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Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

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Re: Great Help

Post  GloriaG on 3/27/2013, 11:47 am

Thank you Anthony, I appreciate that.

As far as I know there aren't any scheduled meetings for SFG's other than classes. The classes are usually advertised by the individual instructor or the garden shop where they'll be teaching. I know Marshall's Grain in Grapevine holds them, so you might check their website.

If you'd like to see a SFG in operation, you are welcome to come visit mine. I've been gardening 3-years and have about 250 sq ft that I keep in operation year-round. This is a photo from last spring.



Right now I'm re-planting some tomatoes and herbs I lost in the freeze a couple of nights ago. Had them covered twice and still lost them! Shocked

Just send me a pm if you're interested.
Good luck,
Gloria


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Re: Great Help

Post  iiiigardener on 3/27/2013, 2:33 pm

Gloria,

Sad to hear you lost your tomatoes and some herbs - I did, too. I thought it was something "rookie" I did - but I double covered them, too, and lost a bunch. I guess it was just too cold. I got some more today and will start hardening them off this afternoon with hopes of planting by the weekend - though I will look to see if frost is expected before the next week is up.

What a beautiful garden! I love looking at all the pictures. This is my first year with SFG and with veggies. I've grown flowers and herbs for many years. I'm trying to figure out how to keep bunnies, squirrels, and insect pests to a minimum. Any suggestions for a newbie?

Vicki
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Re: Great Help

Post  GloriaG on 3/27/2013, 3:40 pm

Hi Vicki,

Sometimes it's not a "rookie" error when you lose plants. We had a really hard freeze Monday night. Tomatoes, peppers, basil and eggplants can't tolerate those temperatures. Even the farmers I talked to when I went to buy replacements yesterday were complaining about their losses. So don't feel bad.

I managed to save about 2/3 of my tomatoes, my eggplants and peppers - but I think it was because they were in protected spots. The basil and tomatoes that were in the beds with most wind exposure were the ones I lost.

I haven't had any trouble with bunnies or squirrels, but there are a lot of good treads here talking about protection from them. Just use the search box to locate them.

With regard to insects - Personally, I have made an real effort to encourage pollinators and beneficial insects by planting flowers/plants they like and releasing predators such as ladybugs and praying mantis. That's not going to solve the whole problem immediately, but it's amazing how much it helps. Also, Mel has some great strategies in the All New Square Foot Garden Answer Book for controlling many insect pests organically. It's worth getting the book just for that section.

I hope this helps, and good luck with your garden.
Gloria

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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  H_TX_2 on 3/27/2013, 3:53 pm

@iiiigardener wrote:We saw some vermiculite at Calloways this weekend. There seem to be a few of those around the Dallas area though the one we saw it at was in McKinney. I would call first before driving to be sure it is in stock - seems like a lot of people started their gardens this weekend.

Calloways in Dallas is the same as Cornelius in Houston. I was searching everywhere in Houston for vermiculite and finally found this store. Then I mentioned to my wife where I was going and she said "oh yeah I remember going there as a kid with my mom." Really I've been going crazy looking for this gardening stuff and she never once mention the really good nursery her mom went to while she was growing up? I really like this place because they have a good selection of plants, pots, organic supplies, other materials and they have helpful and knowledgeable staff. I'm fairly certain they keep big bags of vermiculite in stock.
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Hi from Dallas

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/5/2013, 10:13 pm

Hello all, it's my first post on the forum! I am in the northeast corner of the city of Dallas, it's called Casa View, just a little ways east of White Rock Lake and almost to Garland.

I've only ever been able to do container gardening before, in apartments where the patio most definitely did NOT get six to eight hours of sun a day! Now I have a backyard and I am SO excited to start SFG. I have one 4x8 bed made of cinder blocks (and I'm going to plant a bunch of things in the cinder block holes too... I understand that our hot Texas summers make cinder blocks dry out too quickly, so it may not be successful, but hey, I had leftover seeds/seedlings.)

I have completely ignored all the "start small" advice Very Happy Very Happy Rolling Eyes and I've got a square (or more) each of tomatoes, onions, green onions, carrots, lettuce, peas, bush beans, pole beans, butternut squash, chard, beets, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and a whole bunch of herbs and some marigolds (pest repellent) and bluebonnets (w00t w00t go Texas!). What can I say... it's the first time I can have a REAL garden and seeds just aren't that expensive!!!

Good to meet you all!
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  TexasTracy on 4/5/2013, 11:19 pm

Sounds like you have a good mix going, how fun! All of our community gardens are made with cinder blocks and they do quite well. I'm planning on redoing my wood beds into cinder blocks next year (the wood is already starting to rot...only 2 years old).
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  jjlonsdale on 4/7/2013, 4:15 pm

Yep, the cinder blocks were also 1) super-cheap and 2) didn't require any sawing, nailing, or screwing! Not that I'm against getting out the Black & Decker, but I didn't want to spend the time on it.

