New Gardener

I have a retired friend who decided to take up vegetable gardening this yea
r. My wife and I discussed various basic gardening techniques, like tilling
, composting, fertilizing, weeding, etc., with him. He's planning to plant
tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, and similar common vegetables this first year.
I wondered if the gardeners on this list had a favorite tip for gardening t
hat I could pass on to him. Mine was to weed constantly to prevent the weed
s from taking over.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
Cover the ground between plants with cardboard followed by a 3"-4" layer of straw . Saves a LOT of weeding , and enriches the soil as it decomposes .
Reply to
Terry Coombs
it takes a few years before you will get a lot of the weed seeds taken care of in a new garden patch. you want all the paths to have some kind of edge down into the ground a ways otherwise any weeds that you have under the path will get into your garden and exploit any gaps or sunlight.
figure out where you want the garden as soon as you can the year before and then smother it with cardboard through the winter and put some mulch on top of the cardboard to hold it down. overlap the seams at least 8 inches to make sure nothing has an easy go of coming up through the cracks. it may take more than one year to smother some grasses and weeds, that's ok, just do the same treatment a second time leaving down the original stuff to keep decomposing.
the best tool for weeding is a stirrup hoe. i use that and a good straight bladed shovel, a large knife for close weeding, a trowel for planting and moving single plants or bulbs and a pointed hoe for running long lines for dropping seeds into and then i use it to move the soil back over the seeds and the back of it to tamp down the soil before i water the seeds in. sometimes i like to use a smaller mason type pointed trowel for weeding.
a ground pillow to sit on is really nice and can save your knees and back a lot of wear and tear. i have three ground pillows in case i want to lay them out and watch some clouds, but i've only done that like once. :) i usually am way too busy to actually take much time to daydream.
don't buy a tiller or expensive machines. they break and they really aren't needed. low-till, no-till works just fine. tilling stirs up weed seeds and ends up making more work not counting the noise and expense. pretty much the same with raised beds and greenhouses. i like larger gardens with fewer edges and wasted space in pathways. i plant as much as i can including paths once i have the main areas already planted.
good hoses and connectors are worth paying something extra for.
always wear a hat and keep your neck covered. i hate sunscreen so i wear long sleeved shirts and keep the sun off me so i don't get fried when i work outside.
learning about the soil community will teach you also about other things. you don't really need to do formal compost piles. just bury stuff and let the soil creatures figure it out. they will. :) saves a lot of work to not have to fiddle with a lot of turning of piles and keeping track of how many days and such.
this is what comes to mind at the moment. :)
songbird
Reply to
songbird
ear. My wife and I discussed various basic gardening techniques, like tilli ng, composting, fertilizing, weeding, etc., with him. He's planning to plan t tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, and similar common vegetables this first yea r.
that I could pass on to him. Mine was to weed constantly to prevent the we eds from taking over.
Thanks for the ideas posted; I passed them on to my friend.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314
year. My wife and I discussed various basic gardening techniques, like til ling, composting, fertilizing, weeding, etc., with him. He's planning to pl ant tomatoes, cabbages, lettuce, and similar common vegetables this first y ear.
ng that I could pass on to him. Mine was to weed constantly to prevent the weeds from taking over.
The very best thing for a garden is the gardeners shadow.
Reply to
stephenpeek124
Hi Paul,
I am getting in on this a little late. I also do not really know what I am doing, so take what I say lightly.
My big mistake and one I am probably still making was not realizing what I am actually growing is the soil.
-T
Reply to
T

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