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Walden Ponderer

2020 Gardening: digging up some new dirt on an old hobby

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Everything is new for me this year.  Like, four acres of a different state kinda new.

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I'm your huckleberry. Well, okay, these are your huckleberries. Vaccinium ovatum, to be precise: evergreen huckleberries. Grow best in full shade.

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Electricity comes on next week, seed potatoes go in the ground, fruit and berry trees and bushes over the next two months, and God only knows what'll happen after that. Hell, I've still gotta find time to build a new chicken coop, too. PARTAAAY!

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You'd better be updating this motherfucker regularly with pictures.

I'm still trying to get the fortitude to put a small garden in our backyard. 

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What are you guys in CenTex putting in the ground right now? I didn't do anything in terms of a winter garden but so far my strawberries and peppers made it through the "winter" and hopefully will be doing something good around spring. I'm going to give tomatoes a try again this year in a few months and maybe just try and get some herbs going over the next month.

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I'm sitting this year out.  Putting in a pool and guest house, so my backyard is a wreck and my water is shut off to the garden.  I haz a sad.

On the plus side, I'm going to go ahead and go full underground irrigation in the garden when we re-do the lawn and landscape irrigation in the back.  So, I got that going for me.  Which is nice.

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Gonna go with Jalapenos, Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Beefsteak Tomatoes this year. I bought some Topsy Turvy's because I've read that peppers do well in them. We'll see. Started some seedlings in the south facing window of my home office that have all sprouted. Honestly I should've started these in November as long as it's taken them to sprout. If they aren't big enough by Spring Break I'll go ahead and buy a few smaller plants to get going. 

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"Before." In two months roughly an acre will be a fruit and nut orchard, with herbs, veggies, and bee forage in the alleys. I don't expect a lot out of the soil this year, so I will be going heavy on beans and blooming nitrogen-affixers. Gonna take a year or two to break up this thick yellow clay.

20200126_153401.jpg

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Garden is going to expand from one raised and one in-ground to one large raised bed.
I use the Ruth Stout style and I've got a bunch of used goat hay composting getting ready to be used this spring.
Will be doing the usual of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers for slicing and pickling, strawberries, beans and okra.

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On 1/24/2020 at 11:37 PM, NorthLoop said:

Gonna go with Jalapenos, Bell Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, and Beefsteak Tomatoes this year. I bought some Topsy Turvy's because I've read that peppers do well in them. We'll see. Started some seedlings in the south facing window of my home office that have all sprouted. Honestly I should've started these in November as long as it's taken them to sprout. If they aren't big enough by Spring Break I'll go ahead and buy a few smaller plants to get going. 

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planning on (2) 20' raised beds and (1) 10' raised bed

new irrigation line ran for independent garden only use from the well.

tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, eggplant, etc.

Next year I'll make covers for the raised beds to act as greenhouses for earlier planting.

I will spend less than $100 for everything this year and it will provide $1000 worth of produce 

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We’ve gone from 100 acres in East Texas to 1/5 acre in New Braunfels, so we’ve had to downscale to say the least. Presently we’ve got four 6 x 2 raised beds plus some planters on shelves I mounted on the privacy fence. About to harvest the last of the winter garden (broccoli, cabbage and collared greens) and put some tomato plants and onions in last week. We’ve got cilantro, mint, oregano,etc. in the planters.

Not anywhere on the scale of other operations, but I’d probably go nuts if I couldn’t get my hands in the dirt once in awhile 

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On 1/23/2020 at 5:18 PM, Walden Ponderer said:

... Like, four acres of a different state kinda new. ...

Property looks very nice.  Congrats.  I'd love to have space like that to experiment with an aquaculture greenhouse.

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On 1/26/2020 at 2:49 PM, Walden Ponderer said:

"Before." In two months roughly an acre will be a fruit and nut orchard, with herbs, veggies, and bee forage in the alleys. I don't expect a lot out of the soil this year, so I will be going heavy on beans and blooming nitrogen-affixers. Gonna take a year or two to break up this thick yellow clay.

