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Posted: 8/7/2007 2:39:41 PM EDT
I know a lot of the survival forum crew grows their own foods, so let's see what kind of feedback I can get here

I've decided that it may be time to give gardening a shot... The only problem is that I know absolutely nothing about growing edible plants.

First off, what's good to grow in the Texas hill country? I've cleared out a 10' x 4' area so far... I've gotten it as free of rocks as it's going to be. It's taken lots of pickaxe, sledgehammer, and breaker bar work, but it's come along nicely.

This particular spot has lots of indirect sunlight, and plenty of cover keeping the harsh sunlight and heat at bay. The soil ranges from 5"-10" deep before hitting sold rock that's not going to break apart very easily(if at all).

Secondly, What can I start growing this late in the season? Anything?


What are you guys growing?


Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 4:18:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 7:38:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 7:38:49 PM EDT by chips]
Thanks for the reply!


Originally Posted By Feral:
Sounds like you've already put a lot of worthwhile work into it.

It sure doesn't look like it The rocks are so thick out here that it's taken me more than 5 hours just to get this little space ready.


Either way, I just want to see what other people in this area are doing. Texas has a pretty big SF following, so I'm hoping for some good answers!


...And if all else fails, I'll just experiment with different stuff. I've seen sweet potatoes mentioned, but I don't think I have deep enough soil.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 3:57:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 9:46:30 AM EDT
Thanks for the helP!


I definitely plan on trying peppers... habeneros would be nice to have on hand.

I'll do a little bit of research and try to make some choices soon...
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 9:59:44 AM EDT
If your soil quality is questionable, you might want to look into raised bed or Square Foot Gardening methods. You local library might have the SFG book, otherwise it's not a bad purchase in my opinion.

Start composting your household organic (no meat, breads, or fats/oils) wastes now. Composting will give you the cheapest, best soil improvement available.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 10:15:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scrum:
If your soil quality is questionable, you might want to look into raised bed or Square Foot Gardening methods. You local library might have the SFG book, otherwise it's not a bad purchase in my opinion.

Start composting your household organic (no meat, breads, or fats/oils) wastes now. Composting will give you the cheapest, best soil improvement available.
The area where I'm doing this has (what I think is)Good, dark, rich soil. It's in a clearing in the middle of a patch of trees, and there was a good layer of hummus rotting away on the ground.


After I removed the rocks, It was kind of lacking in soil, so I brought some dirt from the Burn/waste pile over and spread it out real well. I *think* the soil should be good, But like I said, I have no experience doing this.


I transplanted some aloe plants over to it so I can see how well those do.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 12:46:08 PM EDT
I've been doing the Square Foot Gardening system for over 15 years now and it's been great!

In the book, it will list what plants grow in what temps and conditions, when to plant and when to harvest, all in an easy and well laid out format.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 2:09:36 PM EDT
A couple more hours of work expanding the plot a little bit... It would seem that mother nature has a sense of humor:




size comparison:





I'll just elevate the ground above this area. I tried getting underneath the rocks, but I think they're part of the bed rock... There's nothing but solid rock under them and I can't find a seam.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 2:10:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lorax:
I've been doing the Square Foot Gardening system for over 15 years now and it's been great!

In the book, it will list what plants grow in what temps and conditions, when to plant and when to harvest, all in an easy and well laid out format.
Is this something I'd find at Barnes and Nobles, or is there a downloadable version?
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 2:17:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 2:22:57 PM EDT
Great, it looks like theres some good links here so far. They should serve as some good starting points. Thanks, guys!


I've got a hectic schedule, but as this project progresses(as slowly as it may be), I'll post updates.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 3:53:17 PM EDT
Dude,

With the rocky soil and limited space you should absolutely go with the SFG method. The planters are super easy to build and Mel (book's author) is big on keeping things cheap. The soil, "Mel's Mix," is easy to put together and retains water/nutrients/oxygen better than any other mix I've tried in my years of gardening. The book is not that expensive and will pay for itself manifold in the first growing season. It's sold over a million copies so your odds of picking one up at 1/2 price books is good. Good luck and keep us all posted.

