will allow me to eat much healthier. I started this since buying these products at the store is expensive and this process has been rewarding so far. I was wondering if anyone else out there has any interests similar to this. In tips or pointers in my direction would be helpful. At times I get worried that I'll be overwhelmed with the amount of care I'll need to give but I think I can handle it. I've done some research online and still need to do more, but a personal experience would be more valuable.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Rico » Sun May 23, 2010 4:15 pm

It's a great hobby and much of your learning will come with experience. Are you growing these plants in containers? The fruit plants may take some time to mature.....maybe even several seasons.

My favorite are the tomatoes. Most who grow them from seed started them inside months ago and are now moving the taller plants outdoors. Since it takes on average of about 65 days for tomato plants to mature and produce ripe fruit, you might want to go to the local garden store and pic up a few plants already on their way....but no more than a foot tall. When you do plant them, trim the lower leaves and bury them deep....about 2/3 of the plant. People will think you're crazy. But transplanting tomato plants is different than transplanting most other plants where you bury them up to the existing soil line in the pot. Tomato plants develop roots from the stalks (all those fuzzy things you see)....and the more of the stalk you bury/cover when you transplant, the better the root system your plant will develop. One other tip and it's about sex in the garden :) Hope for bees to visit your plants. Although tomato plants are self-fertile, they benefit from a "helping hand" with pollination.

Don't forget the herbs.....basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, chives, rosemary, etc. They're really easy to grow from seed and cheap.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Phoenix6570 » Sun May 23, 2010 4:50 pm

Thanks for the tips. It has been very rewarding thus far. Every morning I get up and check on their progress. I refer to my plants as my "babies" lol. I have everything in containers right now. My veggies are in a greenhouse tray meant for germinating seeds. I plan on transferring them into pots. My yard isn't the best maintained and I'm worried about deer and rabbits eating my plants. I figure with pots I can get organic soil and have better control over the process.

Regarding sex in the garden... Would you recommend me picking up some other plants to help attract bees?
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Rico » Sun May 23, 2010 6:14 pm

Since I relocated a few years ago, I've been confined to container gardening. Fortunately, my deck gets full sun and my tomatoes usually thrive. Last year I needed a step ladder to get the fruit from the top....they grew that tall.

One thing about containers....they can dry out fast and are notorious for poor drainage. You have to watch them carefully...especially with the tomatoes. During extended hot spells, they sometimes need watering twice a day. During periods of heavy rain, the soil can get too wet and the plant suffers. Tomato blight is always a big fear and last year a highly contagious fungus that destroys tomato plants spread to nearly every state in the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic. Many gardeners as early as June had to rip out their tomato plants, and it was too late in the season to start over. Even so, there's fear that this particular fungus will reappear this year because of contaminated soil.

For the other vegetables you mentioned, the bigger the container, the bigger the harvest, but that can get quite expensive. Are you sure there's not part of your yard that you can use after "fixing" some of the soil...especially for the cukes and carrots? They can take up alot of space.

As far as attracting bees, that's a tough one. Bee populations are way down everywhere. Plant lots of flowers in your garden along with the vegetables. That helps.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby olywaguy » Sun May 23, 2010 6:54 pm

My mom is the one who has the green thumb in the family. I certainly didn't inherit it. But one thing she has done is to start a garden especially planting herbs. Apparently a lot of this type of food has become more expensive in the supermarkets. So, she has started to plant a garden in order to save on money. I don't know what else she will be planting but it certainly sounds like a good idea in this unpredictable economy.

Create your own Victory garden.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Phoenix6570 » Mon May 24, 2010 12:15 am

There is an area I could fix up and make look really nice. I think I could put my fruit plants along with my veggies there too. This area gets full sun and I think I can protect everything from rabbits. Just wondering are you aware of anything natural I could use to ward them away? I haven't seen deer in my yard for quite some time so I'm not too concerned about them.

I have an idea of what I can get to attract bees. I work for a vendor company that deals with plants. Basically everyday I go to the Home Depot in my nearby area and setup plant displays. This is where my interest in gardening really took off. I've seen many bees gathering around this one plant. Its a perennial called salvia. Its not my favorite but its pretty.

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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Phoenix6570 » Mon May 24, 2010 5:18 pm

I have another question if you would be able to help me out. If a plants leaves have some damage done to them is it best to pull these leaves off? I think its better to do so but I wanted to ask first. A couple leaves have moderate frost damage. Some of the leaves on my grape vine look diseased.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby butch » Thu May 27, 2010 11:34 pm

Removing leaves is usually a healthy thing to do. Remember that whenever you do any serious pruning a plant will experience shock. Reduce the shock by keeping the soil moist and, in severe cases, cover the plant with a large plastic bag. A clear bag would be good but a garbage bag will work... the plant will think it's night.

Remember that things like rasberries, blueberries, and blackberries are bushes and need some trellis to help them get high and need to be cut back in the spring, or fall.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Rico » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:01 am

Phoenix6570 wrote:I have another question if you would be able to help me out. If a plants leaves have some damage done to them is it best to pull these leaves off? I think its better to do so but I wanted to ask first. A couple leaves have moderate frost damage. Some of the leaves on my grape vine look diseased.

Butch is right. Removing dead/diseased leaves is a good thing. But if you're not removing just bottom leaves but top ones as well, or find your yourself removing more leaves than remain on the plant, then you got a sick plant. It happens and is most likely a fungus.

