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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Any gardeners near me?

Anyone near me (NJ) that keeps a garden? I will finally be able to grow a garden since I now have a yard (Yay!!!) My parents grew tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, parsley, lettuce, strawberries, concord grapes and wild mint in Massachusetts, so I haven't had access to fresh organic veggies since high school. I don't know why, but there is nothing like a fresh garden tomato. Even a the nice expensive ones at the grocery store just don't compare. My husband has a green thumb, so that's a start.

Any suggestions for what to get? Definitely tomatoes. Should I build something to keep the animals off? The only problem my parents had was with the strawberries. Dang it we never did see any red strawberries, only when they were green and as soon as they got pink something would eat them.

Should I buy young plants or grow from seeds? DH said if we want to grow from scratch we need to buy the seeds soon and keep them indoors. If not then not until May. I am just so excited I can't wait!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chica'sMom View Post
I don't live near you but love to garden. I mostly do perennials though may do veggies this year because I'm in a new location. In my other home in the country, groundhogs ate every veggie I planted. I'll buy tomato, pepper and cucumber plants but go with seed for carrots, beans, radishes and a few others.
What animals do you have around you?
We for sure have skunks and raccoons, and of course squirrels. I don't know if there are any deer in our area since we are only a few miles away from NYC, but in Connecticut they all over the place. It's amazing how much wildlife there is despite all of the development.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 11:41 AM
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We for sure have skunks and raccoons, and of course squirrels. I don't know if there are any deer in our area since we are only a few miles away from NYC, but in Connecticut they all over the place. It's amazing how much wildlife there is despite all of the development.
You will have ground hogs and rabbits, even if you don't have deer. The rabbits can be deterred with a spray for deer and rabbits that make the plants smell bad. A wire fence can help too. It needs to be high for deer, but if it's just rabbits, it can be 2-3'. The ground hogs, if they become a problem, will dig right under any fence, and nothing deters them. You'll have to deal with them by either poisoning their burrows or shooting them. Wish it weren't so, but once they find your garden, they're relentless.

If you have too many animal intruders, or if you get queazy about dealing with them, you can always do container gardens. I grow cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets right on our porch. Strawberries also do great in "strawberry towers". All the other veggies you mention should do fine in NJ... not sure about the concord grapes, though. It might be a little too far south for them. But blueberries bushes, raspberry and blackberry canes and rhubarb should give you lots of summer fruit to work with!


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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You will have ground hogs and rabbits, even if you don't have deer. The rabbits can be deterred with a spray for deer and rabbits that make the plants smell bad. A wire fence can help too. It needs to be high for deer, but if it's just rabbits, it can be 2-3'. The ground hogs, if they become a problem, will dig right under any fence, and nothing deters them. You'll have to deal with them by either poisoning their burrows or shooting them. Wish it weren't so, but once they find your garden, they're relentless.

If you have too many animal intruders, or if you get queazy about dealing with them, you can always do container gardens. I grow cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets right on our porch. Strawberries also do great in "strawberry towers". All the other veggies you mention should do fine in NJ... not sure about the concord grapes, though. It might be a little too far south for them. But blueberries bushes, raspberry and blackberry canes and rhubarb should give you lots of summer fruit to work with!

Thanks for all the ideas Karen! Too bad about the concord grapes but DH loves strawberry rhubarb pie! Can't wait, as I no longer work and a nice garden will keep me busy!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 12:52 PM
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How exciting! You are right - nothing like a tomato, fresh out of the garden, still warm from the sun! Strawberries are the best out of your own garden too. I like the day neutrals, that just produce their little heads off all summer. And blueberries and raspberries. Yummmmm. We don't have groundhogs here, but we do have moles that do a nice job of tearing things up. And slugs. I even have to start my sunflowers in pots and transplant them and slug bait them to the hilt or the slugs will just devour them overnight until the plants get quite large.

I have a new greenhouse coming in a couple of months - a little late for getting stuff started for this year, but I hope to plant some tomatoes in pots and the plan is to move them into the greenhouse this fall before the rains hit the end of August or first of September. I always get late blight once the rains hit in late summer, and they just turn yuck overnight. I had given up hope of ever getting a greenhouse, and then came upon a new product by a couple of young men at one of the recent Portland OR garden shows, and they were offering a great deal IMO but I really liked the concept - it is modular. You can add to it in the future, re-configure it, take it apart to move it, and they were offering a great show price. Whoo Hoo. Only downside is that they got so many orders, that we have to wait a couple of months for it. Good thing, as my spot isn't ready yet anyway!

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, there are so many things that go into gardening. When we bought our house last summer the seller was a reluctant seller and neglected the lawn. It was diseased and had a lot of bugs in it. We also suspect moles, forgot to mention them but I've never seen but there was some kind of critter back there BC there would be random fresh dug-up earth where there wasn't before. DH treated the lawn and by the fall the lawn was actually green instead of yellow-brown. I will be keeping my eyes out for moles. Hopefully they're gone!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 02:22 PM
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I'm in Georgia and I grow all my veggies in summer-- I plant them late march early April and we have veggies by mid June and with the good weather we get all way up to November. I'm not sure if I will do anything this year with the new puppy in the house. Although, my parents are going to be here for summer to be with kids and they always help with my garden. I grow: Tomatoes (big ones and cherry), egg plant, okra, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, cantaloupe, cayenne peppers and last year for the first time I did sweet potatoes and we got amazing crop.
And for fruit I have green grapes, blueberries, peach, nectarine, golden delicious & granny smith apple trees. Here are few pics !!

ETA: Luckily, I don't have rodents or animal problem (we live in a pretty urban part of the town), but I do get some bugs, but I use neem oil for all bugs (it's organic and so bitter that no bug or rodent will touch the fruit) since it is oil it will wash out pretty well. For any fungal infections on the fruit plants I use copper
Attached Images
File Type: jpg grapes.jpg (170.8 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg peach.jpg (188.1 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg sweet potatoes.jpg (84.2 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg apple.JPG (212.0 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg grapes 2.jpg (95.8 KB, 1 views)

Last edited by Odieo; 03-07-2013 at 02:32 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 06:27 PM
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Hi - I am a fellow NJean! And I LOVE TO GARDEN!!!! I mainly to flowers but have ventured out to some veggies!.. SAdly, I live in an area where the deer are abundant- as well as the bunnies!!! I would bet that the rabbits are the ones that got your stawberries! I am unable to do any veggies or herbs in the yard, they must be on the deck due to the deer! I do all sorts of herbs, and tomotoes and peppers! I have not tried grapes, but I you could give it a try. Don't grapes need a hot dry climate?? if that is the case, NJ is probably too wet for that - but might be worth a try. Personally, I buy the "plants" in May. Your hubby is right, if you want to do seeds, you need to do them now, in the house to be cultured till they can be planted in May. The Rule of thumb here in NJ - is dont plant anything (f the annual nature) until AFTER Mother's day!!!
Good luck!!!

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2013, 09:50 PM
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Odieo, where in GA do you live? We are in southeast near Waycross. My husband has turned out whole yard into a garden - almost! He now has banana, avocado, lemon, lime, and papaya trees in containers. The veggies go in raised beds. Yes, it looks like a jungle!!!

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 04:59 AM
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We are in Atlanta area near perimeter. Banana and avacadp sound good, but I guess you have Warner weather than us. I wanted to do pomegranate my kids love those... And I heard some varieties grow pretty well in GA... I tried papaya one year and planted them in the ground. They grew very well but one early October frost did damage. You have them in containers? How big?


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