Starting a Garden

   #1  

podagrower

Silver Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
213
Location
Eustis, FL
Tractor
NH TC 40
Next spring, I intend to start my first garden. Like a lot of people, we had a garden when I was growing up, but it was left behind as lives got busier. Now that I have a tractor and some acreage, I want to grow something. I have an area about 1/4 acre just begging to grow some food in.

Where I live is mostly sand, so I am going to bring in a few inches of top soil/muck/poo to richen up the soil. I have water nearby, so that should be easy to finish.

My questions for you guys are
1. Tiller versus disc
2. How to irrigate (I would like to use a drip system, but that would have to be removed each year for discing/tilling)
3. Seed dispersment (PVC pipe and funnel, fancy seeder)
4. Any crops that are a gaurenteed disaster for a first time gardner
 
   #2  

Bird

Epic Contributor
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Messages
43,353
Location
Corinth, Texas
1. The tiller costs more, but it'll produce a much better seed bed
2. Most of the folks I knew used sprinklers and/or soaker hoses. I had the time, so I hand watered with a wand.
3. Depends on what you're planting. For the onion sets, I simply made a trench with a hoe, laid the onion sets in place then pulled the dirt back around them with my hands. Tomato plants were set individually using a little hand trowel. But for seed, planted in rows, the Earthway Precision Planter was quite handy. Before that, I made a trench with a hoe, dropped the seeds manually, then pulled the dirt over the seed with a garden rake.
4. Not if you have the right soil, right ph, right nutrients, right climate, right amount of water, plant at the right time, and don't have too many crows, insects, and/or plant diseases.;)
 
   #3  

MikeInEburg

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
1,088
Location
Emmitsburg, MD
Tractor
Kubota B7800
My parents have had a garden since before I can remember. For the past many years they have constructed raised beds for a couple of reasons:

1. Doesn't require annual tilling since the ground never gets compacted (don't walk in the raised beds).
2. Allows drip watering to be installed year-round. In our colder climate we blow out hoses/pipes after harvest.
3. Provides a bit better definition of each section.
4. Requires a bit less bending...

Good luck!

Mike
 
   #4  

greenmule

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
965
Fl. and here is two different animals as far as garden raising.
Yeah,get you a tiller for your tractor,I got a 5 ft one for a 30 hp tractor.
Easiest way to start probably is furrows from one end to other end,than you'll need a walk behind tiller to weed and bring up loose dirt to hoe,[go between rows].

You'll no doubt have to have a good fence of some sort to keep at least some critters out[here is deer that probably does most damage].

And if its poor soil,you won't have much luck,so.

Watering,I let god water mine,always grow a descent garden in the water regard,but we can't water,just have a well,and I'd rather have water for us than garden. But if you can,yeah set up something,sprinklers would be easiest.
And just follow seed package directions. You'll know more next year.
 
   #5  

rcrcomputing

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
718
Location
NE Oklahoma
Tractor
Kioti ck30
My parents have had a garden since before I can remember. For the past many years they have constructed raised beds for a couple of reasons:

1. Doesn't require annual tilling since the ground never gets compacted (don't walk in the raised beds).
2. Allows drip watering to be installed year-round. In our colder climate we blow out hoses/pipes after harvest.
3. Provides a bit better definition of each section.
4. Requires a bit less bending...

Good luck!

Mike

Raised beds are my preference as well. Why, single biggest reason is WEEDS! If I had to go back to weeding, I'd quit gardening, which I shall never do. I use cardboard between plants and put mulch that will deteriate over it..

I'm just now doing the drip water thing and it seems to be the cats meow.. Rather easy to do..

And of course, with all the compost, I can stick my hand into the soil about 8" and my tiller is now useless and sits idle for the past few years. Have 15 boxes 4'x8' and if I did it over, they'd be 3 1/2'x8'
 
   #8  

Stimw

Elite Member
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
2,582
Location
N. E. Florida
Why next spring???? If you have the disc chew it up every which way until good and lose. Hill it, throw some 10-10-10 on it and plant some beans, carrots, or what ever. Get it ready for a good fall crop and then into a winter crop. Here in Fl. there are four planting seasons and crops. Check with locals to find what to grow when.
Irrigation is tough! I had 1" of rain the first 2 1/2 months of this year. Then I had 10-12" in the last few weeks! Try and deal with that!
Raised beds are great but not for a 1/4 acre.
 
   #9  

2manyrocks

Elite Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
3,338
I agree that you need to just get started now the best you can. If you only grow tomatos and cucumbers this year, at least you got fresh tomatos and cucumbers to can pickles for later.

1/4 acre isn't that big a garden by the time you plant a few of the things you want.

With sandy soil, you probably don't need a big tiller to break ground. I wonder what maintenance issues there are from using tillers in sandy soil? Some of your local gardeners can probably give you good advice.
 

MarkV

Super Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2000
Messages
5,670
Location
Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
Tractor
1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39
If you are going to wait until next year to plant and use this year to improve the soil get a soil test done by your county extension agent. It really helps to know what the soil needs and allows you to incorporate it deeply into the soil for better end results. Waiting would also let you grow a cover crop now and during the winter to add organics to the soil.

MarkV
 
 
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