How's it going by the way?
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Phoenix6570 » Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:21 pm

Everythings going great! All of my plants are healthy and developing nicely.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby backpacker » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:09 am

We have a rectangular garden space and we planted some tomatoes in it. They were doing fine but recently the tops look scruffy, like they aren't getting enough water but we water daily if it doesn't rain. I was thinking maybe the other plants (sunflowers) nearby are competing for nutrients? We mixed miracle grow soil in with the existing soil. I am wondering if I need to add some more plant food around the tomatoes or if there is another problem? The cherry tomatoes in the patio pot are doing well.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby butch » Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:46 am

backpacker wrote:We have a rectangular garden space and we planted some tomatoes in it. They were doing fine but recently the tops look scruffy, like they aren't getting enough water but we water daily if it doesn't rain. I was thinking maybe the other plants (sunflowers) nearby are competing for nutrients? We mixed miracle grow soil in with the existing soil. I am wondering if I need to add some more plant food around the tomatoes or if there is another problem? The cherry tomatoes in the patio pot are doing well.


I'm no expert on tomatoes but if the tops look raggedy, that sound like a shout for more water. They like lots of water, rich soil, and lots of sunlight... and a breeze. If it isn't breezy enough they may develop fungus. Flowers of Sulphur (sulphur powder) is a fairly safe anti-fungal agent and you can wash it off before eating any fruit. You need a little sulpher in your diet anyway.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Rico » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:40 am

backpacker wrote:We have a rectangular garden space and we planted some tomatoes in it. They were doing fine but recently the tops look scruffy, like they aren't getting enough water but we water daily if it doesn't rain. I was thinking maybe the other plants (sunflowers) nearby are competing for nutrients? We mixed miracle grow soil in with the existing soil. I am wondering if I need to add some more plant food around the tomatoes or if there is another problem? The cherry tomatoes in the patio pot are doing well.

Not sure what you mean by "scruffy" but again I have to agree with Butch...sounds like a moisture issue. One thing about tomato plants is that they like consistency. Not sure how your plants are situated, but you might need to water them even if it has rained. Wide fluctuations in moisture are the most common problem with growing tomatoes at home. You might want to consider mulching around the base of the plants. This can help maintain a more uniform moisture supply and has worked for me in the past.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby backpacker » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:43 am

Thanks, guys for the tips. My grandpa was over this weekend and said it looked like a fungus problem and recommended the dust that Butch spoke of. So off to the garden center. The garden is on the south side of the house. I would say it gets sun most of the day, less so in the late afternoon as there are trees to the west.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby butch » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:32 pm

I have a friend who bought an acre of land up the Sunshine Coast (Robert's Creek... a ferry ride and hour drive from Vancouver) in the late 70's for $5,000. He's waiting for someone to offer him a million for the place... that's what they're going for. Wealthy people buy the lot and put up large houses on the land which is not zoned for development but single homes only. Anyhow, he posted this photo of his backyard on FaceBook today...

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It's a rainforest area and he's surrounded by large trees.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby butch » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:49 pm

Sunday, July 1... Canada Day.

Part of my front garden...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFh8rrXAvr8
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby backpacker » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:18 pm

Found out the Tomato plants have a virus, most likely curly top virus, that would explain their appearance. Will have to pull them out as it says there is no treatment. At least the potted cherry tomato is doing great.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby LtotheP » Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:58 am

Hey Im planing on starting out with a couple plants this upcoming season. Any advice for a newbie?
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Re: Growing fruits and vegetables

Postby Rico » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:52 pm

LtotheP wrote:Hey Im planing on starting out with a couple plants this upcoming season. Any advice for a newbie?

The most important thing to remember is that gardening is local and it's about geography. First thing you need to do is to check out web sites and gardening experts in your area and learn what works and what doesn't, and pay careful attention to timing. Take advantage and learn from other's experiences and learn from their mistakes.

Container gardening is an easy way to begin. It's less labor intensive but it does take special care. It's impossible to go wrong with herbs, so plant lots of them. Tomatoes are good in containers too if you know what you are doing. Most everything else takes alot of space. What kind of space are you talking about?
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby Guinness Fan » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:45 pm

I've never been accused of having a "green thumb" & have absolutely no vegitation in my apartment (the wilted lettuce in the fridge doesn't count).

This past summer i bought an avacado & after devouring it, I decided to try my hand at "gardening"; stuck 3 tooth picks in it and plopped it in a pastic cup filled with water...For months, absolutely nothing, nada, zero, zilch. I watered it when I remembered (usually while brushing my teeth walking around the apartment) & now a serious root ball and stalk, about 6" tall, has developed. The root ball looks like something out of a 1950's SiFi movie & I believe its ready for planting in terra firma.

So, before I run out to the DIY store and buy potting soil and a suitable planter, how big do avacado plants grow indoors? And, is there anything special I need to know about cultivating such a thing?

First round of guacamole is on me!
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby matinee » Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:23 pm

Well, if you have good growing conditions it might fruit but it will take 10+ years. If the green shoot is about 6 inches, plant it in soil. The plant will grow as big as you will let it but lots of light for a compact plant is needed. If you really want to grow edible fruit, consider the Gillogly avocado.
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Re: Growing fruits and vegatables

Postby olywaguy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:29 am

Some websites on growing avocados:

Grow an Avocado Tree! (gardenweb.com)
http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/seed ... 11263.html

Growing Avocado Trees (California Avocado Commission)
http://www.avocado.org/grow-your-own-tree/

Growing Fruit Trees All Year Round: Avocados Part 1
http://www.gardenguides.com/898-growing ... cados.html

Videos on how to grow avocados
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