In the Beginning...There Was a Garden

Y'all, I'm feeling the itch. 

It's more of a tick, really. 
We've got this huge backyard (which really is not very pretty right now...I'm sure the overcast weather isn't helping my view), and I am itching, ticking, jonesing to start a garden. I love flowers, but I'd rather plant veggies and fruit. 

The problem is that I have no idea where to begin. 

None. 

I've searched and searched on Pinterest, and there are tons of blog posts and articles about gardening, but I'm having trouble just getting started. 

What do I do first? 

When do I plant? What kind of soil?  How much sun/shade?

Where do I plant? Side of the yard? Back of the yard? Along the fence? Out in the middle?

What do I plant? Cucumbers, definitely.  Bell peppers, most likely.  But, what else? What's your favorite, easily grown fruit/vegetable?

What pests do I need to worry about? 

I also need to keep in mind that I have two little ones. I don't have a ton of time, and usually one of them is attached to my leg while the other is held in my arms or strapped to my chest, but I do want to do this for them and with them.  

The plethora of information is overwhelming. I found an article that was titled "The 101 Things You Need to Know About Starting a Garden or You Will Fail" or something like that. Probably less hostile. 

I need someone to go seed/plant shopping with me (or tell me exactly what to get). I need help with setting it up, and then I need to be taught how to take care of it. I'm totally a hands-on learner. Simply reading the information will get me nowhere. 

I want it to be pretty and orderly and make sense, and if I have to do this on my own, I feel like it will be ugly and disorderly and confusing. That made me sigh. Loudly. 

If you love to garden and you live around here, or you love to garden and you'd like to come visit for a day or two--I volunteer my parents' guest room...that's ok with you, Mom, right ;)--, please come. 
Or you hate gardening but know someone who loves it and will gladly pass on this post to them, or you love gardening, but will write up detailed, simple, easily-followable guidelines preferably with pictures and arrows and pretty charts, please share your expertise!  

I'm not posting this to Facebook since I've given it up for Lent, but if you read this and you want to pass it along to friends and family to help me out, I'd be ever so grateful! Or if you have any helpful hints, tricks, tips, not-to-do's, I'm all ears. Really.  Comment below, email, or give me a call.  I'm wanting to learn. I just need the right teacher. Or two. Or five.  

Comments

  1. A great starter resource is the texas cooperative extension office in Beaumont. They should have classes or info. Maybe ever someone will come out and help you get started! I used to intern there a long time ago.
    Also, compost or manure is really important for soil health.
    I would suggest you start with herbs or a container garden.

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    Replies
    1. Good tips! Do I need some sort of compost bin to get started?

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    2. Yes, we have two big plastic bins. We started with some old potting soil from old pots, grass clippings, and any organic material. It's actually helped grass grow in our front yard.

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  2. My experience with growing things in Houston: don't plant anything in the part of the yard that gets full afternoon sun- because it gets HOT with that sun beating down on plants from noon until 6pm ever day. Even the ones that said "full sun" got too much sun and died in those places. My planting tended toward the parts of the yard that got early-to-mid morning sun, and shade the rest of the day. That seemed to work well. So, once the time change happens in a couple of weeks, take note of the sun's path across your yard, and plant accordingly.

    Also, an old adage recommends herb gardens being planted just outside the back door. That's how they did it in the old days, so that they could just step outside the door for a bit of this or that when they were cooking. You can plant other things besides herbs there. It's convenient. Basil is really easy to grow. So is oregano. Cucumbers (and other related plants like squash, zucchini, melons...) need a lot of water, so take advantage and plant them in the part of your yard that stays moist, then you won't have to water much- just don't plant them in a place that will end up being standing water for days if you get a lot of rain!

    -Jennifer

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    Replies
    1. Lots of good info! Question regarding the herbs--my back door doesn't get a lot of sun. Is that ok?

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  3. It should be fine. Mine always did well in the shade on our enclosed front porch, and they're doing ok here on the porch as well. You can always plant them in pots, then if you notice snails eating the basil, you can move it to a sunnier place. That's what I always did.

    -Jennifer

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  4. I'm going to send your Uncle Dan a message to read this blog; he's a Master Gardener and should be able to give you good advice. Also, don't forget your Aunt Gay and your dad - they both should be able to help you. Love you.

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    Replies
    1. Uncle Dan and Aunt Becky should come visit!
      I know, but Dad is super busy with income tax season, and I know it I'm going to plant anything, it probably needs to happen within the next month.

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  5. Your Uncle Dan said he will send you an e-mail this evening with some info.

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