Newbie to Tennessee gardens

Ruth2begin(7)February 10, 2011

My husband and I are moving to Huntingdon, TN in April. I know nothing about gardening there and would like some advice on testing the ground of my new 1.7 acres. It would be nice to know what plants thrive here as well. I have been living in a Minnesota apartment for two years and I miss my garden sooo much. The chance to start a new garden experience is making me so excited and visions of plants and gardens are going through my head always. This is going to be our last and forever home so any advice given me will be much appreciated.

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Welcome soon to be in Tn. So glad you are coming into our fair state.
One of the best things you can do is attend a swap close to you. They will be more than happy to share advise and plants to get your yard going.
Then check as to where your nearest extension office is, they can test your soil for you.

Again Welcome!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Not sure where Huntingdon is, but be sure to check out the MTPS. It's held in Henry Horton State Park on the third Saturday of both May and October.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 5:27PM
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Howdy Neighbor, get use to hearing that, lol!! You will be pretty close to me, maybe an hour. I live in Union City, Tn!!

Get ready for some heavy clay dirt, and hot and dry summers!! Gailardia, rudbekia and echinaceas, grow great around here. Many other plants as well!! Those were just a few off the top of my head!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 5:35PM
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Thank you for your response. Rudbekia I have grown before, but the others I will have to look up. We currently have a good crop of weeds and nothing else. I think it is exciting to plan a whole new set of beds and gardens from scratch and I look forward to hearing all about plants that will grow in our newly purchased home. Great gardening and happy planning to you.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 2:08PM
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Chris_in_the_Valley(z7 MD)

Welcome Ruth! Being fairly new to Tennessee gardening myself, I googled; I found books about Tennessee gardening; I talked to family with wonderful gardens.

I suspect that West Tennessee horticulture totally differs from East Tennessee so I've no suggestions. Unless you have a ton of clay. Then my advice is to first buy a pick axe.

Do you have a blank slate, or are you moving into an established landscape?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 6:30PM
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It is extremely different here than east tennessee. If I am not mistaken you guys have the beautiful land with the nice humus rich soil.

We are in farmland country!! We have concrete in the summer. Orange to brown clayish thick mud when it is wet. You can lose a shoe easily in that mess, not that I would know from experience or anything, and I am not talking about just a flip flop I mean a tied on sneaker!! LOL

Best advice plan your plantings around the rain and I wouldn't try planting much after late april early may at least not in the full sun. Full sun plants up north we can get away with planting them in partial shade meaning morning sun afternoon shade. Plant trees shrubs and if you can perennials in the fall.

You can pretty much plant about anything down here that you could up north, you just may have to adjust where you plant it. Meaning what type of sun exposure. Our sun is hot after 10-11 am.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 10:16PM
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I've taken to digging trenches around and through my veggie gardens, then filling them back in during the heat of the summer. You should have seen me last year when we had the flood. I was out in pouring rain, with lightning (not smart I know, but my plants were drowning!)

I'm learning to mulch well in the summer to conserve moisture and keep down weeds. By July/August it is so stinkin' hot I just can't bring myself to go outside long enough to keep up with the weeds. I also keep the kids' play pool near the garden so that I can just let the water flow down into the garden whenever it needs emptied.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 9:44PM
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I was happy to find out I wasn't as nuts as my neighbors thought I was for digging out the vacuum to get Japanese Beetles off of my plants. Apparently we enthusiastic (if very amateur in my case) gardeners have used the same methods to fight these invasive critters. Just remembering the look on my neighbors' faces as I drug my vacuum out to save my berries and apple trees is hilarious now. It was a bitter war against bug kind and I fought it for most of one summer. I think that we got bugs coming from other parts of the country as well as the ones hatching there, as I fought them for much longer than the information says they will stay around. I finally gave up on some of my fruit and just tried to control them the best I could. I will be prepared if they show up now and thank goodness there is some solid information on how to control them.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:28AM
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Finding the ground to where they are laying their eggs may the hardest problem with treating jb's.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 7:50AM
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welcome, you are in for a wild ride when it comes to gardening. I have never seen so many kinds of plant problems as I have down here. Bugs that i never heard of. And the clay, it turns to rock in the summer, if you are planning a garden in the spring be sure to have a pick-ax handy. That is the only way you will get through it. Hot, steamy, unbearable heat in the summer, but the grass keeps growing and must be mowed, sometimes twice weekly. But when you get a day like today, sunny, low humidity and the bluest sky, trees budding, birds getting reaady to mate, you forget how misserable it will be in a couple of months.

Here is a link that might be useful: garden web

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 11:12AM
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heathersgarden(6b/7a Mid TN)

Hi Ruth!

If you live in West Tennessee, it might be worth your time to visit the Jackson Experiment Station. Especially during their July Summer Celebration. For $5 you get a whole day of wonderful lectures and you get to see a fabulous set of trial gardens. I live in Middle TN, but I've made some very wise plant choices for the hottest driest areas of my garden, all because of what I've learned at Jackson.

Happy gardening:)

Here is a link that might be useful: Jackson Experiment Station

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 2:51PM
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