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Thread: Vegetable gardening

  1. #1
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    Vegetable gardening

    I want to start a veggie garden. Would appreciate all the tips y'all will give to make this easier. My neighbor is going to plow the plot for us. It is going to be about 20 x 40. We have our own well. The area will get afternoon shade. I hope that keeps it from burning up next summer. Last summer all the gardens, field crops, etc. burned and it was so sad. Please, let's have a good thread on gardening.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Millstream Mom's Avatar
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    My husband went over-board this year with squash / pumpkins / pickles / zuchinni .... and I made him swear that next year NO plants that extend beyond 6" beyond where they were planted! The vines were everywhere and it was a nightmare midway thru the season! Next year He is allowed a section of the garden for "viney plants" and we thought perhaps if its fenced, that anything over the fence gets lopped off! I have to admit we had a great haul this year, but the pickles were a failure.
    I learned DON'T plant your Mega sunflowers (8' tall) as a natural fence / windbreak if you have something nearby that requires lots of sun. We had to use a machete to get to the beans!

  3. #3
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    Isn't it time to start planting spinach and English peas?

  4. #4
    Super Member QuiltingNinaSue's Avatar
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    Plant a trio of corn rows together for the pole beans to climb onto; consider shade cloth if the sun hits the garden hard. Trelis the peas (chicken wire works well) and cucumbers (cut wooden x trelis in half the long way) in an upside down V...in short rows so you can reach under the trelis to pick the produce. My dh got a whole thing of wire used in cement reinforcement (4x4 welded wire) and cut it into pieces so it would make a cirlce about 30 to 36 inches for tomato support. Works well and can be reused every year. He threads a steel post through one side and drives it into the ground so high winds do not destroy the plants.

    We use old semi or tractor tires, mix our own soil like greenhouses do that holds mositure for the roots of the plants. Easier to weed, easier to pick, and really produces the lovely produce. Sand is needed for any beet or carrot seeds. Try some Heritage seeds...and some resistant to disease. Have fun!!

    Purchase a square foot gardening book for help from Amazon or other sources.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    Isn't it time to start planting spinach and English peas?
    all areas are different so you need to check with your local stores to get tips as to what to plant when.
    Judy

  6. #6
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    Oh man, I've got about 20 books on gardening from the last time about 10 years ago when we had a garden. LOL This time since we know next summer will be another summer of draught and heat we are putting the garden where it has afternoon shade. Hope it helps.

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I used to love to grow peas (what you call English peas down south, lol) - used to grow them on a wire fence staked with posts at the ends and the middle. Every year, without fail, we would get a windy day when the vines were mature and the whole thing would blow over.
    So I took some wire fence and made it into a circle, grow peas on the inside and outside of it, - no more problems.

  8. #8
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    Home Gardens

    Quote Originally Posted by TanyaL View Post
    I want to start a veggie garden. Would appreciate all the tips y'all will give to make this easier. My neighbor is going to plow the plot for us. It is going to be about 20 x 40. We have our own well. The area will get afternoon shade. I hope that keeps it from burning up next summer. Last summer all the gardens, field crops, etc. burned and it was so sad. Please, let's have a good thread on gardening.
    ---------------
    MULCH..MULCh...check out Organic Gardening and Farming mags, old or new.

    Grow TALL plants on the North of the plot, shorter ones towards the South..and like others have advised, corn can hold up lots of viney plants and still produce ears of good tasting corn. My smart little WV hillbilly Grandma used to plant corn, then beans and pumpkins in the same rows. Soon the vines killed the weeds and kept the corn roots shaded.
    ============================================
    We use old semi or tractor tires, mix our own soil like greenhouses do that holds mositure for the roots of the plants.
    ----------Use LAYERS of tires for potatoes. masses of potatoes. You MUST, and I say MUST keep on top of these and keep adding more soil and more tires, since after about 4 days in the sun, the potato vine decides it is a VINE and not a ROOT...and the roots are what produces potatoes. Just leave most of the green stuff but cover the stems and you'll get more potatoes, but needs masses of water. If you could find the stuff nurseries use to add to soil to hold water cheaply, it'll sure help. I found a lot of cheap, new but damaged packages of adult diapers (NEW ones..NEW) and took
    them apart and added them, minus the covers, to pot plants and it held masses of water. Didn't have to use much water for those pots.
    Be sure in pots to put coffee filters over the drainage holes, and if you have a problem with slugs or snails, get some copper screenings for your more valuable plants. It'll kill or discourage slugs that only dine on top grade plants.
    And add Epsom Salts to all in your yard and garden..it's NOT a sodium but a magnesium supplement. Nurseries use it by the hundred pounds in their plants. Makes them grow stronger. In my lemon tree in the back yard it makes them grow bigger, skin thinner and juice sweeter.

  9. #9
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    The major crop in our garden will be okra, some corn, spinach if we get it going soon enough, tomatoes, a little squash, english peas, black-eyes, etc.

  10. #10
    Super Member oldswimmer's Avatar
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    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
    If your ship doesn't come in...Swim out to it!

    Through gardening one can become a partner in creation with God, not only by contemplating the perfection of His design, but by actively promoting it. ( Author unknown)

  11. #11
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    Peggy, I can't think that your advice would be considered hogging the thread at all. One quick question, should I be starting any seeds indoors now?

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    I would suggest the extension office closest to you for advice. There is a Master Gardener program located in most offices and it is a volunteer organization that's main goal is to help gardeners.

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    Texas has been really dry for the last couple years. I would suggest you start your garden with ammending the soil with a lot of compost. Planting veggies in my area (near Austin) is not something I would do until around the beginning of March unless I am using a cold frame or greenhouse. I do start some of my seeds inside then plant in the garden. Sometimes people hear Texas and immediately think always HOT but we do have our colder periods.

