Hello All :)

I'm new here and have been looking for just such a group as this to discuss vegetable gardening. I'm a 61 year young male who lives in central Pennsylvania. Last season I decided to grow some tomato plants. Didn't know much about it though. Just dug some holes right through the sod in my back yard about 10" in diameter each and planted (14) plants. I wasn't expecting much but to my surprise, they done really well especially the Jet Star plants. Needless to say, this got me hooked on gardening big time! I've been digging up sod every chance I get. Sure is a back breaking job :( By this spring I hope to have about 175 sq. ft. of planting rows dug each being 30" wide. I even ordered 35 asparagus crowns and plan to start a bed. If possible I'd like to try and grow all the vegetables I enjoy eating. The bug bit me hard. I got a Tumbleweed composter, grow lights and heat mat for starting seeds and lot's of different seeds from the net. I plan to grow tomatoes (all kinds including heirlooms) leaf lettuce, sweet bell peppers, eggplants, cauliflower, parsley, copra storage onions, ground cherries, turnips and cantaloupes. The wife say's: that's enough so it looks like I have to stop now! LOL My soil is clay so I been digging in lot's of shredded leaves from last fall and also some home made compost. I may also mix in a bit of dry bagged cow manure and some bagged garden soil. Any hints or tips on any of the veggies I'll be growing will be much appreciated :) ........... Rich From PA
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On Jan 24, 11:20 am, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Hello and welcome ! Good for you having a good tomato crop, I know a lot of people in the North that had awful luck. What No Zucchini or Yellow Squash?? Peppers take forever to get started so if you haven't planted seeds yet you might want to soon. I grew Eggplant last year and decided that I really don't like it. What is a "ground cherry"? Leaf lettuce doesn't mind cooler temperatures so you might be able to start it before the recommended date.
If you have a local Cooperative Extension office they may do soil also have a Master Gardening program and those folks are very helpful with pretty much any question you may have. I am currently working with my office to get a class started so that I can become a "Master".
MJ
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Forgot to mention there is also rec.gardens.edible
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On Sun, 24 Jan 2010 11:20:55 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Not everything will grow well, and some things will grow well one year and not so good the next. Check up on companion planting and rotate your crops. Sounds like you know about composting you will do well. I made three round wire-fence compost bins, easy to make and move around. No zuchinni? I have the little Honda tiller, lightweight and does a remarkably fast job in smaller gardens. Borage is a great herb to help draw bees and increase yield.
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Let me add "green manure", and rye and/or buckwheat as cover crops to lighten the clay soil.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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On Jan 24, 8:20 am, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

It's always wonderful to welcome a new gardener to the most rewarding "hobby" (of course it's more than that!) in the world.
I'm in So. Calif coastal, which is adobe (clay) but fortunately the people I bought from umpty years ago had modified the soil, which I have continued to do. I'
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When I ordered my asparagus crowns, I ordered 25 Jersey Giant and 10 purple passion crowns. I may have run into a problem already and that is space. I didn't even dig the bed yet because the crowns won't be here till mid April. The only area in my yard I can use for the bed will be a 4' by 12' area. I'm thinking about spacing the purple passion about 8" apart and the jersey giant at 12" apart and plant three rows in the bed. I'm wondering if I can get away with a bed this size for 35 crowns all total? Will the asparagus spears be smaller in diameter if spaced this close or will an area this size not work at all for me? Should have done more research before I ordered! Kick myself in the butt.......lol
Rich
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

My Dad did it this way on 4 rows about 100 feet long separated by about 3 feet.
Dig a trench removing all the top soil about 10 inches. Do it again removing the subsoil and replace with compost/aged manure. Place crowns on bottom layer and cover with top soil. One crown about a foot apart. This was designed to last awhile as it is real work. We were wiped out by a asparagus virus circa 1960. The disease resistant Rutgers were not as prolific and our yield never came back. I can cut a few meals from stragglers. The commercial growing near by here is pretty much history. Turned into orchards now corn and soy beans. With a few small attempts scattered about. This was Jersey Truck farming area labor intensive and fresh.
Bill
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Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA

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On Jan 24, 8:20 am, White snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Oops - I think I hit the wrong key and my message went out unfinished <g>
Anyway, just to run on a bit: It's great that you are composting. I keep a crock in my kitchen sink and compost all vegetables, fruits, and carbs, trashing only grease, meat and bones -- of which I use very little. There is such delight in shoveling out of the bottom of my compost bin that lush, dark treasure!
I know you got lots of good advice above; just mentioning that it might take a season or two for the asparagus to kick in.
Also, don't forget the carrots (many varieties) and green onions.
Gardening at the beach here is very different from Pennsylvania (I grew up in Luzerne); we can garden all year, but not the crops that need winter chill. Even here, however, microclimates differ; just over the mountains there could be frost.
OK, I'm rambling; just to say Hi and Welcome.
Persephone
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