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« Cosmetic Enhancements, Part 2 | Main | Sorrow »

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jlb

Oh, I almost forgot: my three favorite sins are chocolate, chocolate and chocolate...
>^..^<

Leggy

Rob,
I'm jealous you got more takers than me. :)

But I'm going to have fun checking out some new blogs (and some old friends) in response to your great questions.

Leggy

Rob

"Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate"--too funny, JLB. You would fit right in with those!

Leggy, I tried to learn from you about how to aks good questions. Thanks for being a great teacher!

Abhishek

Hi Gina happy to help if I can.You put things in the gruond for the most part anyway after your last frost date. That varies a lot from one place to another, but you can probably find it by Googling last frost date and your zip code. There are exceptions, like peas and onions, for example, but for the majority of your garden, it will die if it gets frosted, so you need to have that info.Organic does usually mean grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. We go organic as much as we can, but if we had an emergency situation where we were obviously going to lose something unless we took drastic steps, we would find the least problematic solution. Some nurseries do sell organic plants. The fact is though, even a plant that wasn't started organically, has little chance of passing anything chemical along in it's eventual fruit, so long as you don't use any chemicals as it is growing. That is my opinion I am sure there are plenty of people who would never buy anything but organic plants.Heirloom varieties are plants that have come from seeds that have only ever come from a single plant or cultivar. Hybrid plants have been cross-bred, using multiple parent plants to produce certain characteristics. The seeds from an heirloom tomato will only ever produce that exact same tomato, whereas the seeds from a hybrid will not produce the same tomato, but instead will produce a plant that has qualities of the parent plants in its ancestry. This is done to breed in a lot of different things fast growth, fruit a certain size or flavor and resistance to prevalent diseases, and even insects. As with the practical considerations of organic husbandry, using heirlooms brings up practical considerations. Do I want to have a better chance of having enough tomatoes to get me through the winter? If so, in our area at least, I'm not willing to gamble on the heirlooms. I might have some in beds away from my main crop of tomatoes, because not only can they die from various blights, but they can bring those organisms to my other tomatoes too. If I lived in an areas without such a prevalence of these problems, I would likely grow more heirlooms, because they often do taste better. And some heirlooms do better than others San Marzanos are the paste type tomatoes I grow, and they do well here, producing a very meaty and intensely flavored fruit.For a beginning gardener, I would probably suggest a small raised bed in a part of the year where it will get a lot of sunlight, and grow just a few things you really like to get started. You can always expand, but if you struggle with a garden that is too big at the start, you might get discouraged and give up. Gardening is a lot of work, and satisfying though it might be, you want to make sure you are setting reasonable goals for yourself it gets easier as you learn more. And, the bottom line is that every single year will be a gamble, because SO many things can go wrong. Totally worth it to us though.

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