"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Culinary Gardener
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-01-2010, 04:08 PM   #1
Senior Cook
 
JamesS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 264
If you don't enjoy gardening, is it worth it?

I know it's a bit of an odd question, but I really don't enjoy any aspect of gardening, and I do have plenty of room and time.

What I will say is that I am increasingly frustrated with the only grocery store less than an hour's drive away. I just can't get decent produce, much less herbs.

Tomatoes are very hit or miss, once in a while I'll get some with decent flavor. Most of the time, they're pink, bland and grainy. Lettuce is iceberg or nothing most of the time with a little escarole now and again.

I can pretty much always get decent parsley, occasionally decent cilantro, but they only carry pre-packaged (fresh) basil and chives...nothing else.

I'm thinking it may be worth the work to put in some tomatoes (maybe those wacky ones that hang from a bucket), lettuce, peppers, cukes, and herbs this spring. What do you all think? When should I begin? Where can I get quality seeds or plants, I'm guessing the local hardware store isn't the best place? How about Aerogarden's can they turn out enough quantity to justify the expense? It would look kind of pretty on top of the refrigerator.

Thanks,
Jim

__________________

__________________
JamesS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,080
Aerogardens work great, but probably will not justify the expense. Although, its nice to have fresh basil, dill, thyme, oregano, chives .... in the middle of the winter. If I didnt have cats, Id keep it in my kitchen. But, the cats love to chew on the growing plants, so I keep it in the basement.

Gardens themselves can be very rewarding, but require a decent amount of work ( watering, weeding, pest control...). There is little to no comparison to going outside and picking your own fresh veggies, but you would definitely have to weigh the convenience to the effort. Container gardens ( grown in pots right on the deck) are convenient. You have more control of the weeds, pests and sunlight ( could be moved around if necessary). But dry out quicker, and still need maintenance.

About this time of year many of the seed catalogues are sent out. Most , if not all can be ordered online also. Some of the seed companies Ive used in the past include Burpee, Vesey's , Johnny's...

burpee.com
veseys.com
johnnyseeds.com

Im sure there are many others. Ive had no problems with any of the above.

Be sure to check your Growing Hardiness Zone.
This will help you determine which plants can grow best in your area ( based on length of day, frost, temperatures ....)

Here is a site that can help you find your zone just by adding your zip code.

National Gardening Association

Also, some seeds need to be started a few weeks prior to the actual growing season. And some its just easier to find a good nursery that sells the baby plants because they are more predictable. Usually not too expensive though. Maybe a few dollars for 6 plants ( tomatoes, peppers, .....)

Some plants require more space than others ( squash, pumpkins, melons ..)
And some like to grow " UP" cucumbers, peas , pole beans.

I can go on forever , but Im sure this is a good start.

larry
__________________

__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #3
Honey Badger
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,287
I'm not much of a gardener. Like you I didn't want the work.. But I went ahead and put a small one in last year.

For someone like me ( newbie) I had a great time.. The tomatoes were just wild beyond belief.. I planted, if memory serves me correctly, like 22 plants! LOL...Was worried that what was started from seeds wouldn't make it. They were the best producers. The work I was dreading it would be, wasn't much at all. The garden revolved around what I like in salsa. Kept it simple..

To this day that little garden is still giving back long after it's been removed. Dehydrated a lot of tomatoes. I have a thing for sundried tomatoes in dishes. Made the best ketchup that I've ever had in my life. Learned how with the patience of a saint ( Kadesma, here on DC ) how to make Tomato soup from scratch. Seriously from scratch.. My kids want her to adopt them :)

Let Burpee be your seed guide. They just released the 2010 seed catalog. You can request one if you want...

New For 2010 - Vegetables - Burpee

Welcome to DC...

Munky.
__________________
If your with me that's great. If not. Get out of my way.
Chef Munky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:10 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
JamesS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 264
Thanks to the both of you. I think I may just give it a try.

Something just crossed my mind though. How about the local wildlife? We live on a few acres carved out of a pine forest. The pine trees have reached the age that a lot of them are falling down...and creating the perfect habitat for a wide, wide variety of critters. On a daily basis, we see, rabbits, deer, foxes, possums, bald eagles and less regularly, raccoons, squirrels and the occasional turkey.

Are these likely to cause me problems?
__________________
JamesS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:17 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
bethzaring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 4,603
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesS View Post
Thanks to the both of you. I think I may just give it a try.

Something just crossed my mind though. How about the local wildlife? We live on a few acres carved out of a pine forest. The pine trees have reached the age that a lot of them are falling down...and creating the perfect habitat for a wide, wide variety of critters. On a daily basis, we see, rabbits, deer, foxes, possums, bald eagles and less regularly, raccoons, squirrels and the occasional turkey.

Are these likely to cause me problems?
LOLOLOL



yes



We have 2 feet of woven wire topped with 3 strands of electric to keep out bunnies, groundhogs and deer.

Start very small, or do the container suggestion.
__________________
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
bethzaring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:30 PM   #6
Senior Cook
 
JamesS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 264
Ouch...forgot about the groundhogs. We have at least one living under the lawn shed.

Then there's the resident beasts too. Kali, my Labrador absolutely loves green pepper and tomato. I suspect she may turn into a garden ninja.
__________________
JamesS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:32 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
bethzaring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 4,603
it doesn't take long for the word to get around among the animals....salad bar at JamesS'!
__________________
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
bethzaring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
babetoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: escondido, calif. near san diego
Posts: 14,349
the hanging plant containers get a c grade from me. i planted tomatoes in each, different kinds of plants. i planted lettuce, green onions etc in pots. the watering was very time consuming. course i am 71 years old and not all that steady on my feet. i did not get as much produce i had hoped. won't do again. this year, maybe one tomato and will only do plant of things hummingbirds like, i like pots for flowers etc. no weeds and easy to water if all keep in one places such as my porch. one of hanging containers fell. the weigh of the soil and the recent rains did it in. the other still hanging but is tattered. so much for using year to year. if you do decided to use them. put as little dirt in as you can. just my take on things. you might love it.
__________________
"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
babetoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,984
I live in VA too, and have done a bit of raised bed gardening. 2 years now. I primarily want to grow tomatoes and cucumbers, in that order. I don't think I get enough sun for tomatoes, but the cukes are dynamite! You haven't tasted cukes till you've had them fresh from the garden! Just wish I could get the tomatoes to get red! I get plenty of growth, and LOTS of tomatoes, but not many get red. I think the problem is not enough sun.

James, where in VA are you? Maybe we can work out a co-op!
__________________
vagriller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 12:23 PM   #10
Senior Cook
 
JamesS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 264
Good thought vagriller, but Hampton is quite a haul! I live in a rural area in the Northern Neck. The closest places anyone has ever heard of are Fredericksburg and Richmond, but they're an hour's drive.
__________________

__________________
JamesS is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.