Couldn't be much more of a newbie... need some advice :)

Hey all, been doing a bit of lurking here and you guys are all great, almost any question I have had is already answered :)
So this is my first year growing ANYTHING but lo and behold, I absolutely love it! It is wonderfully relaxing to do a bit of work in my garden every morning before work while having a coffee (is it ok to put coffee ends in my plants?)
This year I simply have about a dozen planters in my backyard with tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini (no hex for me :-D) eggplant, hot peppers and peas.
Next year what I WANT to do is a big veggie garden in my front yard.
Here is what I need help with. I have a mature tree in the front yard (good to diffuse light for a lot of veggies during mid day sun) and right now I have some perennials at the edges and grass in the middle (I live in the city, small front yard, about 20'x25') what I want to do is pull out all the perennials and rototill the whole thing, get rid of the grass and put down a LOT of good earth. I have been told by a couple of people that this would not work because the tree would take all the good stuff from the soil and not leave anything left for my veggies but these are the same people that said that I couldn't grow veggies from the planters that I have so I don't really believe them.
Any input/advice is greatly appreciated :)
All the best Dave
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On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 19:32:49 GMT, "Lattés"

Most vegetables don't need to be shaded from mid-day sun. They are, with a few exceptions, "full sun" plants, which means a *minimum* of 6hrs direct sun a day, and more is better. "Dappled shade" is *not* for vegetables.
Tilling around a tree will probably kill either the tree, the tiller, or both. You didn't say what kind of a tree it was, or how large, but there's a good chance there are sturdy roots just below the surface at least out to the 'drip line' (the tips of the branches).
If you've been lurking, you may have read of 'neighborly' disputes that seem destined for the courts. While I agree that "lawn" is a waste of space, and would much rather see that space used more productively, your neighbors may feel otherwise. Just a point to consider.
For a "really big" veggie garden, you might look for a community garden arrangement in your area. They're a lot more common in Europe, but not unknown here. Congrats on your success with containers.
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Thanks, I still think I will go ahead with it though and go with veggies that do like "dappled shade" If you have any suggestions that would be wonderful :)

Hmmm... ok next is to figure out how to go about getting rid of the grass and getting the soil growable.

My neighborhood is actually pretty good like that, I'm not really in the suburbs and if you walk up my street you get to see EVERY type of front lawn you can imagine, from rock gardens, to veggies, to trees, to flowers to weeds :)

There are actually a lot of community gardens in Toronto but the problem is that everyone I know that has had one has not done too well with their spot. Partly because local homeless people harvest the veggies before they get to and they often get overwatered because people get the idea of "Oh, I will water their garden for them and be nice" DOH!
Thanks for the kudos on the containers, I am personally quite surprised but it is really encouraging. I guess I have some kind of green thumb because I killed my peas transplanting them and took the dried peas in the pods and planted them and they all grew! Whodathunkit? :)
Thanks so much you guys are great! dave
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On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 22:17:07 GMT, "Lattés"

Sorry. I've spent my gardening years seeking every spot of full sun I could find. Perhaps others could give suggestions. All I can say is tomatoes, peppers, melons, okra, squash, beans, and most herbs -- in fact, anything that has flowers and 'fruit' requires lots of sun. Even 'cool weather' crops -- peas, lettuce, greens, cabbagy things (can't spell brassica) don't want shade, just don't like hot weather.

Cool. I live in Lawnland, so must cooperate, at least in front. I've seen some *very* attractive and well-maintained veg/flower gardens that would, IMHO, in no way lower 'property values' anywhere.

Check Pat Meadows' posts. She's grown *everything* in a container (not to the exclusion of in-ground). Don't transplant peas! Put 'em where you want 'em. As I have reported before, I threw some spent sugarsnap vines on my compost pile where seeds grew about 1' before frost, overwintered, and provided a terrific spring harvest. (Zone something between 7 & 8).
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On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 11:53:34 GMT, Frogleg

He can't. I use the 'x-no-archive' switch and Google therefore does not archive my posts. I have (what I consider) good reasons for doing this that are not relevant here.

Not everything, but quite a bit.
Here's a list (and I'm likely forgetting some things):
eggplant peppers - hot and sweet tomatoes lettuce Asian greens, including: bok choy choy sum hon tsai tai shungiku (edible crysanthemum) Chinese cabbage broccoli carrots beets chard bush beans rosemary (comes indoors in winter) collard greens basil Malabar spinach (which as it turns out, I don't like, so I won't grow it again)
All the above are plants I've grown in large pots on our deck.
When I lived in an apartment, I had a half-whisky-barrel full of herbs on the patio. This was great, the herbs were happy, and it was decorative and right outside the kitchen door. I wish I had several of the half-whisky-barrels now!
In one sense, our entire garden is now a 'container garden' as we are using tires for raised beds.
Pat
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wrote:

Hmm. I sometimes see this and usually strip it off when replying (as I do "Hi" at beginnings and signatures at the end (it didn't appear in *this* post). I guess that's why some threads are harder to Google than others. I'm always rather startled when I Google for something and find one of my own posts listed. Amazing how much one forgets! ^_^
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On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 14:21:37 GMT, Frogleg

That's because I know how to place it correctly - in the header: which you wouldn't normally see unless you instruct your email program to "show full headers" (or whatever equivalent words your email program uses).
I think it's courteous to leave it in your reply: presumably if the poster prefers not to have his* posts archived, he will also prefer not to have his quoted posts archived.
If left, it should be the first line of the body of the post, or in the header.
A competent email program (such as Agent) will have a setting that enables you to automatically respond to x-no-archive posts by putting the switch in your response, if you want to: so you don't have to do it yourself each time. (I'd never remember to do it each time.)
Pat
* or her - etc. I wish English had a genderless 3rd person singular pronoun. I hate the his/her ... he/she...business.
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A friend of mine who used to work on a tomato farm in New Zealand said that diffused sunlight is best for them, (IE using a corrugated piece of semi-transparent fibre glass over top of them) do you think that the tree would do about the same thing?
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Don't bother with digging up the flowers or tilling around the tree. I live in the woods. I simply plant all my veggies in plastic shopping bags. I put a few holes in them for drainage. Since the bags have handles I can move them about anywhere that I desire. Everything that I have planted has done great this year!!!! Good luck.
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Hmm, gotta try that, just shopping bags?
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Interesting. I reckon you should at least avoid the biodegradable bags!
--
John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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Well it really depends where you live and how hot it gets and the site, don't you think? We grow a number of veggies in partial shade here in Missouri Z 5b with great results. Summer temps here are pretty much high 90s all of July and August. Our tomatoes and peppers that are partially shaded do far better than those in full sun and never get scalded either. They do, however, get more than 6 hours of sun but they are very shaded in the afternoon. This particular garden sits on the edge of a woods.
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Lattés wrote:

If you are in a suburban area at all, you are likely in for a rude surprise. As the French say "bo chance".

I have been told by a couple of people that

Do not listen to those people. They are defective.

Loose leaf lettuces will tolerate some shade. Orange Mint asks for it. Not too many things will welcome shade.

--
Zone 5b (Detroit, MI)
I do not post my address to news groups.
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