[quote="ScareBear, post:1, topic:252745"]
So... we're down to one income and six people in the house. I'm trying to provide everyone with tasty, healthy, cheap meals. I figured gardening may help tremendously, but I have a black thumb.
I live in the Southern United States. We have a moderate climate with hot summers and cold winters; sometimes we have snow.
Any suggestions for easier, season-appropriate veggies and how to grow them? I'm thinking broccoli, which I hear is very forgiving,sugar snap peas, and carrots.
I know there are a ton of websites. I thought it would be fun for us to have a thread on here for parents to exchange ideas/advice for gardens.
I'll continue to scope gardening forums.
Now is the time for you to sow your things like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, cabbage, lettuces, corn salad, sugar snap peas, carrots, parsnips, beets, kale, collards, mustard, swiss chard, garlic (now's the time for garlic, onions and shallots for most people)...just be careful that you protect the young shoots from the scorching sun.
Some plants will keep coming back, like spinach: you harvest the outer leaves, and then the plant renews and those inner leaves you left will become the outer leaves, and more leaves start. Others, you gotta cut the whole plant, like corn salad.
I started a bunch of seeds in a seed starter and put it outside, but the shoots got real spindly and tall, like they weren't getting enough sun...but they were outside on the back porch :shrug:
So I went ahead and planted them outside in the garden, and covered each with a wet paper towel. I checked on them yesterday and today and they're all doing very well. I hope it wasn't too late to plant what I did, but it should be just the right time for you.
When it starts getting cold, you'll have to protect them from the wind and frost. Brussel sprouts do well with some frost, and do does kale. Kale is very cold hardy. Carrots do well too, they get sweeter after a frost. Other stuff like spinach and lettuces, you should cover with a sheet or plastic row cover. Even if they frost a little, they'll defrost when the sun comes out and will recover. Make sure you harvest them when they're not frosty because they won't recover after they are cut. Make sure you either pin down the ends of your crop cover, or bury them under some dirt, so that the wind doesn't flip them up. You can use old sheets or garden fabric. You can really extend the season by covering stuff.
The trick is making sure the plants are ready to harvest before the first frost so that they have a good start. So get a packet of seeds and see how long it takes from sowing to harvest. For example, a hypothetical salad mix might mature in 30 days. So find out when your first expected frost is (I'd go for a 50% chance of a killing frost, like 24): davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/ And then sow those seeds so that they mature before the first expected frost...
You live in a warmer climate than I do, and I still have time to sow cucumbers and zucchini btw....