-Dallas

P.S. You should plan on warm/hot weather plants like tomatoes, zucc., squash, peppers, etc.
Local gardening clubs can also provide a wealth of information particularly relevant to your climate.
Link Posted: 8/8/2007 4:03:49 PM EDT
Most any bookstore has it. Might be able to find a lot of info online about it. It's nothing new and a proven method. So easy too.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:13:09 PM EDT
Listen to the people who are suggesting the square foot gardening. For those rocks, so not bother bringing in soil to cover them. You won't be able to keep the garden watered if you do that. ANd the root growth will be SO limited by the "hardpan" of the rocks.

Not just Square foot gardening, but if I were you, I would do "the NEW Square foot gardening" method.

It's the same guy, but he's designed a raised bed style garden rather than an "in-ground" garden. It will cost you a little more to set it up, but you can get a lot of produce with less work this way.

As for those rocks, just plant some flowers around them and make a nice rock garden. The lizards will have a place to sun themselves while they're not in your garden hunting for slugs (a good thing, this hunting).

1) You don't know the acidity or makeup of your soil

2) You're a new gardener

3) The above spells discouragement.

4) The raised bed SFG method people have suggested will bypass all of that if you follow the procedures he outlines correctly. Mel Bartholomew is the guy. Had a show on PBS for years. Can order either of his books online I'm certain. The only one presently available in stores around here is his new one.

Kitties
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:37:25 PM EDT
I'm not a great gardner so I won't give you a lot of advice. However , No one should ever make fun of you for wanting to be self sufficient and grow your own food. If they did make fun of you tell them to FO.

It may be a little late this year to start growing stuff , but it's never too early to start prepping for next year.

Late summer/fall is a good time for sales of gardening supplies as well as your neighbors throwing away perfectly useful tomato cages and pots full of soil etc.

Judging from the bedrock you call your garden plot you'll need to buy or scavenge up some railroad ties or lanscpe timbers to build some plant beds.

If you live anywhere near a suburb, drive around on trash night during the fall and I'll be you can find a ton of useful gardening stuff.


You can grow some great tomatos in 5 gallon buckets too.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:38:30 PM EDT
With all the people recommending the Square Foot method, it looks like it may be something to really look into.


However; at this time I'm enjoying the hard labor involved in digging up the ground and breaking up/removing rocks. Since blowing out my knee, running has been out of the question. I'm finding that shovel and pickaxe work is great exercise


Anyways, It's hard to tell in the pictures above, but the top of those rocks ranged from 4-12" underground. I ended up covering them back up, and I started work on elevating the ground above the highest point of the rocks to keep them at about 12" underground all the way across.


Now, Kitties... How would I determine the acidity of my soil? I transplanted 3 healthy aloe plants on Thursday. They aren't doing very well today. I'm wondering if the soil may be too acidic or basic? I doubt it's a nutrient problem, but once again, I'm new to this

Here's where I stand today: Like I said, I'm enjoying the labor involved, but if I fail miserably, it will be time for a new method.

Considering the time involved in removing rocks, breaking up the soil, and moving over new soil, this is about 10 hours of labor in to it. Doesn't look like much, does it
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 3:44:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By weptek911:

It may be a little late this year to start growing stuff , but it's never too early to start prepping for next year.

Late summer/fall is a good time for sales of gardening supplies as well as your neighbors throwing away perfectly useful tomato cages and pots full of soil etc.

Judging from the bedrock you call your garden plot you'll need to buy or scavenge up some railroad ties or lanscpe timbers to build some plant beds.

If you live anywhere near a suburb, drive around on trash night during the fall and I'll be you can find a ton of useful gardening stuff.


I was thinking it might be a little late as well. If all else fails, I've got the soil prepped pretty well and I can begin work again in the spring.

