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1st time gardener in N Texas

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1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  Songbird56 on 5/29/2017, 5:32 pm

Im SO nervous! I'm late in the season and everyone I'm asking at the nurseries and Lowes says SFG wont work... not very encouraging but I'm still eager to try. I read the book in one day. My guy is building my garden in 2 weeks once our landscapers finish grading the back yard... so I put together a plan although I'm sure it needs tweaking. Please let me know what you think!
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  Songbird56 on 5/29/2017, 5:33 pm

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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  trolleydriver on 5/29/2017, 5:44 pm

@Songbird56 wrote:Im SO nervous! I'm late in the season and everyone I'm asking at the nurseries and Lowes says SFG wont work... not very encouraging but I'm still eager to try. I read the book in one day. My guy is building my garden in 2 weeks once our landscapers finish grading the back yard... so I put together a plan although I'm sure it needs tweaking. Please let me know what you think!

Don't let those naysayers discourage you. They don't know what they are talking about. They have most likely never even tried SFG. It does work and in many different climates.  The people on this forum can attest to that. Follow Mel's the instructions for making the Mel's Mix. Keep an eye on watering. Plant what you like eating and what works well in your climate. Ask questions on the forum. We are here to support you and encourage you and we look forward to seeing your progress.

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Thank you!

Post  Songbird56 on 5/29/2017, 9:21 pm

Thank you! Did you see the garden plan I put together? What do you think? The companion plant situation is really whats making me nervous... So the garden is up against a 24ft long fence. This is why its only 2.5 feet wide, since I can only access the front of it. The back of it is north. The west side is also against a tall fence, and taller trees are behind that. So the western 8 feet or so are partial shade in the afternoon as the sun sets. The rest is full sun all day. I think I'm going to take out the okra, because I love it but the rest of my family wont eat it. The more I ponder it, I think I'll end up just giving it away. We eat salad EVERY day, so do you think I have enough planted? There are 4 of us.
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  yolos on 5/29/2017, 9:54 pm

@Songbird56 wrote:Thank you! Did you see the garden plan I put together? What do you think? The companion plant situation is really whats making me nervous... So the garden is up against a 24ft long fence. This is why its only 2.5 feet wide, since I can only access the front of it. The back of it is north. The west side is also against a tall fence, and taller trees are behind that. So the western 8 feet or so are partial shade in the afternoon as the sun sets. The rest is full sun all day. I think I'm going to take out the okra, because I love it but the rest of my family wont eat it. The more I ponder it, I think I'll end up just giving it away. We eat salad EVERY day, so do you think I have enough planted? There are 4 of us.
Hopefully someone from Texas will come along and help you out.  Isn't it too hot now in Texas to be growing greens for a salad.???
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Lettuce

Post  Songbird56 on 5/29/2017, 9:57 pm

I believe it is too late, however, It's my understanding that I can plant it later in the season (Sept) for a fall harvest (Oct/Nov).
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/30/2017, 10:35 am

Hi Songbird. Marie from Atlanta here. Welcome to our group!

I'd strongly encourage you to look for Has55's posts. He's in TX too and is VERY successful with SFG!
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  Turan on 5/30/2017, 12:53 pm

Welcome Songbird!

I live in Montana, a very different climate but here are my thoughts looking at your garden plan ~
Maybe plant the okra, it is only 2 plants and should do well through the summer for you.  
Some people in the south put shade cloths over their garden or parts of it for the summer.  It will be ok if you take out some herbs and have salad stuffs side by side.  Also for a summer garden you can use the brocolli and cauliflower spots for salad stuffs.  
Is that zuccini planted alternating with herbs? If so it is likely to need more room.  You can train it a bit to fall over hte edge of the garden but those are big leaves.
Think about mulching the bed to help it keep moisture through the summer.

Like every one else, I hope some one from your area shows up to give better advice.


Last edited by Turan on 5/30/2017, 1:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I read the plan upside down and thus switched east and west.)

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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  kamigh on 5/30/2017, 2:11 pm

Hi Songbird!  I'm in Flower Mound so I'll chime in with my 2 cents.  For a 'salad garden' in North Texas, it's really hard to get all the components of a salad at one time - it IS getting too hot for lettuce, so your plan to start it in September is a good one.  Peppers of any kind and cherry tomatoes (from plants from a nursery, not seed at this point) will do well.  Big tomatoes really need to be started early (like no later than March) to get them to maturity - our growing season 'ends' around July and starts again in September-ish.  I've also had a lot of luck with eggplant, if your family likes that.  
Although I try every year, the squash bugs and the dreaded horrible squash vine borers get my zucchini and squash EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  Like literally, you have a beautiful squash plant one day with big healthy leaves and blooms on it, and the next day it's dead.  I've had a little bit better luck with winter squash like spaghetti squash but maybe if you are vigilant about watching the undersides of the leaves of your squash it will be okay. 
It's late for onions, and you need to be very careful to get the right kind - we can only grow short day onions in our area - other onions won't bulb properly.  And it's not a given that the big box stores carry the right kind for our area.  I buy mine straight from Dixondale Farms in the fall - I'd be happy to share because they send way more than most SF gardeners can use!
Hopefully this helps - feel free to ask more . . . this is just some stuff off the top of my head.
Karla
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  sanderson on 5/30/2017, 4:03 pm

Hi Songbird,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  We have similar weather so I'll throw in my 2 cents.  This is the time for hot weather plants: tomatoes, pepper, eggplant, okra, tomatillos, squashes, melons, cucumbers, beans, strawberries, marigolds, etc.  Oct is planting time for starts of cool weather plants like kale, chard, onion (short day), garlic (short day), snow peas, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, salads, radishes (though you can try them this summer, carrots, parsnips, etc.  When the weather hits 100*F, everything will appreciate sun shade.

