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Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

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Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

Post  Odd Duck on 3/8/2010, 5:32 pm

I signed on just a few weeks before the change over to the new forum, and was just starting to get to know a few of you. I definitely like this format better. I will reintroduce myself since there are already so many new folks just in the last few days!

I've been gardening in some form nearly all my life, but only recently started veggie gardening in TX. My previous veggie gardening experience was in Nebraska - quite a change. I'm still getting my timing sorted out. It's definitely not as simple as 3-4 weeks before last frost, etc. For instance, we plant onion slips in January and peas in February! Who ever heard of such a thing, right? "What do you mean, I can't grow rhubarb year round? It's one of the toughest plants I know." (It doesn't always take the heat.) "I can grow sweet potatoes? Awesome!" "Lettuce won't even grow in the summer, really?"

So, I take the good with the bad and thank my lucky stars that I can grow lettuce nearly all the rest of the year and I'll have enough time to grow peas, then beans, then peas again (so stop griping already, right?).

I've had Mel's old book for a few decades, but it was just gathering dust for nearly 20 years while I went back to school, then moved around for a bit finishing that up, moved to TX, etc, etc.

So, I have read Mel's book many times, have years of experience (years ago) and now recent experience in TX. I hope I can defeat the dreaded squash moths this year. I am doing pretty much everything I've read/heard that's organic short of Neem oil. I have some borage, marigolds and nasturtiums already started (and will plant more in a week or so), there are onions, garlic or leeks growing around every spot where I will soon be putting in squash, cukes or melons of any sort, and I will be spraying weekly with liquid seaweed or another foliar, alternating with Bt or spinosad. Take that, you foul moths!

I've found I share Boffer's passion for silly, one-liners, and I am fascinated by everyone's new ideas on old problems!

How did the big-game hunter know he couldn't trust the cat?
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Because he was a lion! (lyin') Hee, hee, couldn't help myself!

Sharon

Odd Duck

Female Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 54
Location : DFW, TX, Zone 7b/8a

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Re: Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

Post  timwardell on 3/8/2010, 5:41 pm

Hello again Sharon,
I recall reading your original post before the forum change. Welcome to the challenge that is gardening in Texas. Not sure what part of DFW you're in (I'm up north in Frisco), but the Collin County Master Gardeners have some great resources of information regarding what and when to plant in this area. I wrote a blog about it and listed all the links at the bottom. You can find it at
http://www.timsbackyard.com/2010/03/finding-your-usda-zone_07.html

Happy gardening and good luck fighting the Squash Borer Moths. They destroyed my garden last year. This year they will DIE!

timwardell

Certified SFG Instructor

Male Posts : 778
Join date : 2010-03-02
Location : Frisco, Texas

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Timing

Post  Odd Duck on 3/8/2010, 6:20 pm

I've down-loaded/printed scads of lists, charts, graphs, etc, but they never seem to have everything I want to grow. I've been slowly adding things to my PDA with reminders of when I should get things done. I will eventually get most things I need in there, but it is just so different from what I grew up with, it still kind of throws me for a loop on some things.

I am in North Richland Hills (NE of Ft. Worth) and seem to be right on the border between blackland prairie and clay, as well as bordering 7b/8a zone. I really have to pay attention to my microclimates for flowers, but raised beds has done wonders for my veggies!

Sharon

Odd Duck

Female Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 54
Location : DFW, TX, Zone 7b/8a

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Water Traps and Row covers

Post  SirTravers on 3/8/2010, 7:17 pm

Adult borer moths are attracted to yellow stuff you you can use yellow painted pie pans filled with water to catch the adults. Once you've noticed a few adults in the traps you can use floating row covers for 2 weeks after you spot the first adults. In the North, they emerge as adults the following Spring. Where it's warm like in Texas, the first run pupates quickly into adults, whose children commit another round of squash vine damage before they drop down into the soil for the winter so remember it's not just the adults...it's the babies in the ground too!
Don't plant squash in the same spot 2 years in a row. If you don't like row covers you can wrap the base of the vines with a small piece of the row cover material.Make sure to get it down into the mix a little. Next line of defense would be to spray insecticidal soap on the base of the vines once a week.
It can be a tough battle, but well worth the effort when the crop comes in.