20200126_153401.jpg

I'm so excited for updates. I love to watch a garden from start to finish. In your area can you grow raspberries? My husband grew up in the midwest with lots of fruit plants that his dad had planted and they had rows of raspberries. They don't grow well here in south central Texas apparently and dang those suckers are expensive in the stores but I splurge when they are on sale. They also had blueberries, an apricot tree, plums, apples, etc. besides all the veggies.

 

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5 minutes ago, Mrs Whiggins said:

I'm so excited for updates. I love to watch a garden from start to finish. In your area can you grow raspberries? My husband grew up in the midwest with lots of fruit plants that his dad had planted and they had rows of raspberries. They don't grow well here in south central Texas apparently and dang those suckers are expensive in the stores but I splurge when they are on sale. They also had blueberries, an apricot tree, plums, apples, etc. besides all the veggies.

We can, but I'm not sure I've got a good spot for them. Direct sunlight is at a premium, so most of that is going to be for veggies.

Evergreen huckleberries, on the other hand, grow best in the shade. I've already put in 10 plants, each of which should grow into a bush a good 8' high and 5-6' across. And blackberries, of course, grow wild here. 

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Well, if sunlight is sparse, then I certainly understand. Look forward to watching the garden developments. We have a pretty small backyard and garden so I enjoy seeing what others are able to do and grow. There are some real green thumbs around here!

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SkeletalBronzeAcornwoodpecker-size_restricted.gif
planning on (2) 20' raised beds and (1) 10' raised bed
new irrigation line ran for independent garden only use from the well.
tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, eggplant, etc.
Next year I'll make covers for the raised beds to act as greenhouses for earlier planting.
I will spend less than $100 for everything this year and it will provide $1000 worth of produce 
That's weird. I usually put in $1000 worth and only get out $100.

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Not really gardening, but I saw a mountain laurel blooming already on Monday.

Edited by miguelito

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On 1/29/2020 at 10:54 PM, miguelito said:

Not really gardening, but I saw a mountain laurel blooming already on Monday.

Plenty of redbuds blooming here this week.

And my huckleberries, too, now that you mention blooming.

 

20200204_093312.jpg

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Here in Austin, I hesitate to put out tomatoes this year.  Before two years ago, I had tomatoes out the ass.  It wasn't until mid August that they started burning off.  The last two years they grow and fruit like crazy until mid June when they start turning yellow and croaking.  It's like they aren't getting enough water, but that is not the case.  

Anyone else experiencing this?

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Tomato flowers won't set if the lows exceed the low 70s. Depends on the variety for the exact number. If you can keep them shaded and moist and the weather is right you can get fruit on and off all summer.

Turning yellow and dying back can also be spider mites

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1 hour ago, SydneyCarton said:

@Walden Ponderer Update motherfucker. 

We're expecting an inch or two of snow tomorrow. I have cleared out one shed, and in doing so, uncovered a lovely plot for herbs and maybe a few tomato and pepper plants, but it's still three weeks away from me even contemplating putting anything in the ground. I will definitely be roto-tilling the next few weekends, though. I only plan to do that for a couple of seasons, by the way -- once I get the top 6-8" of clay loosened up some, I should be able to manage some high quality tilth by adding chicken-poop based compost on a monthly basis.

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That forest looks haunted.

 

I have a Mexican lime tree in a big pot.  It has a ton of blossoms on it right now.  What do I do to keep them from falling off?  In the past I've done nothing to it, and most of the blossoms fell off.  I'm bad about fertilizing - is that the answer?

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Anyone have experience with plum trees?  4 years ago I planted 2 peach trees and 2 plum trees... Peach trees have done great and throw fruit that I can harvest if I can beat the squirrels to them. (on another note, what's the best pellet gun to take out a squirrel but not cause damage to the neighbors house 50 yards past the peach trees?)

The plum trees haven't done squat (same watering, even more sun than peach trees)...barely grown, no blossoms.  Did I get 2 of the same sex trees?  How do you determine the sex of a tree? (no homo)

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Any ideas for a shrub for a small flower bed in Houston?  My issue is that it's 100% shade this time of year because of the configuration of the patio homes on our street.  It will be full sun during the summer after about 11:00 a.m.  The Loropetalums that are planted there now do not do well.  

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