Short day/long day vs. short season/long season may sound confusing.  Kamigh mentioned short day onions.  You are in a long season but short day area.  Folks in the northern states are long day/short season area.  You can grow year around with occassional freeze protection (long season) but your latitude is in "short day".

Don't listen to nay-sayers regarding All New SFG.  It works, trust us.  Follow Mel's rules.

"Alley" - I strongly suggest you leave at least 2 feet between the long bed and the fence.  Weeds/grass will grow and cause lots of headaches.  Cover the 2 foot alley with weed fabric and wood chips, something.  It will also allow you to easily tend to the plants.

Trees
- You mentioned trees near this area.  Mel's Mix is so moist and good that the tree roots will come up through the weed fabric and cause a major head ache of roots.  Ask me and others how we learned this. Shocked  Elevating the bed with an air space underneath stops root invasion.  It can be as simple as a plywood bottom set on properly spaced treated 2"x4" wood, bricks, pavers, etc.  

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t21301-invasive-tree-roots-very-important-topic-for-newbies?highlight=roots

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18651-roots-information

Trellises:  They can be great.  Winter squash, baby variety watermelon and pumpkin, cantaloupe, tall tomatoes, pole beans and peas, etc.

I hope some of this helps.

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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  sanderson on 5/30/2017, 4:08 pm

You could give this lettuce a try. I haven't tried it in the summer but with shade maybe it will work. http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18006-marvel-of-four-seasons-lettuce?highlight=Four+Seasons

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FloMo!?

Post  Songbird56 on 5/31/2017, 5:01 pm

@kamigh wrote:Hi Songbird!  I'm in Flower Mound so I'll chime in with my 2 cents.  For a 'salad garden' in North Texas, it's really hard to get all the components of a salad at one time - it IS getting too hot for lettuce, so your plan to start it in September is a good one.  Peppers of any kind and cherry tomatoes (from plants from a nursery, not seed at this point) will do well.  Big tomatoes really need to be started early (like no later than March) to get them to maturity - our growing season 'ends' around July and starts again in September-ish.  I've also had a lot of luck with eggplant, if your family likes that.  
Although I try every year, the squash bugs and the dreaded horrible squash vine borers get my zucchini and squash EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.  Like literally, you have a beautiful squash plant one day with big healthy leaves and blooms on it, and the next day it's dead.  I've had a little bit better luck with winter squash like spaghetti squash but maybe if you are vigilant about watching the undersides of the leaves of your squash it will be okay. 
It's late for onions, and you need to be very careful to get the right kind - we can only grow short day onions in our area - other onions won't bulb properly.  And it's not a given that the big box stores carry the right kind for our area.  I buy mine straight from Dixondale Farms in the fall - I'd be happy to share because they send way more than most SF gardeners can use!
Hopefully this helps - feel free to ask more . . . this is just some stuff off the top of my head.
Karla
 FloMo? No way! I'm in Lantana so, just down the street. I'd love to hear any other comments/ideas you have. How long have you been SFG? My kids are going to help so I'm really excited about bonding with them over this.
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RE:1st time gardener in texas

Post  newbeone on 6/1/2017, 12:04 pm

Hi Songbird 56 Welcome to the Forum! from San Antonio, For what it's worth I started out gardening in Texas with my one bed up against the fence which is on the north side of my property, it didn't work out for me the heat radiating off the fence in the summer cooked everything, This year I moved my new beds two feet away from the fence "should have been three feet" with everything growing a two foot walkway disappears real quick. With the help of the people here on the Forum and the videos on U-Tube I'm finishing up with the best Spring garden ever. Have Fun
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  kamigh on 6/1/2017, 1:39 pm

 FloMo? No way! I'm in Lantana so, just down the street. I'd love to hear any other comments/ideas you have. How long have you been SFG? My kids are going to help so I'm really excited about bonding with them over this.
This is my 4th year in this house, and I started my SFG the first year here.  This is my first year in my new location in the yard and I more than doubled the size from my first garden.  I had a raised bed garden at my other house but not SF.  There is a lot of trial and error, especially since Texas is very different from where I grew up (around Philly). 
-Heat loving veggies will do awesome; namely eggplants and any kind of peppers.
-Cherry tomatoes are also just about a no-brainer.
-Cucumbers and other 'big leafed' veggies (squash, pumpkins, watermelon) will grow but you will most likely have to fend off powdery mildew at some point.  I grew mini pumpkins a few years ago and they were really sweet and even my non-garden loving children (it hurts just to type that!) thought those mini pumpkins were amazing.
-Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and cukes make up about 90% of my garden.  I dabble in some other stuff (beans, squash, carrots, greens) but most of it is a lot of effort for not terrific yields.  
This year, since I have more space to play around with, I think I'm going to attempt a fall garden with broccoli, brussel sprouts and kale, along with my greens, but that will be a big experiment for me.
There are several people here in the forum that have popped up from North Texas - we should try to organize a little garden tour!
Good luck!
Karla
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Re: 1st time gardener in N Texas

Post  sanderson on 6/1/2017, 7:38 pm

What a great idea for you DFW area folks to see each others' gardens.

You should be able to have a good winter garden with some freeze protection on the coldest nights.   Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, lettuce, spring peas, kale and chard.  Garlic is usually set out in the fall for early summer harvest.

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