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Hello from North Texas...

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Hello from North Texas...

Post  Pisachi on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 12:30 am

Just found this site and registered. I have been S.F.G.-ing for three years now, though my parents did it when I was just a wee-lad. I started out with 1 small bed, to 2 large (4x8) beds, to multiple beds in two locations now. 256 total square feet right now, and plan on doubling that in the coming weeks. I've been "easing in" to my gardening, but plan to really go "full-scale" this year. Gonna plant out the new beds next weekend; been building them this week.

I love experimenting with companion planting, different soil mixtures, and a host of other things in the garden...it's like my living science lab! Hahaha! Look forward to learning a lot of good stuff on here, and maybe even helping to solve a problem or two for some others along the way.

God Bless.
-Pisachi
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Pisachi

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Location : Northeast Texas, Zone 8

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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  AvaDGardner on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 12:35 am

to the forum Pisachi! Congrats on your experience and ever growing SFG!

Ava
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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  givvmistamps on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 1:05 am

What zone are you in there?
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givvmistamps

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Location : Lake City, (NE) FL; USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, AHS Heat Zone 9, Sunset Zone 28

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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  Pisachi on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 1:33 am

I'm in heat zone 8, and right on the border of hardiness zone 7b and 8a. However, last summer I felt like I was in heat zone "Hubs of Hades" and hardiness zone "fried". Hahaha!
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Pisachi

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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  givvmistamps on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 2:37 am

Oops, I guess I did say welcome already. Embarassed I have memory issues.

Anyway, it looks like our hardiness zones are pretty close; I'm in 8b. I know what you mean about the Hades/fried comment. Laughing Honestly, this "winter" was not, and now the heat is almost like a normal summer...without the high humidity we see in summer. It's a forest-fire's dream come true.

So, I'm just trying to imagine what 256 square feet looks like, and WHAT you would do with all the produce from it! Do you grow year-round? Do you sell produce, or share with friends & family?
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givvmistamps

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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  Pisachi on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 3:29 am

Michelle,

I'm pretty blessed by the property that we live on. 2.5 acres with lots of potential. cheers

Here's kinda how the 256 s.f. looks like right now:

I have one bed that is against the south side of my house, and wraps all the way around to the east side. It was full of hedges before, used as a landscape filler between the house and the sidewalk that goes around to the back door. My wife and I viewed this as wasted space, so we clipped out the hedges, and made a bed out of it. It gets pretty hot from all the heat that reflects off of the bricks of the house, so we only plant "tropical" stuff there. (Sweet potatoes, okra, peppers, etc.)

Then I have a garden area that is roughly 35 feet long and maybe 50 feet wide(?). I need to measure it really. That is the space I'm currently working on. Right now it has 2 4x8 beds, and gobs of smaller 4x4 beds arranged in different patterns. I also grow things up the fence that goes around my garden area...I try to think of it as a semi-natural trellis. (If I don't fence my garden, my dogs will "double-dig" my garden beds for me. LoL! NOT the kind of gardening that I really want!)

I hope to have two more beds going in tomorrow as well. These will be 2 feet deep, and a total of about 20 feet long. The back side of these beds will rest against a 4 foot tall chain-link fence that forms the back of my garden area. That being the case, I plan on using THAT fence as a trellis too. Very Happy


Last edited by Pisachi on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 3:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pisachi

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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  Pisachi on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 3:43 am

Sorry, I just realized that I didn't answer all that you asked! Embarassed

Yes, we do give food away. If everything keeps going like it is thus far, we will be giving a LOT away this year!
We want to be able to bless some of the folks around our community who are struggling as well.

The gardening does end up saving us quite a bit of money in the long run. It costs a bit to put in the beds and get them going, but then it begins paying off. We are wanting to put some rain barrels in this summer too. If we can start using more rain water to irrigate the beds, we can save quite a bit of money that way.
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Pisachi

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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  givvmistamps on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 4:10 am

Wow! Shocked I'd sure love to see photos! Just trying to imagine it from your description blows my mind. :drunken: I simply can't imagine how much produce you must get out of all those boxes.

How sweet that you guys are growing food to help others in need. In order to help you help others, I'll share with you something that my friend's husband shared with me. I was going to post about this soon anyway (not tonight, since I don't have photos yet). My friend's husband found an ACE Hardware in their town that carries/recycles used plastic pickle barrels...and I mean like maybe 35 gallons...for only about $16. These things have a 2-part top, the part that screws on has a hole in it. He suggested I get one of those, replace the center part of the top with some window screening to keep mosquitoes out, install a spigot near the bottom of it, and use it for my rain barrel. I got one right after we talked that day, and the supplies for the screen & spigot cost about as much as the barrel itself. If needed, you could connect a line of them so that if the first fills, it will flow to the 2nd, 3rd, however many you want to put in a string. He also told me that larger such barrels (50 or 55 gal, I believe) can be found for around $20 somewhere else. I wanted to see how easy it was to modify one before we got more than one. We're hoping to do this tomorrow. (Well, I guess it's kind of today now, isn't it?) When we do get it assembled, I'll be posting step-by-step photos on this site for certain!

If I get my veggie garden where I think I'll want it, I'll have 88 squares (five 4'x4', two 1'x4' boxes). You can grow crops of one sort or another year-round around here, so I'll be using the garden a lot. My husband is a bit overwhelmed with all the projects I have running through my head...but it won't all happen tomorrow. This will take time, since money for startup supplies is an issue...hopefully less and less of one as I get each box established and producing. bounce I can't wait!
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Re: Hello from North Texas...

Post  Pisachi on Sun 15 Apr 2012, 11:47 pm

Michelle,

Stellar idea for the rain barrels! My wife and I really want to do that this summer. Right now, I'm just trying to get the garden area kinda finished up and manageable. It has been a process. The monster storms we got last night and today have put a rain delay on everything for me.

I'm thinking about possibly tilling up a little area and planting some sweet corn in a sort of row-crop fashion. Maybe 20' long and 4-6 rows wide(?) I grew some sweet corn last year in my SFG, but was unimpressed with the results. My okra got to almost 8 feet tall, and put off more okra than we could eat (I planted an entire 4x8 bed full of it. Found out it was WAY more than I needed! LoL! ) , but the corn was very disappointing. Some of it fell over from the wind, some didn't pollinate well, some got eaten by the corn ear worms.

Any good advice on that?

I feel like I can get a lot better production from a square than just 1 corn plant. In that sense, I almost feel like I'm "wasting" squares if I put them aside for corn. I guess that's why I'm thinking about row cropping it. Also, I'm guessing that the corn will pollinate better that way as well. What are your thoughts on that?
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Re: Hello from North Texas...

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