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2023 Gardening Thread

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    Been keeping my pepper plants alive with daily watering. Even producing a few peppers, but we haven't been really picking them because we don't really need the peppers and the peppers are small. Afraid if we start picking, they will start trying to bloom and produce... I just want to keep them fed and watered until it cools down some... Have 78 that have survived... Only other item still growing is the okra and it's getting after it. Peas all died. Cukes ain't dead, but just sitting there. We're still giving water to the cuke plants and okra... Hope to give the drip tapes a good stretch watering under the peas so I can pull them up. I'll then turn the peas under with the tiller. Grass took over pretty bad though. After I turn them under, I'll cover the area with a silage tarp to snuff out the grass/seeds. The silage tarps pretty much wiped out the weeds this year. It was very nice not to have to battle broadleaf weeds so much... Grass eventually came back (I think from deep ryzones/roots rather than seeds. It did go to seed though because I couldn't get into the peas to get it out... Tarp will take care of that I'm hoping...
    Will be starting seeds in the greenhouse next week for early Fall items... Haven't laid it all out yet what we're going to start with... If I can get it to post, I'll try to post up what we're planting and when once I get the schedule set...


      Dwarf okra still putting out a few here and there. Going straight into left over pickle juice in the refrig. Fireants musta got to hot and left.


        Pepper plants are alive and starting to bloom again. The fall is when they really do well for me. Cukes are spitting one out here and there. Just reseeded a couple to have a few for the fall. About to seed some zuchinni. Green beans will go in around Labor day.


          We got watermelon, cantaloupe, and purple hull peas galore. Still pickin' a few romas, variety of peppers. Spaghetti and cushaw squash are doing good so far.


            Originally posted by MetalMan2004 View Post
            Has anyone tried/ been successful with raspberries in the Houston area? I want to say Randy Lemmon said it could be done but was not easy.

            I’ve tried for a few years and the prima-canes grow well until July and then the heat seems to kill them within about a week.
            No raspberries and not in Houston LOL, but grow boysenberries up here in Burnet County. They can handle the heat and make great cobbler.


              Bringing this one back to the top.

              My plants are over this heat. Everything under shade cloths is still looking good and growing well. My blackberries are in wicking tubs (not under shade) and are growing well too actually. All my grow bags and everything else not covered is riding the struggle bus. Keeping them alive with plenty of water, but all my pepper plants are going through a leaf molt right now. Losing leaves like crazy.

              This should be my last round of picking, candied peppers, and sauce until things cool off and the pods start growing again.

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                Those look fantastic Moosenloose!


                  What size do you start culling okra? (At what point is it just to woody for your taste?)
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                    Got a so-so spring tomato harvest, and not a tomato has set yet this late planting. Even with the forecast cooler temps, I doubt there will be enough time left for any to ripen.


                      Originally posted by dustoffer View Post
                      Got a so-so spring tomato harvest, and not a tomato has set yet this late planting. Even with the forecast cooler temps, I doubt there will be enough time left for any to ripen.
                      Fried green tomatoes are outstanding!!


                        Well we have our Fall plots all prepared and ready for planting. Wife is rebuilding the bag garden, filling grow bags... She started 4 trays about 10 days ago and they are really doing well in the new greenhouse... Lovin' that greenhouse since I put lights in it... much cooler working at night! Never had a Fall garden before. Not sure what to expect, but have high hopes of good harvests of green beans especially. Everyone says green beans grow better in the Fall and we try every year to grow them in the Spring, but have never been very successful...

                        We will plant squash, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, collards, and lettuce in the bags. Will plant 2 double rows (40 feet) of beets, three varieties, but mostly Merlins...
                        Will plant direct seed more purple hull peas, pole beans, bush beans, and I'm debating with myself whether or not to try a Fall planting of sweet corn... We also have 2 varieties of tomatoes started with the intent to put them in bags like we did in the Spring and move them to the greenhouse when the weather turns cold to see if we can make them last a bit longer.

                        We are going to try our hand at growing onions from seeds this year... they will be started late September in trays and will go in the ground first week of November. Harvest will be mid Spring.... HOPEFULLY!!

                        The okra is still producing about a 2 1/2 gallon bucket full of okra ever other day. That stuff is just now hitting its stride. It seems to love the heat as long as I pump the water to it via the drip tape. So far all 78 of my pepper plants have survived... Not really producing but still going. I'm in hopes that it starts to put on new fruits when the weather breaks a bit and cools down. Plants are loaded with peppers, but they're tiny. We picked them once, but that just made the plants start blooming again and trying to set fruits... Figured that might be too much stress on them in this heat, so we just are leaving the fruits on the plants for now so they won't try to bloom again. Once we get a cool front through that lasts more than 8 hours, we will pick 'em again so they'll start to bloom.
                        First day of planting... 4 trays with 162 slots in each tray...