I'm out in the country, so no luck there... Lots of rocks to build up a bed with, though!
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:25:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 4:31:27 PM EDT by weptek911]
looks good so far . Start a mulch pit next. throw in your fall leaves, grass clippings ,coffee grounds, egg shells and leafy green leftovers. Mix in a couple bags of potting soil and you'll be in good shape for next spring.

BTW, no way am I growing enough stuff to live on . We just love to eat fresh garden grown tomatoes and cucumbers for the summertime salads. My garden is a box type about the size of a small rowboat.

My favorites are,

Roma & cherry tomatoes
Lemon & regular cucumbers.
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 4:56:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 5:21:04 PM EDT by Kitties-with-Sigs]

Originally Posted By chips:

Now, Kitties... How would I determine the acidity of my soil? I transplanted 3 healthy aloe plants on Thursday. They aren't doing very well today. I'm wondering if the soil may be too acidic or basic? I doubt it's a nutrient problem, but once again, I'm new to this



Okay, here are some questions for you:

1) Where do you live? I would ask you your agricultural zone, but I doubt you know that, so if you tell me what part of the USA you live in, I can tell your growing season.(ETA: I did see Texas Hill country, but Texas IS its own country and spans several zones. I have no clue where you might be, so I have to find out about zone, annual rainfall--that sort of thing before I can give you any decent answers)

2)Wherever you live, in a town near you, there is an AGriculture Extension Agent. He/she works out of the local/regional Ag Extension Office. This is associated with the land grant university in your state. If you go to this office, you will be able to pick up cartons for soil test kits. You need to do this. For about five dollars per test, you will get back a complete report on your soil, what nutrients are needed, the acidity/alkalinity, and you will also get a recommendation on what sorts of fertilizers or acid or lime to add to bring the soil in line with what you wish to grow. When asked, be sure to indicate on the form that the plot is for a veggie garden, as you will have choices for a lawn/crop production, etc. This is a good starting point.

3) Okay, is that pine cones I see in the plot? Do you know what kinds of trees are growing directly around the plot and/or what kinds of trees you moved soil FROM UNDERNEATH? This is important, because your garden is near trees, and some trees have a quality that referred to as "aleopathic." Black Walnut trees are like this. A lot of trees/plants are like this, but some are more than others, so it's necessary to avoid the ones, like Black Walnut, which are HIGHLY aleopathic . Aleopathy is the ability of one plant to hinder the growth of other plants around it. It's a chemical thing. SO, all this to say, it's important to know what kinds of trees are growing around your garden, and to be aware of WHERE you got the soil you moved into the plot.

4) Back to the pine cones. Pine cones/needles are highly acidic. Pine trees (most anyhow) grow in more highly acidic soil (lower ph) than some other trees, and than most garden plants. BUT as the pine cones break down and rot/compost, this rotting/composting process REMOVES nitrogen from the soil. So you have kind of a complex thing going on here. You may well have acid soil. BUT by next spring, that soil may be less acid because of the composting of the larger organic elements incorporated. Is this making any sense?

5) BAck to the County Agent. Be friends with the people in this office. They can teach you a LOT. In some counties, it's just one agent. In others, there is one for Agriculture, one for Horticulture and even a separate one for Landscape horticulture. They have lots of pamphlets, publications and such, ALL GEARED TO YOUR CLIMATE AND AREA. THey will help you solve problems with your garden.

6) If nobody has pointed you to GardenWeb, it's a good site. It can be overwhelming, cuz a lot of the folks who use it are using scientific names for stuff--but that's mostly for the landscape stuff. But it is a good reference.

7)It IS late in the season for starting gardening. I would focus on next year, though you could probably grow a crop of late lettuce or other greens or perhaps some turnips, broccoli and/or cabbage/brussels sprouts. (Sorry for spelling I'm typing really fast) The thing to do is to focus on next spring, and don't make it too big the first year.

