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sid1967

Advice Needed, Start To Garden Soon :)

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HI

I want to start my own veggie garden in Phuket Chalong Bay. I have a lot of water for free from a lake. Next to my house is a lot of grass and i want to convert a part of it onto a personal use veggie garden. Organic is great. I never did much gardening and want to keep it fun. The garden should feed two people, basicly i would like to be sustainable and not buy veggies anymore.

I like all kinds of veggies.

I need good seeds!!!!

I like tomatoes and esp. the USA varieties.

Please help :) or can you point me to a simple starter book (PDF) on the net?

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Hi Sid, Did you check out all the pinned topics? There is a lot there and some good learning opportunities. Jandtaa, the moderator of this sub-forum has quite a good library of PDFs, I'm sure he will see this and offer some suggestions.

One of my favorite books is: "Permaculture Home Garden: How to grow great tasting fruit and vegetables the organic way and enjoy every minute of it." by Linda Woodrow If you can get ahold of that book you will learn some great stuff.

I suggest that you learn as much as possible about soil and soil fertility and regard that as the fundamental base. You have water and that is a big issue, now start getting together your resources for organic matter to start composting and building soil fertility. Try to get your soil organic matter content up to 5% or more. That was the origin of the term "organic" gardening and 5% OM used to be a requirement for some early programs of organic farm certification, until the emphasis shifted to other aspects.

Good luck and happy growing and eating. don

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Hi

Thanks I checked out some of the pinned topics, and will read more.

Also thanks fkor your personal reply.

Still i need to know should i just buy regular seeds. I like to grow some unususal stuff for thailand. Where to get it?

Sid

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Hi

Thanks I checked out some of the pinned topics, and will read more.

Also thanks fkor your personal reply.

Still i need to know should i just buy regular seeds. I like to grow some unususal stuff for thailand. Where to get it?

Sid

Others may be able to give you more information on sources of seeds local to you or mail order. From my experience I have had the best results with seeds from local sources, F1 hybrids if available; the seeds I brought from US varieties did not do as well. As far as organically grown seeds; if you're a purist then maybe, but otherwise I think organically grown and quality produce is more related to the growing conditions than the seed source. Try www.groworganic.com Peaceful Valley Farm Supply in Grass Valley, CA. They have a great catalog with lots of interesting information; I forget if they sell seeds, but they may have links.

Seeds are not my strong area. Google is an awesome resource, just search for seed companies and the seeds you have in mind and you will get more leads than you can deal with. I just remembered East-West Seeds with operations in Thailand, and AFM. And I just noticed the pinned topic: Seed Savers, seed swapping.

Have you worked out your pump and irrigation system. Having a lake is one thing, getting the water out of it to your garden dependably is another.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year to all. don

Edited by drtreelove

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Organic is great. I never did much gardening and want to keep it fun.
I like tomatoes and esp. the USA varieties.
I like to grow some unusual stuff for Thailand. Where to get it?

Hello Sid,

My main advice to you is to keep it simple to start with.

Trying to grow some unusual stuff for Thailand can be very unrewarding and frustrating. See what is grown locally and buy your seed in Thailand. Most of the seed that you buy here are likely to grow in this climate. That way, your garden will give you more enjoyment, you will gain confidence with your successes and then you can start experimenting with different vegetables and tomatoes.

You may be a bit late this year, as the cooler season is well under way and this is the best time for your veggie plot, especially the more unusual veg.

Your climate in the South, may differ a bit from up here in Isaan, so it's difficult to give any advice on what to grow at specific times of the year.

I would guess that stuff like Kale, chinese cabbage, Leaf mustard, eggplant, chillies, chinese radish and sweet potato will grow mostly year round. You may also see seed for Welsh shallots and they do well. I find that Thai parsley/celery is not easy to get started outside of the cool season, but once it has a good root system established, it will survive the whole year if treated as a cut and come again vegetable. Kale and chinese cabbage are also cut and come again to a degree. Just make sure that you do not cut all the leaves.

I have had to do a lot of work with my soil here and am seeing (and tasting) the benefits now. The veg that I am growing are now more resistant to disease and much tastier and all without any chemicals. :) The soil is the most important factor.

There is a thread somewhere here about growing tomatoes, something that I've never been too successful with apart from the native toms.

Good luck, and enjoy.

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Hi Sid

As has been said already keep it simple and on a small scale with a limited number of vegetables and herbs (preferably locally sourced seeds) until you get the hang of it. Even for those of us with plenty of growing experience back home in temperate climates it can be fairly challenging to make the switch to sub-tropical/tropical gardening. I highly recommend the book "Tropical Food Gardens" by Leonie Norrington as a good starting point. You may also want to investigate Square Foot gardening as a productive system using a small area.

Soil is the most important consideration and you will probably need to read up on composting methods to increase the organic matter and micro-organisms in your soil. Also be sure to familiarise yourself with mulching (a must in the tropics) there's quite a lot of good info in previous threads but don't hesitate to ask further questions. Check out the useful links,resources and suggested reading thread which contains a link to my online library.