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                        Three days later, already getting some germination!
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                          Originally posted by Man View Post
                          What size do you start culling okra? (At what point is it just to woody for your taste?)
                          That depends on the variety. That dwarf longhorn okra can get out there in the 8-10 inch range and still be tender. Star-of-David is a fat variety that is fantastic for frying and gumbo that can be picked at 6-8 inches. My favorite boiling okra is Jambalaya but 5-6 inches is about max for it if you’re going to fry it. About 4 inches is max for good boiling.


                            Y’all got it going on Charlie


                              Well I thought it might be time for a Fall garden update... things are coming along pretty nicely. Our in-ground plots survived the over 3" rains we got pretty well since I added all the top soil to them. I was pleased. The bag garden is not as populated as it was in the Spring, but I like the varieties we have going. I am running a little experiment this Fall since this is our first attempt at a Fall garden. As I posted back in August, we started 4 trays of various plants. There's 162 slots in each tray. The mistake we made last year was putting too many plants of some varieties in one bag. This Fall we are using all 10 gallon bags and put only one plant in each bag. We reused the planting mix we had in the Spring and amended it with an organic chicken manure-based fertilize plus we added alfalfa pellets to the mix... everything is organic so far this Fall.

                              Since we have way more plants in our trays than we will have bags, that means quite a few plants can go in the ground. I tilled the soil with my tractor then added the same alfalfa pellets to the plots, about 50#/1000 square feet of ground and then tilled it again to fold in the alfalfa pellets. I then made furrows, laid down my drip tape, then my bride put more alfalfa pellets and chicken-based fertilize in the furrows before I covered the drip tape.

                              Most plants were planted on double rows which means we planted on each side of the drip tape so each row is actually 2 rows of plants... A few varieties we did not double row plant such as the few extra tomatoes we had and I think the collards. Those we planted on top of the drip tape. I want to see how the plants that are in grow bags vs. the plants planted in the ground grow and produce. So far as of this writing, we are just getting started as these plants have been in the ground about 3 weeks on the squash... 2 weeks on everything else... Check out the pics of the squash!! WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! The thing that happened that I think set the in-ground plants back was a 1" rain 2 days after planting, and then again earlier this week, we got the three incher... The bags don't flood out since they are so porous... the excess water just passed through them and the plants survived much better. The in-ground plants mostly survived too though a few bit the dust...

                              I did convince myself to go ahead and plant that sweet corn too... Sure hope we don't get an early frost... I'd love to get some corn for the freezer this year... we're out as of about a month ago from our freezer stash...

                              Here are a few pics of what we have so far...

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                              AND we're still getting a few berries off the plants!! The extended heat really hurt them but they've bounced back nicely now. Last year we were able to pick berries for a cobbler for our Thanksgiving dinner... That is not likely to happen this year, but they are still trying to make a few berries...

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                              Of note on my experiment, the shots above of the in-ground plots, the first row on the left with the plants that have yellow flowers, those are the squash that were planted the same time as the plants in the grow bags that have the wire cages round them... SOME DIFFERENCE, HUH!!?

                              Let's see y'all Fall gardens!! I know we can't be the only ones doing this!


                                Hey Ya'll, this year was a bit of a bust for me. I couldn't keep up with the watering this year as much as I could last year, so everything burned up and died by mid-July early August. Funny enough, my mint, after dying off and me tilling up my raised bed garden, came back out of no where. Apparently you can't kill that stuff off even for a rookie like me!

                                I decided to do only raised bed gardens for next year after going to my local home depot and seeing 5 remaining raised bed gardening kits on clearance. Original price was $118, this clearance price was $25. I bought the remaining 5 along with a Gala Apple and an Elberta Peach tree. Those trees are in the ground and I'll have 6 raised bed gardens next year focusing on the stuff I really enjoy. It was a TON of fun growing strawberries with my son, he loved going out there every single day and picking them. I'm going to try and transplant them from one garden into a raised bed.

                                Anyway - I had a question for you arborists out there. I got the two plants in 1 gallon sizes. I don't know nuffin about pruning a tree (I should also mention while I'm thinking about it, both varities are self-fertilizing.) The gala has some growth right at the bottom of the trunk, does that need to get pruned off, sorta like a tomato plant? Do I even need to worry since they are both about 3-4 years away from fruiting? Any help is greatly appreciated. Pics to come! Hope everyone is having a great year.

                                Oh. And should I cover these trees given we are expecting an early cold snap? I just saw TWO nights of 32 degrees next week. YIKES!