8) Did you pull that aloe out of a pot and stick it in the garden? Unless you are in a tropical climate, that aloe is going to freeze and ruin as soon as you get frost, so that's why I'm asking where you are. More when I find that out. :0)

ETA: Missed the post right after yours that told you about the Ag Extension office. This is a first step, and I forgot to say, all their materials are FREE. Free is good.

Kitties
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:05:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kitties-with-Sigs:


Okay, here are some questions for you:

1) Where do you live? I would ask you your agricultural zone, but I doubt you know that, so if you tell me what part of the USA you live in, I can tell your growing season.(ETA: I did see Texas Hill country, but Texas IS its own country and spans several zones. I have no clue where you might be, so I have to find out about zone, annual rainfall--that sort of thing before I can give you any decent answers)
I'm about 20 miles north of San Antonio.

2)Wherever you live, in a town near you, there is an AGriculture Extension Agent. He/she works out of the local/regional Ag Extension Office. This is associated with the land grant university in your state. If you go to this office, you will be able to pick up cartons for soil test kits. You need to do this. For about five dollars per test, you will get back a complete report on your soil, what nutrients are needed, the acidity/alkalinity, and you will also get a recommendation on what sorts of fertilizers or acid or lime to add to bring the soil in line with what you wish to grow. When asked, be sure to indicate on the form that the plot is for a veggie garden, as you will have choices for a lawn/crop production, etc. This is a good starting point.Good tip. I will keep this in mind.

3) Okay, is that pine cones I see in the plot? Do you know what kinds of trees are growing directly around the plot and/or what kinds of trees you moved soil FROM UNDERNEATH? This is important, because your garden is near trees, and some trees have a quality that referred to as "aleopathic." Black Walnut trees are like this. A lot of trees/plants are like this, but some are more than others, so it's necessary to avoid the ones, like Black Walnut, which are HIGHLY aleopathic . Aleopathy is the ability of one plant to hinder the growth of other plants around it. It's a chemical thing. SO, all this to say, it's important to know what kinds of trees are growing around your garden, and to be aware of WHERE you got the soil you moved into the plot.Right there it's mostly oak. There are some mesquite and a few cedar trees on the property as well, but not many.

4) Back to the pine cones. Pine cones/needles are highly acidic. Pine trees (most anyhow) grow in more highly acidic soil (lower ph) than some other trees, and than most garden plants. BUT as the pine cones break down and rot/compost, this rotting/composting process REMOVES nitrogen from the soil. So you have kind of a complex thing going on here. You may well have acid soil. BUT by next spring, that soil may be less acid because of the composting of the larger organic elements incorporated. Is this making any sense?Understood... There's no pine trees here, but the area I'm attempting to grow at had a nice layer of leaves and other plant matter over it. I would assume that the afore mentioned test would let me know exactly what's going on.

I may be starting a compost pile in the near future too.


5) BAck to the County Agent. Be friends with the people in this office. They can teach you a LOT. In some counties, it's just one agent. In others, there is one for Agriculture, one for Horticulture and even a separate one for Landscape horticulture. They have lots of pamphlets, publications and such, ALL GEARED TO YOUR CLIMATE AND AREA. THey will help you solve problems with your garden.

6) If nobody has pointed you to GardenWeb, it's a good site. It can be overwhelming, cuz a lot of the folks who use it are using scientific names for stuff--but that's mostly for the landscape stuff. But it is a good reference.

7)It IS late in the season for starting gardening. I would focus on next year, though you could probably grow a crop of late lettuce or other greens or perhaps some turnips, broccoli and/or cabbage/brussels sprouts. (Sorry for spelling I'm typing really fast) The thing to do is to focus on next spring, and don't make it too big the first year.
This is what I will probably end up doing. I do want to try a few things this year... it's just a matter of getting out there and doing it

8) Did you pull that aloe out of a pot and stick it in the garden? Unless you are in a tropical climate, that aloe is going to freeze and ruin as soon as you get frost, so that's why I'm asking where you are. More when I find that out. :0)
Yes. I'm not in a tropical climate, and I'm unsure of what winter will be like this year. Last year we had a heavy freeze. The year before was a fairly mild winter, though.

