Help! Gardening 101?

March 17, 2014 · 4:26 pm

I’m going to confess something that you might not know about me.  I am a killer.  Before you call the police, let me just say that (except for the rare pet fish) my transgressions have been primarily against life of vegetative variety.  I have never successfully kept a plant alive. When I went to college, my friend gave me the hardiest plant he could find, but I killed it anyway. And very quickly, I might add.

Notting Hill Fruitarian Gif

“So, um, these carrots…”
“Have been murdered, yes.”

I would like to try again. Because spring officially starts this week, and because we got none of the predicted snowfall for today (sorry Virginia!), I am thinking about gardening.  Yohannes has gardened a few times in the past, but I think this will be my year. I found a garden box against our back fence that is about 5′ x 7′.  I know it won’t fit much, but I think that is more than enough space for me to start out with.  I am most interested in growing tomatoes and bell peppers since I use those a lot.

Garden Box

This is my future garden.

The only problem is my notorious track record.  So I would like to ask for your help.  Here are my questions:

1. What do I need to do before planting?  I don’t know what was in the box before, but there are loads of thistles in there now.

2. When do I plant?  I live in east-central PA, if that helps.  Do different plants have different planting times? Let’s start with tomatoes and peppers

3. What do I plant? Is there anything that grows particularly well with tomatoes and peppers?  Anything that’s hard to kill?

4. How do I not kill my plants?

I await your expert advice.

11 Thoughts on “Help! Gardening 101?

  1. Karla on March 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm said:

    First get rid of the thistles. Lots of options, dig them, chemicals, etc. Then put down some hydrated lime or eggshells to prevent rotting of tomatoes and peppers. It helps the ph of the soil. Fertilizer will help too. These two are easiest if you buy plants already started. Or start seeds inside right now. Plant in late May after the last frost. Give them lots of water, especially when they start producing. Soaker hoses are convenient. Lettuce and spinach are easy and give a lot in a small space. They can be planted in late April. Have fun!

  2. Karla on March 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm said:

    I don’t know. I would be pretty liberal with it if nothing’s been planted for a while. You can work it in a little, or do it a while before you plant and rain will soak it in.

  3. #youcomebyithonestly #itsgenetic :-)

  4. I’m a serial plant killer too. Sorry. Can’t wait to see how it goes, maybe there is hope for me yet. :)

  5. Jenee Bare on March 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm said:

    I can not keep house plants to save my life…but I say with great humility, I am a great Gardner! There is so much more forgiveness with outside stuff! And now that I have children who want to be outside everyday, I go check on the garden everyday. (It is also a great excuse for encouraging independent play, “i cant i’m weeding the garden!”)

    • This might be the best news I’ve heard all day! Thankfully the garden box is in the fenced-in yard, so it’ll be great for the kids. And yay for keeping garden plants alive being easier than keeping houseplants alive!

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