Your Questions About Gardening 101

Sandra asks…

Gardening 101?

I plant flowers every year, in my front and back garden and in two large pots, but every year before the end of the season they are dead becuase I simply forget or don’t have the time to water them as much as they need, are there any plants (not cactus) that don’t need much attention that I might not kill, I live NJ just so you know what area I’m in.

Tony answers:

Try bearded iris, day lily, coreopsis, hosta, vinca mior, daffodils

Michael asks…

Gardening 101 ?

I want to start a garden this year and grow some veggies, but also plant some flowers and stuff too. But Ive no idea how or where to start. we were thinking of building a raised bed for the veggies, but I’m not sure how big yet. maybe 4×8 or 4×16?
Could anyone recommend some good websites with lots of information for someone who has never done any gardening before? I need to get some ideas what to plant with what and when to start and stuff like that. I’d like to do this garden as natural as possible, with out using any chemicals or anything. Where thinking of making a compost bin as well, so any information on that would be helpful too thanks!

Tony answers:

Go here, lots of free stuff

http://www.suite101.com/reference/beginning_gardener

Lizzie asks…

Motor Oil good for Vegetable Garden?

I got my first copy of Gardening 101 magazine in the mail today. They had an article about using used motor oil (10w30) mixed with water on your vegetable garden to help with new growth. The recipe called for 1 part Oil to 4 parts water. Anyone tried this?

Tony answers:

NO, water and oil don’t mix, plus you’ll be poluting the ground. In most areas that’s even illegal! You are kidding, right?

Jenny asks…

Apartment Garden 101?

I REALLY want to grow something on my balcony of my apartment. However the issue that I am having is that my balcony does not get direct sunlight. So I’m curious what kind of herbs and other plants would do well on my balcony. I’d really like something that produces something we could eat/cook with.

Thanks!

Tony answers:

I’ve seen some really successful gardens grown on balconies that don’t get direct sunlight. I know some people will use some type of backdrop, like a white board or something to help reflect more light for the plants. I just read a post on a forum about someone having great luck growing mint and lavender.

My best advice is to go to the following site, and read others post. People seem to be able to grow lots of things, and it really makes for a nice setting.

Linda asks…

Growing plants 101: Tomato’s?

Where to begin? I want to start growing my own fruit and vegetables but I’ve never done any gardening before. Where do I buy tomato plants and when do I start growing. Is their a 101 website for growing plants?

Tony answers:

Most tomato varieties are either determinate or indeterminate. Determinate varieties grow to a certain height and stop, flower and set all their fruit within a relatively short period of time, which is an advantage if you want a large crop for canning. Indeterminate tomatoes grow, flower, and set fruit over a long period, if you like to eat your tomatoes fresh, choose an indeterminate variety.

1. It’s easiest to buy a tomato plant from a nursery and transplant it to your garden. Plant several varieties rather than all of one type.
2. As a rule of thumb, have two plants for each member of the family who will eat tomatoes.
3. Choose a sunny spot to place the plants.
4. Prepare the garden bed by adding lots of compost tomatoes demand a growing medium rich in organic matter.
5. Space tomato plants 18 to 36 inches apart.
6. Water when needed. Check soil.
7. A week or two after transplanting, consider using a tomato cage or a stake to support the tomato vine.
8.Watch for fruit to appear 45 to 90 days after transplanting.

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