SirTravers

Male Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-01
Age : 43
Location : Hobbs New MExico, Zone 7A/7B

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Re: Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/9/2010, 8:36 am

Welcome again. I'm in Santa Anna, east of Brownwood and the dividing line of zones 7 & 8 run through this county -- I think right through my property. It can be a challenge gardening here. Then again, I've had lettuce, swiss chard, and bunching onions growing all winter with just a sheet thrown over them when the weather drops below 25. Nothing like wading out to pick salad greens and dusting the snow off them! Next year I'm going to try growing rhubarb annually -- saw directions on the web, so it will be a grand experiment.

We can commiserate together, especially when we hit the 100's this summer and nothing wants to grow except zucchini and okra.... and zucchini and okra.... and, well you get my drift.

Ditto SirTravers post on squash borers, although planting in two different places seemed to help last year. Lost one hill but the other survived just fine.

Retired Member 1

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Re: Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

Post  Odd Duck on 3/23/2010, 9:44 am

@SirTravers wrote:Adult borer moths are attracted to yellow stuff you you can use yellow painted pie pans filled with water to catch the adults. Once you've noticed a few adults in the traps you can use floating row covers for 2 weeks after you spot the first adults. In the North, they emerge as adults the following Spring. Where it's warm like in Texas, the first run pupates quickly into adults, whose children commit another round of squash vine damage before they drop down into the soil for the winter so remember it's not just the adults...it's the babies in the ground too!
Don't plant squash in the same spot 2 years in a row. If you don't like row covers you can wrap the base of the vines with a small piece of the row cover material.Make sure to get it down into the mix a little. Next line of defense would be to spray insecticidal soap on the base of the vines once a week.
It can be a tough battle, but well worth the effort when the crop comes in.

Aha! Another weapon against the dreaded vine borer moths! I hadn't heard/read that one yet. I have moved my squash this year and will move again next year. I will be getting some row cover ASAP.

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.

Sharon

Odd Duck

Female Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 54
Location : DFW, TX, Zone 7b/8a

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Re: Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

Post  Odd Duck on 3/23/2010, 9:49 am

belfrybat wrote:Welcome again. I'm in Santa Anna, east of Brownwood and the dividing line of zones 7 & 8 run through this county -- I think right through my property. It can be a challenge gardening here. Then again, I've had lettuce, swiss chard, and bunching onions growing all winter with just a sheet thrown over them when the weather drops below 25. Nothing like wading out to pick salad greens and dusting the snow off them! Next year I'm going to try growing rhubarb annually -- saw directions on the web, so it will be a grand experiment.

We can commiserate together, especially when we hit the 100's this summer and nothing wants to grow except zucchini and okra.... and zucchini and okra.... and, well you get my drift.

Ditto SirTravers post on squash borers, although planting in two different places seemed to help last year. Lost one hill but the other survived just fine.

And I don't even like okra! Have you tried Malabar spinach? It is a decent green that loves the heat. Let it climb up a trellis and go to town. It's taste is similar to spinach, but it has a slightly odd feel in the mouth raw. Leaves are thick and ever so slightly, hmmm, soapy feeling in the mouth. No TASTE of soap, just a very slight feel in the mouth of foamyness. This completely goes away once it's cooked and it's a very nice spinach substitute when cooked. Worth trying. It flowers like crazy and I saved seed. I will be starting seed very soon to have plants ready once it gets a bit warmer.

Sharon

Odd Duck

Female Posts : 327
Join date : 2010-03-08
Age : 54
Location : DFW, TX, Zone 7b/8a

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Re: Another Hello from north central (DFW) TX

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