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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Garden Gleanings - Gardening Club?

Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008, at 10:55 AM

I may have the wrong idea, so please correct me gently, and no offense meant, but is there a garden club, organization, or group that is organized for "down in the dirt" gardeners?

One for male or female, young or old, and where the main focus is sharing backyard gardening, maybe even small market garden information. Discussions might range from flowers to vegetables, from bugs to fertilizer, best seed companies to plant swaps. Almost anything as long as it deals with growing plants, trees, bushes or shrubs of some kind.

If there is, where do I sign up? If there is not, would there be interest in starting one?


Comments
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I'd definitely be interested in one as long as there is some emphasis on organic gardening. We've been tossing around the idea of starting to grow some tomatoes and peppers in an indoor setup since our yard allows for very little sunlight. I'm not really that interested in growing flowers, but as far as vegetables go, I'm in.

-- Posted by Thom on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 11:51 AM

Thanks Thom. I am so organic that I have to temper my comments and responses, so if I were involved, there would be some organic emphasis.

I don't want to disenfranchise anyone, so all views would be encouraged. We all just take what we want out of the conversations.

Speaking of Organic, remember that the Tennessee Organic Growers Association is having their conference in Nashville on the 15th. Nice segue Thom, thanks!

Their web page and conference details are at http://www.tnorganics.org/

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 12:12 PM

Steve are you planning on going to the blogger meetup? My husband is coming with me and wants to talk with you about growing herbs and gardening tips.

-- Posted by cherylrichardson on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 12:39 PM

I'd be really interested in a gardening club - we're starting a garden this year and know nothing about gardening (we're hoping for the best, though).

-- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 1:14 PM

I'm with cfrich. This is our first year also.

Our garden's size is about 16x10 feet, so not very big.

It would be very helpful to have this kind of "club." I would love for someone to actually show me HOW to compost! LoL And I would love to know where everyone gets their suppies.

Maybe we can help each other out when needed, like when someone needs a teeler, or some other suppies that can be borrowed or rented.

-- Posted by Mary on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:11 PM

Maybe we could meet at different people's houses to assess (for lack of a better word) other's gardens? Or visit big farms in the area to learn from them?

-- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:22 PM

I've been wondering whether or not people lease land (nothing major, just an acre or so) for farming. Kind of like when the hunters lease land to hunt on, but just some small area that we could possibly grow some vegetables on. If anyone knows of someone that does this, or is willing to, please e-mail me at thoms_blog@yahoo.com . If they'll only do this on a larger scale (five or more acres) then maybe we could devise some sort of community garden thing. Everyone would have their own little plot so that they could grow their vegetables or whatever it is they wanted to grow (nothing illegal though).

-- Posted by Thom on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:24 PM

I am planning on going to the blog meeting and ALWAYS happy to talk gardening.

One acre is quite a bit to garden so that would be a good start for any community garden. Knowing where some of us live, it might be good to look for several sites, since distance can sure make it tough. Maybe one in Shelbyville, Bell Buckle, Wartrace and other communities.

It would be great to have one that our older, more experienced generation could get to and work in comfortably. This would also be good for folks who have some handicaps. They call it an 'enabling' garden.

Sorry, already getting carried away. My wife says that should have happened a long time ago.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 2:51 PM

We have a lot of land that we're not doing anything with - but it would need to be bush-hogged I think. But if that were done, you'd be more than welcome to use some of our land.

-- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 4:38 PM

Thanks Chantal.

Some of the key ingredients for a successful community garden is location, accessibility, water, drainage and possibly electricity.

While it would seem that soil should be the main thing, that can usually be improved unless it is nuclear waste.

I do not know where you live,(don't tell us here) but all of that may fall into place.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 5:40 PM

We can talk about it at the meet up next Monday, maybe?

-- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 8:51 PM

Ok, what is this meet up thing you all speak of, and who is invited? Is it the blogger and responders, or just blogger?

I love the idea of a community garden. It would be something nice for my boys to get out and help with, even though they are really little. One problem with me is, we are planning a pregnancy this summer, so I would have to get to the garden early morning, or late afternoon to avoid extreame temps. =)

What may bring more interest to the Farmer's Market is...maybe...if everyone agrees...to sell a portion of the crop there. Maybe we could take turns setting up every time and put the money that we make back into the garden.

Or have our own little stand somewhere, but we would deffinately need to be WIC approved. Alot of people that go to the Farmer's Market only have WIC vouchers to spend.

Just a thought.

-- Posted by Mary on Wed, Mar 5, 2008, at 10:35 PM

Mary, is there a congratulations in order? I like the idea of a farmer's market.

-- Posted by cfrich on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 12:20 AM

All sounds positive folks.

Mary the meet-up we are talking about is just for the bloggers. That is not meant to exclude anyone but this group wanted to get to know each other.

We will not exclude anyone from this gardening group, so as soon as we have enough people fired up, we will have our own 'get together'. I will announce it here and I am sure the T-G will do so for those who are not bloggers.

As a group, we could set up smaller community gardens anywhere where people want, so the WIC could even grow their own.

We have property in downtown Bell Buckle that we would love to see a farmer's market develop. Since the community garden would not be in it for profit, we could wait until we see the WIC vouchers appear, then give it to them at no charge.