ETA: Missed the post right after yours that told you about the Ag Extension office. This is a first step, and I forgot to say, all their materials are FREE. Free is good.Free is good!

Kitties



Thanks for your replies so far, and thanks to all the others giving me advice. This is a great learning experience for me!
Link Posted: 8/13/2007 6:34:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/13/2007 6:47:52 PM EDT by Kitties-with-Sigs]
Okay, your aloe probably is suffering from transplant shock. Aloe, in these parts anyhow, is a pot plant/houseplant only. I suspect, from looking at that soil (though I have not touched it and can only guess), that it drains really well--meaning it has a large organic matter/humus content and not much clay. Aloe doesn't like to be transplanted when it's big anyway, and you've quite likely shocked it. I don't know what you did exactly, or what your transplanting skills are. But you've CERTAINLY taken it from it's prior soil/conditions directly into THIS soil and conditions, with no transition. Hey, if you were a plant, you'd be shocked too!

Did you take one pot of aloe and break it into three pieces and thus leave roots without much soil on them?

Or did you take three pots of aloe and put them in the ground, root ball intact?

Also, while you're setting up your new garden, make yourself a little garden journal. Jot some notes about what you did already, where you got the soil, etc. You will put your soil test results in this (one test will be plenty for the size plot you have==instructions are on the carton for taking the sample).

Note in this journal where, in relation to your garden, the sun rises each morning at this time of year, when it STRIKES your garden plot, and what time it NO LONGER strikes your garden plot. This will be good information for you in planning next year. You will know how many hours of full sun per day your garden will get. Veggies need a LOT of sun. Then you will notice as the season passes, that the amounts of sun your plot gets per day will change, because the sun's positon will change in relation to it. Note this also.

Your plot looks to me to be about "three" square foot garden plots. All you'd need is a path across the middle of the large plot (a board to walk on, for instance) and you'd be very nearly set to do that method. It's an intensive gardening method, which will yield you far more produce on a small plot than you would normally get, because at no time is any part of the plot without something growing in it. In a normal garden, with "rows" you have all that space between rows that is bare soil (read weeds) and once the row has yielded its fruit for the year, it's pretty much done, cuz it's all planted at the same time. In a square foot garden this is not so. No space is left bare, you have fewer weeds because the ground is covered with desirable plants, and you have no "in between" space that you must keep weed free but that does not yield produce. It's a great gardening method. Time, space, resource, and WATER efficient.

And I suspect you will be watering daily when you don't get rain. Therefore this method is even better for you. I get an average of 63 inches of rainfall per year. Bet you guys don't get nearly that. And I still have to water in summer. Watering a square foot garden takes a few minutes per day tops. Watering any other type of garden takes sprinkers, expensive drip irrigation, yadda yadda.

Can you tell I'm a believer in this method?

Okay at your local garden center right now, they will likely be getting some type of fall potted garden flowers like Chrysanthemums (here anyhow). It would not be a bad idea to go and buy a couple small pots of these, and plant them in your garden (in the corners for instance) Make sure you get "hardy" plants--ones that will live through the winter--not "florist" pots, which are just for decoration and won't live through the winter.

Just see how they do. Plus, you'll get the satisfaction of planting something in your garden that can possibly live through the winter, and you can water and care for it. Notice when it starts to look thirsty and pay attention to how it does. You could sew a few turnip seeds and see whether they germinate. If they do, and the rabbits and groundhogs will cooperate, you may get your first harvest about October/November. You could also probably try radishes in a few weeks when it starts to get a little cooler.

You might also be able to try some onions (from sets, not from seed) (A "set" is a small onion that you use to grow bigger onions or green onions) That's the lingo here anyhow. "Do you have any onion sets?" Dunno if it's different there.