    If you can't get hold of your local county extension agency, you might talk to greenhouses or even get in touch with Texas A&M or Tech. Most of the time there will be someone who can answer your questions.

  14. #14
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    lab fairy, do you grow cold weather vegetables? I do plan on contacting the agricultural agent to see what services he offers gardeners. All I have heard about was directed toward ranchers.

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    step #1---SOIL TEST..without an actual soil test done by your extension agency, you are never going to know what you need or don't need in your soil.
    step #2- go to rareseeds.com and join the forum there...search the archives, read, read, and read some more...end of Feb is seed starting time in your area so you have a LOT to do in a little time...

  16. #16
    Junior Member thevintageseamstress's Avatar
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    When I was young and first married I lived next door to an elderly lady who in my mind must have been a master gardener. She taught me a lot. Here is some of her instructions.

    When you set out your tomato plants don't just stick them in the ground, put them to bed. By that she meant dig a trench and lay them on their sides, covering up with dirt to their top set of leaves, she said that way they put out more root growth and bore more tomatoes.

    If you want to fertilize the garden use manure tea. She would get a pile of it from our zoo or somebody's farm, about a large box full. Put a shovel full in an old white bucket and add water, let it steep for a day or so and then water at the ground level each plant you have set out. She would do this everyday, her plants were huge.

    When you chop weeds, chop them off at the surface and don't dig much into the dirt, when you do you expose other weed seeds to light and they will germinate. Don't put weeds in your compost pile either.

    She had a compost pile in the shade and she would put her garden waste and kitchen waste into it and she kept it covered with and old screen. She turned it about once a week and watered it if it had not rained. From her kitchen she added all the vegie waste and egg shells to.

    She would sweeten her soil in the spring and fall with powdered lyme.

    She put black pepper on her roses to keep the bugs off.

    Birds and cutworms are bad about getting new pepper plants you set out. She would put collars around them she made from paper cups when she first set them out and it worked great.

    She saved all her plastic gallon sized milk jugs and just cut the bottom out. If she had set plants out early and the weather got too cold she would set a jug over them and kind of wedge it down into the dirt a bit and it would make a mini green house. She never used the screw lids.

    If I remember more later I will add it. Hope this helps. I know that when you use new ground to make a garden it will be a good one.
    Did you say you dropped the pie!

  17. #17
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    I live in Eastern Arizona, hard to grow vegetables here. My DH and I even built a small green house using strong plastic to help against the winds. We did tire gardens last year. We used 8 truck tires. DH cut out the rims. There are a few places here that have horses. The one man up the street a little, let us help ourselves to manure he had, we mixed, tree bark, and soil. We grew 2 types of tomato,chard, romaine and butter crunch romaine. We had spinich, squash, green beans, 2 types of green pepper. We are planning on planting other beans for soups and such. We watered either just after the sun went down, or early morn. During monsoon season we didn't have to worry that much. We used some left over t bar fence posts and had some left over chain link fence for the tomato and cucks. Once a month, gave them a some miricle grow, mixed in a spray bottle with water. I start tomato and green peppers, in the house. I use paper cups, some soil, that has nutrients needed to start a good healthy plant. Can be purchased in home depot, lowes, local hardware. I use a folding table, a blanket picked up at a salvation army and put that on the table for warmth. I have a table lamp that I put on at night. I put the plants outdoors after the last frost. I put them on the porch during the day, and bring them in at night. This sets the plants to get used to being outdoors.
    Last edited by EagarBeez; 12-29-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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    Super Member Psychomomquilter's Avatar
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    ever try container gardening or winter gardening? and try http://www. gardenforum.com. they have a lot of info there for you !
    we don't meet people by accident.Everyone is meant to cross our path for a reason.

  19. #19
    Senior Member flikkem's Avatar
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    Try this site: http://www.texasgardener.com/
    I have subscribed to their magazine for many years.
    I have never encountered another source that was so helpful for Texas specific gardens which are very different from other U.S. locations.
    Mary Jane Flikke

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    Buy local seeds if you can.

  21. #21
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    If you survived the drought I would try anything. According to the farmer's almanac middle February/early March is the best. Good luck this year. p

  22. #22
    Senior Member nclauri's Avatar
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    We were renting the past couple of years and had a small garden. Our problem was we tried to crowd too much into a small space. The soil was very fertile and I had a hard time walking between the row. I did put vine plants such a cucumbers on a trellis system last year and it worked pretty good. We just purchased a home of our own and have been told the deer are terrible in the area. So I may not plant a garden next year. Good luck with yours!

  23. #23
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    Don't forget your county extension office -- the horticulturist there can help with soil testing, determining the content of the local soil and what grows best in it or how to enrich it. They helped me with my blueberry bushes -- our soil was too sandy.

    Lots of good ideas here!!!

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    Best advice I can give is compost---Lots of compost.

  25. #25
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    I have found that not all states have the same levels of "extension agency assistance" so I agree with you on your assessment that much of what you find is targeting ranchers.

    There are soil testing kits that are available for people to test their own soil samples (check seed catalogs or online sources if you can't find one locally). These are pretty simple (they use color matching for most tests) and get the basic information. You definitely need to test the pH of your soil. Compost is always a good idea for Texas (or anywhere else) because nutrients are used up as gardens grow. We mulch the heck out of our gardens (hay straw used to be cheap but not this year). The great thing about mulch is you work it into the soil after the growing season and it breaks down (slow composting).

    Cold crops are great. Don't forget herbs (mine grow year round usually). You might have good luck with square foot gardening or "hills" rather than rows. The plants shade each other's roots and along with the mulch reduce the need for extra watering. Good luck.

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