I'll post some pix as soon as I have something decent to look at!
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Hi!

Post  nyanamia on 6/14/2013, 12:24 am

Hello everyone! 
This is my first time gardening and I just rented SFG from the library and read it yesterday!  I live in an apartment in Arlington and I started a bag garden in February at my MIL's house.  I want to convert it into a SFG in the fall.  I think it will be a lot more manageable that way, since we don't live where our garden is (we're about 4 miles down the road.) 

I've been reading constantly about growing food plants, but unless I have a TX-specific book, a lot of the information doesn't seem to apply.  Of course, I am a complete novice and don't really know any better.

Can I putt pictures on my first post?

As you can see, some things actually grew!  yay!  but a lot of things didn't... I have mostly herbs, lettuce that went on rampage and is now composted, some sickly looking snap peas, bush beans that are mad because it froze so many times way later than usual (!!!what is up with this year!?) and two tomato plants that look really healthy but the flowers keep falling off before fruit happens.  Also, there is some squash that looks happy, a forest of parsley, and some puny peppers that some little wormie ate before I squashed him.  He was the only real pest I have seen so far.  The others are a strange number of rabbits for a suburban neighborhood, and a large, stubborn old dog.  For those, we have a laughably heavy-duty fence around the garden.

I hope to continue my crash course in gardening, and it's nice to be able to talk to some people from my area.  You guys seem like a  really helpful, friendly bunch and I look forward to sharing with everyone.  I'll certainly be back soon to bombard you with questions Smile

PS. the cinderblock SFG seems like a really cool idea!
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  Goosegirl on 6/14/2013, 7:17 am

WELCOME NYANAMIA!!!  You have come to the right place for help with your Texas climate.  We have lots of members SFG'ing in Texas.  Ask away and your 'neighbors' will chime in with help and encouragement.

GG
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  westx on 6/14/2013, 11:26 pm

In Midlothian.  Have been doing SQFT method on and off since 1986.  My current garden consist of 8 - 4x8 beds and 2 - 2x10 with plans to add 4 more 4x8s and 1- 2x20.  I use the Lady Bug mix along with a veggie garden mix of soil I haul in in bulk.  I like the old SQFT mixture better than the new plus my beds are 15 inches deep since they are dug into the side of my slopping backyard.  Only way to get them level. At this time they are made with natural pine but I will be rebuilding with cinder block that I got from a building we tore down at work.  I volunteered to haul them off to save the company the disposal fee to have the hauled to the landfill.

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pollinators?

Post  nyanamia on 8/16/2013, 2:06 pm

I just finished building and planting my first square foot garden! I'll have to get some pictures up soon. I had some tomatoes from my old bag garden that are still growing and getting huge. They look really healthy, but have only produced a few fruits between them since may. Do I have a lack of pollinators? Is that a common reason for tomatoes to not set fruit? They keep making lots of flowers but no fruit. aNy ideas?
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  westx on 8/16/2013, 9:11 pm

One thing would be the lack of bees but another is the weird weather we have had since May.  Look around and see if you see an bees around.  If not then there is your answer.

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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  yolos on 8/17/2013, 1:48 pm

@nyanamia wrote:I just finished building and planting my first square foot garden!  I'll have to get some pictures up soon.  I had some tomatoes from my old bag garden that are still growing and getting huge.  They look really healthy, but have only produced a few fruits between them since may.  Do I have a lack of pollinators?  Is that a common reason for tomatoes to not set fruit?  They keep making lots of flowers but no fruit.  aNy ideas?
No, you do not have a lack of pollinators causing this.  Tomatoes are self-fertilizing.  see the attached link.

http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/vege016/vege016.htm

You can also do a search to look at other articles that will discuss the reasons for blossoms not setting fruit.
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  TxGramma on 8/18/2013, 1:27 pm

@nyanamia wrote:I just finished building and planting my first square foot garden!  I'll have to get some pictures up soon.  I had some tomatoes from my old bag garden that are still growing and getting huge.  They look really healthy, but have only produced a few fruits between them since may.  Do I have a lack of pollinators?  Is that a common reason for tomatoes to not set fruit?  They keep making lots of flowers but no fruit.  aNy ideas?
Tomatoes do not have separate male/female flowers like squash/cucumbers, etc. but they do need wind or pollinators to make the pollen drop from the male to the female part of the flower so pollination can be a problem. (You can help pollinate tomato plants by shaking them or by using an electric toothbrush which apparently yields better results since it also simulates the sound of pollinators.) But odds are pollination is not your problem...heat is. Tomatoes will not set fruit in higher temps, above 90, which we have a lot of as you know. You can try some things that might help such as putting on a thick layer of mulch (3-4 inches) to help keep the roots cooler and putting shade cloth over them. If that doesn't work for you then you will have to wait til the temps cool off and then they should start setting fruit again. Good luck!!
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  walshevak on 8/19/2013, 3:53 pm

When the hot weather sets in I concentrate on keeping the plants alive and sometimes rooting suckers to plant for fall tomatoes.

