Any tips for beginners regarding vegetable gardening?

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Hello Family,
I want answers of following questions:
  1. What are some easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners?
  2. How can beginners create a simple and cost-effective composting system for their vegetable garden?
  3. What are the common mistakes to avoid when starting a vegetable garden for the first time?
 

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Those are each great questions.

  1. What are some easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners?
Beginners should always grow veggies they like to eat...adds to the enjoyment. Success always starts with the soil. Always match the veggie with the correct season:
  • Cool season...radishes, brassicas e.g., cabbage, broccoli etc., greens e.g., turnips, collards, etc., carrots (easy to grow but can be difficult to germinate), potatoes, and onions (sets (bulb) or plants are easiest but can-do seeds)
  • Warm season...beans (bush or pole), tomatoes, peas all easy and good but remember it's all about the soil. Corn is a personal favorite but not the easiest to grow and takes up a lot of room.
  • Hot season...okra, field peas, sweet potatoes
2. How can beginners create a simple and cost-effective composting system for their vegetable garden?

Some really good threads on here re compost including a recent one on the three-bin system.


Use everything organic you can get. A lot of folks throw away great compost materials.
3. What are the common mistakes to avoid when starting a vegetable garden for the first time?
Failing to concentrate efforts on the soil health first ...and maybe starting too large.
 
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  1. What are some easy-to-grow vegetables for beginners?
  2. How can beginners create a simple and cost-effective composting system for their vegetable garden?
  3. What are the common mistakes to avoid when starting a vegetable garden for the first time?
Hello Anna. The answers do depend on the location you are writing to us from.
1. I looked up the weather in that area and you are just finishing monsoon season and heading into winter. The best vegetables are peas, spinach and garlic. Although potatoes, onions and carrots are very good too. See what the neighbors are planting.
2. If you are clearing the weeds to make a vegetable patch then pile the weeds in a heap and wait a year. They will turn into humus.
3. Don't forget drainage. Begin by finding the lowest point and drain all the paths in that direction. To make the paths use a shovel to skim off the top few inches and throw it on the adjoining garden beds to be.
Also know that all gardeners make mistakes no matter how long they've been doing it.
 
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Hello Anna. The answers do depend on the location you are writing to us from.
1. I looked up the weather in that area and you are just finishing monsoon season and heading into winter. The best vegetables are peas, spinach and garlic. Although potatoes, onions and carrots are very good too. See what the neighbors are planting.
2. If you are clearing the weeds to make a vegetable patch then pile the weeds in a heap and wait a year. They will turn into humus.
3. Don't forget drainage. Begin by finding the lowest point and drain all the paths in that direction. To make the paths use a shovel to skim off the top few inches and throw it on the adjoining garden beds to be.
Also know that all gardeners make mistakes no matter how long they've been doing it.
Those are each great questions.


Beginners should always grow veggies they like to eat...adds to the enjoyment. Success always starts with the soil. Always match the veggie with the correct season:
  • Cool season...radishes, brassicas e.g., cabbage, broccoli etc., greens e.g., turnips, collards, etc., carrots (easy to grow but can be difficult to germinate), potatoes, and onions (sets (bulb) or plants are easiest but can-do seeds)
  • Warm season...beans (bush or pole), tomatoes, peas all easy and good but remember it's all about the soil. Corn is a personal favorite but not the easiest to grow and takes up a lot of room.
  • Hot season...okra, field peas, sweet potatoes


Some really good threads on here re compost including a recent one on the three-bin system.


Use everything organic you can get. A lot of folks throw away great compost materials.

Failing to concentrate efforts on the soil health first ...and maybe starting too large.
  1. Neglecting Planning: Plan for sunlight, spacing, and soil quality.
  2. Choosing the Wrong Location: Ensure 6-8 hours of sunlight and good drainage.
  3. Overestimating Space: Follow recommended spacing for each vegetable.
  4. Ignoring Soil Health: Test soil, amend with compost for fertility.
  5. Watering Issues: Establish a consistent schedule; use mulch for moisture.
  6. Not Mulching: Mulch regulates temperature, conserves moisture, and suppresses weeds.
  7. Planting Too Early or Too Late: Follow recommended planting times for your region.
  8. Ignoring Companion Planting: Learn which plants benefit each other when planted together.
  9. Failing to Rotate Crops: Rotate to prevent pests and diseases buildup in the soil.
  10. Not Paying Attention to Pests and Diseases: Regularly inspect plants for signs; intervene promptly.
 
