ICanGarden Suggestions:

Please Help Me

Messages posted to thread:

Surfer06-Jan-06 06:58 PM EST
Michelle. L.06-Jan-06 10:16 PM EST 5b   
Bob07-Jan-06 04:50 AM EST 5   
Patricia07-Jan-06 03:18 PM EST 5a   
Ann11-Jan-06 04:17 PM EST 5   
Dan29-Jan-06 06:43 PM EST   
Gardening Gal 31-Jan-06 10:11 AM EST 5   
11-Mar-06 07:20 PM EST   
Michelle. L.11-Mar-06 07:51 PM EST 5a   
Trish14-Mar-06 07:37 PM EST   
Michelle. L.15-Mar-06 12:02 PM EST 5a   
Janine15-Mar-06 03:38 PM EST 2b   
Nancy21-Mar-06 04:44 PM EST 5   
LoriS30-Mar-06 10:42 AM EST 5a   
Valerie16-Apr-06 08:02 AM EST 3   

Subject: Please Help Me
From: Surfer
Date: 06-Jan-06 06:58 PM EST

Can anyone please help me? I am just a new and rather naive beginner to garden. I live in Brampton, Ontario. I am not sure of what area this is. As well, does anyone know of any good books for a beginner gardener? What is the best method for a beginner to learn how to start to gardener? Any information that someone can provide will be greatly appreciated.


Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5b
Date: 06-Jan-06 10:16 PM EST

I am not sure what zone you are in, I know Ottawa is in 5a. is Brampton close to there? A book i started out with was called The Perennial Gardens, very helpful if perennials is what your after. It listed zones and descriptions as well as pictures. Hope this helps a little.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Bob
Zone: 5
Date: 07-Jan-06 04:50 AM EST

Greetings, Brampton is Zone 5a or b. There are many excellent gardening for beginners books. What do you want to grow?

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5a
Date: 07-Jan-06 03:18 PM EST

Hi! Surfer - whether you are a new gardener or someone who has gardened for a long time, this is the perfect time of year to do what all gardens begin with: dream! Close your eyes and think about what you see in your imagination: your ideal garden... Have you seen any garden, maybe a friend's, maybe a public garden, maybe something on TV: take pencil and paper and write down: what did you love? What made you go: "Ahhh!"?? Maybe it was tall trees and shady spots with a statue or two, maybe it was rows of attractive vegetables, maybe large beds of colourful, sweet smelling flowers. Do all the dreaming you can, borrow a few books from the library to help your thinking along. Step two is to draw a map of your property - this is really easy if you get some paper with "quad" rules. Each tiny square can be a square foot. Mark everything that is permanent on your land - the house, garage, driveway, where the outdoor faucets are, any trees, and so on. Figure out where is east, west, north and south. Step three: make a list of what you want to use your garden for: do you need a dog run, a place to eat outdoors, room for children's play equipment, do you like to entertain, do you want lots of privacy, and so on. Also, think realistically about how much time you want to put into gardening: do you want to putter and work on your garden every spare minute? Maybe you only wish to "work" at gardening a couple of hours per week, and you would like to spend the rest of the time relaxing in your private little world. All these things: your dream garden, the physical reality of your property, the uses you will put your garden to and the time available to garden will have an important role to play in what you decide to do. In the spring, take all this information to a good nursery - a place that is in the business of helping people garden, not just a spot that sells a few annuals in May. Ask for advice - tell them what you are aiming for. They will help you create the right garden beds FOR YOU, with the right plants. With their help, you won't wind up with plants that like sun in the shade, and vice versa or things that are high maintenance if you want low maintenance. Start small the first year - it can be discouraging to put in way more garden than you can care for. Good luck!! Enjoy!

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Ann
Zone: 5
Date: 11-Jan-06 04:17 PM EST

A cheap and easy source of information can be found in all the garden catalogues that companies will gladly mail to you. This gives you cultural directions as well as zone hardiness. Good luck and enjoy your new adventure in gardening.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Dan (dan.clost@sympatico.ca)
Date: 29-Jan-06 06:43 PM EST

There may be a community food bank, or organisation, that grows food for the hungry in your area. Why not volunteer your time and labour in exchange for knowledge? Call agencies like the local food bank, Community Care (VON) or contact City Hall. Ask about Plant a Row Grow a Row.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Gardening Gal
Zone: 5
Date: 31-Jan-06 10:11 AM EST

Hi Surfer in Brampton:

I live about 15 mins from you. All of the other responses plus check the library for gardening books and websites for gardening clubs, I've been to Bolton, Orangeville and Nobleton, there must be 1 in the Brampton/Mississauga close to where you live. Then watch out for plant and garage sales, whatever people are selling is usually because it's growing so well and they have to split plants.