Kay

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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  nyanamia on 8/27/2013, 12:43 pm

Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I guess it must be the weather. Which is weird because our spring and early summer was nice and mild and the nights were cool (but not too cool for tomatoes) and they STILL didn't set fruit... Seems like the weather was perfect for them all through May this year! Maybe they'll get the hang of it in fall.
Can inadequate watering stop fruit set while the plant still looks healthy?
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  batmap on 8/27/2013, 2:25 pm

Hi
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  nyanamia on 10/31/2013, 12:03 am

Hey everyone,

Y'all were right, it was the weather that the tomatoes were upset about.  They are on a rampage now, so much that I had to cut them back because they have blocked the sun from my squash and pretty much killed it.  *novice planning problems* Cool 

I said forever ago that I would post pictures...here we go:" />

These were taken today.  I built the garden on August 10th if I remember correctly, and finished planting on the 15th. Tomatoes and herbs are leftover or transplanted from the garden I had before I built the square foot garden.

" />
That big tomato is almost the size of a quart jar.  A variety called Black Pineapple.


I have been having issues with my seeds sprouting but then not growing past the two baby leaves stage.  Those beets were planted in mid September, but only one of them looks kind of like a beet plant.  Kale was planted earlier this month, so I expect it to get bigger soon.

" />
I planted the chard at the end of August, and I guess it didn't like the heat because it never grew more than its baby leaves.  Then it died, so I replanted early October and that is what you see circled.  Still isn't growing past seedling stage.


I'm excited about that kale.  It survived almost all the way through the summer and never did bolt.  It finally wilted to death at the beginning of August.  We'll see how well it does through the winter.  The carrots are hard to see because the lawn guys came through and launched all this grass and weed clippings into the garden.  I have all kinds of mystery plants sprouting because of that.  Oh well.  So the carrots in the lower box were planted in September and still haven't grown enough to sprout any true leaves.  Is this normal?  A few of them have one tiny true leaf.  I planted the carrots in upper square last week and they look exactly the same as the ones planted earlier.  What's up with that?

" />
Here are more tiny beets, rampaging parsley, and scarlet runner beans that I planted end of August.  Seed packet said they like cool weather...they shot up to this height in August and then stopped growing and now they're just sitting there.  Probably not getting enough sun, either, thanks to my crazy tomatoes.

I have some mystery plant pictures to share tomorrow.
Later,

Emily
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  batmap on 11/9/2013, 4:25 am

Basil ignores the Texas heat and poor soil conditions and even performs well if you over-water. All four basil seed pockets had multiple seedlings become adult plants.

Thyme and Oregano did rather poorly. Oregano 1 of 16 seeds grew. Thyme 2 of 16 seeds grew.

The tomato plants are booming, but the sandy soil here likely lacks proper nutrients for fruit. 3 of 16 seeds grew. Two small tomatoes started last week, and they have been growing all summer.

I am currently not using SFG, so if I had this summer to do over I would only plant basil. I had 4-5 very large harvests of basil, enough for many batches of tomato basil soup and more frozen for soup thru the winter.
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  has55 on 11/12/2013, 5:11 am

Hi everyone. This is Austin from Denton, texas.
my plants are doing well. Working on updated experiment to protect from pending cold weather. I believe everything will do well this round. Just harvested some onions,  turnips, mustard, radishes, sweet potato( they're curing), sweet potatoes greens. kale and swish chard greens.
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QAnother New Person In DFW Area

Post  Gardendog on 12/6/2013, 11:18 pm

Another SFG joining in from DFW. Looks like I will be doing my garden plans online with the weather here in Texas going to be in the teens tonight and not much better the next few days.
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  camprn on 12/7/2013, 5:53 am

Hi Gardendog and:welcome: to the SFG Forum!

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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  Goosegirl on 12/7/2013, 9:18 am

Welcome Gardendog!  Lots of us are with you in the garden design department - temps in the teens (above and below 0) are something many of us are facing right now.  I am waiting (rather impatiently) for my new seed catalogs to arrive so I can plan from the comfort of my couch!

GG
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  rabbithutch on 2/10/2014, 11:42 pm

Howdy!

I'm not in the DFW area but about 2 hours South of you folks in Bell County, about halfway between Waco and Austin.  Have only done potted plants for the last 15+ years but have started working on 4 4x4 SFGs for 2014.  The information that I've found about hardiness zones for Texas says that I am in zone 8b.

Nice to meet you folks!
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

Post  sanderson on 2/11/2014, 3:22 am

RH, I'm 8b-9a in California. It's funny how folks in different areas can have the same growing needs.
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Re: Say hi if you are in the DFW, Texas area

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