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s/o gardening

I have a huge garden ready to plant (whenever this snow melts!) and I need some help!

Anyone plant potatoes?? Sweet or regular? How'd they do, where u get them, and what kinds?

I'm ordering strawberries online (i've read that's best) but I don't know what kind to get! I looked at burpee's and they have a pack with 3 kinds but there are 75 plants!! I only need about 10-12 I think. So where do you order and what kinds?

I'm going to plant raspberry bushes in a side bed but I want them to fruit this year. My cousin suggested just getting plants at a local greenery bc they will be ready to go and will bear fruit this year. Where's the best place to buy them (online/instore) and what kind? (i've read 2 kinds are best for self pollinating)

Lastly I'd love to do blueberries but I read they need acidic soil. I have a really small side bed that I could put them in. Again....where to buy and what kind? I'd love berries this year too!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

*I know this is early but I've read that you need to order in March so you get your plants in time to plant in late April/early May.

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Re: s/o gardening

  • I'm going to plant my first garden this year! My thumb is brown at best.  How did you learn the art?  Any tips on what to plant and when for our area?  Or suggestions on what's easiest to start with?
  • I planted my first garden last year and it did okay. Sarelewis, I suggest starting with a small plot-- mine was 4x8 and that was the perfect size. We had tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, eggplant, and herbs. This year we're planning on going a bit bigger, but not too much bigger since we are CSA members and our garden will just supplement our CSA supply.

    Iowa State University Extension has great information on gardening. Also, Seed Savers Exchange is a great place to buy seeds. If you don't know much about Seed Savers Exchange you should check it out, totally cool organization that's based out of Decorah, Iowa. Plus, it's really easy to order online from them.

    BP, I'm not much help when it comes to the advance questions, I'm still learning. Good luck to both of you!

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  • image sarelewis:
    I'm going to plant my first garden this year! My thumb is brown at best.  How did you learn the art?  Any tips on what to plant and when for our area?  Or suggestions on what's easiest to start with?

    Ugh....honestly I can't tell ya! Ha! Two years ago we planted a small garden-cucumbers/tomatoes/peppers and it did super well! We just watered it and used (um...having a brain fart-the green growing stuff). Anyway, I didn't really do anything! So I'm super excited this year to try new stuff!

    Cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers are the easiest to grow. I usually buy plants once they have them out (they are about $2 a piece at Lowe's and are only a few inches high) and plant them. Then I just let them go! I do just use cucumber seeds...they are so easy to grow. Just put a seed or two in a mound a few inches apart. Make sure you get something for the cucumebrs to grow up, otherwise they will dominate your garden!

    GL! Let me know how it goes. I'm dying to start planting...so ready for spring to be here!

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  • No advice for you....maybe ask at Earl May?

    I am also anxious to get going. My poor plants were neglected from about July on...it is so hard to garden when you are really pregnant! I'm sure there are thousands of angry weeds just waiting for me after all this snow is gone! :o

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  • If you plant raspberries, I'd recommend getting a net. My mom grew black raspberries when I was growing up and if she didn't net them, the birds got to them.
  • We did blueberry bushes last year. I think I bought the bushes at WalMart because I couldn't find them at Lowe's. You can get special acidic fertilizer for them. It's sold pretty much everywhere. Or if you have a pine tree, put the needles in with the soil.
    Nobody said life would be easy. Just that it would be worth it.

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  • I planted 10 potato plants and we had a ridiculous amount of potatoes from it all.  I just looked and I didn't write down what kind I got last year, but I know we got two kinds of white potatoes from Earl May and they worked great.  Sorry, that doesn't help much.

     I planted 2 June bearing strawberry plants that I bought at Earl May last year and pinched off all the blooms the first year.  I am hoping to get A LOT of strawberries this summer.  Apparently if you pinch them off the first season it help them grow and you get bigger, better (and more) strawberries.  Those 2 plants now cover an entire 4' x 4'.  I don't know how big the area you have for strawberries is, but they really spread (if you let them).

     I don't know anything about planting the other berries, but thought I would share my other experience.  I can't wait to start planting again!

    I can send you a PM with the link to my garden blog from last year....if you want to check it out.

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