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 Post subject: soil and stuff - basics of getting started (help!)
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Location: Modesto, CA
I am really wanting to garden! I bought some cat nip and want to plant some other herbs (medicinal stuff like lavender), lil pots that can decompose in soil and veg based flower/plant food. I tried growing cilantro before - slug city...Eww. As for potting soil - what do I get??? I live near a Home Depot, OSH and Lowes...

We have a gardener coming out every other week that will help us plant (our yard is a disaster without him). We plan on buying a lemon tree to start with food stuff besides the pom tree that we got with the house and we do not really eat from. What are some basics that are not easily insect infested that are easy to grow - I suck at this - really I do. Also I want to start now!

Also our yard man will plant some annuals this weekend because I bought a really cool Buddha statue that needs some life around him! :) Is there a site that will tell me what to avoid if I have a cat? Mar is inside only - except when it is backyard morning/after dinner time when he is supervised. We also have a handful of cats that come and go from the colony across the street...

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 Post subject: Re: soil and stuff - basics of getting started (help!)
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 12:23 pm 
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You can search google easily for the list of dangerous garden plants to cats. I know most bulbs are terrible for cats, like lilies etc. (however most cats don't eat them, but better to avoid them if you are concerned). As for soil, if you're doing everything in pots, I'd say get something labeled 'potting soil'. Black Gold is a good organic brand we have here in Oregon, and I'm sure many other states carry it too. But really, if it's organic and a good price, I think you're fine buying it regardless of brand. If you're wondering about the vegan-ness of a soil, I can't help you too much there other than you may want to avoid the ones that have 'added' fertilizer.

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 Post subject: Re: soil and stuff - basics of getting started (help!)
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:02 pm 
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I've had great luck with tomatoes (especially smaller ones like grape tomatoes) and bell peppers. I've never managed to keep herbs alive when started from seeds, but have had good luck with just home depot herbs that were already small plants. All of those I've grown in pots. I also had good luck with planting them in hanging baskets, the vines just grow over the side of the basket and hang down like a topsy turvy, but without needed a special (and kinda ugly) basket.

Also look to google to find which herbs can be planted in the same container. Some of them spread like crazy and will take over the whole area they are planted in.


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 Post subject: Re: soil and stuff - basics of getting started (help!)
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 8:11 pm 
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If you are growing veggies like peppers and tomatoes in pots and find potting soil to be too expensive, you can buy a triple mix (3-way mix) instead and it will be fine. It will be a little heavier but as long as your pots have adequate drainage, you should be fine. I have planted tomatoes and peppers in 5-gallon pots for years now and they all do great - I was happy that someone at my garden center suggested buying triple mix for potted veggies instead since it is half the price of potting soil! Make sure your tomatoes and peppers get lots of hot afternoon sun as you won't get any veggies if they get too much shade!

As for herbs, I buy lots of different varieties of herb seedlings each year and they all do really well in containers filled with triple mix. I have different kinds of basil all together in one longer container, different kinds of mint all together in one longer container, and then separate containers of rosemary, lavender, oregano, cilantro, etc. Some plants, like lavender, are perennials so you can plant them right in the ground if you have the room and they will come back every year. Catnip will come back each year as well, we used to grow it when I lived at home with my parents, grew it in a planter on the deck and it would grow each year!

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