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Access your inner fascist, don't try and succour every weakly plant and seedling, concentrate on the strong, healthy ones and put the others in the compost. For example my missus didn't thin out the carrots when I was in hospital, 'Because it seemed a shame when they were all growing.' We had second class carrots this year.
 
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Welcome. Lots of good info on this thread and forum. Other than what was already mentioned my only suggestion would be to start your perennials as soon as possible. Those take time to produce. Asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries are great for beginners. Do some research to see what particular variety works best for you area. If they dont thrive pull them and try another variety. Look at failure as a learning lesson.

Blueberries and fruit trees have their issue but maybe plant a self pollinating fruit tree to see if you have time to care for it. I suggest a semi-dwarf, dwarf or mini-dwarf.

From my experience apples have been the hardest to grow. I first started off with apples and it was such a big dissapointment.

Maybe other can suggest other easy to grow perenials.

MOD
 
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From my experience apples have been the hardest to grow. I first started off with apples and it was such a big dissapointment.
If you ever visit Europe come to the Sussex Kent border. It's the climate, apples love it here, I am told Tasmania is similar. I once mentioned the area where I lived on another forum and someone came back asking what they were seeing on Google earth, it was acres of neat rows of apple trees. The Malling research centre is not far away, that's where they developed all those root stocks that start with M.
My father knew a lot about fruit farming, and when he retired moved to a cottage in Barming that backed onto an orchard, he quickly became friends with the father and two sons who ran the farm and once said to me, "Sometimes I go over there and they get out a bottle of their cider, and then they talk nothing but apples for hours." he Paused for a second, and then said, "Wonderful stuff ! "
 
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Those ten points are all correct Anna except that gardening is as complex as life itself.
Planning should also include the gardeners' available time, proximity to the house, fencing, the wind direction, wood supply, indigenous tree plantings for preservation and biodiversity.
Space should include acknowledgement of the winter planting as well as the summer plantings. Soil does include the accumulation of fertility as the years roll by, the benefits of livestock like chooks and the need for compost bins and recycling generally. Timing should include succession planting. Pests and diseases should include a strategy for encouraging predators and soil life.
Everything you can think of including rainwater collection and power supply and tools come into play at some stage.
Good list but the practical overrides the theoretical most of the time.
 
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I was thinking about rainwater collection, think carefully about where you want your water butt. It can be a real pain to move when full, you have to lose all your water and await the next rainfall. Much easier to get it right at the start.
 
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(I) always remember no free meals by this i mean do not expect poor soil to produce good crops,
start off by giving the soil and good airing by digging it and then add food to the soil (well rotted manure)

(2) Only think of growing what you are going to eat,

(3) The likes & needs of what you are thinking of growing such as shade or full sun, different plants have different needs
some will soon shrivel up & die if in full sun,
(4) As well as feeding your crop as it grows the watering is important "when to water" if you water during a heat wave you must water when the plants will get the benefit of the watering in my area early morn or late evening a really good soaking works best,
(5) Save rain water it's as good to the gardener as pure gold, Get water collection points around your garden,
I myself bought an electric pump that fits into each 1000 Ltr container & the hose pipe leads from the container for up to
about 40 feet and i can spray all the crops with ease,
(6) ensure the crops are protected from wild life and Insects Read read and read again whats the best way to protect my crops, such as netting / covering the plants using plastic large water bottles with the side poked out for air circulation "but" remember the heat problems you do not want to make a heated plastic oven ?

(7) Secure those plants that grow high, The wind can also be a pest and do a lot of damage,

(8) Get "if you do not have one" one of the best tools a gardener can have And use it daily THE HOE,
Keep the weeds down, very few plants "And weeds are plants" just plant we do not want, Will stand constant hoeing
But if left to recover by not hoeing on a regular basis will recover, So be happy and HOE HOE HOE.

