Thursday, October 22, 2009

Please Help!

If this weekend isn't a total & complete wash-out, I'm hoping to plant my garlic. I'm going to use garlic as part of my pest management so I want to locate it near plants where aphids, Japanese beetle, and carrot fly would be a problem. Which means I need to figure where I'm going to plant those things!

So, kind gardeners, please leave me a comment if you've planted in the past:
-Swiss Chard
-Arugula, spinach or other lettuce
-Mustard or collard greens

I would *love* to know how many of each you planted (for things that can have multiple plantings, how much was your first planting), how many people are in your household, and whether this was too much/not enough/just right.

I feel like I've got a good handle on how many to plant of my other crops (tomatoes- 6, hot peppers- 3 or 4, and sweet peppers- 4). But the ones that will be new to me? Clueless!

Thank you so much in advance!


  1. Eggplant and zucchini and cucumber? Wait, aren't you in Virginia? Near Washington, even? Those are summer crops, hon.... Tomatoes and peppers, too.

    Plant lots and lots of mustard greens, collards, kale, swiss chard, spinach -- they shrink so incredibly much when you cook them. 2 days ago I picked a huge basketful of mustard greens -- a large sinkful -- and ended up with 2 cups cooked.

    Lettuce you eat raw, so it doesn't shrink, so you don't need as much.

    Carrots will last in the ground all winter, once they grow, but new ones won't keep forming. So plant plenty. I'm thinking the same for radishes but not sure.

    I think you could still get away with putting in cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, any other brassicas I'm forgetting. In the space you were thinking of dedicating to tomatoes and eggplants....

    Good luck!

  2. I need to plan out *next year's* garden. That's why I'm asking about some summer veg.

    How much do you mean by "lots & lots" of greens and "bunches" of carrots? That's what I'm having trouble figuring out: How many plants is enough.

    Thanks for your help!

  3. Got it.... Sorry, I didn't read that closely enough, thought you were planting more than just garlic this weekend. I've only just discovered your blog, but I didn't think you were THAT much of a novice!

    I'm not a super-experienced gardener myself (only 4 years), and not sure how useful my experience will be to you. I'm so much in love with the home-grown veggies that I always over-estimate how much I really need. I over-plant, then I over-harvest, then I end up feeding some back to the composter. :/

    But I can say, for example, that carrots and radishes produce a lot in a small space. One or two 4-ft rows would probably be plenty. Greens take up a lot more space ... I guess, for just me, I'd want maybe 8-10 plants of each type, so you have enough to harvest at a time to cook with. But for the same reason I wouldn't grow very many types, either, for just one person -- I have kale & mustard greens self-seeded this year, and it's just about enough for me. I'd grow lots of spinach because it's so easy to cook or eat raw. Maybe a 4x1' row. Same for lettuce. I grew only leaf lettuces so I wouldn't have to harvest a whole head at once.

    I have not had luck with eggplants, the two years I tried, they got some kind of blight very early. Cucumbers ... it depends, will you make pickles, or only eat them fresh? The plants are productive, if it's just for fresh eating I wouldn't put in more than 2 for just you. Likewise zucchini, very productive, 1 or 2 plants is plenty.

    Hope this was at least a little more helpful!


  4. Thanks for the info! I too love the homegrown veggies. My garden is small, but mighty!

  5. Hi. I had three cucumber plants and that was more than the three of us could eat. I planted seedlings in improved soil/compost in almost full sun, watered them maybe three times the first week and maybe three times all summer after that, and neglected them generally. We ate them with hummus and olives.

  6. I was surprised to learn that DC has almost three veggie growing seasons - cool (peas radish lettuce) until mid June, then hot (tomatoes peppers) until late August, then cool again- more radish. I haven't exactly mastered this, but you could easily put peppers and radish in the same place.

  7. thanks for all the info!

    I want to do bed rotation so I'm trying to keep the nightshade family (sans potatoes) in one bed, etc. so I'm trying not to mix families in my beds. Well, that and I'm not coordinated enough (yet!) to be able to time things that well yet. I've still got a few hot peppers kicking in the ground!