Vegetable Gardening in NYS/CT-- Pointers for a Beginner?

By the way, we’ve been using the Square Foot Gardening book which my engineer husband loves. I like the straight forwardness of it as a novice gardener and though his soil mix was annoying to make it seems to be doing its job so far.

I’ll be buying larger pots for my tomatoes this year. My chives from last year (everything in pots on deck) are really pathetic, so I’ll be starting those again. I guess I will wait a couple of weeks and then start.

They weather seemed to be turning so nice that I put in my container garden a few days ago. I’m now worried because night time temps. are predicted to drop back to 50F and then into the low to mid 40’s. That could kill all my hot chile plants (14 types) that need 55F-60F as the coolest temp, and possibly even the two tomatoes which need 50F-55F.

Even if they survive the shock may slow down growth for a month or more.

Make sure the soil and night time temps are warm enough before you plant.

Also spend a few days hardening off plants that came from greenhouses.

Also don’t plant young plants too deep. Only to the old soil line. Except tomatoes. They can and should be buried deeper than the old soil line. You can even remove the lowest leaves and plant deeper than where they were. This way tomatoes will develop a very strong root system. They will grow roots from the stem and old leaf areas. This ONLY works with tomatoes.



@jmf Thanks for the tips!

I put in rhubarb when I first made my garden 6 or 7 years ago. I bought 6 but 3 quickly disappeared. The other three come back every year, nice and early. Last fall I was lucky enough to get a truckload of horse manure from a friend’s daughter, she just dumped it in there and it didn’t totally compost, but boy what a difference in the rhubarb; they are very healthy right now. (Gotta get my fencing completely up before the deer start munching!) My only regret is when I bought these plantlings, I got tiny cute ones rather than usual size, so I don’t get the greatest crop volume. Luckily the farm stands around here have plenty every June to supplement me. Besides pie, I make some nice curries, upside down cake and whatnot with them.


That was my husband’s favorite method too. His gardens always came out like the Garden of Eden. Me, I’m still working on it :wink: I’m no engineer, that’s for sure!

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I don’t know about that; as Erma Bombeck said, the grass is always greener over the septic tank. Free fertilizer! Then again, if you have any issues with the septic and have to dig it up, then your garden will be gone. That would be a shame.

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Get a hori hori. I’ve settled on this one:

Get the one shipped and sold by Amazon. I had one of the other sellers send me one that was smooth on both edges. One edge should be smooth, the other should serrated. I prefer the stainless steel hori hori to the carbon steel varieties.

Keep it sharp. Although I know carbide sharpeners are sometimes frowned upon, this one is small and convenient to use “in the field”. It just works:

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I am planting tomatoes in pots on the deck. Last year I used 13" pots and my tomatoes didn’t get near full size. What size pots would you suggest?

We went to the Teatown Plant sale and got our herbs, two tomato plants, and a pepper plant, along with some flowers. Got them in the ground today while it was nice out.

Next year I think I will either start the lettuce inside or buy seedlings instead of starting from seed. They are having a very slow start. … but I guess it’s still early, and the weather has been quite cool. That’ll change this week!

How is everyone else’s garden doing?

My seedlings are a few weeks behind, due to a 10 day trip to Calif to see my sister beginning of April. So I will put them out in my portable greenhouse later next week to harden off, following a stop at our local “herb” farm for bigger plants too. Best to buy your plants after Mothers’ Day, when the prices go down. Then Memorial Day weekend will be the putting in the ground of already growing tomatoes, peppers and the like…meanwhile I already have peas, squash and the rest of the direct plant brigade starting to show their tiny heads.

I’ve learned not to rush it, even though we are in Zone 7. Better to put it all in a bit later and then harvest into October.


I just potted up my pepper seedlings and will start hardening off both peppers and herbs this week. The weather has really been thwarting my plans - it seems to rain every weekend, which is the only time I really have a lot of time to garden! I still need to get some raspberries and blackberries into the patch I prepared for them and amend the soil in the soon-to-be herb bed. Hopefully the warm weather this week will get things moving.

Laurel is amazing and great to talk to. Anticipating the arrival of my first order soon. Had to order in September last year because she sells out that fast for the following year.

All of my Watermelon heirloom seedlings croaked, even under LED lights in my kitchen, as soon as we transplanted as directed in Epic Tomatoes. Just started a new batch; still have enough Green Zebras, and awaiting our Laurel’s order. We’ve had a hard time eating lettuces fast enough from a 2x2 bed of them! I patio garden only, and replaced one set of two hot tub stairs with this:

The shallow box is filled with lettuces, basil and parsley. The top has two kinds of eggplants and sugar snaps (I stuck in a flattened tomato cage at one end) and the middle has yellow bell, serrano and will have two hatch chilis along with two kinds of garlic.

Large pots hold zucchini, spaghetti squash and straight yellow summer squash, poblano pepper and we have lots of pots of herbs. We will have 8 tomatoes in Earth Boxes and 3 in patio pots. I love picking my salad just before dinner, even if tons of rinsing and spinning is required.

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16"-18" containers. They can handle 1-2 plants easily if you fertilize often.

Thanks! I went even bigger with 22’s. That should give them plenty of room!

I am hopeful of my tomatoes. Green Zebras, Black Truffle and San Marzano from old seeds; then from the Seed Swap, Jersey Girl, Bulgarian and Ethiopian; and finally I bought some old favorites already growing; Mortgage Lifter, Big Boy and Beefsteak. I also have Thai peppers from last year, and Brussel sprouts this year from the seed swap. A bunch of the usual herbs bought at Peconic and I’m ready to go. I dream of having so much that I beg people to take some :wink:


You’re wise to go the bigger is better route: scroll all the way down to the second picture of fabric container tips.