Most of all just enjoy it !! 

Cheers J

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Go for it!

Suggest you google "no dig ? no-dig garden"

Have used it myself, results amazing, with minimal effort.

You will be able to do what you need on a plot not much bigger than a king size bed.

Yes! Linda Woodrow "Permaculture Home garden" an excellent source.

Cannot advise on seeds in Thailand, was intersted to see lots of imported packet seeds on sale in garden shop here, suspect some would not do well here.

Also try finding place where they grow veges near you, buy thinning seedings (they might even give them away).

Also you may be interested in reading up on "heritage vegetables".

There are almost certainly people in Thailand who preserve traditional strains of edible plants.

Enjoy!

Barry

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Organic is great. I never did much gardening and want to keep it fun.
I like tomatoes and esp. the USA varieties.
I like to grow some unusual stuff for Thailand. Where to get it?

Hello Sid,

My main advice to you is to keep it simple to start with.

Trying to grow some unusual stuff for Thailand can be very unrewarding and frustrating. See what is grown locally and buy your seed in Thailand. Most of the seed that you buy here are likely to grow in this climate. That way, your garden will give you more enjoyment, you will gain confidence with your successes and then you can start experimenting with different vegetables and tomatoes.

You may be a bit late this year, as the cooler season is well under way and this is the best time for your veggie plot, especially the more unusual veg.

Your climate in the South, may differ a bit from up here in Isaan, so it's difficult to give any advice on what to grow at specific times of the year.

I would guess that stuff like Kale, chinese cabbage, Leaf mustard, eggplant, chillies, chinese radish and sweet potato will grow mostly year round. You may also see seed for Welsh shallots and they do well. I find that Thai parsley/celery is not easy to get started outside of the cool season, but once it has a good root system established, it will survive the whole year if treated as a cut and come again vegetable. Kale and chinese cabbage are also cut and come again to a degree. Just make sure that you do not cut all the leaves.

I have had to do a lot of work with my soil here and am seeing (and tasting) the benefits now. The veg that I am growing are now more resistant to disease and much tastier and all without any chemicals. :) The soil is the most important factor.

There is a thread somewhere here about growing tomatoes, something that I've never been too successful with apart from the native toms.

Good luck, and enjoy.

Thanks,

very much for all the information.

Can you post in short what you did to build up the soil?

About my water situation. I just wanted to use the pump for the house. After january 15th i will see what kind of pump it is. It will be a small veggie garden so I think i just use a hose??? Not a sprinkler. What are you guys thinking about that?

Thx again!

Sid

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Building up the soil; compost,compost and more compost in short (I'm now also experimenting with Bokashi and bio-char as soil additives with a good dose of EM), plus a good layer of mulch which over time will also break down (sheet mulching is a great way to reclaim uncultivated land with minimum effort or you could go for the double-dig method to establish bio-intensive beds).

With regard to watering I prefer when the scale allows either the hose or a couple of watering cans ( using a pair of cans is more balanced and kinder on the body ) as it keeps you up close and personal with your plants giving you the chance to spot insect problems and disease early.

best of luck J 

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Thanks,

very much for all the information.

Can you post in short what you did to build up the soil?.......

Of course the soil type on my plot may be different to yours, so maybe a lot of what I have done is not relevant. It's taken me 2 years to get the soil in most of the plot to how I want it.

80% of my plot was very heavy clay. The type that no matter how much you dig it, watering/rainfall settles it down, the sun bakes the surface, then water and air cannot penetrate and it nearly turns the same as concrete!

The other 20% is sandy soil and although this is nice and loose, it doesn't hold the nutrients too well and needs regular fertiliser. Note with sandy soil, when you add compost and/or fertiliser, the nutrients will leach away during the rainy season. The least likely to leach away is Potassium and so if you fertilise, it should be with a low/nil potassium mix.

I mixed a lot of compost, charcoal cow dung (heaped and aged for 3 months) and rice husks with the sandy soil and basically grew beans. The beans were to improve the nitrogen content of the soil. As the beans grew, I cut them down and raked the clippings shallowly into the topsoil. After a few months, I could use this soil to mix with the heavy clay (as well as a lot of extra compost). I again grew beans and dug them in as they grew.

The beans produce pink nodules on their roots as they fix nitrogen, but they will only fix atmospheric nitrogen if certain enzymes are present in the soil and if there is insufficient nitrogen in the soil already. It seems to me that when the beans stop producing pink nodules, that is a good indication that there is a proper balance of nitrogen in the soil and so in go my veg :)

Everything is mulched with a mixture of compost, rice husks and dry leaves.

I have 3 compost piles at the moment, probably about 4 cubic metres in total, but that's because I need it, Hopefully, you won't need so much.

In the past, I have tried many different types of compost that you buy at the roadside garden centres for 20 Baht (about 10 litres) and they have all been absolutely useless.

You can't beat your own compost :D When I went to the market to buy veg, I used to take a sack and bring home a bag of the trimmings and the spoiled stuff. I also have access to a lot of cow dung, so I'm lucky.

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