Your county agent will have a list of fall garden crops and last good planting dates and all that. Go to this link and type in your zip code and it will tell you your exact zone.

Gardenweb Zonefinder

ETA: Notice under the "tools" tab at Gardenweb home page, that you can find "zone buddies". This is a tool to allow you to search for others in your zone so you can chat with them on the forums, or email back and forth to ask questions. This site has a wealth of information for the new gardener. Like any other site, it has forums, but it also has a great "beginners" section to help out newbies.

Let us know how it goes and how you progress!

Kitties


Link Posted: 8/14/2007 7:57:42 PM EDT
Hey, did I scare you off with my book length post?

Sorry if I did.

I get kinda excited about plants.

Kitties
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 8:20:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kitties-with-Sigs:
Hey, did I scare you off with my book length post?

Sorry if I did.

I get kinda excited about plants.

Kitties
Absolutely not! Your posts are very informative.


Sorry I haven't gotten back to this thread yet. I've had a lot going on today. I've only been on the computer for short amounts of time...


Link Posted: 8/14/2007 8:30:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kitties-with-Sigs:
Okay, your aloe probably is suffering from transplant shock. Aloe, in these parts anyhow, is a pot plant/houseplant only. I suspect, from looking at that soil (though I have not touched it and can only guess), that it drains really well--meaning it has a large organic matter/humus content and not much clay. Aloe doesn't like to be transplanted when it's big anyway, and you've quite likely shocked it. I don't know what you did exactly, or what your transplanting skills are. But you've CERTAINLY taken it from it's prior soil/conditions directly into THIS soil and conditions, with no transition. Hey, if you were a plant, you'd be shocked too!

Did you take one pot of aloe and break it into three pieces and thus leave roots without much soil on them?

Or did you take three pots of aloe and put them in the ground, root ball intact?All of them were put into the ground with bare roots. I guess this may explain some of the problems.

Also, while you're setting up your new garden, make yourself a little garden journal. Jot some notes about what you did already, where you got the soil, etc. You will put your soil test results in this (one test will be plenty for the size plot you have==instructions are on the carton for taking the sample).

Note in this journal where, in relation to your garden, the sun rises each morning at this time of year, when it STRIKES your garden plot, and what time it NO LONGER strikes your garden plot. This will be good information for you in planning next year. You will know how many hours of full sun per day your garden will get. Veggies need a LOT of sun. Then you will notice as the season passes, that the amounts of sun your plot gets per day will change, because the sun's positon will change in relation to it. Note this also. Haha, I'll see what I can do with this one. I'm usually not out of bed until long after the sun has risen

Your plot looks to me to be about "three" square foot garden plots. All you'd need is a path across the middle of the large plot (a board to walk on, for instance) and you'd be very nearly set to do that method. It's an intensive gardening method, which will yield you far more produce on a small plot than you would normally get, because at no time is any part of the plot without something growing in it. In a normal garden, with "rows" you have all that space between rows that is bare soil (read weeds) and once the row has yielded its fruit for the year, it's pretty much done, cuz it's all planted at the same time. In a square foot garden this is not so. No space is left bare, you have fewer weeds because the ground is covered with desirable plants, and you have no "in between" space that you must keep weed free but that does not yield produce. It's a great gardening method. Time, space, resource, and WATER efficient. it's about 4' wideand were the "L" shape bent straight, about 12-13' long. In terms of dividing it up and figuring out just what to do, that's something I'll have to experiment with. I'd definitely like to avoid weeds and ant mounds that will undoubtedly form...



And I suspect you will be watering daily when you don't get rain. Therefore this method is even better for you. I get an average of 63 inches of rainfall per year. Bet you guys don't get nearly that. And I still have to water in summer. Watering a square foot garden takes a few minutes per day tops. Watering any other type of garden takes sprinkers, expensive drip irrigation, yadda yadda.Absolutely. Who knows, I may end up trying something else and doing a set up like I had seen my grandfather do... Once his garden became to large to easily water, he built a network of PVC pipes. All he had to do was turn the knob on the faucet and the entire garden was watered in a few minutes.

