Author Topic: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?  (Read 840 times)

Future Lazy

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Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« on: February 20, 2017, 04:40:00 PM »
Hi all!

DH and I bought our first house back in August 2016. Spring is coming up and both of us are fully engaged with the idea of tearing out the backyard "grass" (coughweedscough) and irrigation system, and dedicating 1/2 to 2/3rds of the entire back yard to gardening. That comes out to about 2500 sq ft of potential gardening space.

Goals:
Grow some of our own food, get more veggies and actual good stuff in our diet, and stop eating as much fried meat.
Plant 1 or 2 drought resistant trees to eventually provide shade for house and garden area (south by southeast side of house)
Get outside more and get more sunshine in the summer; both of us have a low vitamin d issue, and I have seasonal depression. Bring on the sun!

Obstacles/Questions:
We're city kids - Both of our moms had gardens when we were way little, but not as we were older kids/teenagers; we don't really know what we're doing
Irrigation system - should we preserve it for future rental tenants, or seriously tear it out?
What's the best style? A lot of people seem to be fans of raised beds! But I've also heard about trench composting... or should we start by smothering the grass/weeds?
What are the easiest things to grow? The best things to grow? I know there's symbiotic relationships between certain vegetables... But what are they?
Which things are better to start from seed, and which things are better to buy already started? Do I need a greenhouse to start seeds? When should I start seeds... two weeks ago probably?

Anyway, if anyone has a good suggestion for a gardening blog or podcast that literally starts from step number zero, how not to kill a plant, I'd love to give it a read. I am also willing to buy a book on this, but would rather not spend extra on this project if I don't have to. :)

- Kayla

PS. Bonus points to anyone that can provide a landscaping blog or podcast with a step by step, reliable guide to laying pavestone patios without incurring sinkholes/low spots. I'd like to turn the other 1/3rd of the back yard into a pavestone patio with an updated outdoor clothesline and fire pit. I've been involved in laying a brick patio before, and I know it's a buttload of work to do, and I want to get it right the first time.

peperino

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Re: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 07:23:32 PM »
Hello!

I have a couple of friends that grow their own food following some advices detailed in this book:

John Seymour - Complete book of self-sufficiency

Bye!

Minimumlevel

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Re: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 01:51:28 PM »
I am an expert gardener, and all of your questions can only be answered based on location. Your climate generally and your conditions in your specific yard are very important in making decisions. Do not tear up all of your yard your first year. Start very small, you will be amazed. You mentioned concern about drought tolerance so I will put out John Dromgoole at  The Natural Gardener in Austin TX. He has so much info on his website and a monthly gardening to do list that is out of this world. Also videos and podcast. Also check with your County Extension website, and of course Mother Earth News online. Herbs, greens, your favorite flower, your favorite fruit if it grows in your climate, your favorite veggie are enough to start with. Go to your public library and check out all the books you fancy because they usually have a good selection about local gardening. Go visit your community garden folks they are usually a good mix of pros and beginners. I hope this helps you get into gardening. I absolutely love it.

Gagnante

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Re: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2017, 04:59:08 PM »
On your irrigation system question, I would absolutely not tear it out. Repurpose it to drip irrigation and make your gardening life a whole lot easier!

farmerj

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Re: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 11:07:14 AM »
Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening is a good system to start off with. And what you want is something to start off with. Don't go overboard your first year.

wonkette

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Re: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2017, 02:06:39 PM »
I am an expert gardener, and all of your questions can only be answered based on location. Your climate generally and your conditions in your specific yard are very important in making decisions. Do not tear up all of your yard your first year. Start very small, you will be amazed. You mentioned concern about drought tolerance so I will put out John Dromgoole at  The Natural Gardener in Austin TX. He has so much info on his website and a monthly gardening to do list that is out of this world. Also videos and podcast. Also check with your County Extension website, and of course Mother Earth News online. Herbs, greens, your favorite flower, your favorite fruit if it grows in your climate, your favorite veggie are enough to start with. Go to your public library and check out all the books you fancy because they usually have a good selection about local gardening. Go visit your community garden folks they are usually a good mix of pros and beginners. I hope this helps you get into gardening. I absolutely love it.

I second the suggestion to start with the extension websites. A nearby land grant university, rural development office or other arm of USDA will also be very helpful, they're not just for full-time farmers. A lot of good information/advice can be picked up at your local farmer's market, some places might be selling seedlings soon and those growers are generally interested in helping the local food scene.

kidiowa

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Re: Best Blog, Podcast or Book for Level 0 Beginner Gardener?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 07:32:52 AM »
Look into straw bale gardening.  Dead easy and cheap.