Gardening 101

by frazzledmama on August 31, 2009

Can you tell I loved college?  I have so many posts that contain “101” or “102”.


Okay, I was asked by a couple of my stalkers readers to post some general info. about culvert pipe gardening. I know it’s kind of short notice, but we’ll work with what we have! Please keep in mind that this is gardening advice for central Florida. Also, please keep in mind that what I know about gardening comes from my grandmother and Uncle Donald.

So, we know that we are supposed to have seeds in the ground on September first, right? So, if you are gardening in an Uncle Donald Garden, you need to add some good dirt to it.  I suggest a good potting mixture.  Don’t buy from a big box store, go to a local nursery and buy some potting soil by the yard.  Once you have your dirt in the culvert pipe, you are still going to need to add three things.  For each of these things, you can just follow the directions on the bag, as far as how much per square foot to add.  And then, add a little more :)

1. Lime.  At the orange big box store, you can buy pelletized lime, which I highly recommend.  It isn’t as messy as regular lime.

2. Ironite.

3. Good old 6-6-6 fertilizer. Unless of course, you have access to “organic” fertilizer.

Once you have added these three, mix them into the soil well. Then, you are ready to add some seeds.

It has been my experience(and my stubborn nefew’s mother as well) that plants started from seeds grow better, faster, and produce a better harvest, as opposed to plants you buy at nurseries or big box stores.  I tried both last year and found that the plants I grew from seeds actually overtook the store bought plants.

Spacing is very important.  Plants like broccoli and cauliflower needs lots of space for their roots to grow.  In the culvert pipe garden, these plants should be spaced about 6 rungs apart. BTW, these are rungs…


Most things can be planted at least two across, some more.

I planted my peppers about 4 rungs apart, two across and that was very successful.

Green beans need about 4-5 rungs in between each plant, 2 across

Tomatoes need about 5, but honestly, I did better with my tomato plants in big pots at the end of the culvert pipe.


On the tomatoes, make sure you put your tomato cage or stakes on right away.  They will shoot up rather quickly, and then you will be trying to delicately add them and end up breaking branches off the plant.  Trust me, I know of what I speak.

Carrots. Carrots are easy, just take the seeds and shake the packet over the area you have set aside for your carrots.  The, gently rub your hand in the soil, ever so slightly mixing the seeds into the soil.  They need to be shallow.

Onions need about 1-2 rungs depending on the type of onion. These can be planted about 3-4 across, depending on the size of your culvert.

Herbs need about 3 rungs, 2-3 across.

Squashes need to be grown where they can bush out or climb up something. I will post more about squashes later.

Lettuces need about 3 rungs, 2 across.

Eggplant…I am still learning on this one.  I currently have some that came up wild in my garden.  Naturally they came up about 3 rungs apart, 2 across and they seem to be doing well.

As you can tell, your culvert garden will fill up rather quickly, which is why I am pestering Mr. OverKill for another row…or two ;)

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments, and I will get back with you ASAP.

Happy Gardening!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debra September 1, 2009 at 8:55 am

Yes, we have lots of that “organic” stuff in our garden! :) The kids had lots of “fun” getting it. :)


frazzledmama September 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

Oh, you had the kids spread it? Priceless!


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