We don't get a lot of rain here... right now we've got ~30" for the year, but that's far above average.


Can you tell I'm a believer in this method?

Okay at your local garden center right now, they will likely be getting some type of fall potted garden flowers like Chrysanthemums (here anyhow). It would not be a bad idea to go and buy a couple small pots of these, and plant them in your garden (in the corners for instance) Make sure you get "hardy" plants--ones that will live through the winter--not "florist" pots, which are just for decoration and won't live through the winter.

Just see how they do. Plus, you'll get the satisfaction of planting something in your garden that can possibly live through the winter, and you can water and care for it. Notice when it starts to look thirsty and pay attention to how it does. You could sew a few turnip seeds and see whether they germinate. If they do, and the rabbits and groundhogs will cooperate, you may get your first harvest about October/November. You could also probably try radishes in a few weeks when it starts to get a little cooler.Not a bad idea to experiment with some of the hardier plants...

You might also be able to try some onions (from sets, not from seed) (A "set" is a small onion that you use to grow bigger onions or green onions) That's the lingo here anyhow. "Do you have any onion sets?" Dunno if it's different there. I dug up about 2 dozen wild onions while digging that plot. I have no doubt that onions will grow. I was actually planning on planting some.

Your county agent will have a list of fall garden crops and last good planting dates and all that. Go to this link and type in your zip code and it will tell you your exact zone.

Gardenweb Zonefinder

ETA: Notice under the "tools" tab at Gardenweb home page, that you can find "zone buddies". This is a tool to allow you to search for others in your zone so you can chat with them on the forums, or email back and forth to ask questions. This site has a wealth of information for the new gardener. Like any other site, it has forums, but it also has a great "beginners" section to help out newbies.I'll be looking over this information and a lot of the other info posted in this thread over the next few days. Thanks a lot!

Let us know how it goes and how you progress!

Kitties


Link Posted: 8/14/2007 9:52:29 PM EDT
"All of them were put into the ground with bare roots. I guess this may explain some of the problems."

Yes. They are too big for that type of transplanting. What happens is, all the roots they have basically have to die back and the plant has to form all new roots. Easy for a tiny baby plant, not so easy for a larger, more adult plant.

If they don't make it, it's okay. If they do, they may limp along for a while and then get going. If you have temps below 40 or so this winter, they may not make it through the winter, but don't feel bad. Already you've gained knowledge.

Next time, you'll know if the plant is fully developed, as these are, that you need to transplant the entire root ball with it.

Cabbage and tomatoes are a little different, BTW. You can actually transplant larger seedlings with good results.

The aloe is a bit of a strange one to start out with, so don't let that throw you.

Kitties
Link Posted: 8/14/2007 9:57:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kitties-with-Sigs:
"All of them were put into the ground with bare roots. I guess this may explain some of the problems."

Yes. They are too big for that type of transplanting. What happens is, all the roots they have basically have to die back and the plant has to form all new roots. Easy for a tiny baby plant, not so easy for a larger, more adult plant.

If they don't make it, it's okay. If they do, they may limp along for a while and then get going. If you have temps below 40 or so this winter, they may not make it through the winter, but don't feel bad. Already you've gained knowledge.

Next time, you'll know if the plant is fully developed, as these are, that you need to transplant the entire root ball with it.

Cabbage and tomatoes are a little different, BTW. You can actually transplant larger seedlings with good results.

The aloe is a bit of a strange one to start out with, so don't let that throw you.

Kitties
Great, knowing where I screwed up is good... I can make changes as I continue to do this stuff! I honestly thought that aloe would by one of the hardier plants that could survive a transplant and make it through harsh conditions easily.

Anyways, like I said, I'll be going over this thread over the next coming days and trying to get everything sorted out.

Thanks for all you help you've given me so far!


I've got to be up in about 4 1/2 hours, so I'd better log off for the night and get some sleep
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