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Organic Gardening

Im starting my first garden this year... a big one... and i think im in over my head!  Im planning on planting tomatoes, zuchinni, cucumbers, carrots, seedless watermelon, cauliflower, broccoli,peas, asparagus and swiss chard. My plan was to plant a bunch of different things and to see what grows best.... but i have so much more work to do by next weekend , i dont know if i will be able to plant everything :(    I already know im planting tomatoes for sure-- our neighbor heard i was starting my first garden and gave me 15 plants! (I dont know if i'll be able to use all of them, so i'm going to do the "Plant a Row" thing, that i think Davedrum mentioned a few weeks ago!) Does anyone know which things grow the best/ are good for first time gardeners? :P Also, do you guys use any organic or homemade sprays to get rid of bugs? If so what brand.. or how do ya make it ? Yesterday i noticed there were TONS of ants and a few other creepy crawlies. I Dont want to hurt them, but i just want to deter them from eating my stuff!
Thanks in advance!
Daniela

I have so many squashes I don't know what to do with them all.  It is, however, a nice problem to have.
:)

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gaaa!! I want too many squash!

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oww, I'm jealous of your fabulous raised beds!  Your greens look fantastic!

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Geesh I'm so jealous, where do you peeps live?! I live in Washington state and in January we were buried under several feet of snow! We are JUST NOW being able to plant (which is later in the year than normal for this area by about 1 month), because the weather has been SO cold this year. We do have a lovely little garden coming though, we have lots of lettuce and carrots, spinach, beets, radishes, onions and broccoli...can't wait til it's ready!

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Storm, my family thinks I'm nuts! I've already planted 12 hot pepper plants and I want to get 24 more (4 more types, they come in packs of 6). The place that I go to has a huge table filled with different hot pepper plants and then they spill out onto another table. I have to practice so much self-control when I go there because I want to buy them all!

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I finally have a balcony with sun so I planted some veggies in flower pots.  I have red, yellow and green bell pepper, poblano peppers, jalapeno pepper, green beans and beats.

My sister would seriously be jealous of your chocolate habanero peppers Storm!!!  I've never even heard of such a delight.

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Oooh I think peppers will have to wait until next year  :(    However, I do have a watermelon coming up! haha never thought it would grow! I can't wait to see what happens to it. We ate our very first harvest ever, which was 9 radishes! They were SO good...even my 7 year old loved them!

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Minke, I kind of know how you feel.  I can't go into a garden shop without perusing the hot peppers to see if they have any that I don't.  I am currently harvesting red cayenne, purple cayenne, red savina, chocolate habanero, jalapeno, serrano, dancing spirit, and tangerine dream.  In the growth stage I have white habanero, aji limon, lemon drop, red rocoto, black dragon, devil serrano, and explosive ember.  I had a couple of medusa peppers but they died after tranpslant for some unknown reason.  I also have a couple of sweet peppers: sunbright and aconcagua (which are supposed to get up to a foot long and are well on their way).
I've had to throw in the towel on my tomato plants as it has gotten too hot for them to set fruit, but I had a good season so no complaints here.
My eggplant is out of control at almost 4 feet tall and covered with little eggplants. 

I love my garden!  :)>>>

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I am determined next year (once we have moved) to grow millions of different hot peppers, and I will be asking for your advice Storm.

Also, I am very jealous of your eggplant....I tried one plant this year and I got one tiny, hard, bitter aubergine.  So disappointed but it was a free plant so meh.

Also, oww I was just thinking the other day about raised beds in our next place and what's with them?  Are they better than just digging in the ground?  Why do you have raised beds....apart from them being pretty and meaning you can see the yummy veggies easily from your kitchen.

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This probably doesn't apply to oww...My sister wants raised beds because she has bad knees.  That way she can still garden but not have to deal with the pain.

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i am having a slug and aphid problem.... any ideas? thought about the lady bugs for the aphids... but stumped on the things leaving slime trails across my zuchini plants.

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I read that for slugs you can put a shallow dish of beer in the garden, the yeast will attract them and then the alcohol will kill them. I also read that you can put "sharp" items around your plants, such as eggshells, gravel, or diatomaceous earth and they aren't as likely to cross because of their squishy body type, they could get cut. As for the aphids, I read this: Make a nontoxic pesticide by mixing 1 c. vegetable oil with 1 tbsp. liquid dishwashing soap. Add 1 1/2 tsp. solution per cup of warm water to a handheld spray bottle. Spray plant thoroughly. Green lacewings are also a beneficial insect that eats aphids.

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thanks kikismama! i am going to try all of those methods.... i am getting to impatient waiting for my veggies to grow that i can't let a slug slow them down. also gives me an excuse to get some beer.

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Anytime! haha good call with the beer...maybe I have a "slug problem" too  ;D

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oops, I keep forgetting to come back in this thread.

Geesh I'm so jealous, where do you peeps live?! I live in Washington state and in January we were buried under several feet of snow!

I live in New Zealand, so January was the middle of summer!

Also, oww I was just thinking the other day about raised beds in our next place and what's with them?  Are they better than just digging in the ground?  Why do you have raised beds....apart from them being pretty and meaning you can see the yummy veggies easily from your kitchen.

ummm because it's easier than digging out the existing soil and then we don't need to find somewhere to put it!  And the one outside the kitchen window is just a planter box that my dad got for free.
It also looks way tidier and stuff so will help improve the value of our property for when we sell.

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Raised beds are also better for gardening because the soil warms up faster in the box, it's harder for weeds to get into it and it's a bit harder for animals or pests to get into them.

If you plan on making a raised bed, make sure to put webbing on the bottom so that it's harder for the weeds to push through.

If you don't have a lot of room, there's also vertical gardening.

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I can never see Storm's pics when I'm at work  >:(  I love having the raised garden boxes! You don't have to worry about the condition of your soil, it's Ph, etc. As long as you use good soil and compost. We stapled a double layer of weed fabric onto the bottom and we haven't had ONE SINGLE WEED! I love the way it looks too, it's so tidy! We built cages for our boxes too, no birds or squirrels or cats rummaging in our veggies is so nice!

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