If it's a new garden dig in lots of compost/manure (try the Region of Peel's compost available at Restore in Bolton or Goodwill ?Chrysler Drive, Bramton or check out Caledon Landfill @ Hwy 24 and McClaren, I maintain the garden beside the offices) to help give the plants lots of nutrients, so your garden will take off as quickly as possible. Don't plant any annuals until after May 24 weekend (there's less chance of frost, well who knows this year???) The nurseries have plants available in March/April and if you have to buy then make sure they're protected/ covered until late May. Perennials can be planted as soon as the ground is workable.

If you want to grow veggies, you need quite a lot of sun and be prepared to water every couple of days at the beginning of the season.

For beginners I'd suggest Tomatoes, peppers (watch out for the beetles) squash, sunflowers, daffodil bulbs are great but need planting in the fall for spring blooming so leave some space. And lots of perennials, they're very cost effective and soon you'll be sharing too.

But mainly enjoy it, you don't have to have everything complete or picturesque the first year, and if you think you do, hire a gardening team. But it's definately not the same when you've planted and nurtured things yourself.

Let us know how you're doing.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
Date: 11-Mar-06 07:20 PM EST

I have one further question. I am planning on planting my first vegetable garden in my back yard. The soil has never been "prepared" before. Should I mix in Peat Moss and some compost or should I just plant in the soil that is there currently? I believe my zone is 5b.

Any information any anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Surfer

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5a
Date: 11-Mar-06 07:51 PM EST

hi there... i guess it depends what soil you have.. is it clay?? Good drainage is important so the seeds don't rot, i prepare my beds with old rotten manure [ only in the fall] and in the spring i till in compost.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Trish
Date: 14-Mar-06 07:37 PM EST

I am trying to find a cover plant that will grow very quickly with a strong root structure that will help to hold a very steep bank in place. Live in Greenwood British Columbia which is probably a zone 3b. We have a very steep driveway and the banks have very little vegetation which causes the dirt to slide during the rainy season.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Michelle. L.
Zone: 5a
Date: 15-Mar-06 12:02 PM EST

Hi Trish.. I have a couple of steep banks that I have planted with creeping jenny and perscaria [knotweed, mountain fleece] also i heard lamium works but spreads too much for my liking.I'll try to think of some other suggestions and get back to you. Both of these would be hardy for you though

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Janine (jjschuel@telusplanet.net)
Zone: 2b
Date: 15-Mar-06 03:38 PM EST

Hi Trish: You might want to try ribbon grass and yarrow. I actually dug out a bed of coloured yarrow because it was spreading and stabilizing the soil a little too quickly for the bed I had planted it in. Both are hardy in my zone. For the longer term you might want to plant some low-growing evergreens like juniper and mugho pine, or a hillside creeper pine.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 21-Mar-06 04:44 PM EST

Hi Trish,

How about the creeping sedum like S. reflexum, S. acre, or S. spurium? Should be hardy enough for you. Or lamb's ears. Or Dianthus deltoides.

I planted a very steep slope last year with several of these, and mulched heavily with grass clippings to help control the erosion until they filled in.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: LoriS
Zone: 5a
Date: 30-Mar-06 10:42 AM EST

When my husband and I broke fresh ground for a veg garden. I spent two years of pulling weeds. Hours were spent trying to clean out what we tilled back into the ground. I went and bought a herbicide and sprayed one fall. Now there is little weeds that show up. My suggestion is rent a sodder. It digs below the grass roots. You will still get dandelions and other weeds because of the depth of their roots, but you won't be pulling the grass. As crazy as it sounds in a veg garden grass is a weed.

Subject: RE: Please Help Me
From: Valerie
Zone: 3
Date: 16-Apr-06 08:02 AM EST

Hi Surfer;

Best advise I would have is join or attend a couple of Garden Clubs in your area.

They will have all the first hand info for your area and like many garden clubs will likely have sales for stuff that grows well around you. On top of that most garden club folks love to share both advise and plants.

Good Luck Valerie

In order to post the forum, you must register to the site.
To register, click here.

If you have already registered, you must log in.
  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row