We always have too much from our garden and I have been scaling back to avoid wasting it. If we had a farmers market close by, we could drop it off as a donation. I bet others would too!

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 8:57 AM

Boy, what a day!! I am afraid that if I go outside for lunch, I may not come back in before dark oir until I am beat.

Either one distracts me from eBay and sales, but look at it!

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 11:50 AM

It is beautiful outside!

Cfrich, no, I'm not preggo yet, but will start trying in June for our FINAL baby! I am so excited! =) I LOVE being pregnant!

I think that it is really nice that you all (bloggers) get to meet. I'll be thinking about you all on Monday!

-- Posted by Mary on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 12:42 PM

Thanks Mary. We will be thinking of you too when it comes to this gardening idea.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 1:45 PM

Community gardening is a wonderful idea. I have taken over gardening since my Dad is not able to do as much now, but I have one thing I would like to know. How can I get my Green Peppers to grow. I had a decent garden last summer, but very minimal on the Green Peppers, but my one Habanaro plant sure did produce.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 8:39 PM

Well Sharon, take a seat here on the examining table and tell us your story.

Can you describe what you mean by did not grow well?

Did you grow tomatoes? How did they do?

Were they basically in the same soil and setting as the pepper? Same light?

Did you plant them at the same time?

What does your Dad think? If he has grown in the same garden, he should be a wealth of knowledge.

What type of pepper did not grow?

Did you grow it from seed or from a transplant?

If from transplant, did you get the transplant from the same place as the other plants?

If a transplant, did it seem as healthy as the other plants.

Did you pull it up at the end of the season and if so, did you notice if the roots were well developed or about the same as when you planted it?

After we get the results from the above tests (questions) we will see if we have more.

How's that for a first visit?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 10:00 PM

OK Steve, I'll try to answer the questions. We plant a pretty big garden (usually around 80 tomato plants, 5 rows of corn, bean, cucumbers summer and yellow squash, etc.).

The light is the same on the whole garden and if I recall correctly, I think I planted most of the garden in one day last year (it was a very long day). My tomatoes did well until it became too hot for them. My pepper plants looked healthy, and produce peppers, but the peppers don't grow to any size. The hot peppers (halapenos,etc.) did ok, it's the regular green peppers that I'm having problems with.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 10:11 PM

80 'mater plants! Holy Moly!! Do you have your own pasta restaurant?

So the plants a big and healthy but the peppers are small. Any disease or malformation that you could tell?

It does not jump out at me but let me ask around a little.

Thanks for the challenge. Anyone else know a possible answer?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 10:22 PM

A quick thought and then I am off to dream about peppers. Lush green growth but less than normal fruit makes me think of excess nitrogen, but that should affect other plants as well.

Peppers usually don't need to much. Did you fertilize heavily?

Nightie Night

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 10:42 PM

Mom and I can quite a few tomatos when possible. We plant quite a few of the Italian tomatos. I've not seen any disease or malformation, and the plants look healthy. This has happened the last couple years. I had only one habanoro plant and that had enough peppers for the entire county. I'd love for my peppers and tomatos to come in at the same time so I can try some homemade salsa.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 10:43 PM

I don't remember putting any on the garden last summer. I bought some for the tomatos and it's still sitting on my parents carport. Sweet dreams.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Thu, Mar 6, 2008, at 10:45 PM

I am very interested in a garden club. I personally love to garden every thing from herbs to vegetables. My husband is a rose person so he deals with all the flowers. I am also one that for a long time only used the soil in the ground and water from my hose and NEVER added anything to it. I am sure my stuff was not as large as other gardeners but hey it worked for me and I was not upset when a few things did not take. This year I got a plan to plant, about 10 different veggies and 13 different herbs!

-- Posted by tamerajesch on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 8:57 AM

Sharon22, There is not a lot out there about small fruits on bell peppers, but here are some gleanings from several sources:

"a lack of magnesium can cause leaf drop, poor production and sunscald of fruit), use dolomite lime, talc or Epsom salts to provide this essential nutrient." Best to get a soil test before going overboard on this.

"A deep taproot will form if the plant root system is uninjured during transplanting" Tomatoes and peppers enjoy similar requirements. That is why I asked if your tomatoes did well. However, they do not grow the same root system. Tomatoes are more forgiving and grow roots from the buried stems. Peppers are not as prolific.

"if plants are too close together they will produce only small fruit" Recommended distances are 18-36" in the row and 36" from row to row.

I hope there is something here that helps.

What kind of herbs do you like to grow Tamera? They have always fascinated me..

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 9:21 AM

Thanks for the tips Steve. I don't have the "green thumb" lots of folks seem to have, but I sure enjoy eating what I have grown. I am looking forward to getting started on the garden already.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Mar 7, 2008, at 9:45 AM

Having a garden club would be terrific.

We could even get some crossover with other organizations.

(Think of all the how-to books,magazines and plant-themed novels the library has-from Birds n Blooms to Susan Wittig Albert's herbal mysteries.)

Who know where our imagination and work could take us?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Mar 8, 2008, at 10:07 PM

As I read your post on another blog, I was thinking the same thing. I am not sure how many topics we could cover in a group, but this blogging seems to be bringing people out. Thanks T-G.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Mar 9, 2008, at 8:07 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.