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Thread: Vegetable gardening

  1. #31
    Senior Member Cheshirecatquilter's Avatar
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    Good luck down there in Texas. I'm sure the growing conditions will be a lot different from up here in the Berkshires, Massachusetts. This last year most everything had to be replanted as all the seeds rotted from the constant rain.

    ---To conserve water I place a filled gallon jug next to the stem/roots of large plants like tomatoes and broccoli and let the water trickle out gradually through a very small hole punched in the bottom of one corner.
    ---I place layers of newspapers around the hills of cukes and other running plants, serving as mulch and weed killer, then keeps the cukes clean. Then as the vines begin to grow I coil them in an increasing circle around the center. I never have problems with them running into each other.
    ---If you plant things like green and yellow beans that have to be hilled as they grow, start the seeds down in a trench. Then the first couple of hillings will end up level with the surrounding soil, and you won't be dragging dirt up a big incline.
    ---Leaves of beets and Swiss chard can be harvested individually over and over during the season, and the beets will still mature to be used at the end.

  2. #32
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I am a Master Gardener but my husband does all the food gardening for us. In SC, it gets really hot and we need more rain also. I saw an interesting way to plant lettuce; attach guttering (that goes on the eave of a house) to siding of a building or make a frame out of 2 x 2 to attach them and fill them with compost or potting soil and grow the lettuce in them. I would save ground space as well by doing that. I also bought my DH a small greenhouse ( 8' x 6') for Christmas from Harbor Freight because the squirrels always destroy his seedlings out side. He had taken cuttings last summer from our hydrangeas and azaleas and they were almost ready to go in the ground when the squirrels ravaged them and destroyed all his hard work. So now he is putting the greenhouse together and going to get ready for sowing seeds for early spring! Hopefully you can get 8 hrs of good sunlight to grow great tomatoes and other summer veggies. Good luck!!

  3. #33
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    Pray for a lot of rain. Seriously, looking at the lake levels in my area we will not be putting in a garden or even replacing anything we lost last year in our yard. Texas is still in an extreme drought and unless we get a miracle nothing will change this summer.

    I'm going to container garden for a few "fresh" things. I've given up on tomatoes. My flower beds by the house are "agri-scaped" with herbs. Ane we MULCH with newspaper, compost, leaves, etc. By the end of June we'll be lucky to have much out there (due to water rationing). I'm resourceful and use gray water to water trees, etc. by diverting the water from the washer into the yard. If I didn't live on a limestone rockbed I'd want holding tanks but my HOA frowns on TNT (I can't imagine why...) I'd ask neighbors what grows in your area. Good luck with the gardening. What do you have to lose but a few seeds and a little effort?

  4. #34
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    learn about all of the things that YOU can do in your area...gray water, water catch systems, containers vs beds, and shop for heirloom seeds! They do not need to be pollinated and many are from hard to grow areas like TX, OK and AR! You can find them at www.rareseeds.com also known as baker creek seeds!

  5. #35
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    Personally, I know that the veggies I like to eat will grow in my area. I guess some varieties are better to grow than others and I will research that. We are going to start our garden small with a plot of about 20x40 in an area that gets afternoon shade. I plan on using horse manure to fertilize the ground and a lot of compost worked into the soil. Haven't decided on the type of compost - I know the easiest thing is just to go buy some. I expect to mulch the ground very heavily. We have our well so we can water. I'm really, really wanting to know how those of you who had gardens that suffered from last year's heat are planning on making plans to compensate for that.
    Knowing ahead of time how the heat will come and the draught, how are you planning to change what you did last year?

  6. #36
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    All of this gardening talk is getting me excited!

  7. #37
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    TanyaL, Texas gardeners generally have their "first garden" finished by the middle of summer. We plant much earlier than most. Many years we will plant our second round of herbs and cold season plants in late August or early September. It might be slightly different in your region (Texas is a really large state). Many of us have told you what we will do differently. We will MULCH and MULCH some more because we want to prevent water evaporation and cool the soil around plant roots. There isn't a perfect answer to this question. If you have a water well, be cautious, because wells in our area ran dry before the middle of June. The aquifer is not recharging and water table is dropping. The Llano River, all the LCRA lakes, etc. are severely below level and those are the main water source.

    You could start your cold crop seeds, or at least some of them, inside and transplant to speed the growing season. You should see great results on most herbs by the end of March or early April. I hope you get a bumper crop of everything. Gardening can be great fun and really rewarding when you have enough to give to everyone and their dog. :-)

  8. #38
    Junior Member rwillig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldswimmer View Post
    Tanya,
    Just want you to know that you can PM me anytime with questions about gardening. I have been a horticulturist most of my life, and worked for the UNL Extension service for many years.
    All the advice you will get from others is going to be some of the best kind.....the kind you get from experience. I would encourage you to check out your Extension offiice in your county ....they may have wonderful publications (maybe online) to help with specifics in your area.

    Your area should be coming into the time when you can grow crops that like the cool weather. Spinach, peas, snap peas, lettuce, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. These like to mature in cool weather, and usually fade when the weather turns warm.
    The others you mentioned...corn, squash, black eyes (which are actually "beans" ) and need warm soil and weather to grow well. I have a suggestion for growing sweet corn with great success if you are interested. It takes a little more work, but it allows you to have a good germination rate, and no open areas in your corn plot. Also consider planting your corn in successive plantings so it doesnt all mature at one time. Let me know if you are interested, and I will PM you this....or share on the thread so other board members can see also. Just dont want to hog the thread or anything.
    Pegg
    would love to know the technique for sweet corn... Also noticed that Tanya is from southern plains... with the drought so bad, get your plot plowed now and get some lyme in it to soften it a bit. probably going to miss the cold season crop unless you can get started very soon. I would normally start putting them in next month here in northeastern ok. And also make sure you know where the compost came from. if the manure came from animals that were in a weedy field you will have weedy garden lol. i found out the hard way. And if you arent used to the time it takes to start a garden I might mention that 20 x 40 is alot to take care of your first year, especially if you work full time and have young kids.
    Last edited by rwillig; 01-09-2012 at 04:31 PM.

  9. #39
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    I don't think we will need to add lime. If we dig about 3 feet down the top soil quits and we hit limestone. We are having to wait on our neighbor to get our garden plowed, so in the meantime we have built a large hot frame. It's all finished except for the lid. Praise the good Lord we're have a couple days of rain with water standing in our small pasture! We going to fill the hot frame with aged horse manure and plant salad item in gutter eaves on top of it. The hot frame is on a slope, so on the downhill side we plan on putting in our first in ground plant so that the runoff from watering the hot frame will fertilize those plants. Does this sound right to anyone?
    Last edited by TanyaL; 01-09-2012 at 04:42 PM.

  10. #40
    Junior Member rwillig's Avatar
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    we went with the new no till raised beds the last couple of years and have really liked them. we simply re-mulch on top of the old every year and not moving the soil seems to really keep the nutrients in, the drought was so bad last year that we had to stop watering from the pond and use house water until we just shut it down in august. the ponds are still only at a quarter of normal so we are planning on sizing the garden down this year. No water means no garden. I have a small greenhouse that I will grow a few things in until we find out what the temps are going to do this year. on the plus side the water levels got so low we had the pond enlarged so that once it does fill up we wont notice the grden being watered out of it once it fills up. note if you are going to use pond water you should keep the water moving with a fountain system.

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