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Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
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nestof3
Sep 3, 2017 9:38 AM CST
Hello! I live in Virginia Beach, VA along mosquitoes which are my main deterrent from basking in gardening. My husband has a lawn maintenance businesss, and I homeschool (starting my 19th year with two high school students. My 27-year old step-son graduated from homeschooling years ago!).

I grew up with no gardening experience whatsoever though my mom did keep a small garden. After meeting my husband, I became quite interested in landscape design. He designed beds for me, and I chose the plants and helped him plant them. We keep a very small herb garden with a couple vegetables, but as our income has been decreasing and the single-income family has become a greater struggle, I decided to turn to more growing for food.

I love my patio shade garden and our sunny perennial border. I would prefer to start mixing in some edibles in the border garden though. We live on a very small property. I planted a few cool season vegetables (mostly greens) a few days ago because our front stamped concrete patio gets quite a bit of sun, and I figured it would be a good way to easily start some food growing. I also placed an earl producing tomato plant and some broccoli, cabbages, and onions in our small herb/vegetable garden. Wish me luck!

I've been loving the podcasts by the way!
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Georgia Plant Identifier Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers
Critters Allowed Composter Rabbit Keeper Herbs Region: United States of America Dog Lover
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greene
Sep 3, 2017 11:36 AM CST
Welcome!

Sounds like you have a good plan. In our family as soon as a child was old enough to work outside the home we were each expected to get a part-time job to contribute to the family budget. After school hours and weekends and were expected to keep our grades up at the same time. It works and teaches kids the value of hard work. None of us, my brother, sister or I, died from having to work. Rolling on the floor laughing

It costs pretty much the same to grow a perennial border or shade garden as it does to grow veggies. Adjust priorities and work the veggie plants into the beds.

You are nearing the end of growing season now. Check the NGA calendar and get the family together to make plans for the spring planting.
https://garden.org/apps/calend...

Good luck and happy growing. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
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nestof3
Sep 3, 2017 4:08 PM CST
My rising senior started taking college classes last year and has already completed 5 courses and is taking two this semester on top of a full academic load in homeschooling. He's also Teacher Assistant this year in an Ancient Greek Litertaure course as well as performing in a university theatre production. On top of that, he competes in Quiz Bowl competitions, writes for a Victorian Litertaure blog, and is an intern at a historic museum in the area. He did apply to several jobs over the summer, but when none of them called back (well, it's all done online these days), he began volunteering at the museum and at the local library. This semester will be busy applying to colleges as well. Unfortunately also with homeschooling, much of his schedule depends on when I get around to things, so often he's schooling in the evenings, and several of his college and co-op classes required an hour commute.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Sep 9, 2017 4:54 AM CST

Moderator

Welcome, Dawn. Did you know that Dave and Trish home school their family, too?

I grow mostly flowers, but I do grow tomatoes from seed every year. We did some lettuce this year too. We've done some carrots and beets in the past, as well as garlic every year. (Carrots and beets are easy- just direct sow by sprinkling seeds). You can plant garlic in the fall and harvest it next spring/ summer, and it keeps for a long time. One can never have too much garlic.

Growing from seed is probably the least expensive method, as compared to buying plants. Having grow lights and shelves in your house is very helpful, but isn't for everyone as it does require space and initial investment in lights, shelves, etc. Wintersowing is another option, which is very cheap. Green Grin! We have forums for both seeds and wintersowing.

Karen
Name: Dawn Keckley
Virginia Beach, VA (Zone 7b)
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nestof3
Sep 9, 2017 7:45 AM CST
Thank you! Yes, I did learn that while listening to the podcast! Several friends we used to house church with have farms, though much smaller, in the Tidewater Virginia area and homeschool several children as well. Many around here love their eggs, milk shares, chicken, and turkey. Home education has really spread! I love it, but wow does it get intense during high school! 🤣

We've primarily grown shrubs and flowers as well. We also have three rather large trees on our small property, two maples and a gum. I do love the shade that helps keep the house cooler, but I wouldn't mind a bit more full sun area. Half our full sun area is the driveway and where my husband parks his truck and trailer which are housed under a canopy, so I'm always left feeling like I'm always squeezing things into those sunny spots.

We have lost quite a few perennials over the years. I'm guessing it's a combination of not continuing to amend the soil (which still has a lot of clay so drainage may be an issue), failure to divide the perennials, and inconsistent watering for some. One should not lose rudbeckia. 🤣 Some things that did well for several years just didn't come up the next year -- salvias for one. My artemisia just died this year -- after several years of looking amazing. I was heart-broken when my white speedwell vanished. We still have Becky daisies, monarda, Solomon's seal, sedum autumn joy, false blue indigo which look great.

So I listened to the podcast on pumpkins last night and thought, "Where in the world would I put a pumpkin plant?" I though about bringing in some compost and adding it to the couple bare areas in the perennial bed and putting pumpkins in one and zucchini in the other spot. Try a more edible landscapongnmixture.

My son definitely wants to grow carrots, and I'll love the beets -- especially the greens. I've never grown garlic! I'm thinking that since the varieties I want to try of some things are only available in seeds, I'll definitely start some from seeds and also try the winter sowing method.

kqcrna said:Welcome, Dawn. Did you know that Dave and Trish home school their family, too?

I grow mostly flowers, but I do grow tomatoes from seed every year. We did some lettuce this year too. We've done some carrots and beets in the past, as well as garlic every year. (Carrots and beets are easy- just direct sow by sprinkling seeds). You can plant garlic in the fall and harvest it next spring/ summer, and it keeps for a long time. One can never have too much garlic.

Growing from seed is probably the least expensive method, as compared to buying plants. Having grow lights and shelves in your house is very helpful, but isn't for everyone as it does require space and initial investment in lights, shelves, etc. Wintersowing is another option, which is very cheap. Green Grin! We have forums for both seeds and wintersowing.

Karen


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