Before you do any growing "Now not to morrow but today" make a good compost area, you can do this with metal corrugated sheets held in place with metal or wooden stakes & if you really want a good compost bin area ensure you have it made not to high and you have it sectioned so some parts can be covered with plastic to help speed up the rotting method and the next section can be being filled , Also make an entrance large enough to get the barrow through, Again READ read & read again the subject of complete compost making (what you can & cannot use to make safe compost,
The victorian folk would empty the chamber pots of urine onto the compost heap and this is still excepted today as a good compost way to speed up the rotting,
Final bit of very good advice, go to the animal rescue shops/red cross etc and build up your gardening book collection
You"ll get books once owned by very keen gardeners who may well be gardening in heaven now "But when they bought these very thick garden books they were written by the very best gardening authors who had to be good to get published, Unlike a lot of modern gardening books (an inch thick with A4 size picture of a cabbage "you do not know what a cabbage looks like then you should not be gardening in the first place at this level !!!
Build up your own Gardening book library and spend the winters evening reading up on the art of gardening ,
You'll be glad you did, and buying books from such places as rescue shops/charity shops you know your helping them grow their funds to do good and you'll also help yourself grow all the garden can offer you,

Gardening is not easy "But boy" you'll taste true fresh food the way nature intended it to be, (grown with the use of deification from the animals and if used urine from ????
 
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I was thinking about rainwater collection, think carefully about where you want your water butt. It can be a real pain to move when full, you have to lose all your water and await the next rainfall. Much easier to get it right at the start.
Why move any water container ? Have the container near its needed place, I use a pump and hose pipe to get the water from one point to the next? Saves lots of work.
 
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Why move any water container ? Have the container near its needed place, I use a pump and hose pipe to get the water from one point to the next? Saves lots of work.
I don't disagree, just saying make sure it is initially in the right place. I use a watering can, and a few extra paces each time add up. A butt is quite large, I have put one somewhere because it is a solid footing and then found it gets in the way there. I don't know how large gardens are in Pakistan, but here they are small, mine is a hundred foot long, including the flower beds, by about sixty feet, and people think it big. I have looked at 1,000 litre containers, and there really isn't anywhere in my garden where it would fit or where it wouldn't be an eyesore, interconnected 200 litre green butts bring the water closer to where I need it and are not intrusive. An electric pump for me would mean yet another job, getting both extension leads out to run electric from the house etc.
 
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Anna3
That is sound advice
That is what we are taught in master gardening

I might put the soil test first
 
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I don't disagree, just saying make sure it is initially in the right place. I use a watering can, and a few extra paces each time add up. A butt is quite large, I have put one somewhere because it is a solid footing and then found it gets in the way there. I don't know how large gardens are in Pakistan, but here they are small, mine is a hundred foot long, including the flower beds, by about sixty feet, and people think it big. I have looked at 1,000 litre containers, and there really isn't anywhere in my garden where it would fit or where it wouldn't be an eyesore, interconnected 200 litre green butts bring the water closer to where I need it and are not intrusive. An electric pump for me would mean yet another job, getting both extension leads out to run electric from the house etc.
Hello Oliver,
Hope your well and enjoying the garden, I have a two acre garden around our home and a 5 minute walk down the track a further acre field, On the main garden i have a greenhouse (1 X1000 LTR Container) The pump house / come tool shed about 12ftx6ft (2nd 1000 Ltr container, What was once a pig house "Now the storage & small workshop (Again 1000 Ltr container) The barn has two 1000Ltr containers one at each end, and what i call my relaxing area (it's a caravan with patio (and again this has 1000Ltr container plus two large 150Ltr water containers, All these containers are filled via rain water and I empty each one (one at a time into yet another 1000 Ltr container that 's housed permanent on an old trailer frame and this is pulled around the garden to water the veg/ Green house/ all the borders/hanging baskets and urns etc etc, So as i did say to plan is important and free water is in my mind a God send,
 

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